Following New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s attack Monday on billionaire investors David and Charles Koch, Kansas Republican Sen. Jerry Moran defended the Kochs’ corporation Thursday on the Senate floor.
Moran praised Koch Industries, headquartered in Wichita, Kan., as “an American job creator that employs 2,600 citizens of my state.” The company employs 50,000 nationwide.
“The company and its owners are respected corporate citizens” in Kansas,” Moran said. Democrats including Lautenberg have complained about unchecked influence they believe the Koch brothers have over political contributions in the 2012 election cycle.
The Kochs’ names have been invoked multiple times during debate about the DISCLOSE Act, legislation that failed to win a Senate floor vote on both Monday and Tuesday.
On the Senate floor Tuesday, Lautenberg said “David and Charles Koch … are the powerhouses in this [conservative] movement to take away the ability of the American people to decide how they vote and who gets into office.”
The New Jersey senator then announced the brand names of several products owned or manufactured by Koch Industries, complaining that they are “a source of revenue for the Koch brothers, who fund attack ads that pollute our airwaves.”
In a statement provided to The Daily Caller, Koch Industries general counsel Mark Holden said Lautenberg’s “blatant hypocrisy and outright hostility towards a longstanding U.S. manufacturer and its 50,000 U.S. employees are deeply troubling.”
Holden accused Lautenberg of trying to drive Koch Industries “out of business because he disagrees with the company owners’ exercise of their First Amendment rights to express their public policy views.”