DCPolitics

Nikki Haley, Lindsey Graham And The Koch Brothers

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) – the political organization backed by billionaire industrialists Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch – is one of most well-funded advocacy groups in America. And its state chapters – like the one taking shape in South Carolina – are forces to be reckoned with in statewide…

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) – the political organization backed by billionaire industrialists Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch – is one of most well-funded advocacy groups in America. And its state chapters – like the one taking shape in South Carolina – are forces to be reckoned with in statewide races.

Particularly in small media markets like the ones in the Palmetto State – where the cost of running television ads is comparatively cheap.

Now … is AFP faithful in its support of pro-free market, pro-liberty policies? Eh … not so much.  And certainly not to the extent of groups like Americans for Limited Government (ALG) or think tanks like The Cato Institute.

After all the Kochs are crony capitalists … not above letting elected officials do them favors at the expense of the people they represent.

Perhaps the most egregious example of these favors is the infamous “Savannah River Sellout.”  Two years ago, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley effectively killed a private sector port proposal in Jasper County, S.C. (and weakened the competitive position of the government-run Port of Charleston) by ordering her environmental appointees to approve key permits for a government-run port expansion in Savannah, Georgia.

This was a boon to the Koch brothers – who have extensive business interests with the Port of Savannah.

“The Kochs love Nikki Haley,” sources familiar with the relationship tell FITS.

They should. She gift-wrapped a major competitive victory for them at the expense of the people she was elected to serve.  In accommodating the Kochs, Haley betrayed her state’s best interests (costing tens of thousands of jobs in the process).

NIKKI HALEY
NIKKI HALEY

Now, sources tell FITS that Haley is betraying the state’s best interests once again – using her influence with the Kochs on behalf of liberal U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Haley has not – and most likely will not – directly endorse Graham’s reelection bid. His numbers among GOP voters are far too toxic for that.  But she is showing him all sorts of love – and reportedly working feverishly behind the scenes on his behalf.

Wait … why would a “Tea Party” governor want to see the most liberal Republican in Washington, D.C. reelected?  Well, Graham is building an army of “center-left” voters in South Carolina – and Haley (who has no primary opponent) wants them on board with her reelection bid against Democratic State Senator Vincent Sheheen.

To get their support, though, she’s got to play ball …

According to sources familiar with the negotiations, Haley is doing just that – aggressively lobbying the Kochs in an effort to keep them out of Graham’s race. Is she succeeding?

Reports are mixed, but Graham’s people certainly seem to think so.

“They’ve promised they aren’t touching the race,” a source close to Graham’s campaign tells FITS.

Tea party sources disagree with that assessment, telling FITS that AFP is “funneling a ton of money into attack ads against Graham and voter (identification) efforts targeting non-Graham supporters.”

They point to a recent speech in South Carolina by new AFP president Tim Phillips in which he vowed to register 80,000 new Palmetto State voters supportive of “lower taxes, less regulation and smaller government.”

“Those are not going to be Graham voters,” our source said.

So which is it?

Calls to AFP’s national office were not immediately returned, but a source at a rival national group said they wouldn’t be surprised if AFP gave Graham a hall pass.

“They’re establishment,” the source said. “Like Graham … and Haley.”

In addition to coveting Graham’s centrist grassroots army, there is also no love lost between Haley and Graham’s top two challengers – Lowcountry businesswoman Nancy Mace and S.C. Sen. Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg).  Haley detests Mace for her involvement with FITSNews.com, while she and Bright remain at odds over his refusal to toe the line with respect to her watered down legislative agenda.

UPDATE: A spokesman for AFP’s national organization tells FITS the group does not engage in specific races, only voter education efforts. We asked if the group had any plans to “educate” voters in South Carolina on Graham’s record, at which point the spokesman referred us to APF’s South Carolina affiliate.

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18 comments

Ricky Naley December 18, 2013 at 10:04 am

People is south carolina will put Haley back in office because they vote like they drive like fucking idiots.

Reply
Smirks December 18, 2013 at 10:14 am

In the words of Ron White, “You can’t fix stupid.”

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cuvinny December 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

The whole tea party “movement” was their creation to begin with.

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Fits Aint No Republican December 18, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Yeh whats with Fits pitching this anti Koch Brothers line amongst tea Partiers?TPers are usually supportive of wealthy people viewing them as “jobs creators” AND “successful.”Ive never noticed any animosity toward so called “crony capitalism” among TPers.Their mantra seems to be every man for himself!

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tomstickler December 18, 2013 at 10:29 am

Any editor would have sent the above article back for rewrite.

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nitrat December 18, 2013 at 10:39 am

You do know that the Kochs own Cato, right?

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Smirks December 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

Doesn’t matter, Howard Rich.

Besides, wasn’t long ago that the Koch Bros were suing Cato.

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nitrat December 18, 2013 at 1:39 pm

To regain complete control, as I recall.

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Beachtiger0412 December 18, 2013 at 11:18 am

Haley gets back in office because the idiot republicans in this state only vote for the R – and not for the person. If they voted for the person – they would realize how incompetent Nikki Haley really is. As it is – Republicans don’t bother to find out what she does and doesn’t do because she has an R beside her name. Republicans are like a bunch of lemmings – they will follow each other off a cliff because they don’t know any better.

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nitrat December 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm

To prove your point – Just look at the bunch of carpetbaggers who put Mark Sanford back in Congress. You would think that everyone would have figured out by now that ALL Mark can do is tell them what they want to hear.
As long as he does that, they ignore the fact that he was monumentally ineffective the last time he was in Congress and an incompetent as governor – just look at the scandals at DOT, DOR, DSS, DEW, etc. months after he left office – Nikki had not been governor long enough to actually do much harm herself, but her idiocy on top of Sanford’s meant those cabinet agencies would CONTINUE in the wrong direction.

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euwe max December 18, 2013 at 11:58 am

choosing which demon you want to torture you in hell.

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ELCID December 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Fact: Koch Brother’s are the 3rd largest banker “DERIVATIVE SELLERS,” in America. They directly benefited from, and actively contributed to the Banking Collapse that has ruined the world’s economies. They are spending massive money in order to control the regulators who would probably put these 2 slime ball criminals in jail; where they certainly belong.

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Meaty Treaty December 18, 2013 at 3:20 pm

The only reason Haley is lobbying the Koch brothers is because chief of staff Timmeh told her it’s pronounced “Cock brothers”.

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AFP Lover December 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm Reply
Eye Spy December 18, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Graham will be smeared so fooking bad, his lost in the elections will be a major blow to his over inflated narcissistic psychopath personality. He has got to go … and he is going to go. Word of mouth is destroying him. Nobody much is going to believe his campaign ads. I am telling you here and now, he is finished.

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ha ha ha December 18, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Are you kidding?Graham will be EASILY re elected,mainly by people like YOU.After all your huffing and puffing and after the four stooges get their butts kicked in the primary,all you Republicans will return home and vote for your partys candidate. I mean ,really, what are you going to do? Vote for the Democrat?Hahaha!

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Steven Hoffman January 7, 2014 at 8:01 pm

Thanks, now I have to get a razor blade and take that AFP sticker off my truck back window.

Reply
This just in. . . January 29, 2014 at 11:27 am

Obama’s Call to End Tragedies Angers Pro-tragedy Wing in Congress

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) — President Obama’s call during his State of the Union address to “stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans” received a frosty response from the pro-tragedy wing in Congress last night.

After Mr. Obama made his controversial stopping-tragedies remark, prominent pro-tragedy members of Congress looked on in stony silence, refusing to applaud.

“I thought it was offensive and inappropriate,” said Sen. David Vitter (R-Louisiana). “If the President wants coöperation from Congress, he should refrain from his divisive and inflammatory anti-tragedy rhetoric.”

The pro-tragedy lobby is among the most powerful in Washington, spending millions annually to defeat politicians who oppose tragedies.

Another congressman with a strong pro-tragedy voting record, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina), also blasted the President’s remark, accusing Mr. Obama of conducting a “war on tragedy.”

“If the President really thinks he is going to prevent more tragedies, he should be prepared for a fight,” Rep. Wilson said. “The American people’s right to tragedies is protected by the United States Constitution.”

Reply

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