Charles and David Koch’s recent semiannual conference of ineffective muckety-mucks turned into an unhelpful bashing of President Trump a mere 100 days from the midterms. A top spokesman for Koch accused Trump of being too divisive – ignoring the ridiculous Democrat antics that have ruled headlines for months. The Kochs are apparently ready to stand against Trump-style conservatives in favor of Democrat candidates across the country.
At the conclusion of the conference, the Koch network declared they would not support the Republican Senate candidate in North Dakota, Kevin Cramer, who has a chance to oust a Democratic incumbent and preserve GOP control of the Senate. To the dismay of conservatives, a Koch organization has already run ads promoting the pro-abortion Democratic incumbent.
In Pennsylvania, Koch money is funding ads against the pro-life Republican Lou Barletta, who is challenging the entrenched liberal Democrat Bob Casey, Jr., for the Senate. As Republicans struggle to hold the Senate, this shocking betrayal by the Koch network should cause all conservatives to cut Koch ties.
Still, some in Congress lose site of principle and grassroots campaigning for the allure of dollar signs. Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) might think pushing the Koch agenda boosts his campaign coffers, but Republicans still need the base to win. And all the money in the world may not salvage a Republican who crosses Trump on immigration or trade, as some in Congress are doing now.
Yoder might learn a lesson from fellow Kansas congressman Tim Huelskamp, who was a rising conservative star until he went for the Kochs’ peculiar resistance to farmers. He was defeated in his own primary in 2016 – outspent by his opponent despite how the Koch network brags about spending so much money.
Republicans be warned! Don’t go soft on immigration to please big donors. The Kochs aren’t to be trust. They “were the first people to put the knife in [Trump’s] back,” Steve Bannon observed in a recent interview with POLITICO. He added that the Koch network should “shut up and get with the program,” which is the necessary “ground game to support Trump’s presidency” in order to enable “victory on Nov. 6.”