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Bob Dole's Oil Patch Pals

Links to Koch Industries may prove embarrassing

When Senator Bob Dole is declared the Republican nominee for President at the GOP convention in San Diego this summer, two wealthy Kansas oilmen almost certainly will be in the wings joining in the applause. They are the brothers Charles G. and David Koch (pronounced "coke"), who together control about 80% of Wichita-based Koch Industries Inc. Koch's $25 billion-plus in annual revenues make it the nation's second-largest privately held corporation and the biggest independent oil company.

The relationship between fellow Kansan Dole and this secretive oil dynasty couldn't be tighter. David Koch, who was the Libertarian Party's candidate for Vice-President in 1980, is a vice-chairman of Dole's '96 campaign, and the Koch family ranks as his third-largest financial backer. From 1979 to 1994, the Kochs contributed $245,000 to Dole's campaign and political causes, according to a recent study by the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington political watchdog group. More recently, Federal Election Commission reports show that Koch employees donated $16,500 to Dole's Presidential campaign in 1995. And just last July, David Koch hosted a birthday party for Dole that raised $150,000 for the senator's White House bid.