Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
World News | By Joan Terry

Koch network says it isn't backing GOP candidate in key Senate race

Koch network says it isn't backing GOP candidate in key Senate race

Trump captured North Dakota by almost 36 percentage points in 2016, and toppling the nine other Democratic senators are up for re-election in Trump states would expand the GOP's hold on the Senate.

It's the first such meeting after the June retirement of David Koch - the other half of the "Koch brothers" who have become household names - from business and political life because of his declining health.

At a gathering of the Koch-backed Seminar Network over the weekend in Colorado Springs, its co-chairman Brian Hooks lamented the "tremendous lack of leadership" in Washington.

Charles Koch told reporters in recent days that he cared little for party affiliation and regretted supporting some Republicans in the past who only paid lip service to conservative principles. But the billionaire industrialist pair kept their distance from Trump during the 2016 presidential election. In order to keep everyone in line, they've decided to make some mostly symbolic gestures toward supporting a Democrat here or there, like taking out a web ad thanking Democratic senator Heidi Heitkamp for voting for a bill to deregulate banks.

Donald Trump enters the RNC to deliver a speech in Cleveland.

On Monday, the conservative Koch network refused to back a Republican candidate in North Dakota.

AFP already has made more than 500,000 calls to promote President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh in the three weeks since his nomination, Koch officials said.

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"It was very disappointing to see yesterday that they are not going to support Kevin Cramer in this all too important North Dakota (U.S.) Senate race", said Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican Party.

That may be true, but only in the sense that a Democrat who favors huge tax cuts and eviscerating regulation of corporations could get his support. And they say they were willing to form alliances with Democrats to achieve top objectives.

Also on Tuesday, President Donald Trump lashed out at the Koch brothers.

The Koch Network did not endorse Trump's 2016 run. He appeared at a Koch gathering last October in NY to seek the donors' support for the massive tax cut package Trump signed into law late past year.

The Kochs were equally concerned about the Trump administration's "protectionist" trade policies, which have sparked an global trade war and could trigger a U.S. recession, Charles Koch said.

But the president and most of his loyalists never warmed to the Kochs, even as their interests at times have aligned. "I'm into hating the sin and not the sinner".

Tom Shepherd, a businessman from OH and Koch donor, said: "I think that holding Republicans and Democrats accountable for decisions and votes that violate our principles is extremely helpful".

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