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Koch brothers looking to spend up to $400 milion on the 2018 cycle

Monday, Jan 30, 2017

* I forgot to point this out in an earlier post, so here it is now

The Koch network plans to spend between $300 million to $400 million on policy and political campaigns during the 2018 election cycle.

Officials revealed the target budget at the start of a three-day donor summit at a resort here, indicating that they intend to continue expanding their reach at a time when Republicans control Congress and the White House. By comparison, the network spent about $250 million during the 2016 cycle on policy and political efforts.

The funds will be spread across a constellation of groups, including Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners Action Fund, along with Concerned Veterans for America, the Libre Initiative and Generation Opportunity, which now operate under the AFP banner.

Leaders from the groups said that they plan to focus on building up the capabilities of their grass-roots organization, which has boots on the ground in 36 states, and that the precise amount will depend on opportunities.

Whew, that’s a lot of dough. AFP in Illinois, perhaps the Illinois Policy Institute and who knows what other groups could make out like bandits with this push.

* The Democratic Governors’ Association had an interesting bit of spin

“While people in Illinois were being detained, Gov. Bruce Rauner was relaxing with fellow millionaires in Palm Springs,” said DGA Communications Director Jared Leopold. “The millions that Rauner is raising for the Koch brothers won’t do much to protect the people of Illinois from Donald Trump. Illinois voters deserve a governor who will stand up and fight for their values, not run off to Palm Springs in the middle of a crisis.”

* OK, first of all, not to defend the Koch brothers or anything, but they’re opposed to the travel ban

The leaders of the conservative network aligned with billionaires Charles Koch and David Koch on Sunday said they opposed President Trump’s controversial ban on immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries.

“We believe it is possible to keep Americans safe without excluding people who wish to come here to contribute and pursue a better life for their families,” Brian Hooks, a co-chairman of the Kochs’ seminar network, said in a statement.

“The travel ban is the wrong approach and will likely be counterproductive,” Hooks added, saying it hinders a Koch goal of promoting a free and open society.

The statement marks the first public criticism of the Trump administration from the Kochs, who oversee one of the most influential outside operations in conservative politics with a staff, budget and voter-turnout operation that rivals the Republican Party.

* Secondly, most folks would presume that Rauner went out there to raise money from the Koch network, not to raise money for it. Not quite sure what to make of that yet. Any ideas?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - jerry 101 - Monday, Jan 30, 17 @ 3:15 pm:

    Perfect headline, Rich.

  2. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 30, 17 @ 3:17 pm:

    Uh, paging Dr. Freud, Dr. Sigmund Freud….

  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 17 @ 3:18 pm:

    I’m of the mind that Rauner is looking for a commitment of $7-10 million in dark, outside money to be used to work against the Democratic primary, leaving Rauner’s hand clean, but inflicting serious damage to any/all candidates in that primary and wound and test messaging against the enviable nominee he will face.

    It’s not that Rauner “couldn’t” raise the money, set up the prop shops, whatever. It is about being arms length from the process and saving that $7-10 million for the additional 4 constitutional races, the legislature, whatever.

    It’s the who spending the monies, and where and how it can help by being arms length in its damage.


  4. - Saluki - Monday, Jan 30, 17 @ 3:18 pm:

    X rated over here today.

  5. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 30, 17 @ 3:21 pm:

    If there’s $400 million on the table, why wouldn’t Rauner go for a piece of it? Griff would be pretty honked if Rauner didn’t make the effort, and then came around asking for big checks.

  6. - Anon - Monday, Jan 30, 17 @ 3:21 pm:

    That’s always how I pronounce their name in conversation.

  7. - Deft Wing - Monday, Jan 30, 17 @ 3:25 pm:

    Headline typo alert. ;) Koch brothers …

  8. - Truthteller - Monday, Jan 30, 17 @ 3:32 pm:

    I’m sure that Rauner and the Koch brothers were making plans to fight the “special interests” who are blocking the rape of the environment, fighting against the decimation of public education and thwarting the attempt to lower taxes on the Uber wealthy. Very big of them to invest their money so they can make even more

  9. - Nick Name - Monday, Jan 30, 17 @ 3:33 pm:

    You know an executive order is bad when even the Koch brothers look askance at it.

  10. - Annonin' - Monday, Jan 30, 17 @ 3:37 pm:

    Did BigBrain drive to Palm Springs too or fly commercial? The Koch’s always kept this event top secret. Now almost open press

  11. - Anon221 - Monday, Jan 30, 17 @ 3:39 pm:

    To attend the “Party”, you had to pony up $100,000. I know… that’s just couch change to Rauner. But because he attended, and was only one of three guvs to do so, I would think the bros have some pressure on him to follow their wants and needs. However, Rauner may have to spend a third of what the bros are planning to spend just to get re-elected. Think that will happen in any other state??? I don’t. Some of those $100,000 “party fees” will probably flow Rauner’s way, but why they allow him to be so silent on issues (such as the new EO) is somewhat surprising.

  12. - Anon - Monday, Jan 30, 17 @ 3:44 pm:

    They always remind me of these guys.

  13. - David - Monday, Jan 30, 17 @ 3:45 pm:

    I would not be surprised if some of that money was for primaries since they also came out against Trumps tax plan.

  14. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jan 30, 17 @ 3:51 pm:

    Rich, what is AFP doing to combat Trump’s order?



  15. - weltschmerz - Monday, Jan 30, 17 @ 6:38 pm:

    How did their StopTrump thing go? Between them and Soros they could have bought their own countries.

  16. - Rabid - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 2:37 am:

    To focus to make it to Cleveland or Washington DC, but plenty of time to pound sand in the desert with your own kind

  17. - Generic Drone - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 3:38 pm:

    I read that the Koch’s were planning to spend $14 mullion in Illinois. Thats 14 votes for $14 mil.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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