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Senate Dems Plan Attack on Koch Brothers 2016 Strategy

Image: Senate Dems Plan Attack on Koch Brothers 2016 Strategy
Americans for Prosperity Foundation Chairman David Koch. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

By    |   Wednesday, 30 Sep 2015 08:26 AM

As the billionaire Koch brothers intend to spend $889 million shaping the political and public policy debate in the run-up to 2016, a coalition of deep-pocketed liberal groups has been meeting surreptitiously for months to plot attacks against the powerful brothers' network, Politico reports.

"We've proven in the long run that they're interested in one thing: Their bottom line. They're trying to buy the country, they want to become America's oligarchs," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who according to Politico, has fronted the Democrats' war on the Koch's and has lambasted them for corrupting the power of money in politics.

Reid, who maintains a relationship with the architect of the attack on the Koch's, David Brock, first reached out to Brock in 2014 and has previously invited him to the Capitol to discuss his research on the brothers.

Politico reports that Brock's recently released book says that the massive spending of conservative groups who are backed by Charles and David Koch is a "critical component" of improving Democratic candidates in the polls, including Clinton, a candidate in which Brock is an avid supporter.

But in response, the Koch brothers defended their networks spending as "driven by a desire to improve society by advancing free market policies, rather than Koch Industries' profits."

The company even flaunted its corporate citizenship and the 60,000 U.S. jobs it delivers.

But, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., emphasized this week, "The fact that the Koch brothers are spending a fortune on positive advertising about themselves is an indication that their reputation has suffered."

However, many Koch allies, including James Davis, a spokesman for Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce noted that Reid and Brock's "past attempts to divide America by demonizing job creators have failed. We remain focused on advancing free-market principles — ending corporate welfare, reducing barriers to opportunity and restoring fiscal responsibility."

Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp from North Dakota, according to Politico, added on Tuesday, "When you start making [the Kochs] front and center, you are losing sight of what you absolutely need to do.

"We need to be more mindful of what the message is, not who the messengers are and who's paying for them."

According to Politico, sources familiar with the plan for Thursday's caucus meeting say Brock will be accompanied by Geoff Garin, who works for both American Bridge and Priorities USA Action — a super PAC that plans to air millions of dollars of ads supporting Clinton's presidential campaign.

Apart from criticizing the Koch's for the electoral and fundraising components, Democrats say the focus on the brothers can also help generate momentum for campaign finance reform.

"The Koch brothers are symptoms of a bigger problem, and that is Citizens United … free speech means normal folks can get swamped out," said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

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As the billionaire Koch brothers intend to spend $889 million shaping the political and public policy debate in the run-up to 2016, a coalition of deep-pocketed liberal groups has been meeting surreptitiously for months to plot attacks against the powerful brothers'...
senate, democrats, david koch, charles koch, strategy
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2015-26-30
Wednesday, 30 Sep 2015 08:26 AM
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