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The Koch network will support the alternative to Trump after being absent from the recent primaries

The Koch network will support the alternative to Trump after being absent from the recent primaries


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The network of donors and activist groups led by conservative billionaire Charles Koch will oppose Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination, directly challenging former presidents’ campaign to win back the White House.

The best thing for the country would be to have a president in 2025 who represents a new chapter, wrote Emily Seidel, chief executive of the networks flagship group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), in a note made public on Sunday. The three-page missive repeatedly suggests that AFP takes responsibility for arresting Trump, with Seidel writing: A lot of people are frustrated. But very few people are able to do anything about it. AFP is. Now is the time to rise to the occasion.

The move marks the most notable example to date of an overt and coordinated effort within conservative circles to prevent Trump from winning the GOP nomination for a third consecutive presidential election. Some Republicans are growing frustrated with Trump after a disappointing midterm election in which he was blamed for elevating flawed candidates and polarizing ideas. But in the absence of a consolidated effort to stop Trump, many critics fear he could exploit GOP divisions and pave the way to the nomination as he did in 2016.

Although the memo did not name a spending target, the AFP-affiliated super PAC spent more than $69 million in the 2022 cycle, according to disclosures from the Federal Election Commission. The Koch Network joins the Club for Growth, another of the biggest outside spenders, and several of the biggest individual party donors, such as finance billionaires Kenneth C. Griffin and Stephen A. Schwarzman, in signaling their opposition to the Trump’s current campaign. Others are holding back for now.

The salvo from one of the biggest spenders in American politics marks a reversal after having been absent from the last two presidential primaries. The Koch Network has been on the sidelines since 2015, when it identified five endorsed presidential candidates, all of whom fell to Trump.

To avoid a repeat of that outcome, the network plans to endorse just one candidate by the end of this summer, according to a person familiar with the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were confidential. AFP Action is ready to back a Republican presidential primary candidate who can move our country forward and who can win, Seidel wrote in the memo.

It remains to be seen how AFP will follow through on the dramatic aims of the memos. The organization has in the past rolled out ambitious plans to influence primaries that ultimately fell short. In the years since the Koch Network’s withdrawal from the presidential primaries, many of its top donors have diverted to other outfits or their own causes, and many of its most prominent strategists and operatives, such as Marc Short , Tim Phillips and Mike Roman, have moved on to other jobs. Koch has also invested heavily in political work and community organizations outside of direct election spending.

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The powerful network’s decision to challenge Trump marks an escalation of a long-running feud over key GOP policy commitments. Trump’s brand of economic nationalism clashed with the free-trade leanings of the Koch network. The globalists Koch Brothers, who have become a total joke in real Republican circles, are against strong borders and powerful trade, Trump wrote on Twitter in 2018, referring to Charles and his brother David, who died in 2019. Trump and the Koch Network have been more aligned on opposing foreign intervention and reducing non-violent criminal punishment.

The Industrial Brothers assembled an influential network of groups that sought to have a major impact on the political process. The Sunday memo expressed frustration with the direction of American politics in the Trump era. The Republican Party nominates bad candidates who advocate things that go against fundamental American principles. And the American people reject them, Seidel wrote. If we want better candidates, we need to get involved in elections earlier and in more primaries.

The memo says AFP will get involved earlier and more aggressively in congressional races, in addition to the presidential primary.

The plan was unveiled to donors this weekend at a Koch Network meeting in the resort town of Palm Springs, California. Elected officials present included Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Rep. Nancy Mace (RS.C.) and Rep. Andrew Ogles (R-Tenn.), whose campaigns have been supported by the super PAC of the AFP in 2022. (Schmitt recently endorsed Trump.)

The memo pledged to mobilize resources, including one million grassroots activists in all 50 states, data-targeting technology known as i360, and the Latino outreach organization Libre. The memo says that during last year’s races, AFP and its affiliate super PAC knocked on more than 7 million doors, delivered more than 100 million pieces of mail and contacted millions more voters by phone and email. E-mail.

The American people have shown they are ready to move on, and so AFP will help them do just that, Seidel said in the memo.




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