Koch Industries executives are reacting to the prank call pulled on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) this week, where a blogger got through to the governor by posing as David Koch. In an interview with National Review Online, Koch Industries executive vice president Richard Fink says the Koch brothers will not "back off."
"With the Left trying to intimidate the Koch brothers to back off of their support for freedom and signaling to others that this is what happens if you oppose the administration and its allies, we have no choice but to continue to fight," Fink said. "We will not step back at all. We firmly believe that economic freedom has benefited the overwhelming majority of society, including workers, who earn higher wages when you have open and free markets. When government grows as it has with the Bush and Obama administrations, that is what destroys prosperity."
Fink said the blogger's prank call was part of a larger attempt to discredit the Kochs.
"This is not just left-wing bloggers," he said. "This is part of an orchestrated campaign that has been going on for many months. It involves the Obama administration, the Center for American Progress, aligned left-wing groups, and their friends in the media. This is just the latest salvo in their attacks on the Koch brothers and Koch Industries. But it is an escalation — they're now bringing in some labor groups, which they have not done before. We expect this to be part of an ongoing effort against [Koch Industries] as the 2012 presidential campaign approaches."
Fink said that Koch brothers were not "involved" with Walker's controversial bill, but did say it is "clear Scott Walker is trying to do the right thing for Wisconsin." He also said that while he and the Koch brothers founded and "support" Americans for Prosperity, which has been active in pro-Walker efforts, they are not involved in the group's day to day activities.
Mark Holden, the general counsel for Koch Industries, called the prank call "fraudulent."
"It was a fraudulent call," Holden said. "There are serious fiscal issues at play in Wisconsin. Yet our opponents are interjecting us falsely into this story. But our Wisconsin story is about bringing and keeping good manufacturing jobs in the state. It is disturbing that when a blogger calls using the Koch name, it is used as an opportunity to attack the company."
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Republished with permission from TalkingPointsMemo.com. Authored by Eric Lach. Photo of protesters outside Koch Industries' Madison lobbying office via AP. TPM provides breaking news, investigative reporting and smart analysis of politics.