Koch Groups Say They’re Looking For Common Ground Beyond Party Politics

By By Craig Jarvis, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

An effort by the libertarian political network founded by the Koch brothers to find common ground on a variety of issues kicks off this week with digital ads and mailers sent out to some members of Congress thanking them for restraint on spending.

Recipients of the thank-you notes are going to Sen. Thom Tillis for his position on immigration, and U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, Mark Meadows and Ted Budd for their stance on limited spending.

Last week CNN reported that Americans for Prosperity was launching a post-midterm campaign to bring politicians, business executives and others to work together on criminal justice reform, immigration, fiscal spending and free trade. These North Carolina mailers and ads are part of that strategy, the organization says.

The mailers and ads will go to targeted parts of North Carolina where voters strongly support those policies.

“Our country has a spending problem and we are thankful to have policy champions like Reps. Budd, Meadows and Walker working toward reining it in,” AFP state director Chris McCoy said in a statement. “We know that future generations of North Carolinians can’t afford to be saddled with debt and we know that these lawmakers will stand up for our families and our communities. Equally, our state is grateful for Sen. Tillis’ support for commonsense immigration reform. We know that a permanent solution for dreams will build stronger communities and stronger families in our state and across the nation.”

Americans for Prosperity has been underlining its independence from traditional conservatives. Earlier this year they broke with President Trump on trade issues.

Last month, the North Carolina chapter launched a six-figure ad campaign urging voters to oppose one of the proposed constitutional amendments that Republican-controlled General Assembly put on the ballot. The proposal, which was defeated, would have limited a governor’s power to appoint judges. McCoy said it was a “political power grab.”

At the time, AFP said it would take positions based on good policy, not partisan politics.

Now the Koch group is pushing for criminal justice reform in a measure that is backed by the Trump administration, CNN reports. They support legislation called the First Step Act that would provide job training for prisoners and cut their incarceration if they participate.

The Koch network has been pushing for a permanent solution for “Dreamers,” and would like to see Congress make that part of an upcoming spending bill that includes border security, The Hill reports.

Americans for Prosperity’s national president, Tim Phillips, said in a statement:

“As Americans gather around the table to give thanks, we want to take the opportunity to bring people together to address some of the toughest problems facing our country,” Phillips said. “After Thanksgiving there is still crucial work to be done in Washington, and the more lawmakers work together the better — whether that’s passing the First Step Act, addressing out-of-control spending or promoting free grade.”

This article provided by NewsEdge.