With Koch brothers doubling efforts, spending by independent conservative groups could hit $1 billion
A new projection of political spending by the Koch brothers puts their organizations’ anticipated expenditures at $400 million, doubling previous expectations and bringing the total for independent conservative groups to about $1 billion.
The new figures were reported Wednesday by Politico, which cited officials with knowledge of the groups’ internal operations.
The super PAC American Crossroads and its affiliated nonprofit, Crossroads GPS, plan to spend a combined $300 million; Restore Our Future, the super PAC that spent heavily on Romney’s primary campaign, has set an overall target of $150 million.
Alone, the Koch groups (including the non-profit Americans for Prosperity), Crossroads and Restore Our Future groups are aiming for $850 million in political expenditures -- $100 million more than President Obama’s record-setting campaign spent in 2008 and more than double the amount spent by his Republican opponent, John McCain.
That’s just outside money. Romney’s official campaign and the Republican National Committee intend to spend at least $800 million of their own, according to the report.
Politico reported that independent spending will target key states and include not only advertising but also absentee- and early-ballot drives and voter turnout initiatives.
Billionaires David and Charles Koch, who own the Wichita-based petroleum company Koch Industries, are libertarians who advocate lower corporate and personal tax rates, less government spending on social services, and reduced environmental regulation.
Their brother, Bill Koch, who runs a separate energy company, has given $2 million to Restore Our Future.Callum Borchers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.