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Monday, September 1, 2014

Senator Reid, character attacks are never the best defense

The possibility that the Democratic Party will lose control of the U.S. Senate in November has put Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in attack mode. Unfortunately, his recent attacks on David and Charles Koch have made him look desperate.

Reid’s attacks against the Koch brothers began to intensify in February when, on the Senate floor, he labeled them “un-American.” He then furthered the attacks and posted “The Facts about the Koch Brothers” on his official Senate website. The posts accused these prominent businessmen and philanthropists of paying no corporate taxes, seeking to abolish Social Security, polluting the environment and having connections to shady business dealings in Iran.

But really, what are these attacks about?

The Kochs have given millions of dollars in political donations to conservative and libertarian policy and advocacy groups. They are active financial supporters of organizations that contribute to Republican candidates and lobby against President Obama’s most notable achievement, universal health care.

I guess that if you have ideologies that contrast with Reid’s own liberal principles, you’re un-American? Shame on you, Senator Reid!

Maybe he should do some research before making cowardly website posts or criticizing someone on the Senate floor. If he did, he would know that the Koch brothers employ more than 50,000 Americans and have pledged or contributed more than $1 billion to cancer research, medical centers, educational institutions, arts and cultural institutions, and public policy organizations.

Much of the Kochs’ philanthropic spending is focused right here in New York, including $15 million for New York-Presbyterian’s Weill Cornell Medical Center, $30 million for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, $25 million for the Hospital for Special Surgery, $20 million for the American Museum of Natural History, $65 million for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and $100 million for the Lincoln Center Theater.

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