There’s a lot at stake tonight for the eight Republicans at the main stage debate in Las Vegas, but they aren’t the only ones betting on a good showing in Nevada. The Koch brothers are also upping the ante in the Silver State. The billionaire brothers have long appeared to have money to burn, and what better place to strike it rich (again) than the home of Las Vegas? After all, the Kochs were never going to sit back and let Sheldon Adelson have all the fun — it’s not in their nature.
Earlier this year, Bridge Project released a report on the Kochs’ efforts to gain political control of Nevada entitled, “Koch Rush In The Silver State.” The combined draw of natural resources and favorable tax policies brought Koch Industries to the state. Using their massive wealth, the brothers are doing everything they can to rig Nevada in their favor:
Expanding Their Political Network
- The Kochs have increased their involvement in Nevada by expanding Americans for Prosperity, Concerned Veterans for America, and the LIBRE Initiative in the state.
- Recognizing the growing power of the Hispanic and Latino electorate, especially in Nevada, the Kochs’ LIBRE Initiative bills itself as a grassroots organization that advocates for the Latino community.
- LIBRE is at the beck and the call of the Kochs, pushing policies that hurt the very people it claims to help.
Rep. Joe Heck’s Bid To Replace Senator Harry Reid
- The Kochs’ action in Nevada has rightly earned them one of their best known critics, Senator Harry Reid.
- The Kochs have long had Reid in their crosshairs, spending millions to unseat him in 2010 and already boosting U.S. Representative Joe Heck’s bid to replace him in 2016.
- Heck received $30,000 from Koch Industries between 2011-2014, and in 2014, AFP spent $200,000 on a “TV ad praising” Heck for his opposition the Affordable Care Act. Since Bridge Project’s report was released, the Kochs cut Heck another $2,500 check.
- According to Politico, Heck “is considered among the Koch favorites to challenge Reid in 2016.”
- AFP gave Heck a “100%” on their score card, and Heck has signed AFP’s taxpayer protection pledge.
Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI)
- For some time now, the conservative State Policy Network’s NPRI has given the Kochs political sway in the state.
- The Kochs endowed huge amounts to NPRI to ensure they push policies that help the Kochs’ bottom line.
- NPRI has been especially helpful with the Kochs’ interest in buying up public lands. With NPRI lobbying for the transfer of lands to state governments, the state can then sell off public lands to private entities like Koch Industries.
Read the full report here: