The 2016 presidential election cycle is full of surprises.
American billionaire and philanthropist Charles G. Koch and his brother David have been long attempting to install a Republican in the White House. Influencing a presidential election is no small task yet the Koch brothers spent millions and tapped their extensive and politically-connected network to do just that. But something happened that the Kochs couldn’t have anticipated and now their goal, and the money backing it, are at risk.
Trump is a has a chance at winning the election and his politics on taxes, trade, and foreign policy clash thoroughly with Charles Koch’s. According to a recent Vanity Fair article, “Like other members of the Republican elite, the Koch brothers misjudged Donald Trump. They never considered the real estate scion a serious contender.” With Election Day fast approaching, Charles Koch and his associates are gearing up to do something drastic. They want to stop Donald Trump.
What Went Wrong With Koch’s Plan?
Charles Koch and his brother have been disillusioned with the American political landscape for a long time.
That is why in 2012 they (along with their donor network) raised approximately $400 million to get Republican candidate Mitt Romney elected. Romney as president just was not in the cards. But when current President Barack Obama snatched that opportunity away from him Charles Koch didn’t give up. Quite the opposite. His political operatives began to study the 2012 election so they could learn from their mistakes. At the outset of the 2016 election cycle the Koch brothers and their network pledged to raise almost $900 million to elect a Republican.
So what happened?
Charles Koch and his allies were so focused on their Democratic competition they seemingly ignored Donald Trump. Trump reached out to Charles and his brother for their support in more than one fashion. For example, Trump tapped a veteran of the Koch’s advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity, Corey Lewandowski, as his campaign manager to no avail. Subsequently, the Koch network hosted an August donor summit attended by five of Trump’s G.O.P. competitors yet neglected to invite Trump. This led Trump to lash out at the Koch machine and label the candidates who had garnered their support as “puppets”.
Who Is Charles Koch?
Who is Charles Koch and why is he gearing up to take on Donald Trump? Charles is an American businessman and philanthropist. He is also co-owner, chairman of the board, and CEO of Koch Industries. He and his brother David own 42% of the corporate behemoth. They inherited the business from their father, Fred C. Koch, and subsequently improved operations significantly. In fact, in a 2010 Forbes survey Koch Industries was ranked as the second-largest privately held company by revenue in the USA.
Bloomberg recently ranked Charles Koch as the 6th richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $34 billion. He has two children by his wife Liz who he has been married to since 1972. Koch espouses free-market principles such as less government intervention and abolishing corporate welfare.