Koch Cash Working to Flip the Senate in Iowa

The billionaire Koch brothers are seeking to make Iowa the next Republican state government trifecta with a late influx of cash into races. While the national press has focused on the fact that the Kochs are not playing in the presidential, too little attention has been paid to their ramped up activities in the states.

The GOP holds the governorship and both state houses of 23 states. 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.

Federal Elections Committee (FEC) filings from Koch Industries, Inc. Political Action Committee (KochPAC) detail how the Kochs are aiding them in their quest.

The Kochs are backing 21 candidates for the 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. Incumbents Rep. Chris Hall (IA-13) and Rep. Bruce Bearinger (IA-64) are the only Democrats receiving Koch cash. The rest are all Republicans.

"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."

The Iowa House of Representatives

All 100 seats in the Iowa House are up for election in 2016 but with the Republicans currently holding 57 seats, it is unlikely that the Democrats will gain control. Of the 19 Republicans KochPAC contributed to, 6 are running unopposed. In all, 28 Democratic candidates have no challenger and 17 Republican candidates have no challenger.

The Iowa State Senate

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In the State Senate where the Democrats have held power since 2006, 25 of 50 seats are up for election this cycle. Five of the 25 are uncontested and the Kochs have contributed to two of them: incumbents Sen. Randy Feenstra (IA-02) and Sen. Ken Rozenboom (IA-40).

The other 7 candidates the Kochs have contributed through KochPAC are all Republicans facing challengers.

Koch Candidates in Iowa

According to our research, here is the full list of candidates the Kochs are backing in Iowa in 2016. You can find our list of 2016 Koch Candidates nationwide here on SourceWatch.

Iowa House of Representatives

  • Rep. Megan Jones (IA-02) received $500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Daniel Huseman (IA-03) received $500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Mike Sexton (IA-10) received $500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Brian Best (IA-12) received $500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Chris Hall (IA-13) received $500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Matt Windschitl (IA-17) received $500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Steven Holt (IA-18) received $500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Ralph Watts (IA-19) received $500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Greg Heartsill (IA-28) received $500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Zach Nunn (IA-30) received $1,500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. John Landon (IA-37) received $500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Chris Hagenow (IA-43) received $1,500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Rob Taylor (IA-44) received $500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Pat Grassley (IA-50) received $500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Walt Rogers (IA-60) received $500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Bruce Bearinger (IA-64) received $500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Ken Rizer (IA-68) received $1,500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Jarad Klein (IA-78) received $500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Guy Vander Linden (IA-79) received $1,000 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Gary Carlson (IA-91) received $500 from KochPAC to his campaign.
  • Rep. Ross Paustian (IA-92) received $500 from KochPAC to his campaign.

Iowa State Senate

  • Sen. Randy Feenstra (IA-02) received $1,500 from KochPAC to his campaign for reelection.
  • Sen. Jake Chapman (IA-10) received $1,500 from KochPAC to his campaign for reelection.
  • Sen. Charles Schneider (IA-22) received $1,500 from KochPAC to his campaign for reelection.
  • Waylon Brown received $2,500 from KochPAC to his campaign for the District 26 seat.
  • Sen. Michael Breitbach (IA-28) received $1,500 from KochPAC to his campaign for reelection.
  • Craig Johnson received $2,500 from KochPAC to support his campaign for the District 32 seat.
  • Sen. Ken Rozenboom (IA-40) received $500 from KochPAC to his campaign for reelection.
  • Mark Lofgren received $2,500 from KochPAC to his campaign for the District 46 seat.
  • Sen. Dan Zumbach (IA-48) received $1,000 from KochPAC to his campaign for reelection.

Congress

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.
  • Rep. Steve King (IA-04) received $2,500 from KochPAC to King for Congress. The Koch-funded Concerned Women for America has also endorsed King.
David Armiak

David Armiak is a researcher and writer at the Center for Media and Democracy.

He is a cultural anthropologist who has research interests not only in U.S. politics, but also in South Korea's social movements.

Comments

OMG. Koch is exercising their first amendment rights! Oh no!