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Are The Koch Brothers Newly Woke Or A 'Total Joke'?

Hundreds of demonstrators from the Occupy Movement, Health Care for America Now, Common Cause and other progressive organizations march past the Washington Convention Center while protesting against the Defending the American Dream Summit November 4, 2011 in Washington, DC. The conservative political summit is organized by Americans for Prosperity, which was founded with the support of brothers David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch of Koch Industries.
Hundreds of demonstrators from the Occupy Movement, Health Care for America Now, Common Cause and other progressive organizations march past the Washington Convention Center while protesting against the Defending the American Dream Summit November 4, 2011 in Washington, DC. The conservative political summit is organized by Americans for Prosperity, which was founded with the support of brothers David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch of Koch Industries.

Speaking of factions of conservatism…

A political war is being waged between President Trump and billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted:

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2018

The Koch Brothers are best known for using big money to unduly influence American politics by propping up a libertarian agenda.

From a 2015 PBS NewsHour explainer:

A: Charles and David Koch, ages [82] and [78], are billionaire brothers who helped create a broad network of nonprofit groups that control hundreds of millions of dollars flowing into politics. Through their deep pockets, they are reshaping politics with an uncompromising agenda of reducing regulation, advancing libertarian ideas, promoting free-market Republican candidates and ousting Democrats. They have two other brothers, William and Frederick, who aren’t involved in the effort.

But the president’s attack is a response to how the Koch Brothers have been spending their money lately.

The Kochs’ disagree with Trump on several policy matters, including immigration and trade. And they’ve been funding the fight against the president (including supporting some Democrats), which could have big implications for the 2018 midterms — and for the GOP’s other mega donors.

What might that mean for the midterms & the GOP’s other mega donors?

Are the Kochs changing? A recent article from The Associated Press suggests maybe they are, and that the focus is shifting away from the brothers and moving towards their related entities, like Americans for Prosperity.

So, who are the real Koch Brothers? Is their power and influence diminishing? How are they contending with their role in shaping the present moment in conservative politics?

Produced by Paige Osburn. Writeup by Gabrielle Healy.

GUESTS

Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Money and politics reporter, The Washington Post; @myhlee

Dan Schulman, Deputy D.C. bureau chief, Mother Jones; author, “Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers became America’s most powerful and private dynasty.” @DanielSchulman

Nick Gillespie, Editor-at-large, Reason.com; @nickgillespie

Jason Kander, President, Let America Vote; former secretary of state of Missouri; candidate for Mayor of Kansas City, MO; @JasonKander

James Davis, Executive vice president, Freedom Partners; spokesperson, Koch network; @imjamesdavis

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

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