Koch World ‘Realignment’

Via National Review

It was evident: The Koch brothers, who had spent millions of dollars designing an electoral juggernaut that could overpower either of America’s two major parties, were losing their appetite for political campaigns. In conversations last year, “there was much more an emphasis on getting back to the policy aspect, as opposed to the electoral aspect,” says one Koch insider, who like others interviewed for this story spoke on condition of anonymity. It became obvious, the source says, that the Kochs wanted to “reboot and go back to pre-2010, the think-tank and social-change model of CKI [The Charles Koch Institute], when they were very policy-driven instead of engaging in electoral politics.”

… in late January 2015, the Kochs had pledged their network would raise and spend $889 million during the 2016 cycle, a number that accounted for both educational and political spending. Yet much had changed for the Kochs in the year since that announcement, and sources say the pace of those changes has only accelerated since…

… Charles Koch provided a window into his own thinking in an interview last month with ABC’s Jonathan Karl. “When you look back over the years, over the last several cycles, hundreds of millions of dollars in electoral politics, what have you gotten for that?” Karl asked. “What’s been the return on that investment?” “Well, I’ve gotten a lot of abuse out of it,” Koch said. “What have we gotten for it? Well, I think there have been some good things, particularly at the state and local level.” “At the federal level,” he added, shaking his head, “we haven’t in any way changed the trajectory of the country.” Karl suggested it hasn’t been a very good investment. “No, no it hasn’t,” Koch replied. “It’s been disappointing.”

Via The Hill / January 30, 2016

”INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – The Koch brothers’ donor network spent close to $400 million last year, and is on its way to spending an unprecedented $889 million supporting right-wing politics and causes during the 2016 cycle.”

”On Saturday afternoon, the Koch network assembled 500 wealthy conservatives — its largest gathering ever — at a luxury resort near the foothills of Palm Springs’ Coachella Valley.”

”About 150 of the donors are first-time attendees, and the rest are paid-up members of the conservative donor network, which requires a minimum annual membership fee of $100,000…”

”The Palm Springs retreat is the second time journalists have been allowed to attend.”

January 2016: From RNader, excerpt from blog:”

”The dominance of influence money by the plutocracy and now big business PACs, such as that of the super-rich Koch brothers, is just the beginning. The monetized minds don’t just rely on their “quid pro quo” checkbooks. They foster gerrymandering electoral districts so that politicians indentured to them pick the voters instead of a legitimate congressional district’s voters picking a candidate. And the debates now are more ratings inventory for Big Media than a discussion of major issues which remain off the table.”

”Presidential debates are controlled by a Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) – a private corporation – created by the Republican and Democratic parties and funded by beer, auto, telephone and other corporations whose patronage includes lavish hospitality suites. Thus, through the cover of CPD, the two big parties control the number of debates, who is invited to participate and which reporters ask the questions before an approved audience.”

”This year, the monetized minds went further. Now a commercial cable or network television company decides the formats and who is in tier one, tier two or not included at all. The Big Media sponsors (Fox, CNN, NBC and others) decided that Mark Everson, who dropped out in November, was the first candidate to go to all of Iowa’s 99 counties, should be excluded from the competition because he does not have a PAC sponsor and hasn’t raised enough money. Yet he is the only Republican presidential candidate with executive branch experience. Under George W. Bush, he was head of the IRS and Deputy Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.”

”Monetizing elections has predictable consequences. The ditto-head reporters, obsessed with tactics and gaffes, never ask about corporate crime, corporate welfare, the American Empire with its un-auditable Defense Department, the over $300 billion a year in computerized billing fraud in the health care industry, or why corporations are given free exploitation of our public property – such as gold and silver mines on public land , the public airwaves and the trillions of dollars of federal research given away to big business in such industries as the drug, aerospace, computer, biotech and information companies…”


A Quick Look at the Monarch

”The 2015 annual Koch-organized summit is sponsored by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit that oversees a network of Koch-backed conservative groups… taken together the Koch groups intend to spend ”’$889 million”’ in the run-up to the 2016 election boosting policies and candidates that adhere to principles like those that animate the Kochs and many of the donors gathered here.”

Via Politico” by Kenneth Vogel, author of “Big Money”


The 2014 Koch brothers meeting at the Monarch