Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Trump’s Tweets Tweak the Koch Brothers

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President Trump unleashed another Twitter barrage in the wee hours, this time attacking the “globalist” Koch brothers for undermining a Republican who is running for U.S. Senate in North Dakota.

The billionaire political activists, who pump millions into politics through a network of organizations led by Americans for Prosperity, are not supporting Republican Representative Kevin Cramer. Instead they’ll back Senator Heidi Heitkamp, the Democrat, because she voted to deregulate banks.

The Donald is not amused.

Doesn’t Need Their Money
The 3 a.m. messages were blunt, as usual. I don’t need Koch money, he wrote, and the brothers are peddling bad ideas.

Tweeted Trump:

The globalist Koch Brothers, who have become a total joke in real Republican circles, are against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade. I never sought their support because I don’t need their money or bad ideas. They love my Tax & Regulation Cuts, Judicial picks & more. I made.....

....them richer. Their network is highly overrated, I have beaten them at every turn. They want to protect their companies outside the U.S. from being taxed, I’m for America First & the American Worker — a puppet for no one. Two nice guys with bad ideas. Make America Great Again!

Indeed, despite its power and money, The Koch Empire couldn’t stop Trump as he rolled over the 16 other Republican candidates, much to the chagrin of Never Trumpers in the GOP who were infected with a strain of Trump Derangement Syndrome as bad as that among activists on the Left.

What provoked Trump’s Twitter tirade? The brothers are bailing on Republicans who don’t meet their ideological purity test.

In North Dakota, for instance, the Koch brothers aren’t supporting Cramer in his bid to unseat Senator Heidi Heitkamp, as The Hill reported:

Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips announced at a donor summit on Monday in Colorado Springs, Colo., that the network would not support Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) in his bid to unseat incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.).

Phillips cited Cramer’s support for the Export-Import Bank, the farm bill and the $1.3 trillion spending package for the decision.

“He’s inconsistent across the board on these issues,” Phillips said. “We can’t support him at this time and we’ve met with his team, explained this and lobbied them on this.”

Though the Koch brothers’ alleged reasons for not supporting Cramer are valid, Heitkamp’s seat is likely one the GOP can pick off, which means the libertarian billionaires could torpedo the party’s chance to solidify its majority in the Senate.

“Heitkamp is seen as one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection,” The Hill reported, noting that Trump crushed Hillary Clinton in the Roughrider State. Trump collected 63 percent of the vote, defeating Clinton by 35.8 points.

The brothers plan to spend $400 million in this election, and will reward the politicians who do their bidding.

Charles Koch regrets some of the choices he and his political operations have made, and won’t make the same mistake again. Thus, the support for Heitkamp, who took on fellow Democrat Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts and fought to roll back the regulatory measures in the Dodd-Frank regulatory apparatus. Heitkamp says — perhaps correctly — that Dodd-Frank is destroying locally owned community banks owing to its burdensome regulations.

As the Atlantic reported about the Heitkamp-Warren feud:

For years, Heitkamp said, Democrats have watched as smaller banks and lenders in their states have been eaten up by larger institutions, due in part to the added burden of regulations created by Dodd-Frank. “Fundamentally, what I would say is Dodd-Frank was designed to prevent too-big-to-fail,” she said. “And it became too small to succeed. And you’ve seen since Dodd-Frank the bigger institutions have gotten bigger and the smaller institutions have consolidated.”

Such is the Koch brothers’ affection for Heitkamp they purchased an advertisement to thank her.

Emily Seidel, CEO of Americans for Prosperity, explained it for The Hill: “I know this is uncomfortable, it’s uncomfortable for me too. But if you’re a Democrat and you stand up to Elizabeth Warren and corral enough votes for financial reform ... you’re darn right we’ll work with you.”

Cramer Not Alone
As Politico reported, AFP’s rejection of Cramer over the Ex-Im Bank is only one example of a Republican suffering the lash of the Koch brothers, although AFP’s Phillips did say Cramer can turn it around. But he’ll have to vote the way AFP — and the billionaire brothers — want him to.

One thing everyone knows about them: They’ll spend gazillions — like the $40 million they spent in 2015 to push through the globalist Trans-Pacific Partnership “free trade” pact —to get what they want.

A month ago, they launched an attack against Trump’s America First tariffs.

 Image: screenshot of @realDonaldTrump Twitter feed

Related article:

Koch Prepared to Back Democrats Who Share His Goals

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