News

U.S.

Koch Network Willing to Back Dem. Candidates In 2020

David Koch in 2012 (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the political arm of the billionaire Koch brothers’ sprawling influence network, which has traditionally confined its support to Republicans, plans to pursue a “bipartisan approach” when determining which candidates to back in the 2020 election cycle.

In a memo distributed to employees Thursday and obtained by CNBC, AFP CEO Emily Seidel announced that the group will evaluate candidates entirely based on their support for its preferred policies without respect to party affiliation.

“AFP or AFP Action [the group’s super PAC] will be ready to engage contested U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and state-level primary races, including Republican, Democrat, Independent or otherwise, to support sitting legislators who lead by uniting with others to pass principled policy and get good things done,” Seidel’s memo said.

The Koch network, collectively referred to as “Stand Together,” has struggled to find a political home since President Trump took office.

While the group did endorse the bipartisan criminal-justice-reform package signed last year, it has staunchly opposed the administration’s restrictionist immigration preferences — especially its approach to the status of so-called Dreamers — as well as the protectionist trade policies that have increasingly captivated the congressional Republicans.

According to Seidel’s memo, the network has created four new PACs to address these issues and provide support to any candidate, Democrat or Republican, who shares its goals. The Economic Opportunity PAC, for example, will back candidates opposed to increased regulation on business, while the Uniting for Free Trade PAC will support candidates giving voice to Americans harmed by tariffs.

It remains unclear whether the network’s intention to support candidates irrespective of party will materialize, since Charles Koch himself expressed the same sentiment ahead of the 2018 midterms, during which his group went on to back only Republicans.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Hillary Ruins the Plan

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the first in a series of excerpts.  There really was a collusion plot. It really did target our election system. It absolutely sought to usurp our capacity for ... Read More
Culture

An Insider’s Guide to Italian Insults

The tragicomic irony of Chris Cuomo’s pugilistic outburst earlier this week — cursing and physically threatening a man for taunting him with a reference to the movie The Godfather — is that the CNN anchor reinforced the usual tropes about Italian Americans. We are all wise-guys, goons, and Mafiosi, just ... Read More
Religion

Another Pop-Culture Christian Loses His Faith

It’s happened again. For the second time in three weeks, a prominent (at least in Evangelical circles) Christian has renounced his faith. In July, it was Josh Harris, a pastor and author of the mega-best-selling purity-culture book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. This month, it’s Hillsong United songwriter and ... Read More
World

The End of Hong Kong as We Know It

The protests in Hong Kong have been going on for more than four months now, and no matter how the current crisis concludes in the coming days or weeks, it will mark the end of Hong Kong as we know it. The protests started in response to an extradition bill that was proposed by the city’s Beijing-backed ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Great Mystery

Kevin Williamson disputes my characterization of his riposte. He writes: I wrote that people can choose what kind of work they want to do, and what kind of services they want to consume, without any help from Michael. Kevin then accuses me of being a stouthearted defender of the “Real America.” If ... Read More