The Koch brothers’ network of conservative political donors has amassed $400 million and is poised to spend billions of dollars this year to support and elect conservative candidates and ballot initiatives across the country, according to the Federal Election Commission.
While this will be a boon for the Koch brothers, it will also be a threat to Democratic Party candidates, many of whom have faced deep fundraising deficits.
The Kochs’ network has also raised tens of millions of dollars for a slate of conservative candidates, including the candidates running for governor in Alabama, which has the most conservative state legislature in the nation.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Kochs have spent more than $30 million on political advertising so far this election cycle.
The Republican Governors Association has spent more money than any other group, and its PAC, the Republican Governors Club, has spent $5 million on ads so far.
This week, the group announced that it had donated $10 million to a Republican Senate candidate in Arkansas, a state where it has had an outsized impact on the state’s Republican Party.
The new donations, which come from the Koch network, come after the group spent nearly $1.5 million in the 2016 cycle to help elect Republican Gov.
The group is also working to support Republican senators in Alabama and Georgia.
“With the Republican Party in disarray, we’ve seen a clear pattern of conservative donors and organizations spending money on campaigns across the nation to elect conservative Republicans, including in states where Republican candidates are struggling to raise money,” said Jon Cohen, president of Americans for Prosperity, which is funded by the Koch-funded American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS.
“Koch Brothers are using their network of billionaire donors to buy ads to defeat conservative candidates in 2018 and 2020.”
Cohen said that Kochs allies are planning to spend “millions” of dollars to defeat Republicans in Georgia, which will be the only GOP state to vote on a new governor in 2018.
“We have a lot of work to do to build a progressive coalition and win back the state,” Cohen said.
“If we don’t take the fight to the GOP, we’re not going to win back Georgia.”
The Koch network also plans to spend $2 million to help fund the candidates in the first two weeks of 2018 in Arizona and Georgia, according the Koch PAC.
The organization is also supporting two Republican Senate candidates in Alabama.
In Georgia, the American Action Network is spending $1 million to support four GOP House candidates, while the group is supporting Republican candidates for governor and the Georgia statehouse.
According the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Alliance for American Freedom spent $500,000 to support Georgia Republican House candidate Charlie Dent.
The American Action network also is spending millions of more to help support Republican candidates in Arizona, according a Center for Public Integrity analysis.
The Arizona Freedom Network is also spending money to help four Republican candidates run for state Senate in Arizona.
The PAC spent $700,000 on ads to support state Senate candidate Dan Bishop in the state.
The Freedom Network also is supporting state Sen. Tom Cotton’s Republican opponent, state Sen-elect Doug LaMalfa, and state Senate candidates Doug LaValle and Raul Ruiz in New Mexico.