‘Citizen Koch’ looks at big money in politics (Video)

By Ellen Kortesoja

WASHINGTON — A documentary about big money in politics will play at West End Theater this month despite the public TV influence of the political activist and businessman the film is about.

The documentary Citizen Koch explores the aftermath of the Supreme Court Citizens United decision that opened the flood gates to deregulate campaign financing. David Koch and his brother, Charles — the co-owners of Koch Industries — are two players making use of the court’s decision and spending unlimited amounts to back political candidates.

Carl Deal and Tia Lessin are the documentary’s filmmakers. In “Citizen Koch,” they follow the shakedown in 2011 between public employee unions and Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin that ended up alienating working-class Republicans in the wake of the fast-growing Tea Party movement, they say.

Deal and Lessin sat down with Michael O’Connell and Megan Cloherty for It’s All Journalism, a podcast about the new age of journalism, to discuss the film’s story.

Deal and Lessin told It’s All Journalism how their process to find funding became a parallel narrative to the film.

They immediately got interest from PBS and Independent Lens after showing them a work-in-progress. Indpendent Lens is PBS’ documentary series funded by the Independent Television Service (ITVS)


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