IN THE NEWS: New Krull column derides Tuesday’s debate as an audition for Koch brothers’ new “Hoosier Senate bootlicker”

INDIANAPOLIS – The GOP candidates spent Tuesday night making their case not to Hoosiers but to the Koch brothers, the billionaire far-right donors who funded the event. That’s the case made by John Krull in his Statehouse File column yesterday, who described the event as Congressman Messer’s, Congressman Rokita’s and Rep. Braun’s chance to “audition for the role of Hoosier Senate bootlicker for Charles and David Koch.”

As Krull points out, the Kochs are already up on air with $2 million in ads attacking Joe Donnelly’s vote against the McConnell tax plan, which all three GOP candidates support. That new plan gives people like the Kochs a 40% permanent tax cut, while ultimately raising taxes on middle class Hoosiers and adding “nearly $2 trillion to the national debt… so the Kochs can continue to maintain [their] lifestyle.”

From The Statehouse FileCommentary: The GOP’s money primary

The event Tuesday night was the Koch primary. That isn’t what the organizers called it, of course. The stated name was the Americans for Prosperity Indiana Senate Debate.

But it really was a chance for former Indiana Rep. Mike Braun, U.S. Rep. Luke Messer and U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita to audition for the role of Hoosier Senate bootlicker for Charles and David Koch.

The Kochs are multibillionaire brothers who have built a vast and influential network of conservative bankrollers who have specific shared goals.

They want the uber-wealthy to pay next to no taxes. They want to be able to dump as many carcinogens and pollutants into our water and air as they choose, so long as they can make an extra penny doing so. They want to be able to ignore the safety of their workers, deny those workers health care and other benefits whenever possible and dispose of those workers like soiled tissues if they become ill or disabled while on the job.

The Kochs have pledged to spend at least $2 million to defeat U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, who is on the ballot this November. That $2 million is as much as Braun, Messer or Rokita has in the bank right now – and it probably is only a portion of what the Kochs really will spend to take down Donnelly.

The Kochs and their surrogates already have begun pounding Donnelly with attack ads saying he voted against middle-class tax cuts for Hoosiers.

That tax reform package was many things – some of them good – but a middle-class tax cut it wasn’t.

The 40 percent tax cuts for folks such as Kochs are permanent, but the ones for people of ordinary means disappear after a short time. The long-term effect of this tax “reform” is that it shifts the burden for funding government downward, away from the billionaires and onto the shoulders of middle-class, lower-middle-class and poor Americans and Hoosiers.

It also adds nearly $2 trillion to the national debt, a load our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will have to bear so that the Kochs can continue to maintain the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.

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