The Koch Brothers and Libraries
The Koch Brothers funded PAC, Americans for Prosperity, has a history of fighting against library funding.
We are continuing to see the Koch Brothers Super PAC, Americans for Prosperity, go after libraries. This election in Plainfield on April 4th is the sixth clear example of their involvement in the agenda to defund libraries. We need your help to fight back. When the Koch Brothers and AFP puts out an anti-tax and anti-library attack, they do it with direct mail and robocalls - and they always do it late in the campaign. We need the resources to confront these anti-tax forces before they can start in the next town. Help us stop them with a one time donation today or a $5-10 monthly donation.
Here are all the most recent clear and present dangers from the Koch Brothers using their wealth to attack libraries.
Plainfield Illinois (April 2017)
The Koch Brothers are back harassing libraries on the ballot. We heard from our friends in Plainfield last night that the robo-calls have started again (you can hear their previous robo-calls below). After the loss last year, the Plainfield library board, staff and building consultants re-worked their building plans with the community and are on the ballot on April 4. They developed a 'right size' library plan with the feedback they heard from their last campaign but the Koch Brothers don't care about that. This plan too, is now under attack. It shows that groups like the Americans for Prosperity are driven by an anti-tax ideology and are not interested in legitimate community engagement. It means that we have to help the residents of Plainfield and the Library fight back to get the resources that they want in their community.
Fox River Valley Library, Illinois (November 2016)
In the last few days of the November 2016 election, the Koch Brothers took aim at the Fox River Valley library election and helped defeat a ballot referendum to build a 21st century library. They spent thousands of dollars sending out direct mail to voters telling them to vote no on the ballot measure for the library. AFP didn't have issues with the plans. They went after the library because it was a tax. And to them, any tax - even for a library - is a bad tax. When they lump libraries into their ideological agenda, they hurt folks who need literacy services, jobs skills and training, and a better education.
New Jersey (April 2016)
The AFP came after a bill in New Jersey that would help libraries rebuild or improve some of their infrastructure. It should be clear that many of the libraries in New Jersey are decades old and are in desperate need of improvements to continue to serve their communities. In order to get a project funded, New Jersey Assembly Bill 222 would cover up to 50 percent of the project cost and the local community would have to provide the matching funding.
Plainfield Illinois (March 2016)
On March 11, 2016, the Koch Brother's super PAC "Americans for Prosperity" started robocalls against the Plainfield IL library referendum. They targeted the library for defeat as part of their anti-tax agenda and they dumped tens of thousands of dollars to ensure that the library was defeated. "Americans for Prosperity" is good at quoting facts that don't exist and slinging mud at the common good. You can hear their robocall below and read the truth about the campaign in the links.
Read the library's facts from the director on the referendum here or visit the vote yes committee's website here.
Kansas (March 2016)
The Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity stood alone in advocating for House Bill 2719 which is a House bill requiring city, county or voter approval for changes in property tax levies or for the issuance of bonds. This bill will manage to do with a stroke of a pen what years of a bad economy failed to do, and that is to force a local tax increase or force cuts so deep that the first public library in the first city in the state of Kansas, an institution proudly supported by its community since 1899, will become a sad shadow of itself.
Illinois HB696 (January 2016)
Earlier in 2016 we saw the Koch Brothers support HB696 in Illinois. This is a ‘tax cap’ bill. It would eliminate the ability of library district boards to manage and balance their own local budgets. It would force librarians across the state to zero-out even the smallest improvements to services each year. It would require every library district in Illinois to go out for a vote when they just need to pay the bills. HB696 could even push our library districts into default because it arbitrarily and universally “caps” their budgets. We need your support to stop this bill.
You can help today in two big ways:
The biggest threat to libraries is that the Koch Brothers PAC is better funded and they have more people signed up to support them. In fact, they have 2.8 million people signed up to support them. This is enough people to sway politicians and enough money to fund major fights against libraries. You can help us fight back by signing up to support us or making a donation.
- Donate now so we can build the resources we need to fight off the Koch Brothers attack on education, libraries, and communities. We're asking you to please contribute $50 now on this page or sign up to make a contribution of $10 a month.
- Share the word about what is happening by sharing this page via Facebook or Twitter. We need to identify and activate more activists for libraries across the country. The Koch Brothers are effective because they have huge money AND 2.8 million people on their mailing list. Libraries don't have either. But with your help we can build a force for libraries in this country. Share this link with your friends, family, and followers around the country. Ask them to sign up and stand up!
If you can't give today, please sign the pledge to support libraries and learn about how you can help fight for libraries across the United States.
Thank you for supporting libraries, librarians, and EveryLibrary.