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Recipients of Koch Machine Largess in 2016, So Far

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 By Lisa Graves and David Armiak, PR Watch | News Analysis
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(Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)Disclosed spending is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Koch machine's activities to help win the elections it targets. (Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)Recent articles in the national media, such as the piece in the National Review, suggest that Charles and David Koch are less interested and less involved in national politics in the 2016 election cycle than in previous years.

This latest PR effort comes despite the fact that $400 million of the $889 pledge by the Kochs through their "Freedom Partners" network has already been invested in the outcome of the 2016 elections, with more money to be spent.

A close examination of recent campaign finance disclosures and other data reveals that Team Koch has already identified some of their candidates for 2016 and in many cases has already started spending big on behalf of candidates in races for the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, state Governorships and state Attorney General races -- as the presidential tickets remain unsettled and controversial.

For example, the Center for Media and Democracy/PRWatch (CMD) looked at disclosed donations by Koch Industries' KochPAC. This is limited to the donations that are required to be disclosed under federal and state law but, as the Nation and others have documented, Koch Industries also attempts to indoctrinate its employees on who and what to vote for or against, as documented here.

CMD also examined the activities of the Aegis Strategic PAC.

Aegis Strategic is a Koch-funded political consulting firm that seeks to "help electable advocates of the freedom and opportunity agenda who will be forceful at both the policy and political levels." The company is owned and run by Jeff Crank, a Koch operative who previously served as state director for the Colorado arm of David Koch's "Americans for Prosperity" operation.

The Kochs' Freedom Partners has provided at least $1 million to Aegis Strategic since its founding, and Mother Jones has reported that "People who've spoken with Crank about Aegis say he told them that the firm has access to the Kochs' formidable donor network."

CMD also reviewed news reports and press releases on the activities of a variety of Koch electioneering vehicles, including Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Partners Action Fund, Concerned Women for American, Concerned Veterans for America, and the 60 Plus Association.

Notably, much of this research is focused on disclosed spending through Political Action Committee reports, but the bulk of the Koch network spending is through dark money vehicles that don't disclose the donors or the recipients of the Koch-fueled largesse.

Spending by the Koch dark money network usually comes in the form of big ad buys on TV and the internet, framed as "issue ads" closer to elections, along with robo-calls, door-knocking with candidate-specific door hangers, rallies, and other operations that are more visible nearer to the elections.

Also, the Kochs have bankrolled an array of groups to aid in their ambitions -- such as Libre, Generation Opportunity, and the like -- that don't report spending in elections but are poised to try to impact the elections. Their activities are not part of this tally issued by CMD today.

The latest Koch spin about their engagement in electoral politics must be viewed in light of past claims about what counts as electoral politics. For example, as CMD wrote in the last presidential race, David Koch's Americans for Prosperity claimed to the press that the $10 million it spent in the weeks leading up to the recall election of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker "had nothing to do with any candidates, political parties or ongoing races."

But audio obtained by Lauren Windsor and the Undercurrent revealed that at the semi-annual Koch billionaires' conclave, Americans for Prosperity was described as a "tremendous partner" in Walker's win.

So, disclosed spending is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Koch machine's activities to help win the elections they target.

But, six months out, here are the Koch Candidates identified so far, based on disclosed donations or other visible support.

 

US House of Representatives

Alabama

Rep. Robert Aderholt (AL-04) received $1,000 from KochPAC to his Robert Aderholt for Congress in late March.

Arizona

Martha McSally (AZ-02) appears to be backed by Aegis Strategic and its PAC. Although she is not listed on its PAC site, AegisPAC contributed $13,200 to her campaign.

Colorado

Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-03) received $3,000 in contributions from KochPAC in late March to VoteTipton.com.

Georgia

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (GA-11) received $1,000 from KochPAC to Loudermilk for Congress in late March.

Indiana

Jim Banks (IN-03) is backed by Aegis Strategic and its PAC. He received $37,200 in contributions from Aegis PAC.

Rep. Todd Rokita (IN-04) received a contribution of $2,500 to Hoosiers for Rokita, Inc. in late March from KochPAC.

Rep. Susan Brooks (IN-05) received a contribution of $2,000 to Friends of Susan Brooks in late March from KochPAC.

Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) received a contribution of $2,500 to Luke Messer for Congress in late March from KochPAC.

Kentucky

Rep. Brett Guthrie (KY-02) received a $1,000 contribution from KochPAC to Guthrie for Congress in late March.

Rep. Andy Barr (KY-06) received a $2,500 contribution from KochPAC to Andy Barr for Congress, Inc.

Michigan

Rep. Bill Huizenga (MI-02) received $3,500 in contributions from KochPAC in late March to Huizenga for Congress.

Rep. Dave Trott (MI-11) received a $1,500 contribution from KochPAC in late March to Trott for Congress, Inc.

Minnesota

Stewart Mills is running to unseat incumbent Rep. Rick Nolan (MN-08). KochPAC gave Friends of Stewart Mills $5,000.

Nebraska

Don Bacon (NE-02) is backed by Aegis Strategic and its PAC. He has received $22,600 in contributions through AegisPAC. The Koch-funded Concerned Women for America has also endorsed Bacon.

New Hampshire

Pam Tucker (NH-01) is backed by Aegis Strategic and its PAC. Jeffrey Crank, President of Aegis Strategic has contributed $300 to her campaign. AegisPAC also contributed $2,700 to Friends of Pam Tucker.

New Jersey

Rep. Scott Garret (NJ-05) received $3,000 from KochPAC to his Scott Garrett for Congress in late March.

New York

Rep. Lee Zeldin (NY-01) is backed by Aegis Strategic and its PAC. Zeldin received $22,600 from Aegis PAC.

John Faso (NY-19) is backed by Aegis Strategic and its PAC. Faso received $22,600 from AegisPAC.

Rep. Chris Collins (NY-27) received a $1,500 contribution from KochPAC to Collins for Congress.

North Carolina

Rep. George Holding (NC-13) is retiring from his current seat to run in the 2nd District. KochPAC has contributed $1,000 to George Holding for Congress, Inc. in support of his bid. The Kochs' Americans for Prosperity (AFP) also recently took out a six figure ad campaign to attack incumbent Rep. Renee Elmers (NC-02), his opponent in the Republican primary.

Rep. Richard Hudson (NC-08) received $2,500 from KochPAC to Hudson for Congress in late March.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC-10) received $2,500 from KochPAC to McHenry for Congress in late March.

North Dakota

Rep. Kevin Cramer (ND) received a $1,000 contribution from KochPAC to Cramer for Congress.

Ohio

Rep. Jim Renacci (OH-16) received a $2,500 contribution from KochPAC to Jim Renacci for Congress in late March.

Oklahoma

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) received a $2,500 contribution from KochPAC to his Mullin for Congress in late March.

Pennsylvania

Rep. Mike Kelly (PA-03) received a $1,500 contribution from KochPAC to Mike Kelly for Congress in late March.

Rep. Scott Perry (PA-04) received a $4,000 contribution from KochPAC to Patriots for Perry in late March.

Rep. Bill Shuster (PA-09) received a $2,500 contribution contribution from KochPAC to Bill Shuster for Congress.

Rep. Keith Rothfus (PA-12) received $4,000 from KochPAC to Rothfus for Congress in late March.

Texas

Rep. Bill Flores (TX-17) received a $2,000 contribution from KochPAC to Bill Flores for Congress.

Utah

Rep. Mia Love (UT-04) received a $1,500 contribution from KochPAC to Friends of Mia Love in late March.

Virginia

Rep. Mogan Griffith (VA-09) received a $5,000 contribution from KochPAC to Morgan Griffith for Congress in late March.

Wisconsin

Rep. Glenn Grothman (WI-06) received $7,500 in contributions from KochPAC to Glenn Grothman for Congress in late March.

 

U.S. Senate

Alabama

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) received support from the Koch-funded 60 Plus Association through a robocall campaign. The group did not disclose how much it spent.

Nevada

Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) has been a recipient of Koch electoral support for many years. The Center for Media and Democracy previously reported that "Koch Industries has been one of Rep. Heck's top contributors throughout his career, and Heck voted with Koch-held positions nearly 90 percent of the time in 2015. In 2014, the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity also ran a $200,000 advertisement in support of Heck." In Heck's race for the NV senate seat left open by Harry Reid, another Koch-funded group, Concerned Veterans for America has been placing ads supporting Heck with a $700,000 broadcast and digital ad buy. The Kochs' Freedom Partners Action Fund spent $1,036,945 on ads opposing Heck’s opponent, Catherine Masto, in late April-early May. Friends of Joe Heck received $2,500 from KochPAC in late March. AegisPAC backs Heck as well.

North Carolina

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) received a $1,000 contribution from the Koch PAC to the Richard Burr Committee.

North Dakota

Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) received a $2,500 contribution from the KochPAC to Hoeven for Senate in late March.

Ohio

The Kochs support incumbent Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) in his bid for reelection. Charles Koch has donated $2,900 to his campaign. The Koch Industries PAC has contributed $2,000 to his campaign as well. Portman's opponent, Former Gov. Ted Stickland (OH) has been attacked by the Kochs' Freedom Partners Action Fund. A $2 million TV and digital ad buy was taken out by the group criticizing his tax and spending policies as governor. AegisPAC backs Portman, too.

Pennsylvania

Rep. Pat Toomey (R-PA) received $2,500 from the Koch Industries PAC in 2015. Listed in the same disclosure, Toomey’s PAC received $32,100 from Aegis PAC. Aegis Strategic’s PAC is also backing Toomey.

Wisconsin

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is backed by Aegis Strategic and Aegis PAC. He received donations from Aegis PAC for $30,000 in 2015-2016. The Kochs' right-hand man Richard Fink, who has worked for the Kochs and advised them for decades, has donated $2,700 to Johnson. Americans for Prosperity has rolled out a $1.1 million campaign in support of Johnson. In addition to the TV spot, the group will support a door knocking campaign in La Crosse, Waukesha and Milwaukee. The Kochs' Freedom Partners Action Fund spent $2,025,048.99 attacking Russ Feingold, Johnson’s opponent in late April-early May.

 

State Governor Races

Indiana

Koch’s are backing Gov. Mike Pence in his battle for reelection. Americans for Prosperity are running ads in the state supporting him. Marc Short, longtime Koch operative, is reported to be advising Pence since Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-FL) presidential campaign imploded.

Montana

Aegis Strategic and its PAC are backing Greg Gianforte for Governor. The Kochs' Americans for Prosperity sponsored a public talk by Gianforte on September 17, 2015 at Montana State University.

North Carolina

Although no Koch money supporting Pat McCrory (R) could be identified yet this year in his race against State Attorney General Roy Cooper, in the fall of 2015 the Kochs' Americans for Prosperity took out a six-digit ad buy praising the Governor for cutting personal income and corporate tax rates. Koch operative Art Pope, who has served on the board of the Kochs' Americans for Prosperity and is an alum of the American Legislative Exchange Council, was his budget director in his first years in the governorship.

West Virginia

Aegis Strategic and its PAC are backing Bill Cole for Governor. Aegis contributed $1,000 to Cole’s campaign in August 2015. The Kochs' Freedom Partners Action Fund donated $100,000 to his PAC Accelerate West Virginia.

The Kochs and their various operations have a history of also getting involved in school board races -- as with Colorado, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and more -- in addition to some initiative fights, which are not covered in Part 1 of this special report.

This snapshot focuses on the federal and statewide races so far, but there is more to come, especially as the season for so-called "issue ads" ramps up in the coming months and as the ground game -- like the Kochs' Americans for Prosperity Grassroots Leadership Academy-trained organizers -- gets deployed along with Koch-orchestrated bus tours or rallies in the autumn.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

David Armiak

David Armiak is a researcher and writer at the Center for Media and Democracy. He is a cultural anthropologist who has research interests not only in US politics, but also in South Korea's social movements.

Lisa Graves

Lisa Graves is the Center for Media and Democracy's executive director and the editor-in-chief of PR Watch. She previously served as the chief counsel for nominations on the US Senate Judiciary Committee and deputy assistant attorney general in the US Department of Justice, among other roles.

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Recipients of Koch Machine Largess in 2016, So Far

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 By Lisa Graves and David Armiak, PR Watch | News Analysis
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print

(Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)Disclosed spending is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Koch machine's activities to help win the elections it targets. (Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)Recent articles in the national media, such as the piece in the National Review, suggest that Charles and David Koch are less interested and less involved in national politics in the 2016 election cycle than in previous years.

This latest PR effort comes despite the fact that $400 million of the $889 pledge by the Kochs through their "Freedom Partners" network has already been invested in the outcome of the 2016 elections, with more money to be spent.

A close examination of recent campaign finance disclosures and other data reveals that Team Koch has already identified some of their candidates for 2016 and in many cases has already started spending big on behalf of candidates in races for the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, state Governorships and state Attorney General races -- as the presidential tickets remain unsettled and controversial.

For example, the Center for Media and Democracy/PRWatch (CMD) looked at disclosed donations by Koch Industries' KochPAC. This is limited to the donations that are required to be disclosed under federal and state law but, as the Nation and others have documented, Koch Industries also attempts to indoctrinate its employees on who and what to vote for or against, as documented here.

CMD also examined the activities of the Aegis Strategic PAC.

Aegis Strategic is a Koch-funded political consulting firm that seeks to "help electable advocates of the freedom and opportunity agenda who will be forceful at both the policy and political levels." The company is owned and run by Jeff Crank, a Koch operative who previously served as state director for the Colorado arm of David Koch's "Americans for Prosperity" operation.

The Kochs' Freedom Partners has provided at least $1 million to Aegis Strategic since its founding, and Mother Jones has reported that "People who've spoken with Crank about Aegis say he told them that the firm has access to the Kochs' formidable donor network."

CMD also reviewed news reports and press releases on the activities of a variety of Koch electioneering vehicles, including Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Partners Action Fund, Concerned Women for American, Concerned Veterans for America, and the 60 Plus Association.

Notably, much of this research is focused on disclosed spending through Political Action Committee reports, but the bulk of the Koch network spending is through dark money vehicles that don't disclose the donors or the recipients of the Koch-fueled largesse.

Spending by the Koch dark money network usually comes in the form of big ad buys on TV and the internet, framed as "issue ads" closer to elections, along with robo-calls, door-knocking with candidate-specific door hangers, rallies, and other operations that are more visible nearer to the elections.

Also, the Kochs have bankrolled an array of groups to aid in their ambitions -- such as Libre, Generation Opportunity, and the like -- that don't report spending in elections but are poised to try to impact the elections. Their activities are not part of this tally issued by CMD today.

The latest Koch spin about their engagement in electoral politics must be viewed in light of past claims about what counts as electoral politics. For example, as CMD wrote in the last presidential race, David Koch's Americans for Prosperity claimed to the press that the $10 million it spent in the weeks leading up to the recall election of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker "had nothing to do with any candidates, political parties or ongoing races."

But audio obtained by Lauren Windsor and the Undercurrent revealed that at the semi-annual Koch billionaires' conclave, Americans for Prosperity was described as a "tremendous partner" in Walker's win.

So, disclosed spending is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Koch machine's activities to help win the elections they target.

But, six months out, here are the Koch Candidates identified so far, based on disclosed donations or other visible support.

 

US House of Representatives

Alabama

Rep. Robert Aderholt (AL-04) received $1,000 from KochPAC to his Robert Aderholt for Congress in late March.

Arizona

Martha McSally (AZ-02) appears to be backed by Aegis Strategic and its PAC. Although she is not listed on its PAC site, AegisPAC contributed $13,200 to her campaign.

Colorado

Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-03) received $3,000 in contributions from KochPAC in late March to VoteTipton.com.

Georgia

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (GA-11) received $1,000 from KochPAC to Loudermilk for Congress in late March.

Indiana

Jim Banks (IN-03) is backed by Aegis Strategic and its PAC. He received $37,200 in contributions from Aegis PAC.

Rep. Todd Rokita (IN-04) received a contribution of $2,500 to Hoosiers for Rokita, Inc. in late March from KochPAC.

Rep. Susan Brooks (IN-05) received a contribution of $2,000 to Friends of Susan Brooks in late March from KochPAC.

Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) received a contribution of $2,500 to Luke Messer for Congress in late March from KochPAC.

Kentucky

Rep. Brett Guthrie (KY-02) received a $1,000 contribution from KochPAC to Guthrie for Congress in late March.

Rep. Andy Barr (KY-06) received a $2,500 contribution from KochPAC to Andy Barr for Congress, Inc.

Michigan

Rep. Bill Huizenga (MI-02) received $3,500 in contributions from KochPAC in late March to Huizenga for Congress.

Rep. Dave Trott (MI-11) received a $1,500 contribution from KochPAC in late March to Trott for Congress, Inc.

Minnesota

Stewart Mills is running to unseat incumbent Rep. Rick Nolan (MN-08). KochPAC gave Friends of Stewart Mills $5,000.

Nebraska

Don Bacon (NE-02) is backed by Aegis Strategic and its PAC. He has received $22,600 in contributions through AegisPAC. The Koch-funded Concerned Women for America has also endorsed Bacon.

New Hampshire

Pam Tucker (NH-01) is backed by Aegis Strategic and its PAC. Jeffrey Crank, President of Aegis Strategic has contributed $300 to her campaign. AegisPAC also contributed $2,700 to Friends of Pam Tucker.

New Jersey

Rep. Scott Garret (NJ-05) received $3,000 from KochPAC to his Scott Garrett for Congress in late March.

New York

Rep. Lee Zeldin (NY-01) is backed by Aegis Strategic and its PAC. Zeldin received $22,600 from Aegis PAC.

John Faso (NY-19) is backed by Aegis Strategic and its PAC. Faso received $22,600 from AegisPAC.

Rep. Chris Collins (NY-27) received a $1,500 contribution from KochPAC to Collins for Congress.

North Carolina

Rep. George Holding (NC-13) is retiring from his current seat to run in the 2nd District. KochPAC has contributed $1,000 to George Holding for Congress, Inc. in support of his bid. The Kochs' Americans for Prosperity (AFP) also recently took out a six figure ad campaign to attack incumbent Rep. Renee Elmers (NC-02), his opponent in the Republican primary.

Rep. Richard Hudson (NC-08) received $2,500 from KochPAC to Hudson for Congress in late March.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC-10) received $2,500 from KochPAC to McHenry for Congress in late March.

North Dakota

Rep. Kevin Cramer (ND) received a $1,000 contribution from KochPAC to Cramer for Congress.

Ohio

Rep. Jim Renacci (OH-16) received a $2,500 contribution from KochPAC to Jim Renacci for Congress in late March.

Oklahoma

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) received a $2,500 contribution from KochPAC to his Mullin for Congress in late March.

Pennsylvania

Rep. Mike Kelly (PA-03) received a $1,500 contribution from KochPAC to Mike Kelly for Congress in late March.

Rep. Scott Perry (PA-04) received a $4,000 contribution from KochPAC to Patriots for Perry in late March.

Rep. Bill Shuster (PA-09) received a $2,500 contribution contribution from KochPAC to Bill Shuster for Congress.

Rep. Keith Rothfus (PA-12) received $4,000 from KochPAC to Rothfus for Congress in late March.

Texas

Rep. Bill Flores (TX-17) received a $2,000 contribution from KochPAC to Bill Flores for Congress.

Utah

Rep. Mia Love (UT-04) received a $1,500 contribution from KochPAC to Friends of Mia Love in late March.

Virginia

Rep. Mogan Griffith (VA-09) received a $5,000 contribution from KochPAC to Morgan Griffith for Congress in late March.

Wisconsin

Rep. Glenn Grothman (WI-06) received $7,500 in contributions from KochPAC to Glenn Grothman for Congress in late March.

 

U.S. Senate

Alabama

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) received support from the Koch-funded 60 Plus Association through a robocall campaign. The group did not disclose how much it spent.

Nevada

Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) has been a recipient of Koch electoral support for many years. The Center for Media and Democracy previously reported that "Koch Industries has been one of Rep. Heck's top contributors throughout his career, and Heck voted with Koch-held positions nearly 90 percent of the time in 2015. In 2014, the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity also ran a $200,000 advertisement in support of Heck." In Heck's race for the NV senate seat left open by Harry Reid, another Koch-funded group, Concerned Veterans for America has been placing ads supporting Heck with a $700,000 broadcast and digital ad buy. The Kochs' Freedom Partners Action Fund spent $1,036,945 on ads opposing Heck’s opponent, Catherine Masto, in late April-early May. Friends of Joe Heck received $2,500 from KochPAC in late March. AegisPAC backs Heck as well.

North Carolina

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) received a $1,000 contribution from the Koch PAC to the Richard Burr Committee.

North Dakota

Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) received a $2,500 contribution from the KochPAC to Hoeven for Senate in late March.

Ohio

The Kochs support incumbent Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) in his bid for reelection. Charles Koch has donated $2,900 to his campaign. The Koch Industries PAC has contributed $2,000 to his campaign as well. Portman's opponent, Former Gov. Ted Stickland (OH) has been attacked by the Kochs' Freedom Partners Action Fund. A $2 million TV and digital ad buy was taken out by the group criticizing his tax and spending policies as governor. AegisPAC backs Portman, too.

Pennsylvania

Rep. Pat Toomey (R-PA) received $2,500 from the Koch Industries PAC in 2015. Listed in the same disclosure, Toomey’s PAC received $32,100 from Aegis PAC. Aegis Strategic’s PAC is also backing Toomey.

Wisconsin

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is backed by Aegis Strategic and Aegis PAC. He received donations from Aegis PAC for $30,000 in 2015-2016. The Kochs' right-hand man Richard Fink, who has worked for the Kochs and advised them for decades, has donated $2,700 to Johnson. Americans for Prosperity has rolled out a $1.1 million campaign in support of Johnson. In addition to the TV spot, the group will support a door knocking campaign in La Crosse, Waukesha and Milwaukee. The Kochs' Freedom Partners Action Fund spent $2,025,048.99 attacking Russ Feingold, Johnson’s opponent in late April-early May.

 

State Governor Races

Indiana

Koch’s are backing Gov. Mike Pence in his battle for reelection. Americans for Prosperity are running ads in the state supporting him. Marc Short, longtime Koch operative, is reported to be advising Pence since Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-FL) presidential campaign imploded.

Montana

Aegis Strategic and its PAC are backing Greg Gianforte for Governor. The Kochs' Americans for Prosperity sponsored a public talk by Gianforte on September 17, 2015 at Montana State University.

North Carolina

Although no Koch money supporting Pat McCrory (R) could be identified yet this year in his race against State Attorney General Roy Cooper, in the fall of 2015 the Kochs' Americans for Prosperity took out a six-digit ad buy praising the Governor for cutting personal income and corporate tax rates. Koch operative Art Pope, who has served on the board of the Kochs' Americans for Prosperity and is an alum of the American Legislative Exchange Council, was his budget director in his first years in the governorship.

West Virginia

Aegis Strategic and its PAC are backing Bill Cole for Governor. Aegis contributed $1,000 to Cole’s campaign in August 2015. The Kochs' Freedom Partners Action Fund donated $100,000 to his PAC Accelerate West Virginia.

The Kochs and their various operations have a history of also getting involved in school board races -- as with Colorado, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and more -- in addition to some initiative fights, which are not covered in Part 1 of this special report.

This snapshot focuses on the federal and statewide races so far, but there is more to come, especially as the season for so-called "issue ads" ramps up in the coming months and as the ground game -- like the Kochs' Americans for Prosperity Grassroots Leadership Academy-trained organizers -- gets deployed along with Koch-orchestrated bus tours or rallies in the autumn.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

David Armiak

David Armiak is a researcher and writer at the Center for Media and Democracy. He is a cultural anthropologist who has research interests not only in US politics, but also in South Korea's social movements.

Lisa Graves

Lisa Graves is the Center for Media and Democracy's executive director and the editor-in-chief of PR Watch. She previously served as the chief counsel for nominations on the US Senate Judiciary Committee and deputy assistant attorney general in the US Department of Justice, among other roles.