Since Republican Governor Terry Brandstad will not face election for another two years, the Iowa GOP’s goal is to hold the House and flip the Senate by gaining three seats.
The Kochs are backing 21 candidates for the Iowa State House and 9 candidates for the State Senate for a total of 32.
Only Oklahoma (43) and Texas (74), have more candidates supported by the Kochs.
“We’ve had very little success moving the needle at the federal level. It’s always difficult,” said Koch General Council Mark Holden to Politico recently, but “we have had a lot of success at the state level and we hope that we will continue to do so.”
In addition to state level candidates the Kochs are backing two Iowa incumbents for U.S. Congress.
Rep. Rod Blum (IA-01) received a contribution of $4,000 from KochPAC to Blum for Congress. [BFIA editor’s note: Blum’s $4,000 is the largest amount given to an Iowa candidate by the Kochs.]
Rep. Steve King (IA-04) received $2,500 from KochPAC to King for Congress.
[As of June 2016] $400 million of the $889 pledge by the Kochs through their “Freedom Partners” network has already been invested in the outcome of the 2016 elections, with more money to be spent. http://www.prwatch.org/news/2016/05/13107/koch-candidates-2016-revealed
Disclosed spending the tip of the iceberg
Much of this research is focused on disclosed spending through Political Action Committee reports, but the bulk of the Koch network spending is through dark money vehicles that don’t disclose the donors or the recipients of the Koch-fueled largesse.
Spending by the Koch dark money network usually comes in the form of big ad buys on TV and the internet, framed as “issue ads” closer to elections, along with robo-calls, door-knocking with candidate-specific door hangers, rallies, and other operations that are more visible nearer to the elections.