Donations from organizations backed by the Koch brothers have brought huge victories to Republicans in North Carolina — and the hope is to repeat similar success in other states.
“Getting dramatic economic change at the federal level is very difficult,” Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, told Politico
AFP is backed by Charles and David Koch, the billionaires who spend much of their money and efforts on conservative politics.
“A few years ago, the idea we had was to create model states. North Carolina was a great opportunity to do that – more so than any other state in the region,” Phillips added. “If you could turn around a state like that, you could get real reform.”
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Funds from such groups helped North Carolina Republicans build a strong infrastructure and fundraising network, leading the GOP to win both the governor’s mansion and the state legislature last November.
The victories were the first to occur in the same year since Reconstruction.
“I certainly hope that people will look to North Carolina,” Phil Berger, the state Senate’s president pro tempore, told Politico. “We are doing a lot of things that are right.”
Other organizations that financed the GOP’s effort in the Tar Heel State, according to Politico, included the Republican Governors Association, which is backed by the Kochs and Art Pope, a Koch ally who now is state budget director; the Republican State Leadership Committee, which has received contributions from such big donors as Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson; and Real Jobs NC, which Pope co-founded.
These groups outspent Democratic outside groups in North Carolina by more than a 2-to-1 margin, according to the Institute for Southern Studies.
Phillips declined to tell Politico how much money AFP spent in North Carolina. The group is not required to disclose its contributions or spending.
“It was significant,” Phillips said. “It was one of the states we were most active.”
AFP recently said it would spend $500,000 in North Carolina to focus on town hall meetings, mass-marketing and grassroots organizing to rally support for tax reform, which would include a reduction or elimination of personal and corporate income taxes, Politico reports.
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