Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Koch machine breaks with Trump GOP over trade

Koch group condemns ‘divisiveness’ and ‘lack of leadership’ in Washington - The Washington Post - Michelle Ye Hee Lee:

July 29, 2018 - "Top officials with the donor network affiliated with billionaire industrialist Charles Koch this weekend sought to distance the network from the Republican Party and President Trump, citing tariff and immigration policies and 'divisive' rhetoric out of Washington.

"At a gathering of hundreds of donors ... officials reiterated their plans to spend as much as $400 million on policy issues and political campaigns during the 2018 cycle.... But ... network co-chair Brian Hooks lamented 'tremendous lack of leadership' in Trump’s Washington and the 'deterioration of the core institutions of society.' He called out the White House and Trump-allied GOP lawmakers, particularly over trade policy and increased federal spending, and added that 'the divisiveness of this White House is causing long-term damage'....

"Koch — now solely at the helm after the retirement of his ailing brother David this year — stopped short of blaming the president personally for the political divisions.... Asked about Democrats possibly retaking control of the House, he said: 'I don’t care what initials are in front [of], or after, somebody’s name'....

"In reality, the network is expected to be a powerful force for the political right during the midterm elections, particularly in states where Senate Democrats are most vulnerable. It is also heavily backing the confirmation of federal judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.... But some of Trump’s most ­controversial actions break sharply with the priorities of the libertarian-leaning network, which opposes Trump’s tariffs on foreign goods and his hard line on immigration, including the now-suspended zero-tolerance policy that saw hundreds of migrant families separated at the border....

"[N]etwork leaders pointed to their recent ad campaigns thanking Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) for co-sponsoring legislation that rolled back Dodd-Frank financial regulations, and attacking Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) — the Trump-backed candidate for Senate ... — for a vote to increase federal spending.... Emily Seidel, chief executive of the network’s political arm Americans for Prosperity, said ... 'The fact that we’re willing to do this during an election year shows everyone that we’re dead serious.... This network will no longer follow anyone’s lead or be taken for granted,' ... as donors applauded.

"The network is holding education sessions for its activists across the country to extol the value of free trade and pro-immigrant laws, and countering Trump’s approaches on both issues. They are undertaking ... 'a multiyear, multimillion-dollar commitment' to promote the benefits of free trade.....

"The network has met twice a year since 2003, when Koch ­convened a small group of like-minded business leaders to oppose increasing federal spending and steel tariffs under the George W. Bush administration. Fifteen years later, the network has grown to encompass more than 700 donors who each contribute at least $100,000 annually to Koch-linked groups. "

Read more:
'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment