Long before MSNBC began defending mass surveillance or even before the Republican National Committee began denouncing it, the left’s favorite bogeymen saw the Patriot Act as an attack on civil liberties.
In fact, the Koch Brothers might’ve given more to repeal the Patriot Act than any other individual political campaign.
In 2008, New York Social Diary reported of the billionaire philanthropists, “(David) and his brother Charles, along with George Soros, the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation each contributed $10 million to the ACLU to defeat parts of the USA Patriot Act.”
In 2010, the website facesofphilanthropy.com reported that David Koch’s American Civil Liberties Union donation was specifically “in relation to crushing Parts 15, 16 and 17 of the US Patriot Act.”
These have been some of the Patriot Act’s most controversial provisions.
Radley Balko reported at Reason in February 2011, “Browsing various accounts of the Kochs political spending over the years, that $20 million appears to be substantially more than the Kochs have contributed to all political candidates combined for at least the last 15 years.”
The Koch Brothers are longtime libertarians. Charles Koch helped found the Cato Institute with Ed Crane and Murray Rothbard in 1974. David Koch has taken libertarian positions, like support for gay marriage, marijuana legalization and a non-interventionist foreign policy.
David Koch also ran as the Libertarian Party’s vice presidential candidate in 1980.