Koch Industries has accused President Barack Obama’s allies of trying to silence its wealthy executives, David and Charles Koch, following remarks made by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
“We will exercise our First Amendment rights and not be intimidated or silenced by the President’s aides and his allies who criticize private citizens that disagree with the President’s policies,” Philip Ellender of Koch Industries wrote Friday on KochFacts.com.
Facing well-funded Republican candidates like Mitt Romney, Obama’s campaign has recently encouraged rich donors to support Priorities USA Action, a Democratic super PAC. Ellender accused Obama of hypocrisy for previously railing against the influence of money in politics.
“It is worth noting that President Obama outraised and outspent his opponent by hundreds of millions of dollars in the 2008 Presidential campaign, relying in large part on the same corporate executive funding sources whose productivity, business practices, and profitability he pretends to denounce,” he said.
“Apparently, the President and his allies do not want to lose that perceived fundraising advantage during the 2012 Presidential campaign, and are trying to intimidate into silence those who may disagree with them and who may decide to support other candidates,” Ellender concluded.
Last week, Pelosi defended Obama’s decision to embrace super PACs.
“The president’s made a decision — which I think was a wise one — that he was not going to unilaterally disarm and leave the field to the Koch brothers to decide who would be president of the United States and who would control the Congress,” she said during a press briefing. “And his commitment was for full disclosure.”
During a conference they hosted in early February, the Koch brothers pledged a combined $60 million to defeat Obama in the 2012 elections, according to the Huffington Post.