Politics & Government

Kansas Democrats fear Brownback's ties to Koch Industries

Facing an uphill battle with voters in the fall election, Democrats are stepping up their criticism of Kansas gubernatorial candidate Sam Brownback’s ties to a low-profile corporation.

It is called Koch Industries, a Wichita-based energy and consumer products conglomerate and one of the largest private companies in the world. Two of the richest people in America run it: Charles and David Koch.

Democrats point out that Koch-related interests have given Brownback, a Republican, hundreds of thousands of dollars over his 16-year career, more than any other candidate. They claim that the Kochs may have played a key role in Brownback’s most important race — in 1996, when he won a close contest to take Bob Dole’s open Senate seat.

Some Democrats said they believed that long relationship could lead to favors for Koch if Brownback wins in November.

“No other contributor (to Brownback) can claim what the Kochs can and we want to have a discussion with voters about that,” said state Sen. Tom Holland, Brownback’s Democratic opponent.

Senate minority leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat and 34-year veteran of the Legislature, put it more bluntly: “If Sam becomes governor, I think essentially Koch Industries will have the key to the governor’s office.”

Read the complete story at kansascity.com

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/09/18/2233422/democrats-fear-koch-industries.html#ixzz106XhGxrf