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How an Oil Theft Investigation Laid the Groundwork for the Koch Playbook

Posted On: Jul 22, 2019   |   Posted By: Politico

How an Oil Theft Investigation Laid the Groundwork for the Koch Playbook

How did the Koch Brothers become the Koch Brothers? The oil-company heirs had long held small-government, anti-regulation beliefs, but weren't always deeply enmeshed in the political world-until 1988, when the U.S Senate began looking into allegations their company was stealing oil from Indian reservations in Oklahoma. For his new book, KOCHLAND, author Christopher Leonard unearthed the full story of what happened, from the workers under-reporting their oil pickups to the network of front groups, training centers and political operatives that the Kochs built to fend off the investigation-and which today have come to be both respected and feared in American politics. On July 11, 1988, the president of Koch Industries, Bill Hanna, sent a companywide memo informing employees how to handle company records. He reminded employees at the oil company that there was a code of secrecy for internal records. Then, he ordered that “written materials which would be useful to our competitors should be destroyed by...

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