Iran General NewsKoch Iran link causes candidate to send contributions to...

Koch Iran link causes candidate to send contributions to charity

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Bloomberg: Former New York Representative and current congressional candidate Dan Maffei said he’s giving $3,500 in political donations from Koch Industries Inc. to charity because the company profited from business in Iran.

Bloomberg

By Kristin Jensen

Former New York Representative and current congressional candidate Dan Maffei said he’s giving $3,500 in political donations from Koch Industries Inc. to charity because the company profited from business in Iran.

“I not only will never take another cent from them, but I am giving their past donations away to charity,” said Maffei, a Democrat, in a statement e-mailed by his campaign. He said he would donate the funds received from Koch’s political action committee to the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, which helps children of the victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Maffei cited a Bloomberg Markets report earlier this month saying that Koch Industries sold millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran, considered by the U.S. to be a sponsor of global terrorism. Internal company documents show that Wichita, Kansas-based Koch, one of the world’s largest closely held companies, used foreign subsidiaries to make the sales, getting around a U.S. trade ban on domestic companies selling materials to Iran.

Democrats have been criticizing Republicans who took money from the company’s political action committee. While the company and its leaders, David and Charles Koch, mostly give to Republicans, Koch’s PAC has also contributed to Democrats, including $60,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the previous two elections.

’Singling Out Koch’
Koch spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia didn’t immediately respond to telephone and e-mail messages seeking comment on Maffei’s statement. Koch’s general counsel, Mark Holden, said in an Oct. 14 statement that the company stopped all sales to Iran voluntarily several years ago and that Democrats “are singling out Koch for political purposes.”

Maffei called on his opponent, Republican Representative Ann Marie Buerkle, to also reject the company’s money. She has received $1,000 from Koch’s PAC for next year’s election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign finance. Maffei received donations from the PAC for the 2008 and 2010 elections, the center’s data show.

Koch-Glitsch offices in Germany and Italy continued selling to Iran as recently as 2007, Bloomberg Markets reported.

Cohlmia earlier said that, “during the relevant time frame covered” in the article, “U.S. law allowed foreign subsidiaries of U.S. multinational companies to engage in trade involving countries subject to U.S. trade sanctions, including Iran, under certain conditions.”

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