Conservative icon David Koch leaving business, politics › Medicine Hat News

Jun 08, 2018, 03:20
Conservative icon David Koch leaving business, politics › Medicine Hat News

Billionaire conservative icon David Koch is stepping down from the Koch brothers' network of business and political activities. His brother Charles, 82, has appeared in recent months to pick up some of the slack left over by his brother's illness.

Through a constellation of aligned groups, the network still plans to spend between $300 million and $400 million on politics and policy during the 2018 election cycle.

In a letter sent Tuesday morning to Koch Industries' employees, Charles Koch said his brother first announced his "declining health" in October 2016.

Democrats have vilified the Koch brothers for their massive role in national politics, which has helped shape state and federal policy over the past decade.

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They have also hosted political events, including The American Recovery Policy Forum, which featured Texas Sen. Marco Rubio when they were eyeing presidential runs in 2015.

The multi-million dollar campaign will include paid media, activist education grassroots mobilisation, lobbying and political analysis meant to promote free trade and oppose tariffs.

David and Charles Koch are tied as the country's eighth richest men.

Among their successful pushes have been getting tax cuts, a conservative judge seated on the Supreme Court and the rollback of governmental regulations, including labor and environmental rules. David, who has an estimated net worth of $52 billion, will take on the title of director emeritus after his retirement. For instance, he provided $217 million to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, including $150 million for a new outpatient medical facility. The other responsibilities to which Charles referred in Monday's memo include serving as chairman of Americans for Prosperity, a grassroots organization at the conservative end of the political spectrum.

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"Due to health reasons, David Koch will be resigning from the board", said Mark Holden, a co-chairman. We greatly appreciate his vital role on the board & all that he has done to help build a strong foundation for our future success. "We wish him and his family well".

Citing concerns about Trump's style and substance, the network refused to endorse either presidential candidate in the 2016 election.

"We are deeply saddened by this, as we miss David's insightful questions and his many contributions to Koch Industries", Charles Koch wrote. "David has always been a fighter and is dealing with this challenge in the same way", he wrote.

"What is un-American is when shadowy billionaires pour unlimited money into our democracy to rig the system to benefit themselves and the wealthiest one percent. the Koch brothers seem to believe in an America where the system is rigged to benefit the very wealthy", then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said during a floor speech in 2014.

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