There were few 2014 candidates whose love for the Koch brothers was more transparent than Tom Cotton. During his senate campaign, Cotton infamously skipped out on Arkansas’s iconic Pink Tomato Festival to pal around with the Koch brothers and their closest billionaire friends at a secretive Southern California retreat.
At said summit, Cotton heaped praise on the Kochs and their network for boosting him, specifically praising Americans for Prosperity-Arkansas for playing a “critical role” in buoying the Republican Party within the state. Cotton has been in lock-step with AFP throughout his time in Congress — notably he was the only member of the Arkansas congressional delegation to oppose the Farm Bill, which is crucial to the state’s economy. In return for his strict adherence to the Koch agenda, AFP poured huge amounts of money into dishonest attack ads against Cotton’s opponent.
Well, with the help of the Koch brothers’ treasure chest, Cotton won his election and headed back to Washington. As for his campaign communications director? Well he just accepted a job as — you guessed it — the director of Americans For Prosperity-Arkansas.
It’s the latest in a chain of moves since the midterms that highlight just how deeply intertwined Koch-world and GOP really are. Joni Ernst hired her chief-of-staff away from the Koch-backed NFIB. Mitch McConnell’s new policy directorformerly lobbied for Koch Industries. Governor Doug Ducey picked a longtime Koch operative to be his chief-of-staff.
It’s getting harder and harder to tell where the Koch network ends and the GOP begins. That’s bad news for working families.