An official within the super-PAC Americans for Prosperity Action (AfPA) released a preliminary draft of the group's filings. Major donors included in the filing include North Carolina businessman Art Pope, Illinois businessman Craig Duchossois and Arkansas poultry magnate Ron Cameron. The brothers Jim and Rob Walton, both heirs to the Walmart fortune, were also listed.
Two groups closely affiliated with Charles contributed $50 million of the money. One-half of that amount came from Koch Industries, where he is a major shareholder. The other half was donated by the Stand Together PAC he founded in 2003.
With a huge war chest, the AfPA plans to throw its weight into the GOP presidential nomination contest for the 2024 polls. During the previous election cycle in 2020 alone, the Koch network spent nearly $500 million supporting Republican candidates and conservative policies. But this time, the network seeks to prevent Trump from winning the GOP's presidential nomination.
In February, AfPA CEO Emily Seidel wrote a memo to donors and activists that it was time to "have a president in 2025 who represents a new chapter" – insinuating a GOP president other than Trump. Major conservative donors are looking to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, while some are looking to South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.
According to DNYUZ, the move mirrors a familiar scene during the 2016 polls. Marc Short, a senior official at the Koch-founded PAC, argued that the network should spend heavily to stop Trump and support another candidate with a more conservative policy record. Short suggested either Texas Sen. Ted Cruz or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as alternatives – but both failed to secure the nomination.
While top officials and donors shot down the idea, some inside the network regretted not following the move. Short eventually left the PAC and joined the Trump administration, becoming chief of staff to former Vice President Mike Pence. As of writing, the senior official now serves as adviser to Pence on the latter's 2024 presidential campaign.
According to Breitbart, the Koch brothers and their network have long been opposed to the real estate mogul-turned-president. The "Never Trumper" siblings take umbrage at his economic nationalist policy approach on immigration and trade.
While the Kochs have backed mass waves of legal immigration and free trade at all costs, Trump has gone the other way. During his first term as president, he sought to cut overall immigration levels to the United States. Trump also imposed tariffs on foreign imports, particularly from China.
Despite indictments by Special Counsel Jack Smith and Manhattan Attorney General Alvin Bragg, Trump has steadily led unofficial primary polls – surpassing both DeSantis and Scott. If anything, this proves that most Americans are in line with the former president's goal to Make America Great Again (MAGA). (Related: Polling indicates Trump's nomination by the Republican National Convention is ALL BUT GUARANTEED.)
Nevertheless, the Koch network continues to bury its head in the sand. Officials in the network are optimistic that the November 2024 elections will not be a repeat of 2016.
Michael Palmer, president of the Koch-affiliated voter data group i360, rebuked the notion of Trump's inevitable nomination in a June 2023 memo. He argued that such an idea "is being pushed by left-leaning media outlets, political operatives and the Trump campaign itself."
"The country is in a much different place than it was eight years ago. Voters of all stripes – including GOP primary voters – have a changed base of knowledge regarding the former president. Other candidates will most certainly treat him differently in the primary this time around."
DeepState.news has more stories about attempts to prevent Trump's reelection.
Watch this news report about the Koch brothers' efforts to prevent Trump from securing the GOP presidential nomination back in 2020.
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