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POLITICS: PennAve

AFL-CIO rolls out 'Koch Sisters' campaign

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Politics,Sean Higgins,Labor unions,Labor,2014 Elections,PennAve,AFL-CIO,Richard Trumka,Koch brothers

The new faces of the Left's ongoing campaign against conservative philanthropists David and Charles Koch are a pair of middle-aged women who share the last name "Koch."

The AFL-CIO labor federation announced Thursday the launching of KochSisters.org, part of a national media campaign to draw attention to the Koch brothers' activities by contrasting them with Karen and Joyce Koch, who, as it happens, are not actually sisters.

Karen is a college professor and member of the Michigan Education Association, while Joyce is a retired New Jersey social worker and wife of a teachers' union member. Their names and faces will be used in ads, T-shirts and other promotional tie-ins, AFL-CIO officials said.

"[We're] just two average women who've raised families and worked hard all our lives," Joyce Koch said. "We want to show America that there are Kochs out there who are different. ... We are not trying to buy our our democracy."

The site urges people — not just women — to sign up to join the sisters, though for what beyond getting email alerts is not clear. During a call with reporters announcing the project, an AFL-CIO official characterized the website as "an organizing tool to bring people into the same value system."

"For years, the Koch brothers have epitomized how corporations and the super-rich have tried to systematically destroy our democracy," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. "Today, they're finally meeting their match."

The Kochs are funders of numerous conservative and libertarian causes and organizations, most prominently the nonprofit group Americans for Prosperity. Their largesse has made them a favorite target of liberal organizations.

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Sean Higgins

Senior Writer
The Washington Examiner

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