Progressives Mobilize as Koch Brothers Court Corporate Democrats With Cash

Bo Rader/Getty Images

The Kochs are seeking to protect corporate Dems from primary challenges from the left, moving the Dems further right

Common Dreams - June 11, 2019

"... Just think about it: why, for the first time in history, would the Koch Brothers be so scared about the possibility of passing progressive policies that they’ve decided to potentially dump millions to protect these corporate Democratic incumbents?" the group wrote. "Our message is working and it's resonating with millions of Democrats and millions of Americans. We have to keep up the fight, because in the end, we will win."

With the billionaire Koch brothers reportedly considering spending big money to help protect conservative Democrats from left-wing primary challengers in the 2020 elections, progressives said the oil magnates' efforts can only be thwarted by a grassroots mobilization dedicated to a bold alternative agenda.

Justice Democrats—an advocacy group that is backing progressive primary challengers against corporate Democrats—said in an email to supporters on Tuesday that "we have to fight back with everything that we have" against the Koch brothers, whose political network spent tens of millions of dollars backing Republicans candidates over the past several election cycles.

"While we might not have millions of dollars from fossil fuel barons or wealthy elites," Justice Democrats said, "we don't need or even want it—we have thousands of grassroots activists who are motivated by the vision of a just future for all."

In a memo (pdf) released last week, the Koch-funded PAC Americans for Prosperity signaled a willingness to support Democrats who favor its right-wing agenda in the upcoming elections.

GQ contributor Luke Darby wrote in a column on Monday that the "Kochs and other libertarian billionaires have probably realized by now that centrist Democrats—self-described liberals who support tax cuts, deregulating industries, and privatizing public services—are more reliable allies than ambitious and popular progressives with a concrete political agenda."

The details of the Americans for Prosperity's 2020 push remain vague, but Politico reported that the Koch network is "adding four new policy-focused PACs that will operate separately from Americans for Prosperity: Uniting for Economic Opportunity, which will focus on issues like the budget and curbing government over-regulation; Uniting for Free Expression, which focuses on free speech issues; and trade- and immigration-focused PACs called Uniting for Free Trade and Uniting for Immigration Reform."

Marie Newman, who is mounting a progressive primary challenge against anti-choice Rep. Dan Lipinksi (D-Ill.), said in a fundraising email Tuesday that "it looks like the Koch brothers are flying in to help save" her opponent. ...
Read full article at Common Dreams

Comments