Is Pompeo the ‘congressman from Koch’?

Ties between Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, and Wichita-based Koch Industries were outlined in a Washington Post article today. It noted that Pompeo received more donations from Koch Industries and its employees — $80,000 — than any other candidate in 2010. He also benefited from spending by Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, and his chief of staff is a former Koch Industries attorney. Two of Pompeo’s first actions as a congressman — eliminating funding for a database of consumer complaints about unsafe products and for an Environmental Protection Agency registry of greenhouse-gas polluters — were top legislative priorities of Koch Industries. “I’m sure he would vigorously dispute this, but it’s hard not to characterize him as the congressman from Koch,” said Burdett Loomis, a University of Kansas political science professor. Pompeo does dispute that, saying that he does not know Charles and David Koch well, that he does not consult with them on legislation, and that his belief in limited government is widely held in south-central Kansas. Update: Koch Industries spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia e-mailed The Eagle with this statement: “According to opensecrets.org, contributions coming from Koch total $79,500 and this represents 3.5 percent of the total money raised by Congressman Pompeo (which was $2.241 million). Also pertinent is that Koch has a significant number of employees — about 2,300 — who live and work in the 4th District which is represented by Mike. Finally, please be advised that ‘eliminating funding for a database of consumer complaints about unsafe products and for an Environmental Protection Agency registry of greenhouse-gas polluters’ was not a top legislative priority of Koch Industries.”