AZ gubernatorial candidate caught on tape sucking up to infamous Koch Brothers

by Brian Washington

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As if Arizonans didn’t have enough reasons already not to trust gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey when it comes to supporting public schools, now voters have Ducey on tape courting the infamous Koch Brothers, two of the biggest opponents to quality public education.

The secret tapes were uncovered by a national magazine and give listeners the opportunity to hear Ducey playing the role of sycophant to billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch during a secret summit last June. It was sponsored by one of the front groups the Kochs use to funnel dark money, or undisclosed campaign funds, to candidates who are willing to do their bidding.

On the tapes, Ducey can be heard making statements like the following:

  •  “It (the summit) has been very inspirational.”
  • “I can’t emphasize enough the power of organizations like this.”
  • “I have been coming to this conference for years.”


In 2012, as state treasurer, Ducey used more than $900,000 in dark money from a Koch-sponsored group to defeat a proposed 1-cent sales tax that would have provided critical funding for public education in Arizona.

A local television news reporter asked Ducey about taking dark money from the Koch Brothers. However, before Ducey could answer, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who was campaigning with him at the time and has the reputation of being a bully to educators in his state, went into attack mode and after the reporter for raising the issue, as if he feared Ducey would fumble the question.

Educators also don’t trust Ducey because he wants to illegally take away funding to restore reasonable class sizes and keep quality teachers in our classrooms. Ducey supports the cuts Governor Jan Brewer and state lawmakers have made over the last several years to the voter-mandated funding formula for public education. Some estimate that total to be about $1.5 billion.

However, the Arizona State Supreme Court this year ruled in favor of restoring the funding formula and said that public schools should immediately receive $317 million. But don’t tell that to Ducey. He and state lawmakers don’t want to repay the mandated amount and is fighting to repeal the court’s decision. He’s even taken a more outrageous position than Governor Brewer, who last week indicated it was time to settle the lawsuit and pay the schools what is owed.

Doug Ducey may be a trusted friend of the Koch Brothers, but he certainly can’t be trusted to support our public schools—which should come as no surprise to those who support students, educators, and public education.  As Ducey is heard saying at the Koch function on one of the secret tapes mentioned earlier, “You’re known by the company you keep.”

One response to “AZ gubernatorial candidate caught on tape sucking up to infamous Koch Brothers

  1. Where’s any mention of the alternative? Like vote for Fred DuVal for Governor of AZ if you care at all about quality public education.

    The Koch Brothers’ goals include dismantling public education in the US, and since Ducey is known to be in their pockets, the ONLY responsible choice is Fred DuVal.

    Fred DuVal has also vowed to restore the funding that the legislature has stolen from AZ schools, while Ducey intends to appeal the court decision if elected.

    Vote for Fred DuVal — Arizona cannot afford any less!

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