Talk:David Koch

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Edit request May 2013[edit]

Some of this material by User:NMS Bill/Koch Industries/Corporate history should be integrated into this article on David H.Koch as it contains content on the history of Koch Industries.

Link rot[edit]

Add this tag.


the article states: "In 1992, Koch was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He underwent radiation, surgery, and hormone therapy, but the cancer has returned every time." you may want to check/change this around -> the course of treatment is usually: 1. surgery, 2. radiation, 3. hormone therapy. (talk) 13:09, 23 August 2019 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 23 August 2019[edit]

While it is possible he may have had three children (I do not know) neither source 82 nor source 83 seems to include that information. Please consider updating the source. (talk) 23:43, 23 August 2019 (UTC)

 Done Found a better one, thanks! - Frood (talk!) 06:19, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 25 August 2019[edit]

Change picture to non-smiling (talk) 06:54, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

No, per WP:WASTEOFTIME William M. Connolley (talk) 08:36, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
Not germane to improving this topic
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Cadaverous grin appropriate for a major climate criminal[edit]

The skeletal grin in the subject's photo is grimly appropriate for this major climate criminal, and the major malignant impact Koch has had, and will continue to have, on life on planet Earth.

There's more here on his role as a long-ago college basketball player -- and of course philanthropy! -- than there is on his much more historically significant lucratively funded long-term campaign to prevent actions being taken against catastrophic climate change. Way to go on the zero credibility front there, wikipedia.

Charlie Lomax — Preceding unsigned comment added by Charlie Lomax (talkcontribs) 02:00, 27 August 2019 (UTC)


There is nothing wrong with criticism, but Bill Maher's remark is just a rant with no content. So what if Maher is "glad he's dead?" Where is the conversation? I will accept a criticism on this page that is thoughtful and not just insulting. Why do you want an encyclopedia quoting a statement that says "I hope the end was painful?" That is not criticism. Its just plain mean, and promotes hatred. If you want to say something about a disagreement about policies or opinions, do so. But not like this. Thank you. Dennyneanderthal (talk) 13:58, 27 August 2019 (UTC)

The content and context is there though. It's explicit in it's reference to the Koch's role as funders of climate change denial. it's not about what the rehetorical 'you' wants to say. There are plenty of mean things on wikipedia. Bledwith (talk) 14:07, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
It is irrelevant if the "content and context" is there. We are trying to create an encyclopedia with a NPOV. We are supposed to "stick to the facts." If I had my way the entire sentence would be removed. Really, who cares what Bill Maher has to say about Koch or climate change. You should find a quote from an expert on climate change who has criticized the policies of the Koch brothers. That is true "content and context." Bill Maher is just a commentator, and not an expert on climate change. I am willing to compromise and leave out "I hope he died painfully." That is plain ridiculous. Also, there might be lots of mean stuff on Wikipedia, but that is not proof that "mean stuff" belongs here. And just because there is a source does not make it appropriate either. thanks for listening.Dennyneanderthal (talk) 14:16, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
That not what WP:NPOV is about. It isn't sanitising criticism, even if the language is immoderate. Bill Maher is a notable commentator with a wide reach and public voice and platform. He's undeniably partisan but that shouldn't be surprising in a criticism section. Bledwith (talk) 14:26, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
I really dont understand you, and I am trying, really. Fine, Maher is a respected commentator, and I guess a lot of people care about his criticism. But his criticism begins and ends with ""He and his brother have done more than anybody to fund climate science deniers for decades." I am willing to let this stay on the page, even though we dont even know if this is even true, we only have Maher's word on this, which is why I dont think this is valid criticism. But lets say we leave this statement, how is "I'm glad he's dead" relevant to this? It says more about Maher than it does about Koch. And "I hope the end was painful"? Really? That is not criticism. How is it criticism? Can you show me similar statements on other articles which are considered appropriate? If you can do that, maybe you will convince me. But from my perspective, this is just the ranting of a hateful, bombastic media guy trying to excite others to feel hatred, instead of thinking about the facts. Dennyneanderthal (talk) 14:36, 27 August 2019 (UTC)

We don't just have Maher's word on Koch's funding of Climate Change denial, there's extensive coverage of that, and he funded the Cato Institute for heaven's sake. And, while there's no point appealing to WP:OTHERSTUFF,since you asked, here you go for more "I'm glad he's dead' criticism - Assassination of George Tiller Bledwith (talk) 14:51, 27 August 2019 (UTC)

If the issue you want is denial, then find decent sources for that; Maher isn't a good source. As for his rudeness, that belongs on his page perhaps under "examples of M's incivility" but I don't think it adds much here. Other than indicating that some people really really didn't link Koch William M. Connolley (talk) 19:39, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
No, the issue I think should be covered here is the very vehemence of Maher's criticism. That Koch inspired that level of incivility from a public figure is striking, and indicative of the widespread dislike of him.
Bill Maher is a comedian, and a hyperbolic one at that. Nothing about the content added related to Maher quote is encyclopedic. Reads a lot more like a tabloid headline then something that should be included on a WP BLP. Comatmebro (talk) 03:02, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
As for funding of climate change denial, that probably should be covered in more depth too, there are enough good sources out there.Bledwith (talk) 05:16, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
I don't agree with the funding of climate change denial section. The Guardian source is a one-sided opinion piece that never adequately connects the think tanks it's pointing fingers at with actual climate change. For the second part of the section, the allegations are unverified and not encyclopedic in any way. This is a BLP about David Koch, not a place to WP:COATRACK dissatisfaction think tanks and climate change. Comatmebro (talk) 03:10, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
This sesction is about criticism of Koch, and criticism of him as a climate change denier is extensive and well sourced.

There seems to be a consensus building for at least removing at least the extensive detail on Maher's criticism, so I see that should probably be done.Bledwith (talk) 05:09, 29 August 2019 (UTC)

  • I agree with excluding the Maher quote. We have way betetr sources for his funding of climate change denial and the rest. Guy (Help!) 16:41, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
  • "If we can't get him on this, let's get him on that." Really seems like a lot of good-faith editing going on here guys...keep it up. Comatmebro (talk) 17:08, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
It's a criticism section. It's necessarily POV in some respect. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bledwith (talkcontribs) 19:45, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
The inclusion of Bill Maher's churlish insult fails WP:UNDUE. I have removed it. Unless positive comments made about Koch after his passing are also included, the inclusion of the churlish insult also fails WP:NPOV and WP:BALANCE. The encyclopedia is not a vehicle for the recitation of churlish insults directed at dead people who cannot defend themselves. This is a ridiculous discussion. We should not have to be having this discussion. SunCrow (talk) 05:47, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
it may be churlish and it may be uncivil, but I don't think that you understand what Either WP:NPOV or− WP:BALANCE are actually about. it certainly isn't that a negative comment should be balanced by a glowing positive one. Bledwith (talk) 17:13, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
No, I understand both policies quite well, and this sentence violates them. SunCrow (talk) 17:52, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I happen to think it belongs, but I'd also say that when the article is in better shape it won't have a Criticism section. They, by their existence, violate NPOV. I've tagged the article accordingly. --The Huhsz (talk) 18:04, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
I have gotten rid of the criticism and recognition section and moved relevant material from that section to other places in the article. SunCrow (talk) 04:30, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 27 August 2019[edit]

The entry on David Koch needs to be less comically propagandistic and darkly lacking in credibility. As it stands, the entry is a potentially considerable indictment of an underlying lack of credibility of wikipedia as a whole.

This should be added:

The Aug. 27 2019 Guardian described David koch's activities in these terms: "Koch Industries, a private company, is the United States’ 17th-largest producer of greenhouse gases and the 13th-biggest water polluter, according to research from the University of Massachusetts Amherst – ahead of oil giants Exxon Mobil, Occidental Petroleum and Phillips 66. The conglomerate has committed hundreds of environmental, workplace safety, labor and other violations. It allegedly stole oil from Indian reservations, won business in foreign countries with bribery, and one of its crumbling butane pipelines killed two teenagers, resulting in a nearly $300m wrongful death settlement. The dangerous methane leakage, carbon emissions, chemical spills and other environmental injustices enacted by Koch’s companies have imperiled the planet and allegedly brought cancer to many people."

== Charlie Lomax == Charlie Lomax (talk) 20:17, 27 August 2019 (UTC)

 Not done: This quote is about the company, rather than the person, moreover the issues raised here are covered in the article (NB the second paragraph of the lede).--Goldsztajn (talk) 22:58, 27 August 2019 (UTC)

Lede rfc[edit]

Should the lede include mention of David Koch's role in dark money funding of climate change denial? Guy (Help!) 19:20, 29 August 2019 (UTC)


  • Support, as proposer. It's the entire reason for the relentless addition of grave dancing which we have to keep reverting. The fact it was not in there before he died is irrelevant: firstly because it probably should have been and secondly because it is a primery focus of large amounts of coverage since his death so regardless of the status months ago it is well past passing WP:DUE. Guy (Help!) 19:20, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
Addendum: BBC's The Last Word covered this, and discussed it even int he context of a relatively short piece. It seems to be considered highly significant among reality-based sources. Can't speak to Fox etc. obviously. Guy (Help!) 22:50, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Support though you might have more luck if you call it skepticism... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bledwith (talkcontribs) 20:07, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose No it shouldn't, and neither should the Bill Maher content that is continually being re-added along with the climate info. There is an entire WP dedicated to political activities of the Koch brothers... Seems a lot more appropriate to elaborate on the subject over there than slap "dark money" allegations in the lead of a WP:BLP. WP:MOS says "When a subject dies, the lead need not be radically reworked." The recent death shouldn't be some sort of opening for a drive-by WP:POV push. Comatmebro (talk) 04:19, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Yes it should be in the lead as it was a major back ground and source of support from him. He is well known for it and its well referenced. His "philanthropy" was at best self serving yet its displayed in the lead and no one seems to be fighting that. His activism in politics, support of removing environmental regulations, and denial of climate change was more out spoken and more referenced. ContentEditman (talk) 11:38, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
    • Comment Just because someone is "well known" for something doesn't mean it's a matter of fact. Just because something is well-sourced doesn't mean it's a matter of fact. We're trying to abide by WP:BLP and WP:NPOV here...these are allegations that don't belong in the lead section whatsoever. Comatmebro (talk) 16:32, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
      • They are not allegations but something that has been proven and supported by many reliable references. Do you have reliable references that say other wise? ContentEditman (talk) 20:54, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
        • I think the assertion that they are well proven is dubious. They are well-repeated, but generally source to a small set of motivated refs. And there's something contradictory about asserting "Dark Money" which is supposed to be anonymous William M. Connolley (talk) 16:35, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Tentative support. WP:LIBERTY/WP:POLITICS member I think we should go with the proposal I have outlined below most specifically. It only summarizes the main body which includes the criticism he has faced for using Dark Money and funding climate change denialism. –MJLTalk 23:18, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose similarly to how we don't have it in George Soros's article. Let's try to pretend Wikipedia is balanced. Sir Joseph (talk) 23:42, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
    • What does George Soros have to do with David Koch? That line of thought is exactly what WP:COATRACK covers. In this case the issues brought up are well referenced and he, and even his brother, are well known for. If you want to make a case for edits at other pages then do so at those pages please. ContentEditman (talk) 00:37, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
    • Soros has an entire paragraph in the lead devoted to his political donations, including controversies and criticism related to them; whereas Koch, who is even more infamous, has a bare, brief sentence buried under his own vastly-less-notable political run, with no mention of the specific donations or the massive controversy surrounding them. I'm not sure what you're thinking of making this comparison - while each article is different, comparison to Soros' lead implies that the coverage here needs to be massively increased. --Aquillion (talk) 03:53, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      • there is no mention of dark money. Sir Joseph (talk) 15:30, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
Can you provide mainstream sources showing that Soros uses dark money vehicles to obscure his political donations? There's at least one entire book about Kochs's. Guy (help!) 21:17, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Support as a major part of his notability and as part of an expansion to a paragraph devoted solely to his use of money for political advocacy, although we should also elaborate in the body (which doesn't currently devote enough text to it.) --Aquillion (talk) 03:53, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Support I don't think David's philanthropy was exclusively "self-serving," save in the narrow sense that research on prostate cancer may have extended his life. He gave money to PBS through his Foundation for Science, and they may have laid off him a bit as a result, but I think he generally had good instincts there. I think he was a very complicated person and to fail to discuss his influence on the suppression of analysis and discourse upon global warming would be doing a great disservice to Wikipedia readers. I always presumed he was a restraining influence on the worst excesses on his brother Charles, but I have no actual evidence of same. Their sponsorship of global warming denialism which they essentially turned into a religion was, in the opinion of the 97% of the world's scientists who disagreed with the two, nothing less than genocidal. He supported paleontology at the same time he facilitated the anti-evolutionist control of the Kansas State Board of Education. He supported the efforts of major crackpots such as Art Robinson. I was very disappointed to learn here that he essentially approved of the assassination of George Tiller. Activist (talk) 13:40, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - David Koch is undoubtedly known for his influence in US politics, which is already covered in the lead, but mention of his “role” in climate change is grossly WP:UNDUE. That is not what he is most known for to most people, that’s an opinion from his critics, and certainly has no place in the lead.
It should also be noted that he gave over a billion dollars to philanthropic causes including medical research, cures to cancer, medical centers, educational institutions, arts and cultural centers, and public policy centers (all of which is easy to find, and if you live in New York, you see his name all over the place), so describing his philanthropy as "self serving" as has been done multiple times in this RfC seems to come from a place of hostility towards the subject of this page. Meatsgains(talk) 16:57, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
He is much more well known for his politically given ideals, much more so then his so called philanthropic causes. That and his philanthropic givings also fall into the political arena as well. Many of his donations came with strings that the money had to go toward hiring only certain similarly minded people, funding research to support his political beliefs, did not donate heavily to medical research till he was diagnosed with cancer, etc... So yes those are very much self serving and well referenced. ContentEditman (talk) 18:28, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
I disagree - he is equally known as a philanthropist and political activist. It is inaccurate to generalize his philanthropy into a single category "self serving". That is an opinion. His experience with cancer AND near-death accident from a plane crash is what encouraged him to support medical research. What about his contributions to criminal justice reform, performing arts, museums, and public television? Meatsgains(talk) 19:26, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - from my perspective the simplest way to deal with this is keep it out of the lead. This kind of language is certainly opinionated from an objective stance. That doesn't necessarily mean it should be out of the article as a whole, but certainly out of the lead. Criticism sections exist for a reason. AdventurousSquirrel (talk) 02:53, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Can you find mainstream obituaries that don't prominently disucss his involvement with funding the Tea Party and climate change denial? Obits are a strong indicator of how someone is viewed on balance. Guy (Help!) 22:56, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I stumbled across this after the news and took notice of the debate. Koch is definitely notable for his political donations. However, labeling it 'dark money' doesn't sound very neutral, and I would say that most people don't associate the subject with climate change strictly, but politics more broadly. It is covered elsewhere in the article and if the subject needs to be elaborated or expanded then that is where such content should go. It feels inappropriate to have contentious material in the lede. Darwin Naz (talk) 11:04, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
It's the technical term for it. Citizens United created a way for billionaires to finance political cmapaigns with complete anonymity, Jane Mayer's book popularised the term, and that's pretty much how it's described everywhere now. What term would you use? And is that temr your only objection to adding his concealed funding of climate change denialism to the lede? Guy (Help!) 22:54, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
I do not have any beef with the term. I am opposed to including a contentious entry in the lede. Also, dark money is not even mentioned in the body. If there is extensive coverage of this issue then expand it there first instead of adding new information in the article's introduction. Darwin Naz (talk) 23:56, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
I see. So you think we should leave out the thing for which he was known in his lifetime and which was the dominant theme of all the mainstream obituaries, because you think it's "contentious". It's a novel interpretation of WP:NPOV, I grant you. Guy (Help!) 21:15, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Guy (Help!), that is not what Darwin Naz said. Argue your position honestly. SunCrow (talk) 04:50, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
the technical term for it - I think you mean "populist term"; a way for billionaires to finance political cmapaigns with complete anonymity - can you see the problem with that? William M. Connolley (talk) 05:12, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose in the lead. Per WP:LEAD, the lead should cover the most important information in the article. That isn't it. Additionally, oppose the proposed non-NPOV language in the body. Much better would be something along the lines of "opposition to cap-and-trade legislation"[1], or other references to what he did specifically, and to avoid the phrase "dark money".
  • Support per the mainstream sources which mention it prominently. --The Huhsz (talk) 17:51, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as per the reasons ably set forth above by Comatmebro, Meatsgains, AdventurousSquirrel, and Darwin Naz. SunCrow (talk) 04:44, 4 September 2019 (UTC)


Current second paragraph

Koch was a libertarian. He was the 1980 Libertarian candidate for Vice President of the United States and helped finance the campaign. He founded Citizens for a Sound Economy.[1] He donated to political advocacy groups[2] and to political campaigns, almost entirely Republican.[3] He moved to the Republican Party in 1984; in 2012 he spent over $100 million to oppose the re-election of President Barack Obama.[4][5]

Proposed second paragraph

As a member of the Libertarian Party, he was the party's nominee for Vice President during the 1980 United States presidential election. Four years later, he became a Republican and founded Citizens for a Sound Economy.[1] He donated to political advocacy groups[2] and to political campaigns;[6] including when he spent over $100 million to oppose the re-election of President Barack Obama in 2012.[7][8] Koch has faced criticism for helping to finance climate change denial and his use of dark money.[9][10][11][12]

Extended content


  1. ^ a b Suzan Mazur, "The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry", North Atlantic Books, 2010, 343 pages
  2. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Wallet was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ "Koch Industries: Summary". Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  4. ^ Confessore, Nicholas (2013-11-14). "$122 Million in 2012 Spending by Koch Group". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  5. ^ "Billionaire David Koch, Who Shaped Modern Conservative Politics, Has Died". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  6. ^ "Koch Industries: Summary". Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  7. ^ Confessore, Nicholas (2013-11-14). "$122 Million in 2012 Spending by Koch Group". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  8. ^ "Billionaire David Koch, Who Shaped Modern Conservative Politics, Has Died". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  9. ^ Heer, Jeet (26 August 2019). "Even David Koch's Philanthropy Was Toxic". The Nation. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  10. ^ Hiltzik, Michael (26 August 2019). "Column: How MIT whitewashed the climate change denialism of a major donor, David Koch". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  11. ^ Mayer, Jane (20 May 2013). "David Koch vs. PBS". The New Yorker. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  12. ^ Lenfestey, James P. (26 August 2019). "David Koch, 1940 to 2019: A shameful legacy of outsized anti-science influence". Star Tribune. Retrieved 30 August 2019.

I propose the following change as worded to most accurately summarize the body of the article. –MJLTalk 23:16, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

I can't agree to this one, since it still puts his political donations (by far the most notable thing about him) under his completely-insignificant VP run and his own personal beliefs. The lead needs a paragraph that starts with donations, either by splitting this one or reordering it. Also, "donated to political advocacy groups" strikes me as slightly misleading in this context, since he did far more than that. We ought to at least mention something along the lines of the The Koch Network in the lead and body; while we have a dedicated article to go into more detail on it, it's also David Koch's main claim to fame and the most notable thing about him, so it needs prominent mention in his own article. --Aquillion (talk) 04:00, 31 August 2019 (UTC) --Aquillion (talk) 04:00, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
I agree his donations in politics, such as dark money/anti-climate change/etc..., is more well known and should be much larger in the lead and expanded in the body. Yet his self serving philanthropy has almost 1/4 of the lead, which he is not well known for. His political activism is much more well referenced and he and his brother are much more well known for. ContentEditman (talk) 11:57, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
Everything about the proposed language is fine with me except the last sentence, which I object to on WP:NPOV and WP:WEASEL grounds. SunCrow (talk) 05:27, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
"Koch has faced criticism for his political spending." That's as neutral as it gets. Cite it, improve the criticism section, elaborate on the page that this content is better suited for (The Koch Network). Comatmebro (talk) 21:17, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Comatmebro, please take another look. The last sentence proposed above reads as follows: "Koch has faced criticism for helping to finance climate change denial and his use of dark money". I maintain my objections on WP:NPOV and WP:WEASEL grounds. SunCrow (talk) 22:28, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Right...and I'm proposing that the last sentence be changed to "Koch has faced criticism for his political spending." What do I need to take another look at? Comatmebro (talk) 00:09, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
Comatmebro, I wasn't clear as to what you meant. I have no objection to your proposal. SunCrow (talk) 03:48, 7 September 2019 (UTC)