Outside Influencers: Charles & David Koch

by Editorial

Charles Koch, Chairman and CEO, Koch Industries
David Koch, Executive Vice President, Koch Industries

The billionaire libertarian Koch brothers are among the country’s richest supporters of conservative politicians and causes. Through their network of District-based foundations, they recently committed $400 million to support GOP candidates in the 2018 midterms. They did not support Trump in 2016 and continue to distance themselves from his administration on key issues, although that hasn’t stopped 35 Koch staffers and others linked to Koch organizations from moving over to Trump Administration jobs. The Kochs’ Hispanic advocacy organization wants immigrant children brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents – the so- called “Dreamers” – to be allowed to remain, but not at the expense of Trump’s conditions to cut back on other categories of immigration. The Koch brothers also differ from Trump administration on tougher law-and-order measures and favor prisoner rehabilitation and prison reform. This year, Koch Industries aired ads during the Superbowl and the Olympics, spending between $8 and $12 million to “boost the reputation of its corporate brand, as well as quash “misperceptions by people who only associate the company with its owners’ political views” per the Wall Street Journal. Longtime GOP political operative Steve Lombardo serves as Koch Industries’ chief communications and marketing officer, deftly giving voice to the brothers’ agenda.

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