I can almost understand why DSCC chair Sen. Patty Murray would try to hit up the Koch Companies for ‘five figures’ (read: the maximum allowed by federal election campaign finance law). First off, Sen. Murray is not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer (she’d almost have to be, given that Murray actually left a voice message as well as sent a letter*). Second, what’s the worse that the Koch Companies are going to do? Say no?
Well. There’s no, and then there’s no.
Below the fold is the letter that the Koch Companies wrote back, and which they have also helpfully put on their website. It does not really require much in the way of elaboration, or anything else except a certain aesthetic appreciation for the way that its author (Philip Ellender) manages to call Senator Murray (to say nothing of her party) a vicious, stupid hypocrite without once actually using any of those words. I have spent some time trying to learn how to be elegantly rude to people who richly deserve it, and let me tell you: Ellender has the right skill set. Enjoy.
Senator Patty Murray, Chair
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Dear Senator Murray:
For many months now, your colleagues in the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee leadership have engaged in a series of disparagements and ad hominem attacks about us, apparently as part of a concerted political and fundraising strategy. Just recently, Senator Reid wrote in a DSCC fundraising letter that Republicans are trying to “force through their extreme agenda faster than you can say ‘Koch Brothers.’”
So you can imagine my chagrin when I got a letter from you on June 17 asking us to make five-figure contributions to the DSCC. You followed that up with a voicemail* indicating that, if we contributed heavily enough, we would garner an invitation to join you and other Democratic leaders at a retreat in Kiawah Island this September.
I’m hoping you can help me understand the intent of your request because it’s hard not to conclude that DSCC politics have become so cynical that you actually expect people whom you routinely denounce to give DSCC money.
It is troubling that private citizens taking part in the discourse have become the targets of White House and DSCC fundraising missives, and we would certainly encourage you to rethink that approach. Ultimately, I expect voters will see through that and will weigh the issues on the merits alone. But in the meantime, if you could provide me some insight on what exactly you are asking of us and why, I would be most grateful.
President, Government & Public Affairs
Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC
*I suppose that it is possible that Senator Murray simply picks up the telephone when told to and reads the words that her staff puts in front of her when told to, without ever actually thinking about what those words actually mean, or who ends up getting them (after all, this could have been an automated call). Whether that scenario would be an actual improvement is debatable; particularly if it was automated…