Koch Brothers to Spend $300M on Fall Elections

Saturday, 14 Jun 2014 08:56 PM

By Todd Beamon

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The conservative billionaire Koch brothers and their allies plan to spend $300 million this election cycle to support conservative causes and fight new Obama administration regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

The plans are being discussed at a retreat this weekend hosted by Charles and David Koch in Laguna Beach, Calif., The Daily Beast reports. The event will feature speeches by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and libertarian political scientist Charles Murray.

The Koch energy initiative comes as liberal billionaire Tom Steyer pledged $100 million for ads in several states to make climate change a priority in the November congressional elections, according to The Daily Beast.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced new regulations earlier this month that seek to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, setting the first national limits on the chief gas linked to global warming.

Among the groups expected to benefit from the Kochs are Americans for Prosperity, its political action committee, and the Libre Initiative, which seeks to attract Hispanics with its message of small government and free markets, The Daily Beast reports.

AFP is expected to spend as much as $125 million on ads attacking Democratic support for Obamacare and other issues leading up to the elections.

The new energy effort was developed by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the Koch network's primary fund-raising group, according to an email the Daily Beast obtained.

The email was written by Kevin Gentry, a Koch vice president for special projects who also is vice president of the Republican Party of Virginia.

Freedom Partners, established in 2011, has about 200 members who each donate at least $100,000 every year.

The following year, the operation funneled more than $230 million to other Koch-backed nonprofits, according to 2012 tax data reported by The Daily Beast.

The details of the new energy initiative have not yet been announced, but it is expected to cost at least seven figures — and The Daily Beast cites two sources that a new nonprofit group is being developed to oversee the energy effort.

Representatives for Koch Industries or Freedom Partners did not respond responded to requests for comment from The Daily Beast.

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