Conservatives Charles and David Koch’s big Monday announcement: A network of political groups the brothers back plans to spend $889 million ahead of the next election. To put that in context, this would put their political organization in league with the two major parties financially. Their spending goal would be more than twice what the Republican National Committee spent in 2012.
The news comes out of the Freedom Partners annual winter meeting held outside of Palm Springs, California.
“We’re talking about a few hundred people here who have committed to give money to this network ahead of the campaign,” says Marketplace’s David Gura.
Much of that money will go to ads, but the Koch brothers have also heavily invested in data and technology.
So what does all of this money – being raised by a private organization and being spent by a private organization – say about the fate of the two national parties: Democrats and the Republicans?
“They’ve both got to be worried,” says Gura. “You’ve got these outside groups who are setting the message, they’re controlling the message to an extent, and I think even more fundamentally, they’re doing things that parties used to do or that they have been doing. I mentioned the ground game and collecting data – that was the providence of parties for a really long time.”
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.