The political network created by the billionaire Koch brothers announced plans to support eight House Republicans on Thursday, pledging financial resources and activists to help re-elect several vulnerable congressmen deemed “principled” conservatives. […]
The announcement comes a month after Trump assailed the Koch brothers as “a total joke in real Republican circles.” Days earlier, network patriarch Charles Koch had condemned the increased government spending under the Republican president’s leadership and Trump’s push for import tariffs. […]
Despite the clash with the White House, the Koch network remains one of the most powerful political organizations in the country. The sprawling organization is on pace to spend as much as $400 million on politics and policy ahead of November’s election. And its coalition of trained activists across 36 states has no rival.
The candidates backed by the network’s political arm, Americans for Prosperity, include eight men from seven states: Reps. Rod Blum and David Young of Iowa, Dave Brat of Virginia, Ted Budd of North Carolina, Steve Chabot of Ohio, Will Hurd of Texas, Erik Paulsen of Minnesota and Peter Roskam of Illinois.
* Roll Call…
“The candidates we are supporting this fall have each been strong, principled leaders committed to removing barriers to opportunity in the federal government that are preventing people from realizing their full potential,” AFP President Tim Phillips said in a statement. […]
Last month, AFP announced it would not support Rep. Kevin Cramer in his challenge to Democratic incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota because of his views on trade and immigration.
That elicited a response from Trump, who called then the “globalist Koch Brothers” and their network’s influence “highly overrated.”
*** UPDATE *** Sean Casten…
“Two of the largest corporate benefactors of Peter Roskam’s tax scam have announced they’re returning the favor,” said Casten. “It’s understandable that the Koch Brothers, who stand to benefit from $1.4 billion in tax breaks thanks to Peter Roskam, would want to financially support him. But what is not factual are the policy positions they attribute to Peter Roskam as their rationale.”
“Peter Roskam voted to strip health coverage away from 30,000 of his constituents, eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions, added over $2 trillion to the deficit, voted against protecting Dreamers, and voted against increasing funds for veterans’ health care and post-traumatic stress disorder - that’s a record I’d be running from, not supporting.”
In their rationale for backing Roskam, the Koch Brothers erroneously attributed leadership to Roskam for his work on health care, budgets, Dreamers, and veterans. Casten highlighted where Peter Roskam is, in reality, bad on those issues:
Voted to repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act 60 times, and voted for Paul Ryan’s bill which would have left 23 million Americans - including more than 30,000 6th District residents - without health care and raised premiums 20 percent.
Voted for a tax bill that adds $2 trillion to the deficit, with 83 percent of the benefits in Peter Roskam’s tax scam going to corporate special interests and the wealthiest one percent, while its $10,000 annual cap on state and local tax deductions will force thousands of middle-class families to pay more.
Voted against the DREAM Act as well as to restart deportations of undocumented immigrants protected under DACA and DAPA.
Voted against increasing funds for veterans’ health care and PTSD treatment.