In a display of dumbfounding ignorance, Koch-funded Senator Tom Cotton today boldly declared:
“If anything, we have an under-incarceration problem.”
Cotton was speaking out against a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill that aims to curb mass incarceration. Legislation, it should be noted, that the Kochs claim they support.
Will Charles and David Koch — Tom Cotton’s sponsors to the tune of $8.1 million during the 2014 cycle — denounce their favorite (or second-favorite?) freshman Senator?
It’s no secret that Charles and David Kochs’ advocacy of criminal justice reform is disingenuous and self-serving. It’s all a PR sham and that’s why the Kochs almost certainly won’t publicly criticize their $8.1 million investment from Arkansas.
The Kochs And Tom Cotton
The Koch Network Spent Over $8.1 Million In Tom Cotton’s Senatorial Race In 2014
The Koch Network Was The Top Spender In Support Of Tom Cotton’s Campaign, Spending $8.1 Million On Ads. According to the Washington Post, “Arkansas: Democrats and Republicans spent $46 million on ads in the Natural State. Top Republican spenders on behalf of Rep. Tom Cotton: The Koch brothers’ network ($8.1 million, split between three entities), the Crossroads groups ($6.1 million) and Cotton’s campaign ($5.9 million). Top spenders on behalf of Sen. Mark Pryor (D): Senate Majority PAC and Patriot Majority ($6.6 million combined), Pryor’s campaign ($5.7 million) and the DSCC ($4.5 million).” [Washington Post, 10/29/14]
Freedom Partners Action Fund Spent At Least $3,279,200 In Ads Against Mark Pryor Or For Tom Cotton. According to Talk Business & Politics, “It should surprise no one who has been watching television, opened their mailbox, or answered their telephone in the past couple of months that spending in the U.S. Senate race between Sen. Mark Pryor and Rep. Tom Cotton has reached unprecedented levels. […] Here are the top groups that have spent more than $1 million for Cotton or against Pryor. Freedom Partners Action Fund, Inc. (Chamber of Commerce) – $3,279,200.85.” [Talk Business & Politics, 10/28/14]
- Freedom Partners Action Fund “Dished Out Nearly $4 Million” In Arkansas During The 2014 Cycle.According to the American Prospect, “5th Most Outside Spending: Arkansas – $39.9 Million Yes, outside spending in Arkansas may only be a measly half of what it was in North Carolina. But still, $40 million is not nothing. Money spent on behalf of Republican Tom Cotton romped that spent in favor of incumbent Mark Pryor. And (you guessed it), conservative groups outspent liberal groups. […] The usual suspects of conservative groups all showed up to play in Arkansas: Freedom Partners Action Fund dished out nearly $4 million. The NRA, Crossroads GPS, American Crossroads, and Arkansas Horizon all spent around $2 million each.” [American Prospect, 11/5/14]
Huffington Post: Freedom Partners Chamber Of Commerce Gave $885,000 To Citizenlink, Which Spent “Almost $250,000 On Direct Mail” Supporting Republican Senate Candidates Including Tom Cotton. According to the Huffington Post, “Over the past month, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the central hub of the Kochs’ dark money enterprise, contributed $885,000 to CitizenLink, a social welfare nonprofit focused on election engagement. […] The contributions to CitizenLink are being used in a ‘get out the vote’ effort to help elect Republicans who share their opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion rights.On Wednesday, CitizenLink reported spending almost $250,000 on direct mail to support Republican Senate candidates Bill Cassidy in Louisiana, Tom Cotton in Arkansas, Joni Ernst in Iowa, Cory Gardner in Colorado, Pat Roberts in Kansas, Dan Sullivan in Alaska and Thom Tillis in North Carolina.” [Huffington Post, 10/23/14]
Politico: Joni Ernst, Tom Cotton, And Cory Gardner “Each Collected About $60,000” From Victory Trust 2014, Which Hosted A Reception To Raise Money From Koch Network Donors. According to Politico, “Two weeks after her primary victory, she paid another visit to the Koch network, thanking its donors for their help during a closed-door speech at the network’s summer 2014 summit at the St. Regis in Dana Point, Calif. […] Fellow GOP Senate candidates Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Cory Gardner of Colorado also sat on the panel, which was moderated by Crank, the veteran Koch operative who owns Aegis Strategic. […] The three left Dana Point with a boost. Each collected about $60,000 or more from a little-noticed fundraising committee, Victory Trust 2014, that hosted a reception to raise money from network donors for candidates favored by the network, according to documents reviewed by POLITICO.” [Politico, 11/12/15]
Tom Cotton Received $77,650 From Koch Industries And The Koch Family During The 2014 And 2016 Election Cycles
Koch Industries And Its Associated Individuals Donated A Total Of $46,450 To Sen. Tom Cotton And His Leadership PAC Between 2013 And 2016. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Tom Cotton and his leadership PAC received a total of $31,450 from individuals associated with Koch Industries between 2013 and 2016, and $15,000 from KOCHPAC. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 5/19/16]
Members Of The Koch Family Donated A Total Of $31,200 To Tom Cotton During His 2014 Election. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, C Chase Koch donated a total of $5,200 to Cotton, Tom (R) in April 2014. Elizabeth B Koch donated a total of $5,200 to Cotton, Tom (R) in April 2014. Julia F Koch donated a total of $5,200 to Cotton, Tom (R) in April 2014. David H Koch donated a total of $5,200 to Cotton, Tom (R) in April 2014. Anna B Koch donated a total of $5,200 to Cotton, Tom (R) in April 2014. Charles G Koch donated a total of $5,200 to Cotton, Tom (R) in April 2014. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed5/19/16]
The Koch Network Provided Infrastructure For Tom Cotton’s Campaign On The Ground
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: Americans For Prosperity Conducted “Door-To-Door” Canvassing For Tom Cotton During His 2014 Election. According to an editorial by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “They fund basic operations like Americans for Prosperity, which goes door-to-door for Cotton on weekends and drags out Wanda and Jerry for television advertising. Otherwise they send money to a trust that, often stealthily, distributes the funds to so many conservative political operations that pundits have begun referring to the vast network as the Kochtopus.” [Editorial – Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via LexisNexis, 9/14/14]
Tom Cotton Used Products From I360 For His 2014 Campaign. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Arkansas Senate candidate Rep. Tom Cotton and others went with products from i360, owned by Freedom Partners, financed in part by billionaires Charles and David Koch . It has a $50 million-plus budget—three times Data Trust’s—and offers a range of products including access to a team of data scientists who search for trends and effective messages. With elections nearing, a cease-fire of sorts has taken hold. Freedom Partners and Data Trust have plans to share limited amounts of data.” [Wall Street Journal, 10/21/14]
Cotton Mingled With Koch Donors To Thank Them For Their Contributions To His 2014 Campaign
Tom Cotton Sat On A Panel With Sens. Joni Ernst And Cory Gardner At The Koch Network’s August 2014 Summit, Moderated By Aegis Strategic Owner Jeff Crank.According to Politico, “Two weeks after her primary victory, she paid another visit to the Koch network, thanking its donors for their help during a closed-door speech at the network’s summer 2014 summit at the St. Regis in Dana Point, Calif. […] Fellow GOP Senate candidates Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Cory Gardner of Colorado also sat on the panel, which was moderated by Crank, the veteran Koch operative who owns Aegis Strategic.” [Politico,11/12/15]
- Tom Cotton Attended Koch Conference In California While Skipping Pink Tomato Festival In Arkansas. According to The Huffington Post: “Cotton, meanwhile, took heat for backing out of the local Pink Tomato Festival to attend the Koch affair, with his opponent, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), all but accusing him of lacking home-state sensibilities.” [The Huffington Post, 8/26/14]
Washington Post: Sen. Tom Cotton Attended A Freedom Partners Event In January 2015 To Thank Donors For Donations To His 2014 Senatorial Bid. According to the Washington Post, “Saturday’s opening dinner, held on the resort’s wide lawn under strings of twinkling lights, celebrated a crop of new U.S. senators whose victories helped put the Senate back in GOP control. Their bids were lifted by the Freedom Partners network, which had pledged to spend close to $300 million in the run-up to the November elections. Sens. Steve Daines (Mont.), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Thom Tillis (N.C.), David Perdue (Ga.) and Cory Gardner (Colo.) were on hand to thank donors, according to people familiar with the event.” [Washington Post, 1/26/15]