Sept. 10 (UPI) — A political arm of the Koch brothers’ network opened a new political action committee on Monday to elect libertarian- and conservative-leaning candidates.
The advocacy group Americans for Prosperity announced the formation of AFP Action, which will unite with the Hispanic super PAC Libre Action and Concerned Veterans for America Action to help elect candidates.
The Koch brothers’ various political organizations can draw on a list of wealthy donors and are expected to spend over $400 million during the election cycle on politics and policy, The Hill reported.
The Koch network is reviewing its strategy for the 2018 elections after frustration with President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress. It has opposed Trump’s tariff plan and the $1.3 trillion spending package passed by Congress in March, but is supportive of a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those who came illegally to the United States with their parents as children.
Senior Koch officials have also been critical of Trump for his demeanor and inflammatory rhetoric.
Earlier this year the network announced it would be more selective in aiding Republicans running for the Senate. As an example, it said it would not support the Senate campaign of Rep. Kevin Kramer, R-N.D., because of his support of the spending bill. Kramer is opposing incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, R-N.D.
AFP has, however, been supportive of the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Republicans hold a 51 to 49 advantage in the Senate. Although they are a 23-seat minority in the House, Democrats are expected to gain seats and possibly take over House leadership.
The Koch network initiative comes as the Black Economic Alliance, formed by African-American business executives, endorsed 14 House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates.
The endorsements, announced Monday, largely involve races in areas where a turnout of African-American voters on Election Day could be a decisive factor.
In a series of Twitter announcements on Monday, the BEA endorsed former Rep. Mike Espy, D-Miss., seeking a Senate seat in Mississippi, the state with the highest percentage of African-American residents. Also endorsed were Steven Horsford, seeking a House seat in Nevada, and Texas Democrat Colin Allred, a lawyer and former Tennessee Titans linebacker, running against 11-term Rep. Pete Sessions in a Dallas district which presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won in 2016.
“This is an important moment in time because we recognize that black Americans haven’t been able to participate as fully and as completely in the American Dream” said BEA co-chairman Tony Coles, CEO of Massachusetts-based biotech company Yumanity Therapeutics.