The Republicans have given total control of the party to Charles and David Koch. Realizing that the Kochs own the GOP, some members of the Republican National Committee (RNC) are reconsidering the Kochs’ role in conservative politics.
Last year, the Koch brothers and the RNC reached a deal where both parties shared voting data for the midterm elections; voter addresses, emails, phone numbers, etc. That deal has now expired and now the Kochs have a donkey-stick-carrot relationship with GOP candidates, according to Jon Ward, senior political correspondent of Yahoo News.
Before the deal, the RNC had struggled to digitize Republican campaign efforts, including the construction of voter databases. The solve this problem, the RNC turned to the Kochs for help. The Kochs’ platform, known as i360, has gained popularity among Republican campaigns and now candidates are turning on the RNC.
The RNC recoiled at the Kochs’ apparent control of GOP voter data, creating a rivalry between the RNC and the titanic Kochs. Essentially, the Kochs created a threat by doing the RNC’s job of potentially securing votes for GOP candidates.
“I think it’s very dangerous and wrong to allow a group of very strong, well-financed individuals who have no accountability to anyone to have control over who gets access to the data when, why, and how,” said RNC chief of staff Katie Walsh.
The friction between the RNC and the Kochs has been described as an “all-out war” by some inside the party.
RNC chairman Reince Priebus is leading the Republican “revolt” against the Koch brothers, his main concern being that “the Koch brothers could own the GOP’s master voter file in any way that held the party hostage.” Not all Republicans, however, feel that way.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) haven’t said whether they think the Kochs pose any threat to the party. It’s not entirely surprising that many Republicans aren’t willing to speak out against their Koch overlords.
Nevertheless, RNC chief of staff Walsh says that the RNC’s intentions are meant solely to get Republicans elected to office; the Kochs just want whoever is going to lobby on their behalf. Yahoo News noted that the Kochs are only loyal to themselves and the libertarian agenda.
The Republicans asked for this. They whored to the Kochs and made themselves co-dependent on the Kochs’ resources and money. The Kochs truly have control over the Republican Party, and it’s the GOP’s fault.
“It’s pretty clear that they [the Kochs] don’t want to work with the party but want to supplant it,” said a source close with the RNC.
Watch our commentary on the Koch – GOP Civil War: