Sunday, August 16, 2015

Unlikely allies

A bipartisan push for sentencing reform unites President Obama and the Koch brothers, but many are still waiting behind bars
...Koch and his brother, David, have used their vast wealth to counter Obama at almost every turn, from the administration’s initiatives on climate change to health-care reform. But their recent detente began with a 45-minute meeting at the White House between one of the president’s most trusted confidantes and the top lawyer for Koch Industries.
[Koch] describes his focus on sentencing reform as part of his libertarian philosophy of limited government and his commitment to removing barriers of opportunity for the poor. He said Obama should do more and do it faster to rectify the effects of mandatory minimum sentences, especially for the disadvantaged and men and women of color.

“Clemency for a few — to me, that isn’t just,” said Koch.. “If you have 1,000 people who got unjust sentences, to give clemency to [a few] — what about the others? Why should they suffer?”

But some Democratic groups remain skeptical about any recasting of the Kochs’ image as anything other than megadonors who have long backed Republican politicians, including tea party candidates.



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