The Koch Network Spent $100 Million This Election Cycle

Democrats tried to turn the money against the GOP, but Republicans rode the funding to victory nonetheless.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23:David Koch attends the Metropolitan Opera Season Opening Production Of 'Eugene Onegin' at The Metropolitan Opera House on September 23, 2013 in New York City. 
Alex Roarty
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Alex Roarty
Nov. 4, 2014, 6:35 p.m.

The two groups at the heart of the Koch broth­ers’ polit­ic­al net­work spent a com­bined $100 mil­lion on com­pet­it­ive races in 2014, spokes­men for the or­gan­iz­a­tions tell Na­tion­al Journ­al.

Amer­ic­ans for Prosper­ity, a non­profit or­gan­iz­a­tion that serves as the Koch broth­ers’ flag­ship polit­ic­al en­ter­prise, spent $77 mil­lion on com­pet­it­ive Sen­ate and House races, said spokes­man Levi Rus­sell. That total in­cludes $56 mil­lion from AFP on TV, ra­dio, and di­git­al ads and dir­ect mail, and an­oth­er $21 mil­lion on grass­roots ef­forts from their state chapters.

Free­dom Part­ners Ac­tion Fund, a su­per PAC, is slated to spend $25 mil­lion by the time the cycle fin­ishes, said spokes­man Bill Riggs, in­clud­ing the $2.1 mil­lion it has re­served for the run­off Sen­ate race in Louisi­ana.

The pair worked in tan­dem this year: AFP bom­barded the TV air­waves early in key Sen­ate races to co­in­cide with the botched im­ple­ment­a­tion of Obama­care, soften­ing up many Demo­crat­ic in­cum­bents be­fore many of their cam­paigns had even kicked in­to gear. The groups’ stag­ger­ing spend­ing fig­ures will be cred­ited with help­ing Re­pub­lic­ans cre­ate what is shap­ing up to be a wave elec­tion for the party.

“The biggest de­cision stra­tegic­ally that we made was go­ing so early with our ad ef­fort,” said AFP Pres­id­ent Tim Phil­lips. “When we launched last year, it was prob­ably un­pre­ced­en­ted for an off-year cycle. I don’t re­call any­one spend­ing tens of mil­lions in early Septem­ber through Me­mori­al Day in an off-year.”

By the sum­mer, AFP had switched its em­phas­is to its grass­roots net­work while Free­dom Part­ners star­ted spend­ing heav­ily on the air.

Demo­crats tried to make the Koch broth­ers a center­piece of their cam­paign, a move that eli­cited cri­ti­cism but one party strategists vowed would make Re­pub­lic­ans look like pup­pets of a pair of selfish bil­lion­aires. Nobody railed harder against them than Harry Re­id, who took to the Sen­ate floor earli­er this year to ar­gue they were try­ing to “buy our demo­cracy.”

That strategy will likely be heav­ily scru­tin­ized by Demo­crat­ic op­er­at­ives as they try to de­term­ine how the party suffered such deep losses. It’s un­likely Re­pub­lic­ans will of­fer the same scru­tiny to the Koch net­work.

What We're Following See More »
ARMISTICE MAY BECOME PEACE AGREEMENT
North Korea Looking for Denuclearization of Peninsula
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

North Korea has expressed its commitment to 'complete denuclearisation' of the Korean peninsula and is not seeking conditions, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday. ... South Korea announced on Wednesday that it is considering how to change a decades-old armistice with North Korea into a peace agreement as it prepares for the North-South summit this month." The leaders of the respective countries are also expected to connect a phone line so they can communicate directly.

Source:
NO IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT DUTIES
Deal Reached to Send California National Guard to Border
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

"California reached an agreement with the federal government that the state’s National Guard troops will deploy to the border to focus on fighting transnational gangs as well as drug and gun smugglers, Gov. Jerry Brown said. ... Brown said Wednesday he secured federal funding for terms similar to those outlined in last week’s proposed contract: The Guard cannot handle custody duties for anyone accused of immigration violations, build border barriers or have anything to do with immigration enforcement."

Source:
RAUL CASTRO STEPPED DOWN
Miguel Diaz-Canel Elected Pesident Of Cuba
2 hours ago
THE LATEST
SHE’S THE CIA NOMINEE
Gina Haspel Hearing May 9
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS
FOCUSING ON FBI RAID
Cohen Drops Lawsuits Against Buzzfeed, Fusion GPS
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen has dropped two libel suits against Buzzfeed News and private investigation firm Fusion GPS. Buzzfeed published the "so-called dossier" compiled by employees at Fusion GPS, which alleged "that Cohen met with Russian operatives" in order to "clean up the mess created by public disclosures of other Trump associates’ reported ties to Russia." Cohen's attorney said his client was dropping the suit to focus on the legal battle over "documents and electronic files seized from [Cohen's] home, office and hotel room" during an FBI raid last week.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login