Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Kochs' $889M 2016 Budget Overshadows Parties

The political network overseen by conservative billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch plans to spend close to $900 million on 2016 campaigns in "an unparalleled effort by coordinated outside groups to shape a presidential election that is already on track to be the most expensive in history," according to The New York TimesThe $889 million spending goal to influence both presidential and congressional races in 2016 was revealed at the Kochs’ annual winter donor retreat near Palm Springs, Calif. Five politicos, considered to be conservative "rising stars" by the Kochs and their roughly 300 donors, also received coveted invitations to the event, and four attended: Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Senators Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas. To understand the growing power of Koch money, note that the Kochs' network--which includes groups such as Freedom Partners, Americans for Prosperity and Concerned Veterans for America--spent a little under $400 million in the 2012 presidential election, compared with the $657 million spent by the Republican National Committee and its two congressional campaign committees. The $889 million spending goal for 2016 will put the Kochs' network on track to spend nearly as much as the campaigns of each party’s presidential nominee and will put special fundraising pressure on Democrats. "It’s no wonder the candidates show up when the Koch brothers call," summed up David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Obama, in The New York Times piece. "That’s exponentially more money than any party organization will spend. In many ways, they have superseded the party." For the complete story, see http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/27/us/politics/kochs-plan-to-spend-900-million-on-2016-campaign.html?_r=0

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