Saturday, October 24, 2015

Club for Growth and Koch Industries shown to be key financial backers of Freedom Caucus candidates

Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp
Koch Industries and the conservative Club for Growth (CFG) are now watching the "Freedom Caucus" (i.e. the House crazies) they made possible drive the Republican party into the ground. At least 37 members of the caucus got a significant financial boost from the Koch operation or CFG, according to new research from Politico and the Center for Responsive Politics.
The analysis shows that caucus members had strong support from industries like banking and auto dealerships that traditionally support Republican candidates. But the figures also demonstrate the influence of outside groups that have emerged as important forces in the Republican Party, sometimes colliding with its leadership over conservative principles.

The analysis, based on a review of campaign and leadership PAC donations reported by each caucus member during his or her time in Congress, shows that the Club for Growth, the free-enterprise advocacy group that claims 100,000 members, has contributed $1.77 million, or about 1 percent of the more than $175 million the caucus members raised in total. The club was the No. 1 donor for 11 members — more members than any other benefactor.

Club for growth was the No. 1 overall contributor and Koch Industries was No. 2. Now the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, once situated snuggly within the GOP's center of gravity, is vowing to support primary candidates to take on certain members of the secretive Freedom Caucus (the members aren't written down though some are known). But here's a frightening suggestion for what the Chamber should actually be doing rather than targeting the crazy caucus.
“In the old days, the party structure and business community held a lot more sway — now the Freedom Caucus can raise more money from outside Washington by saying these Washington groups don’t contribute to them,” said a former Boehner staffer turned lobbyist. “The business community should figure out a way to talk to these guys and build relationships, because right now they look to be the future of the Republican Party.”
You read that right—the future of the Republican Party. Yeesh.

A chart of the chief contributors to the Freedom Caucus follows below the fold.

Chart showing that the Club for Growth contributed over $1.7 million to Freedom Caucus candidates and the Koch Industries gave nearly $600,000.

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