Person

Alex Kotch

Occupation:

Investigative Journalist

Alex Kotch is a left-wing investigative journalist that writes articles supporting environmentalism, highlighting money in politics, and attacking right-of-center groups. Kotch has worked at the left-of-center Institute for Southern Studies and The Young Turks Network. [1] He currently writes for Sludge, a website dedicated to far-left journalism. [2]

Promoting Environmentalism

Kotch covered Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) supporting the Green New Deal (GND),[3] an environmentalist policy package characterized by critics as a “radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy.” [4] Lujan made the announcement at an event hosted by the left-wing environmentalist group Sunrise Movement. In his article Kotch labeled Lujan a moderate in spite of the fact that Lujan is the 4th highest ranking Democrat in the U.S. House and is considered to be a staunch ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. [5]

Kotch highlighted that while Lujan will reject donations from oil and coal companies in his 2020 Senate race he will continue to accept donations from energy companies which precludes him from signing the Oil Change U.S. “No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge.” [6] The end of the article is a quote from Sunrise Movement co-founder and executive director Varshini Prakash saying Lujan “should join Rep. Deb Haaland in signing the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge.” [7]

Attacking Conservative Groups

Kotch wrote a series on donor-advised funds Donors Trust, Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, Schwab Charitable Fund, and Vanguard Charitable. [8] The series documents the donations from these funds to right-of-center groups. Kotch criticized these organizations for facilitating gifts to groups criticized by the controversial left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Conservative groups Kotch and SPLC targeted included the social-conservative litigation group Alliance Defending Freedom, the social-conservative advocacy group Family Research Council (FRC), and the anti-illegal immigration group Remembrance Project. [9] [10]

Kotch’s article accompanied the formation of a left-wing coalition to pressure donor-advised funds to bar contributions to conservative nonprofits labeled “hate groups” by the SPLC. [11] The campaign is spearheaded by the Amalgamated Foundation, donor-advised fund of the Service Employees International Union-owned Amalgamated Bank. Other left-of-center coalition partners include Liberty Hill Foundation, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, Stonewall Community Foundation, and Women Donors Network. [12]

Charles Koch

Kotch has written extensively on libertarian philanthropist Charles Koch and his funding of right-of-center organizations through the Charles Koch Foundation (CKF). During the confirmation of Neomi Rao to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Kotch wrote an article that attempted to undermine her nomination. In his reporting, Kotch cited CKF’s and the conservative Federalist Society’s funding of the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University where Rao was a professor. The article questioned Rao’s credentials even though it states she was a clerk for Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas and associate counsel and special advisor to President George W. Bush. [13]

Kotch quoted Samantha Parsons, the director of campaigns at the left-wing UnKoch My Campus campaign (which received support from Greenpeace, the American Federation of Teachers, and Center for Media and Democracy), stating that Rao’s “nomination should serve as a warning of the anti-democratic agenda” if right-of-center judges are appointed by President Trump. [14] The article criticizes Rao for leading a deregulatory policy while she served as director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Kotch quotes the left-of-center American Constitution Society saying that Rao’s deregulation amounted to “regulatory obstruction.” [15] Kotch also cites Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the left-wing environments group Center for Biological Diversity, labeling the confirmations of Rao, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, and Supreme Court Justice Bret Kavanaugh as “damaging and regressive.” [16]

Another article attacks Charles Koch for CFK’s and the Charles Koch Institute’s (CKI) donations to right-of-center media outlets. One group that CKF gave funding to is the Daily Caller News Foundation, which creates content for the Daily Caller news website. Kotch criticized site for its generally positive approach to President Trump and the Trump administration. [17]

He also claims that the Trump campaign during 2016 renting the site’s email list for $150,000 constitutes a “conflict of interest.” [18] Kotch also critiques the conservative website American Spectator for being soft on President Trump for comparing him to Winston Churchill and not labeling him a racist. [19]

References

  1. “Alex Kotch.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 7, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-kotch-1a862718/. ^
  2. “Alex Kotch.” Sludge. Accessed May 07, 2019. https://readsludge.com/author/alex-kotch/. ^
  3. Kotch, Alex. “Ben Ray Lujan Endorses Green New Deal, Won’t Take Fossil Fuel Exploration Money.” Sludge. April 19, 2019. Accessed May 07, 2019. https://readsludge.com/2019/04/19/democratic-leader-ben-ray-lujan-endorses-green-new-deal-wont-take-fossil-fuel-exploration-money/. ^
  4. McConnell, Mitch. Twitter Post. March 25, 2019, 5:18 P.M. Accessed March 29, 2019. https://twitter.com/senatemajldr/status/1110289975386492929 ^
  5. Nilsen, Ella. “Rep. Ben Ray Lujan Led the Charge for a Democratic House. Now He’s Running for Senate.” Vox. April 01, 2019. Accessed May 07, 2019. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/4/1/18290626/ben-ray-lujan-new-mexico-senate. ^
  6. “No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge.” No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge. Accessed May 07, 2019. http://nofossilfuelmoney.org/. ^
  7. Kotch, Alex. “Ben Ray Lujan Endorses Green New Deal, Won’t Take Fossil Fuel Exploration Money.” Sludge. April 19, 2019. Accessed May 07, 2019. https://readsludge.com/2019/04/19/democratic-leader-ben-ray-lujan-endorses-green-new-deal-wont-take-fossil-fuel-exploration-money/. ^
  8. Kotch, Alex. “America’s Biggest Charities Are Funneling Millions to Hate Groups From Anonymous Donors.” Sludge. February 19, 2019. Accessed May 07, 2019. https://readsludge.com/2019/02/19/americas-biggest-charities-are-funneling-millions-to-hate-groups-from-anonymous-donors/. ^
  9. Yee, Vivian. “For Grieving Parents, Trump Is ‘Speaking for the Dead’ on Immigration.” New York Times. June 25, 2017. Accessed May 7, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/25/us/trump-undocumented-victims.html. ^
  10. “Following Sludge Report, Coalition Launches Campaign to End Hate Group Funding.” Sludge. March 20, 2019. Accessed May 07, 2019. https://readsludge.com/2019/03/20/following-sludge-report-coalition-launches-campaign-to-end-hate-group-funding/. ^
  11. “Following Sludge Report, Coalition Launches Campaign to End Hate Group Funding.” Sludge. March 20, 2019. Accessed May 07, 2019. https://readsludge.com/2019/03/20/following-sludge-report-coalition-launches-campaign-to-end-hate-group-funding/. ^
  12. “Following Sludge Report, Coalition Launches Campaign to End Hate Group Funding.” Sludge. March 20, 2019. Accessed May 07, 2019. https://readsludge.com/2019/03/20/following-sludge-report-coalition-launches-campaign-to-end-hate-group-funding/. ^
  13. Kotch, Alex. “Koch Political Group Pushes Koch-Funded Academic for D.C. Circuit Court.” Sludge. February 26, 2019. Accessed May 09, 2019. https://readsludge.com/2019/02/26/koch-political-group-pushes-koch-funded-academic-for-d-c-circuit-court/. ^
  14. Kotch, Alex. “Koch Political Group Pushes Koch-Funded Academic for D.C. Circuit Court.” Sludge. February 26, 2019. Accessed May 09, 2019. https://readsludge.com/2019/02/26/koch-political-group-pushes-koch-funded-academic-for-d-c-circuit-court/. ^
  15. Kotch, Alex. “Koch Political Group Pushes Koch-Funded Academic for D.C. Circuit Court.” Sludge. February 26, 2019. Accessed May 09, 2019. https://readsludge.com/2019/02/26/koch-political-group-pushes-koch-funded-academic-for-d-c-circuit-court/. ^
  16. Kotch, Alex. “Koch Political Group Pushes Koch-Funded Academic for D.C. Circuit Court.” Sludge. February 26, 2019. Accessed May 09, 2019. https://readsludge.com/2019/02/26/koch-political-group-pushes-koch-funded-academic-for-d-c-circuit-court/. ^
  17. Kotch, Alex. “Charles Koch Is Funding Rightwing, Pro-Trump Media, New Disclosure Reveals.” Sludge. November 21, 2018. Accessed May 09, 2019. https://readsludge.com/2018/11/21/charles-koch-is-funding-rightwing-pro-trump-media-new-disclosure-reveals/. ^
  18. Kotch, Alex. “Charles Koch Is Funding Rightwing, Pro-Trump Media, New Disclosure Reveals.” Sludge. November 21, 2018. Accessed May 09, 2019. https://readsludge.com/2018/11/21/charles-koch-is-funding-rightwing-pro-trump-media-new-disclosure-reveals/. ^
  19. Kotch, Alex. “Charles Koch Is Funding Rightwing, Pro-Trump Media, New Disclosure Reveals.” Sludge. November 21, 2018. Accessed May 09, 2019. https://readsludge.com/2018/11/21/charles-koch-is-funding-rightwing-pro-trump-media-new-disclosure-reveals/. ^

Connected Organizations

  1. Institute for Southern Studies (Non-profit)
    Former Writer
  2. Sludge (Other Group)
    Investigative Journalist
  3. The Young Turks Network (TYT) (Other Group)
    Former Staffer
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