Almost 100,000 people like you have contributed to our campaign, our People Power campaign. Yesterday, my Republican opponent Todd Long tried to cancel all that out by soliciting the support of just one person: billionaire David Koch.
David Koch and his brother Charles are the emperors of a $50 billion empire, Koch Industries, built on oil refining. In total, the Koch Brothers have spent at least $200 million on right-wing propaganda. At a meeting in California in February, they pledged $60 million to defeat President Obama. And in 2010, they spent $2 million to defeat me, through their front-group "Americans for Prosperity."
The Koch Brothers "platform" is simple: dirty air and dirty water; free rein for mad-dog capitalists; cheap labor; pliant consumers; and no taxes on millionaires and billionaires. Just greed gone wild.
So it may be disturbing, but it is not surprising, to find my opponent sucking up to David Koch last night, at the Republican Convention in Tampa. Here is how WKMG reporter Tony Pipitone covered it:
TONY PIPITONE: I found congressional candidate Todd Long in the room with one of those [Koch] Brothers tonight, trying to get money from others in the room to help in his race against Alan Grayson. . . .
If Todd Long has his way, you will see [Koch Brother] ads attacking Alan Grayson. Grayson, booted out of Congress in the Tea Party wave of 2010, will return unless Long can raise some serious money fast to compete in that new district, largely Osceola County. So Todd Long was at the AFP reception trying to do just that. If he didn't get Koch's personal attention, he at least got the word out that he needs funds.
LAUREN ROWE: Did he seem interested in Todd Long?
TONY PIPITONE: I didn't see them get together.
LAUREN ROWE: Oh, really? But you know it'll happen at some point in time, probably.
TONY PIPITONE: If I were Todd Long, I'd be right over there, too.
And if I were Todd Long, I would be right over there, too. But I'm not Todd Long. I won't support pollution, or cheap labor, or more tax breaks for zillionaires. I won't sell out. So people like the Koch Brothers would never support me. In fact, they would do, will do, and have done everything that they can to defeat me. They can't buy me, so they have to beat me.