Billionaire businessman David Koch, a benefactor of conservative organizations such as Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks and funding father of the Tea Party movement, is throwing a party ostensibly to reward congressional Republicans for retaking the House.
After the ceremony, David Koch walked up to Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH) -- a freshman Republican Koch helped to elect using his front group, Americans for Prosperity -- and asked him to confirm that he will be attending a party that Koch is hosting for Republicans. Guinta said he would be at the party, which began at 5:00pm today.
In a report from last year in New York Magazine, Koch, New York's richest person -- yes, he has more money than Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- denied any link to the Tea Party, though he admitted supporting the group in theory.
Koch concedes that he sympathizes with the tea party. "It demonstrates a powerful visceral hostility in the body politic against the massive increase in government power, the massive efforts to socialize this country, which goes against the conservative grain of the average American," he says. He insists he vigorously opposes the elements of the party "that go too far" and that he stands firmly against "violence" and other "bad things" perpetrated by tea-party members. "I'm not a racist. I'm very broad-minded," he says.
But just a month later in The New Yorker, one GOP agent explained Koch's monetary ties to the Tea Party:
A Republican campaign consultant who has done research on behalf of Charles and David Koch said of the Tea Party, "The Koch brothers gave the money that founded it. It's like they put the seeds in the ground. Then the rainstorm comes, and the frogs come out of the mud--and they're our candidates!"
And now that those frogs have hopped out of the pond and onto Capitol Hill, Koch is providing them an opportunity to celebrate.
Check out ThinkProgress's coverage for more on their talk with Koch.