MEMO: Kochs Retreat For 2016 With Trump In The Spotlight & Their Dirty Laundry In The Press

January 30, 2016

To: Interested Parties
From: Eddie Vale, VP, American Bridge 21st Century 
Date: January 30, 2016 
Re: Kochs Retreat For 2016 With Trump In The Spotlight & Their Dirty Laundry In The Press

On Monday, Republican caucus-goers across Iowa will gather to take the first official steps in selecting the eventual GOP nominee for President. But first, far from Des Moines, a group of our country’s richest 0.1% will gather at a ritzy luxury resort to plot how they’ll buy the White House and further advance their self-enriching agenda in the Senate, House, and state legislatures across the country.

The Kochs are hungrier than ever to further their control over not just the GOP, but our entire government. This weekend is a rally for drumming up support — and serious cash — for electing the Kochs’ puppet candidates and advancing the Kochs’ agenda that’s good for billionaire families like theirs, but bad for almost every other family in the country. 

Here’s what we’re watching for in California this weekend:

What is the Koch network going to do about the GOP frontrunner?

The Summer of Trump became the Year of Trump, and we’re edging ever-closer to the Cycle of Trump. That presents a serious problem for the Koch network: Trump’s the single candidate the Kochs don’t control. During the Kochs’ last donor summit, Trump mocked the GOP candidates who attended as “puppets.” 

As voters head to caucuses and polls, there’s no question that Donald Trump is the Republican frontrunner and that the GOP has become the party of Trump. And that’s worrying GOP megadonors like Charles Koch and establishment Republicans up and down the ballot. 

Gathered in fancy hotel ballrooms, the Koch network must discuss their plan for when Donald Trump is the Republican nominee. Or, plot a last ditch effort to spearhead and finance a campaign to tear him down — a contingency that they’ve in the past feared will backfire.

Do the Kochs have answers to the many secrets recently uncovered about their family, political, and business history?

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s been unearthed about the Kochs in recent months. Surely their donors have  a lot of questions. How will they be answered?

Charles and David’s father, Fred Koch, helped build the “third-largest oil refinery in the Third Reich, a critical industrial cog in Hitler’s war machine” — and a facility that Adolf Hitler personally approved. If that weren’t bad enough, new discoveries, like that the facility was so essential that it was rebuilt with “Jewish slave labor from concentration camps,” have further entrenched the Koch fortune’s foundation in Nazi Germany. 

Koch “constituency” groups like Americans for Prosperity, the LIBRE Initiative, Concerned Veterans for America, Generation Opportunity, 60 Plus, Concerned Women for America admitted to working together to advance Charles and David’s agenda above all else, and to feeding personal data from their constituencies back to the Kochs’ for-profit data company, i360. 

The Kochs’ “Bridge to Wellbeing” program was unmasked as an effort that hosts turkey giveaways, couponing classes, and more, to push the Kochs’ self-enriching agenda that hurts the very people they’re claiming to help

A new report revealed the Koch brothers gave their “blessing” to a political consulting firm, Aegis Strategic, to create a new, secretive nonprofit that spent hundreds of thousands in dark money on strategically timed ads to attack a rival of one of the Kochs’ chosen candidates in a Republican primary.

Charles Koch used the racist and anti-Semitic John Birch Society — of which his father, Fred Koch, was a founding member; and of which he and his brother, David, were similarly members — as a model for the vast Koch network. 

The Koch network has a “secretive,” “intelligence” operation that’s “cloak and dagger – like the CIA,” to fight back against groups on the left . 

The Koch brothers and their big-industry allies have for years had their sights on privatizing and profiting off of America’s public lands.

Their much-touted criminal justice reform efforts were outed as a PR boost aimed at protecting white collar criminals. 

Bridge Project focus groups revealed that to know the Kochs is to dislike them, and that voters are turned off by their harmful, self-enriching agenda.

The face of the Kochs’ veterans front-group, CVA, mysteriously “transitioned” at the beginning of an election year. 

How are the Kochs’ going to save their vulnerable puppets in the Senate?

While the race for the White House is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, the fight for control of the U.S. Senate has a huge impact on the Kochs’ odds of advancing their agenda and boosting their bottom line. With competitive Senate races in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Colorado, and Nevada, the Kochs are going to have to spend more money than ever to keep their puppet, Mitch McConnell, as Majority Leader.

Koch front groups are already propping up Koch puppet candidates and attacking Democrats with false and misleading ads in: New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other states, because they know they can’t afford to lose the Senate Republicans that do their bidding.

However, in many of those states, the Koch brand is toxic. When voters know the Kochs, they dislike them — and their puppet candidates, too. 

Which Republicans are getting primaried? Which crowded Republican primaries are the Kochs going to play in?

If the Kochs are true to their word, we can expect a bunch of primary challenges coming out of the woodwork against Republicans who voted against the Ex-Im Bank and haven’t back the Kochs’ PR-driven pet project, criminal justice reform. Are the Kochs going to decide this weekend which Republicans should be expecting tough, well-funded primary challenges this summer? Will any of their handpicked candidates be in attendance?

What’s their latest plan to aggressively overtake the Republican Party?

There’s no question that the Koch network is surpassing and taking over the GOP. According to POLITICO, the Koch network has 1,200 full time staff — “about 3½ times as many employees as the Republican National Committee and its congressional campaign arms.” The RNC bragged about raising just-over $105 million in 2016 — but that’s only about 11% of what the Koch network plans on spending in 2016. 

And then there’s the Kochs voter file data dominance. The Kochs have a network of front groups that reach out to Latinos, veterans, students, women, and others to push the Kochagenda, which in reality hurts the people they claim to help. Along the way, they also collect personal data to ship off to the Kochs’ data company, i360. As a result, the Kochs’ data file is so superior to the RNC’s own that it’s being used by the RNC and some Presidential campaigns.

The Koch network ultimately plans to eclipse and privatize the GOP: they aim for Republican candidates to be more beholden to the Kochs than to their own party. This weekend should reveal the next steps the Kochs plan to take in privatizing the GOP.

What’s planned for the promised $889 million?

The Kochs promised to spend $889 million during the 2016 election cycle (and Charles is bullish on fundraising), but more than a year into the cycle, according to public disclosures, Koch groups have only spent $22.5 million, or 2.5%. That leaves the Kochs more than $3 million per day to spend in 2016. Where’s that money going to go?

What returns are they expecting on their 2016 investments?

Charles Koch said it himself: The Kochs “expect something in return” for the nearly-$900 million their network plans to spend in 2016. This weekend will give the Kochs an opportunity to lay out their quid pro quo expectations. 

As much time and money as the Kochs have spent attacking President Obama and other Democrats, the brothers’ net-worth has nonetheless ballooned, proof that they’re even greedier than we thought — and excited for the selfish-agenda-pushing possibilities if their handpicked preferred candidates win the White House, Congress, and more in 2016. 

Bottom Line

While Charles and David Koch use the next ten months to spend millions propping up their puppet candidates and attacking Democrats, their actions and agenda will be on center stage. No matter how hard the Kochs try, they can’t hide the simple truth that their profit-driven business operations and self-interested political philosophy hurts real families and working people across the country.

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation