Charles Koch is the co-owner, chairman and chief executive officer of Koch Industries, one of the largest closely held companies in the world. The Wichita, Kansas-based firm operates in various industries including oil refining, pipelines, commodities trading, ranching and paper pulp, and has annual sales of $110 billion. He owns 42 percent of the company.
Koch Industries Inc. and its employees and subsidiaries spent $1.2 million in the last election helping to elect Republican governors who are now trying to take away bargaining rights of state workers.
Dan Maffei, a New York congressional candidate and former member of the U.S. House, said he is giving $3,500 in political donations from Koch Industries Inc. to charity because the company profited from business in Iran.
Billionaire brothers Charles G. Koch, co-founder of the Cato Institute, and David H. Koch sued the free-market advocacy group, and the widow of Chairman Emeritus William Niskanen seeking control of his shares.
Bloomberg Markets’ inaugural list of the world’s richest people showcases the billionaires who pull the levers on the global economy. Their net worth totals $2.7 trillion, about the size of the gross domestic product of France, the fifth-biggest economy on the planet.
Koch Industries Inc., which spent $1.2 million in 2010 to help elect governors who oppose collective bargaining for public employees, won praise from a labor union official for backing the rights of factory workers.