Charles Koch, Modern Robber Baron, Exposed

We suspected it all along, but now we have the goods that prove that Charles Koch was a member of the John Birch Society at the height of their attacks on the civil rights movement and civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King.

In the early 1960s Charles moved back to Wichita and followed in the footsteps of his dad Fred Koch who helped found the John Birch Society in 1958. We broke the story on DemocracyNow!, provided detailed excerpts of the anti-civil rights agenda, and launched a new wiki resource called Koch Exposed (of course). Our new Koch wiki follows the Koch network and the complicated Koch money trail that the brothers use to hide their fingerprints. There are dozens of articles up now on the wiki and dozens more in the works.

You can see our full special report in the new "Robber Barons" edition of The Progressive magazine which is hitting the stands this week! This July-August special edition is packed with illuminating reporting on the devastation wrought in this new “Gilded Age” by modern Robber Barons. Ruth Conniff tells harrowing tales as the privatizers and profiteers devastate our nation’s public schools. Matt Taibbi, David Dayen, and Elizabeth Warren update us on the news from Wall Street and new threats to our economy posed by the “too big to fail” crowd. John Nichols tells us how the grassroots beat back the Robber Barons of old, and Bill McKibben gives us hope for countering todays Carbon Kings who threaten the very existence of the planet. Bernie Sanders details how our campaign financing system needs to be overhauled so the voices of average Americans can be heard.

Plus leaders and activists, like Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO and Annie Leonard the new head of Greenpeace USA, give us their picks for the worst Robber Barons of today. (Who would you pick for this category?)

We hope you will pick up our beautifully redesigned magazine or subscribe today to receive our new digital edition making it even easier to read on your Kindle or electronic devices!

Lisa Graves

Lisa Graves is President of the Board of the Center for Media and Democracy and President of True North Research. She is a well-known researcher, writer, and public speaker. Her research and analysis have been cited by every major paper in the country and featured in critically acclaimed books and documentaries, including Ava Du Vernay’s award-winning film, “The 13th,” Bill Moyers’s “United States of ALEC,” and Showtime’s “Years of Living Dangerously.”