Watch A CBS Correspondent Question Charles Koch On Whether Dark Money Is “Good For The Political System”

Anthony Mason: “Do You Think It's Healthy For The System That So Much Money Is Coming Out Of A Relatively Small Group Of People?”

From the October 11 edition of CBS' CBS Sunday Morning:

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ANTHONY MASON: The Koch brothers have helped fund a complex networks of political action committees and advocacy groups, many of them tax-exempt so donors don't have to be disclosed. The network, which now rivals the Republican National Committee in its financial clout, will spend $300 million dollars in the next election year. Do you think it's good for the political system that so much, what's called, dark money is falling into the process now?

CHARLES KOCH: Well first of all, what I give isn't dark. What I give politically, that's all reported. It's either to the PACs or to the candidates. And what I give to my foundations is all public information, but a lot of our donors don't want to take the kind of abuse that I do. They don't want these attacks, they don't want the death threats. So they aren't going to participate if they have to have their names associated with it. 

MASON: But do you think it's healthy for the system that so much money is coming out of a relatively small group of people?

KOCH: Listen, if I didn't think it was healthy or fair I wouldn't do it, because what we're after is to fight against special interests. 

MASON: Some people would look at you and say you're a special interest.

KOCH: Well, yeah but my interest is just as its been in business, is what will help people improve their lives? And to get rid of these special interests, that's the whole thing that drives me.

MASON: There are people out there who think what you're trying to do is essentially buy power.

KOCH: But I don't, -- what I want is a system where there isn't as much centralized power, where it's dispersed to the people, and that's -- everything I advocate points in that direction.

MASON: Koch-backed groups were among the early donors to the Tea Party movement. What do you think of the Tea Party?

KOCH: Well I think there are some good things and bad things. To the extent the Tea Party is working to keep us from having a financial disaster, then they're great. If they're doing other things that are limiting peoples choice and opportunity, then they're not.

MASON: A lot of the groups that you've supported have essentially provided financial fertilizer for the Tea Party. Would you agree with that?

KOCH: Yes, but listen if we had to agree with everything a group or person stood for, we would never do anything.


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