Koch Brothers Political Network Expanding To New States, Upgrading Technology
Here's your headline/huge news of the day — from Fox News, no less: "Koch Brothers Picking A Candidate" pic.twitter.com/9FS4KTm16u
— American Bridge (@American_Bridge) April 22, 2015
The influence of the Koch Brothers is set to expand even further than the pages of Mother Jones. According to a story in Politico, the political network setup by Charles and David Koch to serve their interests is increasing its reach and technical proficiency.
The expansion plan is laid out in a memo reviewed by reporter Ken Vogel that details where the network is focusing on and how it plans to be more effective by better utilizing its already impressive data management system. The principal vessel for augmenting the Koch Brothers influence will be Americans For Prosperity (AFP) which will set up new chapters in Alabama, Idaho, North Dakota and Utah.
AFP played a central role in the rise of the so-called “Tea Party” movement and continues to campaign against government regulation of the businesses like Koch Industries.
The plan comes with a $125 million 2015 budget for Americans for Prosperity, the most robust arm in the network of small-government advocacy groups helmed by the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch. That’s the most the group has ever spent in a non-election year and the documents call the plan “beyond the biggest, boldest, broadest effort AFP has ever undertaken.”…
The briefing document, which is called a “Partner Prospectus” is glossy, bound and marked “confidential” and “privileged” on its cover. “Please do not disclose, discuss, or disseminate the contents herewith.” Sent to major donors and prospects last month, it includes previously unknown statistics about AFP’s staffing (539 field staffers in key states in 2014), advertising spending ($60 million on TV, radio and online ads in 2014) and canvassing (2.4 million doors knocked and 7.5 million calls made). It outlines the development and testing of a “closed-loop data system,” online predictive dialing system and mobile canvassing app “that integrates household data, GPS mapping, and survey software.”
The fundraising and organizing network will reportedly steer clear of the Republican presidential primary unless a candidate enters the race they find unacceptable like Lindsey Graham. Much of the what the network focuses on is the boring but essential work of organizing in off-year elections and funding conservative infrastructure.
A report in the Washington Post put the total figure the Koch Brothers network was looking to spend in the 2016 elections at $889 million. If that’s true, they are just getting started.