Koch family and industrialists Charles Koch, 78 years-old and his brother, David Koch, 74-year-old are among the most prominent supporters of the Republican party and who are actively involved in funding the campaigns. On the other hand, Koch brothers are dedicated philanthropists making non-political giving to disadvantaged people in the American society, including donating to hospitals to treat the sick and funding research on chronic diseases such as Cancer. Critics are however always around them saying that their hefty donations to healthcare and educations are coupled with hidden strings and agendas. However, the Republican Party and most conservatives have rubbished these claims calling them nonsensical.
Melissa Cohlmia, Koch companies’ spokesperson, says that Koch is doing better that other political parties who are only concerned about their political agendas instead of helping people more so the sick and disadvantaged. Despite vocal opposition from outside observers and some occasional stakeholders, school institutions continue to accept donations from Koch brothers.
The Koch brothers have chosen not to listen to criticizers, and they have recently launched a new group referred to as “Stand Together”. The main agenda of this new group is to eliminate poverty and improve the quality standards of education for the disadvantaged communities in the United States. The organizations have big ambitions as it aims to raise about $15 million by the end of the first year and make new partners who have the same agenda for improving the lives of people. The group’s executive director, Evan Feinberg is a former Capitol Hill staff and one of the most trusted advisors of Koch brothers. Others include Richard Fink, who has been a longtime top political adviser for Charles Koch, CEO of Koch Industries, and Tim Murphy, who managed the Millennial advocacy group.
The staff of the Stand Together group has insisted that it will be run as a charitable organization under the U.S. tax laws. Thus, any contribution by the willing will not be disclosed publicly for publicity purposes and also how much Koch brothers will invest will not be known. Most importantly, the organizations expect to meet its objective through funding from 450 donors that underwrite their activities.
The officials have expressed the need to increase the budget after 2016 beyond this year’s budget of $15 million. In overall, Feinberg is hopeful that the new initiative will result in increased private school scholarships to help kids from poor backgrounds as well as helping other non-profit groups with IT, human resource and accounting support.