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Koch Network To Spend $400 Million To Help Republicans In 2018 Mid-Terms

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (Reuters) – The conservative Koch network spent its annual donor conference celebrating policy victories under President Donald Trump such as the tax overhaul, but the elation was tinged with anxiety over November’s congressional elections that could pose a risk to its agenda.


To that end, the network plans to spend what would be unprecedented sums for the Kochs to maintain Republican majorities in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, while trying to sell voters on the benefits of the newly passed tax package, according to network officials who briefed reporters on their strategy during the conference this weekend in Indian Wells, California.


Historically, the party in power loses seats in congressional elections after a new president’s election. This year, Republican angst is compounded by Trump, whose tumultuous presidency helped galvanize Democratic and independent voters to go to the polls in special and state elections last year.


“It’s going to be a very challenging environment,” said Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, a grassroots political group that is part of the Koch network. “The left is energized. There’s no question about that.”


The network is prepared to spend up to $400 million on the congressional races – a 60 percent increase from its investment in the 2016 election, officials said.


Energy magnates Charles and David Koch have long been outsized players in Republican politics, but they never warmed to Trump during the 2016 campaign.


With Trump in the White House, however, they have seen several policy goals realized, including the tax legislation and cutting federal regulations.


But the Koch network still diverges from the Republican president on issues such as immigration and trade. The Kochs strongly support legislation that would protect “Dreamers” – people brought illegally to the United States as children – from deportation.


Two Koch operatives, Daniel Garza and Jorge Lima, were at the White House on Friday to try to help broker a deal with Congress over the Dreamers. The network issued a statement on Friday disagreeing with a proposal in Trump’s immigration blueprint that would set new limits on legal immigration.


On trade, Phillips and other Koch operatives are deeply concerned about the administration’s moves to impose tariffs on some imports and ardently support the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, which is being renegotiated and that Trump has threatened to abandon.


Senator John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, was an attendee at the Koch event, a measure of the network’s deep ties to conservatives in Congress and an example of the leverage it would lose should Democrats take control next year.


Of the $400 million the network is looking to spend, $20 million will go toward promoting the tax law, which passed Congress in December and included big cuts in corporate tax rates along with tax reductions for many individuals.


Polls at the time of passage showed Americans divided about the bill’s merits, but Phillips said he believed that would change as voters see increased paychecks. Democrats condemned the tax measure as favoring corporations and the rich.


Americans for Prosperity is positioned to be a ground-level force in the congressional elections. Its largest presence is in Florida, where Democratic Senator Bill Nelson may face a fight from Republican Governor Rick Scott. The group also has offices in Arizona, Nevada, and Wisconsin, among other states, all of which are expected to see highly competitive Senate races.


Phillips said his group would likely stay out of Republican primaries.


One variable hanging over the Kochs’ effort is Trump. Republican losses in a special U.S. Senate election in Alabama last month and a governor’s race in Virginia in November were attributed in part to discontent with the president.


In 2010, Republicans seized on voter worries about Democratic President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, known as Obamacare, to capture the House and thwart Obama’s policy goals.


For the Koch network, the challenge will be to avoid having every local race become a referendum on the president, which could propel a Democratic wave.

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Politics

Mike Johnson: Israel First, America Last

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Mike Johnson has been a staunch supporter of Israel, as evidenced by his efforts to push through a $14.5 billion aid package for the country. This move has been met with both support and criticism, with some arguing that it comes at the expense of other Republican priorities. Johnson’s approach has also led to internal divisions within the GOP, as some members question the wisdom of prioritizing Israel over other pressing issues.

Despite the criticism, Johnson remains committed to his Israel-centric agenda, which has led to him being labeled as “America Last” by some. This has caused some Republicans to question their support for the party, particularly in light of the upcoming election.

The impact of Johnson’s Israel-centric agenda on the broader Republican platform is a topic of much debate. Some argue that it has caused the party to lose focus on other critical issues, such as fiscal responsibility and individual liberties. Others believe that support for Israel is a key component of the Republican platform and should be prioritized.

In conclusion, Mike Johnson’s Israel-centric agenda has had a significant impact on the broader Republican platform, leading to internal divisions and criticism from some members of the party. Whether this approach will continue to be a defining feature of Johnson’s tenure as House Speaker remains to be seen.

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AIPAC Tracker Exposing Sold-Out Politicians

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In the realm of U.S. politics, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has long been a powerful force, shaping policy and influencing elections through its financial contributions. However, the emergence of the AIPAC Tracker has brought a new level of transparency and accountability to the political landscape.

The AIPAC Tracker is a platform designed to provide comprehensive information on the financial contributions made by AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups to U.S. politicians. By tracking and compiling data on these contributions, the AIPAC Tracker aims to increase transparency and inform the public about the extent of AIPAC’s influence on American politics.

The AIPAC Tracker has been instrumental in promoting transparency in political financing. By compiling and presenting data on contributions from pro-Israel groups, the tracker enables the public to understand the financial ties between politicians and these organizations. This transparency is essential for a healthy democracy, as it allows voters to make informed decisions about the candidates they support.

Additionally, the increased accountability encouraged by the AIPAC Tracker can lead to more responsible and ethical behavior in the political arena. The AIPAC Tracker has also played a significant role in fostering dialogue about the influence of interest groups on U.S. politics. By providing a clear and accessible platform for understanding the financial connections between politicians and pro-Israel groups, the tracker has encouraged discussions about the role of lobbying in the democratic process.

As the public continues to demand greater transparency and accountability in politics, platforms like the AIPAC Tracker will play an increasingly important role in shaping the democratic process and ensuring that the voices of the people are heard.

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Biden Lies About Israel’s Involvement in Palestinian Genocide

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President Biden Says Israel is Not Committing a Genocide in Gaza, Denounces the ICC Arrest Warrant Against Netanyahu and Gallant

In a move that has stirred controversy and sparked debates across the globe, the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan has applied for arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. The request is in relation to alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity linked to the war in Gaza. The move has drawn sharp criticism from U.S. President Joe Biden, who has denounced the ICC’s decision as “outrageous.”

The warrants have been sought following a months-long investigation into both Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attack on Israel and Israel’s military response in the Gaza Strip. The ICC’s decision to target the top leaders of a close ally of the United States is unprecedented and marks a significant escalation in international pressure against Israel.

President Biden has firmly stated that Israel is not committing a genocide in Gaza. He has condemned the ICC’s decision to seek arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant, labeling the move as “outrageous” and asserting that there is no equivalence between Israel and Hamas. This stance aligns with the U.S.’s historical skepticism towards the ICC, arguing that the court should not exercise any jurisdiction over citizens of countries that are not a party to the founding treaty that established the ICC.

The ICC’s announcement on Monday is separate from the case that is currently being heard by the the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over an accusation from South Africa that Israel was committing genocide in its war against Hamas following the October 7 attacks. This case further complicates the situation, adding another layer of international scrutiny to Israel’s actions in Gaza.

The decision by the ICC has been met with mixed reactions. While some see it as a necessary step towards accountability for alleged war crimes, others view it as a politically motivated move that could damage the court’s relationship with the U.S. and other nations. The ICC’s decision to target both Israeli leaders and Hamas leaders in the same set of arrest warrants has also raised questions about the court’s approach to the conflict and its implications for future international justice efforts.

As the situation continues to unfold, the world watches closely to see how the U.S. and other nations will respond to the ICC’s decision and the ongoing conflict in Gaza. The controversy surrounding the ICC’s actions and President Biden’s response highlights the complex and often contentious nature of international justice and diplomacy in the face of ongoing conflict and human rights concerns.

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