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Who are the Koch brothers?

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Quick Answer

The Koch brothers are Charles and David Koch, two sons of Fred Koch. They co-own one of the largest privately held corporations in the world, as of 2015, Koch Industries. The Koch brothers have become notable outside of the business community for their contributions to conservative political causes.

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Full Answer

Charles and David Koch, along with their brothers William and Frederick, inherited the refining company founded by their father. The Koch siblings entered into litigation over their father's estate and ultimately Charles and David gained control of the company from their siblings.

The Koch brothers are known today primarily for their contributions to conservative and libertarian political causes. In 2015, the Kochs pledged to contribute with other donors $889 Million for the 2016 presidential election cycle. This figure rivals that spent by the two Democratic and Republican parities on the election. According to a study by the National Committee for Responsible Philanthropy, the institutes and foundations run or contributed to by the Koch brothers are among twelve such groups that have a major influence on American public policy.

The Koch brothers support conservative issues and candidates such as former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. They oppose climate change legislation and favor repealing health care reform laws such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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