Koch network jabs Harry Reid through youth outreach group

Chris Moody
Political Reporter
Yahoo News
Bankor chats up members of Congress in the first episode of The Kronies.
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Bankor chats up members of Congress in the first episode of The Kronies.

A group backed by Charles and David Koch’s donor network released an online cartoon poking fun at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has relentlessly criticized the politically active billionaire brothers for months.

Generation Opportunity, a libertarian advocacy group that does outreach to young voters, released the first episode of an educational cartoon series called “The Kronies” on Monday. In the video, the Kronies  GI Joe-style villains for the libertarian set take aim at “crony capitalists” and lawmakers who use their power to benefit well-connected corporations. A teaser for the video series had appeared online in January, but it was unclear who would be funding it until Yahoo News reported that the videos were part of a Generation Opportunity project that would be released publicly later in the year. Generation Opportunity received about $9 million in funding from groups aligned with the Koch-organized donor network as of last fall.

The first episode takes on the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which has become an issue for tea party voters in states like Virginia, where the insurgent campaign of David Brat recently upended House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the 7th District’s primary.

The scene opens with two members of Congress discussing whether they’ll vote to re-authorize the bank. Suddenly, Bankor, a character who represents mortgage lenders with a talent for securing government bailouts at every turn, appears on the scene to offer some advice.

“The Export-Import Bank has been a fixture in Washington for 80 years since FDR. You really want to turn your back on tradition?” Bankor asks.

“Wow!” one of the congressmen exclaims. “It’s been here longer than Harry Reid!”

Bankfor chuckles. “Just barely.”

To which Reid spokesman Faiz Shakir responded:

Reid, whose congressional tenure began before Steve Jobs unveiled the Macintosh computer, is one of the most prominent critics of the Kochs and their donor network, which plans to spend millions this year on the midterm elections. For months, Reid has lambasted the Kochs from the Senate floor. His office produced a video condemning them and launched a website to highlight its attacks. Last month, he spoke at a screening of an anti-Koch film called “Koch Brothers Exposed” that was held on the Capitol grounds. Reid’s relentless campaign elicited a response from Koch Industry spokesman Philip Ellender in March, who said the company was “disappointed that Senator Reid is attacking private citizens rather than the problems facing this nation. It is no wonder that Americans have lost faith in Congress.”

Generation Opportunity plans to roll out more Kronie videos this summer.