Friday, August 26, 2011

The "other" Koch brother

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 9:30 AM

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A lot has been written recently about billionaire conservatives David and Charles Koch, and especially their "Running on Empty Tour." Jessica Mayrer wrote about the tour's Missoula stop in this week's paper, and Montana bloggers have been hitting the Koch pinata on a regular basis.

But what do you know about Bill Koch?

The Broward/Palm Beach New Times alt weekly (and a few other New Times papers) ran a cover story this week about Bill that reveals how the "black sheep of the family" operates. He's definitely conservative, a little strange (he has a $2 million photo of Billy the Kid), and not a friend to environmentalists, but he's also much different than his brothers.

Now that Charles and David are alternately reviled and admired for their Tea Party ties, "Wild Bill" Koch has been cast in a peculiar new role: the good brother. He donates tens of thousands of dollars to mainstream Republican candidates such as John McCain and Mitt Romney but doesn't publicize his opposition to President Barack Obama. Rather than funding Tea Party groups, he gives money to impoverished kids in Palm Beach County and to hospitals and schools in Colorado, where he has another home. In September, he will open a private high school, Oxbridge Academy, in West Palm Beach. "Bill Koch isn't Charles Koch, and he isn't David Koch," says his spokesman, Brad Goldstein. "He's not his brother's keeper."

The article, titled "Out of the Shadows," is worth a full read.

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