Billionaire Republican David Koch to Retire from Business AND Political Orgs
08 June, 2018, 03:12 | Author: Myra Gill
Last fall, Vice President Pence traveled to NY to rally David Koch and a group of about 100 other donors to back a Republican tax-cut plan.
"We are deeply saddened by this, as we miss David's insightful questions and his many contributions to Koch Industries", Charles Koch wrote. He has focused many of his philanthropic efforts on finding a cure for prostate cancer, including with contributions of almost $600 million to medical research and institutions.
In an April interview with the Washington Examiner, Charles Koch described his younger brother this way: "David is much morepolitical than I am".
David Koch had served as an executive vice president and a board member of Koch Industries, a Wichita, Kansas-based conglomerate with interests ranging from oil and ranching to farming and the manufacturing of electrical components. His brother Charles, 82, has appeared in recent months to pick up some of the slack left over by his brother's illness. In 1980, he was the Libertarian Party's nominee for vice president.
The network, which could make a difference in some of the states that could tip the balance of power on Capitol Hill, says it plans to spend roughly $400 million on state and federal policy and politics during the two-year election cycle that culminates with the November balloting.
In a statement Tuesday about Koch's departure, Holden said network officials "greatly appreciate his vital role on the board and all that he has done to help us build a strong foundation for our future success".
As Koch Industries' profile rose, so did David Koch's involvement in politics and philanthropy.
His pledge in 2008 to donate $100 million prompted Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts to rename the dance-focused New York State Theater in his honor. Then, Americans for Prosperity spent more than $20 million to help pass the version of the tax bill that the Kochs liked, one that brought the corporate rate down from 35 percent to 21 percent. Those gifts triggered some controversy.
The Koch Brothers have always been supporters of the Republican Party but Donald Trump has angered the family and three political groups that support them. The organization was especially active during the presidency of Barack Obama whom they both saw as driven by a socialist agenda that threated their libertarian philosophy and their business. More than 100 scientists petitioned natural history museums to sever ties with Koch and any other executives in the fossil fuels industry.
The Koch Brothers have made an indelible mark on their support for conservative causes, so much so that former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid blasted Republicans as having a "Koch addiction".
An engineer by training, Koch has led Koch Industries subsidiary Koch Chemical Technology Group since he joined the family business in 1970.
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