Sat 3 Dec, 2016 04:06 pm
Who did the brothers support for president of the U.S. in 2016?
Not Trump, that's for sure. Charles Koch said he supported "some of" Sanders' policies.
I didn't realise there were four of them! It seems like they do not all have identical opinions. Charles and David declared they would have nothing to do with Donald Trump's election, but David's twin, Bill, hosted a fundraiser for Trump. The only one who sounds at all interesting to me, Frederick, I have no idea where his politics are at.
Order and read Jane Mayer's Dark Money. If you want to know about the incredible breadth of their operations (and the enormous amounts of money flowing to support them) that's your best resource by far.
It is simplistic to ask whether they supported Trump because the answer is much more complicated. He wasn't their first or third or fifth pick because he stands outside the normal DC game and thus was more unpredictable. But as soon as Pence came on board, that matched the Koch needs if Pence was not completely neutered.
But it seems to be the case that they reduced the amount of money they were going to throw into the federal race (original plan publicly stated by Charles as just shy of one billion). So where did there money get directed? Down ballot to retain control of both houses (plus all sorts of local political and judicial races). These guys play the long game and do it very effectively. Also, if Charles or David says something, don't believe it. They remained in the shadows for a long time because they understood that visibility would thwart much of what they are up to. Mayer, first in a famous New Yorker piece that preceded her book, blew the whistle on these guys and shoved them into the spotlight. As a corrective strategy, because they were now far more in the public eye, they set to a bunch of PR/propaganda intitiatives to ameliorate their emerging very bad reputation.
Look where we now are. They are getting pretty much everything they want with Trump at the helm. Acolyte Paul Ryan will have more power to cut back and seriously damage social programs and make government for the wealthy rather than citizens broadly. Almost every cabinet post is being filled by individuals the Koch brothers will love to have in place, on taxex, on voting suppression, on union busting, on privatizing education and killing teachers unions, etc.
Trump didn't have a big or sophisticated GOTV operation but he didn't need that because the GOP working with the Koch machine did it for him. If it weren't for the Koch crowd, Trump would not be president. Eight years ago, Karl Rove was a big name. This time, not so much. Back then, Rove and the Koch operation were in a contest (with some cooperative efforts) to control the machinery of the GOP. The reason you don't see or hear much about Rove now is because he lost. The Kochs now sit at the center of power on the right in the US.