Opinion » Bill Cope

Flutter.9-Page Two

100 percent Koch-free Since 2007!


First, I apologize for the inconvenience of a two-page newsletter, especially since there's a week's interval 'twixt pages. But the subject with which we're dealing today is too expansive to fit in a regular Flutter, and BW only lets me have one piece of paper a week to write on. So what else was Rajah Bill to do?

Now, on page one you heard how I was hot on the twisty trail of the nefarious Society For Making People Worse, a malevolent yin counterpart to the yang of our beloved Society For Making People Better. We're convinced its roots run deep in history--deeper than I could go even if BW allowed me a thousand pieces of paper to write on--but I determined that a convenient place to start our inquiries was the rise of the John Birch Society in '58. The Birchers claimed to be anti-communist crusaders, but as we see in retrospect, they were out to smash any fellow American to the slightest degree left of themselves.

But our interest today, 50-some years after the JBS emerged, is in one of their founding members, Fred Koch, who also founded an industrial empire that today ranks as one of the most powerful in the United States. Fred is dead but both his radical-right politics and his vast fortune live on in his children, David and Charles. The brothers' wealth is estimated at $44 billion, and with every passing day, we learn more and more of the financial support they provide one right-wing organization after another. We may speculate whether there would even be a Tea Party, to name but one of their foster fronts, if not for the money the Koch brothers have dumped into it. We've also started to wonder if people aren't forming such groups just to get a piece of that Koch brothers' largesse--a welfare system for fanatics, if you will.

Which brings us back to our new slogan: "100 Percent Koch-Free Since 2007!" It is meant to assure both our active and prospective members that the Society For Making People Better has taken not so much as a single buck from the Koch boys. Not one dollar, not one dime! In fact, when and if we ever have a roster of financial backers, we would be delighted to let any inquiring minds see who supports us. You see, we here at the SFMPB believe that the more secretly someone is manipulating the public, the more crucial it is the public be alerted that they're being manipulated.

On the other hand, in Boise resides an influence-peddling outfit that resolutely refuses to disclose who is feeding its kitty. The Idaho Freedom Foundation was patched together a little over two years ago by one Wayne Hoffman, who continues on as executive director. Prior to opening the Freedom Foundation, Hoffman was the mouthpiece for the clownish Congressman Bill Sali, and before that, he was a local reporter. (Rajah Bill dedicated another column to Hoffman some five years ago, as li'l Wayne wrote a whiny editorial complaining about Idaho having open primaries. He offered a previous column of mine as proof that Democrats were pouring over the levee that defines ideological purity, voting for those compromising RINOs and denying him the right to associate exclusively with the craziest birds in the Right's flock.)

So we are curious. How did this guy go from speaking for a Republican that even the most Republican of states couldn't tolerate for more than one term, to heading a well-heeled lobbying house that, after a measly two years, has accumulated the clout to seduce the poobahiest of the GOP poobahs? Last month, with 400 fellow travelers attending, Hoffman's foundation awarded Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna some phony honor for their shared complicity in the education reform debacle. Then they all sat back and enjoyed the presence of that scuzziest of scuzzballs, Andrew Breitbart, whose fame (at that point in time) came from knowingly spreading the lie that almost destroyed a dedicated government servant's honorable career (the Shirley Sherrod affair).

I'm sure Breitbart was a hit with such a crowd. But then, Hoffman has a history of falling head over heels for people whose only accomplishment is spreading lies. In an interview published in Boise Weekly in the March 2, 2011, edition, Hoffman tells how his world was rocked once he was exposed to the sour wit and doubtful wisdom of the late Ralph Smeed, Canyon County's loonitarian guru, at whose feet some of Idaho's most useless and vacuous leaders have fawned. (Smeed, as a matter of minor interest, had a regular column in the Weekly for a time in the late '90s, until it became clear he was such a Walphy one-note that everything he wrote sounded exactly like everything else he wrote.)

But back to this funding matter: Rajah Bill is not the only one who suspects Hoffman has his lips wrapped tightly around the Koch brothers' secret donations teat. It's been a rumor among real reporters--a category to which neither Hoffman nor I belong, incidentally--that through the snuggle-ups Wayne made as a Sali side man, he plugged into that Club for Growth/Tea Bag/Bircher dough flow and set himself up a cozy situation. So here and now, I'm offering him the opportunity to either confirm or deny he's on the Koch payroll. And further, does he or does he not think the citizens of Idaho deserve to know where these ideas of his--"nullification," for one--are really coming from? Seriously, since Hoffman has become bulked-up enough to jerk Idaho's strings, shouldn't we know who's jerking his?

Note to SFMPB members: Don't forget to renew your subscription to The Flutter. When your Rajah ultimately pins a face on the Society For Making People Worse, you'll read about it here first.