David Koch, one of the biggest backers of the 2012 Republican National Convention, won't support the party's next gathering in July where Donald Trump is expected to be named its presidential nominee.
Neither David nor his brother Charles will contribute to the convention's host committee this year, said Kenneth Spain, a spokesman for their company, Koch Industries. The billionaires are among the country's biggest and most influential political funders, overseeing a donor network that plans to spend about $450 million on conservative causes this year.
The Kochs have made no secret of their distaste for Trump. Charles Koch said in an interview with USA Today this week that the candidate would have to shift his stance on a number of policies to win his support, and that he found Trump's recent comments about a judge's Mexican heritage “unacceptable.”
The Kochs' refusal to support the convention suggests that Trump's alienation of donors has ramifications beyond the presidential race. While the focus of the gathering, scheduled to begin on July 18 in Cleveland, is on the selection of a presidential nominee, it's also an important opportunity for thousands of the party's activists, candidates, and financiers to rub elbows.
David Koch, 76, gave $1 million to support the convention in Tampa, Florida, four years ago, making him one of the top individual supporters, and he also attended as a delegate from New York. He isn't a delegate this year and doesn't plan on attending the convention at all, Spain confirmed.
Trump's overall impact on convention fundraising has been “minimal,” said Emily Lauer, a spokeswoman for the host committee. She said $57 million of the $64 million needed is already in hand, mostly from large corporate sponsors and local groups. In 2012, the Tampa host committee raised about $57 million in all.
One corporation did renege on a funding commitment after Trump became the presumptive nominee a few weeks ago, Lauer said. She said she can't identify the company.
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