They invested $260 million – more or less – to elect a Congress that will do their bidding; now industrialists Charles and David Koch and their ultra-wealthy network of business leaders are putting millions more into a “grassroots” lobbying campaign aimed at making their investment pay off in a massive business tax cut.
A story posted today on The Intercept website details a Koch-backed plan to combine traditional lobbying of lawmakers in Washington with carefully-engineered town hall meetings and other events in the congressional districts of targeted senators and representatives during next month’s congressional recess.
“The election of Donald Trump, coupled with pro-freedom majorities in the House and Senate, offers us a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” strategists for the Koch’s “Seminar Network” argue in a memo obtained and published by The Intercept.
The memo focuses on 52 senators and representatives, dividing them into groups of “persuadables,” “vulnerables,” and “champions” of the Koch network’s tax plans. Through Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-financed organization with about 500 staffers scattered across the country, the network is organizing events and a parade of visits to lawmakers’ district offices to bring the persuadables and vulnerables into the champions category.
The Kochs and their allies appear to have already won the first battle laid out in the memo. A “border adjustment tax,” which would have been applied to imported goods to offset the federal revenue lost from cuts in the federal tax on business income, was omitted from the tax reform plan the Trump administration released in the spring. No less a Republican leader than House Speaker Paul Ryan supported the border tax, but opposition from the Kochs and their allies persuaded the Trump team to drop it.
Office: Common Cause National
Issues: Money in Politics
Tags: Fighting Big Money