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Rachel Maddow's claim about a Florida foundation, the Koch brothers and the state's law to drug test welfare recipients

@amysherman1 and @katielsanders

PunditFact isn't always the first to weigh in on the tit-for-tat of cable news shows, in part because the nature of our work requires more than claims and counterclaims. And sometimes, a few extra days allows matters to become more settled.

Such is the case in examining the back-and-forth recently between MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and representatives for Charles and David Koch.

You probably have heard the story by now, but here's a quick catch-up.

On Maddow's Jan. 2, 2014, show, Maddow accused the Koch brothers -- through "affiliated state groups" -- of pushing and promoting a Florida law that requires welfare recipients to first pass a drug test. Representatives for the Koch brothers pushed back against the allegation, saying they were not involved with the Florida law or the Florida group who supported the law, the Foundation for Government Accountability.

Maddow is sticking by her story and refused to read a Koch-prepared on-air apology.

In her original report, Maddow said that Koch brothers affiliated groups "in Florida they, at least, have been promoting forced drug tests for people who are on welfare." Later after Maddow read a description of the same group, the Foundation for Government Accountability, she said, "That’s the Koch brothers group that has been promoting this idea, right, the same Koch brothers group that has been telling people not to get health insurance. They're the ones that came up with the idea that it’s a great use of state funds."

We're boiling down those comments to fact-check this statement: The Foundation for Government Accountability, which supported a Florida law requiring drug testing of welfare recipients, is a "Koch brothers affiliated group." Read the full story from PunditFact.


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Holy cow, long before Maddow came on the scene I had done my own research into the Foundation for Government Accountability here in Florida and knew it for exactly what it was - a propaganda arm for Rick Scott.

Just google the director’s name - Tarren Bragdon. He was the head of the state of Maine’s Heritage Foundation before he left for this FL job.

He was making over $100,000 a year up in Maine.

How does a start-up Non-Profit organization have enough funds to pay a director $100,000+/year in its first year?

Answer: It doesn’t, without big bucks from somewhere.

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