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Koch Brothers Plan to Drop $900 Million on 2016 Elections


Billionaire energy industry brothers Charles and David Koch are planning a 2016 campaign spending blitz that would easily eclipse previous outside political efforts, with the brothers and their political network poised to spend nearly $900 million to elect conservative candidates to Congress, the presidency, and state legislatures across the country.

The Koch network unveiled the goal Monday at the brothers’ annual donor retreat in Palm Springs. The $889 million the network plans to expend far surpasses what either political party has hitherto spent in a single cycle; in 2012, the New York Times’ Nick Confessorenotes, the Republican National Committee and the GOP’s two congressional committees spent a combined $657 million — some 35 percent less than the Kochs intend to spend next year. [...]

Monday’s announcement came just over five years after the Supreme Court upended campaign finance restrictions with its Citizens United decision, paving the way for unlimited political spending by outside groups.

“The Supreme Court has carved up the laws that prevent using economic might to buy political power, and the Court’s left us with a democracy where a few billionaires and millionaires are active kingmakers and the size of a citizen’s wallet determines the strength of her voice,” Adam Lioz, counsel and senior advisor at Demos, told Salon. “This will be the critical legal fight of our time.”

The Kochs’ announcement Monday “is the legacy of Citizens United and a string of earlier cases, and we have to reverse it,” Lioz added.