Palm Beach News

Bill Koch, Billionaire Coal Man, Donates Heavily to John Boehner, Throws Bone to Allen West

Last month, New Times introduced you to Bill Koch, the Palm Beach billionaire who owns a coal and gas company, is known for his voracious appetite for wine and women, and has two brothers famous for being the sugar daddies of the Tea Party. 

While Bill Koch is not as politically influential as Charles and David Koch, he is a coal man, and he supports candidates who are good for his business. He's on Mitt Romney's Florida fundraising team and backs the GOP candidate partly because he objects to the Obama administration's policies toward coal mining.

"It's far easier to get permits to mine for natural resources outside the United States than inside," said Koch's spokesman, Brad Goldstein. "He thinks Mitt Romney would be much more pro-business than Barack Obama."

Now, Koch has joined other coal industry groups in supporting U.S. Rep. John Boehner -- 

giving $70,000 in campaign donations to the House speaker, according to the Wall Street Journal:

The cash flowing to Mr. Boehner's coffers stems partly from the GOP's efforts to roll back the Obama administration's environmental and energy policies since taking control of the House in 2010, and replace them with fewer regulations in order to boost domestic energy production. Republicans say proposals to curb pollution from coal-fired power plants and limit mining threaten to raise energy costs and stifle job-creation. The speaker has long been a backer of the coal industry, and many coal interests are based in his home state of Ohio.

In addition to Boehner, another GOP candidate has recently benefited from Bill Koch's generosity. In May, U.S. Rep. Allen West received $5,000 from Koch. That's small potatoes compared to Koch's other campaign donations, but according to records from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, it marks the first time Koch has donated to the Broward Tea Party candidate since West ran for Congress last year. 

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Lisa Rab
Contact: Lisa Rab