That was fast: Scott Walker has already won the Koch Primary

Earlier today, the New York Times reported that Charles and David Koch, conservative megadonors and kingmakers in the Republican Party, are ready to back Scott Walker’s bid for the White House ahead of his likely opponents. As David Koch told donors at a Manhattan fundraiser, “We will support whoever the candidate is…but it should be Scott Walker.”

The announcement is a body blow to Jeb Bush, the presumed (if unannounced) frontrunner in the race, and an even bigger diss of Rand Paul, who wrote a love letter to the Koch’s as part of TIME Magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world. You know, the one where Paul unironically asserted that the Kochs, who by themselves operate a political network whose cash flow rivals both major political parties, “have consistently lobbied against special-interest politics.”

That the Koch’s are backing Walker should come as a shock to no one. The only thing surprising about the Koch’s support for Walker is that it’s coming so early, before Walker has even announced his candidacy.

The ties between them are well-documented, going back to Walker’s gubernatorial runs in Wisconsin. Furthermore, of the candidates with a serious shot at winning the nomination, Walker is the most rabidly anti-union and most in need of the Koch’s cash. Jeb Bush has a deep fundraising network of his own, and so each dollar sent Walker’s way — directly to his campaign or indirectly via the Koch’s massive and murky political organization — is likely to buy far more influence if spent on Walker than if spent on a candidate with a more diversified donor portfolio.

The Koch Brothers are budgeting close to $900 million for the 2016 election cycle, spread out amongst multiple candidates for national, statewide and local office through their various dark-money PACs. It’s unclear as to how much of that money will go to Walker, and how much of it will come during primary season, but the fact that he has their stamp of approval could prove to be huge for Walker amongst the GOP elite.

At this stage of the primary process, endorsements matter as much if not more than polls, and Walker just (informally) got two big ones.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • Can we presume that the Evil Kochs have bought off at all levels any further investigation into their new “Show Dog”?

  • nicho

    Unfortunately, it also drives down demand. And because we’re a demand economy, it shoots the economy in the foot. That can’t go on very much longer. If people stop buying shit, we won’t need a lot of CEOs any more.

  • John Richter

    Karl Roves social welfare to the community charity, Crossroads , will raise just as much money for Jeb.

  • John Richter

    Business lobbies love anything that drives down wages and total labor costs.

  • Butch1

    We knew he was their “man” back a few years ago when the radio station did a fake call pretending to be one of the Koch brothers speaking the Walker in private; he fell for it and spilled his guts on his real feelings and intentions about the peons that vote in the state of Wisconsin and what he was really trying to do to the unions. This pathetic excuse of a man and enabler of the super rich to get away with what they want will be the perfect tool and the Koch brother know this. He’s uneducated just enough to be able to pull the wool over his eyes and he’ll do anything he’s told to do. They perfect stooge to be in the Oval Office.

  • nicho

    It’s not really about Walker. Walker is just a useful idiot. The Koches are looking for someone to carry water for them. Walker is their choice now because he’s kind of off-the-shelf. They don’t have to imbue him with their imperial goals. He already shares them. All he needs is a little fine tuning. But if he flames out for any reason, they can find — or make — another one in short order. It’s amazing what you can find when you drag a million-dollar bill through a gated community.

  • Indigo

    Well, yes, but then again, he’s solidly right wing Republican. Apparently, that’s what they want. I get cold chills thinking about it but that’s the kind of nonsense, spoken in an early style, that put a B movie actor in the Oval Office.

  • Indigo

    It could happen.

  • I’ve been predicting Walker as the GOP nominee for some time.

  • Glen Thompson

    Walker who?

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  • bpollen

    I have had a soft spot for Wisconsin for a long time, but I will NEVER forgive them if we get a Walker presidency.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Walker is an anti-union scab who did the direct bidding of the ultra rich in Wisconsin while trying to bust unions there. That includes the Koch Brothers , who are worth about $100 billion. Their wealth has increased enormously under the Wall Street/bankster/Big Oil friendly Obama regime. “A week after the Census Bureau reported that American poverty has hit an all time high, America has learned the wealth of Charles and David Koch has increased 43% since March of 2010.” http://archives.politicususa.com/2011/09/21/koch-brothers-wealth.html

    If Walker’s the Republican nominee people will have a hard time distinguishing between him and H Clinton, the Democrat’s scab contender who’s beholden to the the five children in Sam Walton’s litter, who’ve collectively stolen $150 from WalMart workers. “The Walton family is the richest family in the United States and one of the richest in the world. They are heirs to the Walmart fortune and the company’s largest shareholders, with over fifty percent ownership of stock in the retail giant. … The Waltons aren’t just the face of the 1%; they’re the face of the 0.000001%. The Waltons have more wealth than 42% of American families combined.” http://walmart1percent.org/family/

  • crazymonkeylady

    The Kochs are a metastasizing cancer in politics, and must be removed from the American body.

  • mark_in_toronto

    So a couple of super rich pigs want to back a stupid moron. I say go for it!
    If they succeed, then as I’ve always said (as BeccaM says it too) the resulting super plutocracy will be well-deserved. Money, lies, hate, oil and guns . . . enjoy!

  • Indigo

    Good! I wonder whether the Koch Bros. have a contingency fund to pay off the Jebster to step aside. He doesn’t really want to run anyhow, he knows he can’t carry Florida.

  • It’s obvious the Koch brothers believe money is supposed to trump democracy and responsible governance.

    Well, it’s a truism: The American people will get exactly the government they deserve.

  • angryspittle

    For being some of the richest assholes in the world these guys sure seem pretty stupid.

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