Billionaire oil barons Charles and David Koch are the sugar daddies behind the Tea Party. They have given at least $100 million to right-wing causes over the years and are alternately reviled and admired for their enormous web of influence in Washington, D.C. But why should you care about David's twin brother, Bill Koch?
Bill, who lives in Palm Beach, has forged a different path from his brothers. This week's New Times cover story explains how he battled his brothers in court for two decades. He formed his own company, Oxbow Corp., that once built geothermal power plants but now profits from petroleum, coal, and gas. Over the years, Bill Koch's political and business activities have angered many of the same people who hate his brothers. For example:
- He's currently on Mitt Romney's fundraising team in Florida. Since last year, he has
personally given at least $165,400 to GOP candidates throughout the country.
- An award-winning sailor, he has poured at least $2 million into an unsuccessful fight against the nation's first offshore wind farm, Cape Wind, in Massachusetts.
- In September, he's opening a private high school in West Palm Beach, Oxbridge Academy. He's provided the school with $50 million in start-up funds. Although his spokesman insists there was no political litmus test for teachers at the school, the board of the foundation that funds Oxbridge is full of high-ranking employees from Koch's coal and gas company, Oxbow.