古村治彦の政治情報紹介・分析ブログ

SNSI研究員・愛知大学国際問題研究所客員研究員の古村治彦のブログです。翻訳と評論の分野で活動しています。日常、考えたことを文章にして発表していきたいと思います。古村治彦の経歴などについては、以下のアドレスをご覧ください。http://soejimaronbun.sakura.ne.jp/goaisatsu.html 連絡先は、harryfurumura@gmail.com です。よろしくお願いします。

タグ:レベカ・マーサー

 古村治彦です。

 

 今回は、『タイム』誌が発表する今年の100人(小池百合子都知事も選ばれました)の中に選ばれたトランプ政権関係者6名についての分を抜粋してお伝えします。イヴァンカ・トランプ、ジャレッド・クシュナー上級顧問、ドナルド・トランプ大統領、レインス・プリーバス大統領首席補佐官、スティーヴン・バノン首席ストラティジスト、レベカ・マーサーです。面白いのは、それぞれの紹介文を書いているのが大物であり、味方、敵(元敵)である点です。

 

 興味深いには、ジャレッド・クシュナーを紹介しているのが、ヘンリー・キッシンジャー元国務長官です。キッシンジャーは、共和党から民主党、民主党から共和党、とホワイトハウスの主が変わるときの大変さを指摘し、クシュナーは大統領の補佐役としてうまくやっていくだろうと書いています。昨年のトランプとキッシンジャーの会談をセットしたのがジャレッド・クシュナーですが、クシュナーとキッシンジャーが初めて会ったのが2015年であるとも書かれています。キッシンジャーはクシュナーがハーヴァード大学出身であることも書いており、そこにも信頼を置いているという感じです。

 

 トランプ政権内部で内部闘争が起きており、一方の旗頭がスティーヴン・バノンで、もう一方の旗頭がジャレッド・クシュナーと言われています。そして、バノンとクシュナーが激しく衝突したという報道もなされています。この2人を仲裁したのが、プリーバスです。この3人について紹介されています。

 

 レベカ・マーサーは共和党への大口献金者として知られている人物ですが、トランプ勝利のために、資金を提供し、バノンをトランプ選対に送り込んだ人物です。この人物についてはあまり知られていないと思われますので、この紹介記事は重要であると思います。

 

 5月28日に副島隆彦の学問道場主催の定例会で、同僚の中田安彦研究員がトランプ政権について講演を行いますが、それとも関連する記事ですので、出席される方は是非お読みください。

 

(貼り付けはじめ)

 

『タイム(TIME)』誌 2017年4月20日

 

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イヴァンカ・トランプ(Ivanka Trump

 

ウェンディ・マードック筆

http://time.com/collection/2017-time-100/4742699/ivanka-trump/

 

 

世界はイヴァンカ・トランプをアメリカのファースト・ドーター、実業家、家族を大事にする妻であり母であることを知りつつある。私は彼女を親しい友人と呼べることを誇るに思っている。私と彼女が友人関係になって12年が経つ。私はニューヨークに住む隣人同士として知り合った。そしてすぐに親しくなっていった。お互い現代的な働く母親として、私たちは多くの挑戦と喜びを共有してきた。イヴァンカは私の人生において助言を与えてくれる信頼できる相談者である。

 

私はイヴァンカを尊敬し、賞賛の気持ちを持っている。それは、彼女が新しい役割の持つ影響力を如何に使うかを分かっているからだ。彼女は長年にわたり女性と少女の地位向上を訴えてきた。また、現在は教育の改善を訴え、人身売買のごく滅のために活動している。彼女は人身売買の悲惨さを知り、平穏な生活を捨てて、幼い家族とともにワシントンに移り、世界に良い変化をもたらそうとしている。

 

私の娘たちはイヴァンカに憧れつづけている。世界中の女性と少女たちもまた彼女に憧れを抱くことができると私は考えている。

 

※マードックは、映画プロデューサー、実業家、「アーツィー」社の共同創設者である。(訳者註:ルパート・マードックの元妻。中国系。気が強いことでも有名)

 

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ジャレッド・クシュナー(Jared Kushner

 

ヘンリー・キッシンジャー筆

http://time.com/collection/2017-time-100/4742700/jared-kushner/

 

アメリカ大統領が1つの政党からもう1つの政党へ交代することは、アメリカ政治におけるもっとも複雑な出来事の1つだ。このような変化が起きると、ワシントンを動かしている目に見えないメカニズムの中に大きな変化と不安定が生まれる。 新しくワシントンにやってくる大統領は既存の型式の構造について無知であり、その無知の程度が大きいほど、それを埋めることを期待されているアドヴァイザーたちの責任は重くなっていく

 

ここ4カ月、新大統領とワシントンのメカニズムの間をうまくつないでいるのがジャレッド・クシュナーだ。私がクシュナーと初めて会ったのは18カ月前のことであった。私が外交政策について講演を行ったその後に、彼は私に自己紹介をした。それが最初の出会いであった。私たちはそれ以降、率直に意見交換するようになった。トランプの親族の一員の中で、ジャレッドはトランプ大統領が何を考えているかも分かる人物だ。ジャレッドはハーヴァード大学とニューヨーク大学の卒業生であり、幅広い教育を受けている。実業家して、組織の運営についてもよく知っている。こうした長所によって、彼は太陽の近くを飛び回るという危険な任務を成功させることができるだろう。

 

※キッシンジャーは米国務長官を務めた

 

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ドナルド・トランプ(Donald Trump

 

ポール・ライアン筆

http://time.com/collection/2017-time-100/4736323/donald-trump/

 

彼は常に物事を達成するための方法を見つける。私を含む多くの人々が、彼はどうやって成功できるんだろうかと首をひねっていたが、ドナルド・トランプは歴史的な勝利を収めたのだ。トランプは第45代アメリカ合衆国大統領に就任し、政治のルールを書き換え、アメリカの方向性を設定し直した。実業家とは常に常識や現状に挑戦したいと考えているものだ。トランプはワシントンに激震をもたらし、これまでにない政策目標を掲げている。彼は決して戦いを恐れない。彼は自分など忘れ去られた存在だと感じている人々のために戦うことを自分に課している。他の人々が態度を変えるような場所でも、彼は自分が何者であるかという点を明らかにして態度を変えることはない。他の人なら退くところで、彼は一歩前に踏み出す。私は、トランプがアメリカをがらりと変えてしまうかもしれない、私たちを導く力を持つ指導者であると認識している。トランプは再び困難を乗り越え、目的を達成する方法を見つけるだろうと私は確信している。

 

※ライアンはアメリカ連邦下院議長を務めている。

 

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レインス・プリーバス(Reince Priebus

 

ラーム・エマニュエル筆

http://time.com/collection/2017-time-100/4736339/reince-priebus/

 

レインス・プリーバスと私の共通点は、中西部の生まれである点と変わった名前である点、そして政治を愛している点くらいだ。しかし、私たちは大統領首席補佐官として大統領の要望に応えてきた数少ない人物たちの仲間である。 私たちは、激しい選挙戦と一つの党から別の党への政権交代の後の新政権発足で、大統領首席補佐官を務めることになったという共通点がある。私たちは傷だらけの状態から仕事を始めた。

 

首席補佐官はホワイトハウスの職務の中で2つのタイトルを示している。首席とスタッフだ。首席が意味するのは、構造と説明責任だ。補佐官が意味するのは、大統領はアメリカ国民の投票で選ばれた人物だということを肝に銘じ、大統領執務室のドアを開ける前に自分のエゴが出ないようにチェックし、自分は大統領のために働くためにそこにいるということを理解し、彼の考えを実現するのだということを確かめるということだ。

 

私は大統領首席補佐官だったとき、金曜日のたびに次のようなジョークを言っていた。「やれやれ、月曜日まであと2日間だけ働けばいいんだ」。大統領首席補佐官は消耗するし、感謝されない仕事だ。1日の始まりから終わりまで、様々なことが起き、経験する。それがどんなに朝早く、夜遅く起きるにしても、私たちは神経を張りつめておかねばならない。 過ぎていく1日は、私たちが挑戦を始める1日となる。

 

※エマニュエルは、バラクオバマ大統領の大東翔首席補佐官を務めた。現在はシカゴ市長を務めている。

 

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スティーヴン・バノン(Stephen Bannon

 

マイケル・ダフィー筆

http://time.com/collection/2017-time-100/4736342/stephen-bannon/

 

スティーヴン・バノンは第45代大統領の大統領首席ストラティジストとして機能しないかもしれない。しかし、バノンほど、ドナルド・トランプの大統領選挙と就任後2カ月で影響力を発揮してきた人物は存在しない。アメリカ海軍とゴールドマンサックスに勤務した経験を持つ。彼は現在、トランプ政権の方向性を決める最高幹部となっている。彼は、既存の民主、共和両党に対して、怒りに満ちた、ナショナリスティックな、アメリカ第一主義の炎を向けている。バノンは政府機関、ビジネス界、マスコミのエリートを攻撃してきた。そして、トランプを支持した高齢の白人で、現状に不満を持つ人々を徹底して喜ばせてきた。バノンの語る内容は、これまでブライトバート社の会長として主張してきたもので、これは、トランプ政権発足後の75日間の明確な目標となった。しかし、これに対して激しい反対も引き起こした。しかし、トランプ自身は、バノンが連邦議会に対しての勝利を収めることよりも、トランプ支持者たちを離れさせるようなことをしていると認識している。トランプにとって、これは大変に危険で、彼を破滅させることになると考えている。

 

ダフィーは、『タイム』誌の副編集長である。

 

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レベカ・マーサー(Rebekah Mercer

 

テッド・クルーズ筆

http://time.com/collection/2017-time-100/4742759/rebekah-mercer/

 

レベカ・マーサーは戦士であり愛国者だ。彼女は卓越した数学者で、大成功を収めた投資家の娘として生まれた。レベカは素晴らしい知識と直観力に恵まれている。彼女はそのまま恵まれた、安楽な暮らしをすることは簡単なはずだった。しかし、レベカは自由とわが国について深く考える人間だ。

 

レベカと彼女の父ボブは、これまで政治革命を推進するために莫大な資金を投じてきた。2人のアプローチは複合的だ。シンクタンク、公共政策研究組織、インターネット・メディア、データ分析会社への援助を通じて、レベカは政治の世界に変革をもたらしてきた。彼女は、ワシントンにおける民主、共和両党の腐敗に対する人々の不満を理解している。彼女は汚れた沼の水を抜くことを強力に主張している。

 

レベカは、新人や勝利の可能性が低い候補者たちの資金や選挙運動を支援してきた。その中には私の上院議員選挙や大党選挙が含まれる。ドナルド・トランプが共和党の大統領選挙候補者に指名された時、レベカは、トランプの選挙対策ティームに人員を集め、11月に世界に衝撃を与えた戦略を採用する際に重要な役割を果たした。

 

※クルズは、テキサス州選出のアメリカ連邦上院議員である。

 

(貼り付け終わり)

 

(終わり)







アメリカの真の支配者 コーク一族
ダニエル・シュルマン
講談社
2016-01-22



このエントリーをはてなブックマークに追加 mixiチェック Share on Tumblr Clip to Evernote

 古村治彦です。

 

 私は『アメリカの真の支配者 コーク一族』(ダニエル・シュルマン著、講談社、2015年12月)を翻訳して1年が経ちました。今年はアメリカ大統領選挙の年で、値段が高く、分厚い翻訳書も少しは売れました。ありがとうございます。

 


 コーク一族の総帥チャールズ・コークと弟デイヴィッド・コークは、大統領選挙期間中、ドナルド・トランプを支持ないと明言し(デイヴィッドは“トランプとヒラリー・クリントンのどちらかを選ぶというのは、心臓発作になるのがよいか、癌になるのがよいかを選ぶようなものだ”と発言しました)、連邦議会選挙に自分たちが作り上げた大富豪たちのネットワークで集めた資金を投入しました。結果は、大統領選挙、連邦上院・連邦下院選挙で共和党が勝利し、ホワイトハウスと連邦議事堂を共和党が抑えることに成功しました。

 

 トランプ次期大統領は現在、ホワイトハウスの幹部スタッフや閣僚選びを行っています。その中で、以下の3本の記事のように、コーク・ネットワークに参加している、もしくは参加していた大富豪や活動家たちに多数がトランプの政権移行ティームに参加し、もしくは閣僚やホワイトハウスの幹部スタッフに選ばれています。以下の記事には、「トランプのコーク・ネットワーク人材で構成された政権(Tumps Koch Administration)」が出ています。

 

 チャールズとデイヴィッドのコーク兄弟はトランプを支持していませんが、コーク兄弟が築き上げたネットワーク(タコのように邪悪でたこ足のように様々な組織が重なっている様子を、タコ[オクトパス]にかけて、コクトパス[Kochtopus]と呼ばれています)は、共和党主流派に代わる人材供給源となっています。

 

 マイク・ペンス次期副大統領は連邦下院議員時代からインディアナ州知事時代まで長年にわたり、コーク兄弟からの支援を受けてきました。ペンスは政権移行ティームを率いています。ペンスのアドヴァイザーのマーク・ショートは、コーク・ネットワークから財政支援を受けている組織「フリーダム・パートナーズ商工会」の会長職を今年2月に辞め、トランプ陣営に参加しました。CIA長官に内定しているマイク・ポンぺオ連邦下院議員はカンザス州選出ですが、コーク・インダストリーズが本社を置き、チャールズ・コークが居住しているカンザス州ウィチタの出身で、「コーク出身の連邦議員(congressman from Koch)」と呼ばれています。商務長官に内定したウィルバー・ロスは、安倍晋三首相とトランプの会談をお膳立てした人物と言われていますが、ニューヨークに居住するデイヴィッド・コークの長年の友人でもあります。

 

 「フリーダム・パートナーズ」の出身者としては、トランプ選対の初代本部長を務めたコリー・ルワンドウスキーがいます。ルワンドウスキーは選対内部の争い、特にトランプの女婿ジャレッド・クシュナーとの確執があり、選対本部長を辞職しましたが、彼の保守系草の根運動の経験があったればこそ、トランプが共和党予備選挙を勝ち抜くことが出来ました。

 

 コーク兄弟が作り上げた富豪たちのネットワークであるコーク・ネットワークに参加している富豪たちで重要なのは、レベカ・マーサーです。レベカは父ロバート・マーサーと共にコーク・ネットワークに2500万ドルを支出しています。コーク兄弟がトランプを支持しないと発表した後も、積極的にトランプを支援しました。また、今回、ホワイトハウス首席ストラティジスト登用が決まったスティーヴ・バノンを選対に入れたのもレベカです。マーサー家はバノンが会長をしていたインターネットメディアの「ブライトバート・ニュース」社に資金を出しており、レベカの意向を受けてトランプもバノンを選対責任者に迎え入れました。そして、選挙で勝利を収めました。

 

 また、大統領選挙ではデータ収集と分析が大変重要になりますが、レベカはトランプ選対入りをしたバノンに「ケンブリッジ・アナリティカ」という会社を使わせました。この会社には、レベカの父ロバートが出資をしています。

 

 トランプ政権で教育省長官に指名されたのがベッツィー・デヴォスです。デヴォスは,

「スクール・チョイス」と呼ばれる公立学校選択制導入を主張しており、そのために、コーク・ネットワークを通じてスクール・チョイス推進団体に多額の寄付をしています。デヴォスはアムウェイ社の創業家の一族です。今回、トランプ政権に多くの人材を供給し、トランプの対中・対台湾姿勢に影響を与えていると言われるヘリテージ財団に多額の資金を寄付しているのがアムウェイとコーク兄弟です。

 

 今回、トランプは「ワシントンの汚れきった泥沼から水を排出して綺麗にする(drain the swamp)」を目的にしています。具体的には、共和党主流派(エスタブリッシュメント)の力を弱めることを目的としています。しかし、トランプにはビジネスの経験と人脈はありますが、実際の人材となると彼の関係者だけでは足りません。そこで、非主流派に属していた人々を登用しなければなりませんが、そうした人々や組織はコーク兄弟とコーク・ネットワークの支援や影響を受けていることなります。コーク兄弟も民主党と妥協的な共和党は本来好んでいなかった訳ですが、「民主党よりはまし」ということで支援はしてきましたが、どちらかと言うと、党外の組織や人々の支援を行ってきました。そして、それが結実したのが「ティーパーティー運動」でした。

 

 トランプとコーク兄弟は対立しましたが、「共和党エスタブリッシュメントと戦って、既存の共和党を壊す」という点では共闘できます。ただ、問題はトランプが主張している、アメリカのインフラ整備や改善といった公共事業についてで、大規模な財政出動ということになると、リバータリアニズムを信奉するコーク兄弟系の人材は離反することになるでしょう。

 

 民間活力を如何に利用するか、ということがトランプ政権にとって重要なキーとなるでしょう。

 

(記事貼りつけはじめ)

 

How a network led by the billionaire Koch brothers is riding the Trump wave

 

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/07/donald-trump-koch-brothers-cabinet-transition-power

 

Despite the Koch brothers not backing Donald Trump financially with ads during the election, their network is emerging as a winner from his transition

 

Despite deciding not to back Donald Trump financially with ads during the presidential election, the sprawling donor and advocacy network led by the multibillionaire Koch brothers is emerging as a winner in the transition.

 

Longtime ally Mike Pence is leading the transition team, and several veteran Koch network donors, operatives and political allies are poised to join the Trump administration when the new president takes office in January.

 

While Charles Koch and some network officials had tough words for Trump for some of his incendiary campaign rhetoric and positions this year, several mega-donors who back Koch-linked advocacy groups poured millions into Super Pacs and other fundraising efforts to boost Trump, and some of these donors have not been shy about flexing their muscles during the transition.

 

The Koch network, which says it spent about $250m this election cycle on politics and policy efforts, comprises several hundred donors who help underwrite numerous free-market, small-government advocacy groups. The network is spearheaded by Charles and David Koch, the libertarian-leaning brothers who control the $115bn-a-year energy and industrial behemoth Koch Industries.

 

Several Koch network donors who backed Trump, such as Robert Mercer, Joe Craft, Doug Deason, Harold Hamm, Diane Hendricks and Stan Hubbard, have reason to be pleased that his early cabinet picks align with their views on expanding fossil fuels, spurring charter schools, repealing and replacing Obamacare, and slashing government regulations and taxes.

 

One of Trump’s early cabinet selections, for instance, was Betsy DeVos as education secretary: DeVos is part of a multibillionaire family that have long been hefty donors to advocacy groups linked to the Kochs and championed charter schools and school choice, both popular causes in Koch world.

 

Further, Trump’s key energy adviser for months has been fracking multibillionaire Hamm, who has been mentioned as a potential energy secretary. While Hamm is expected to keep running his oil and natural gas company Continental Resources, two transition sources say he has pushed for Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin to be named interior secretary, and the state’s attorney general Scott Pruitt to run the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which he has sued to block climate change curbs.

 

Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of billionaire hedge fund executive Robert Mercer, who ploughed $2m into a pro-Trump Super Pac that she ran, is on the transition’s executive committee. Mercer has talked with chief White House strategist Stephen Bannon about having an outside group hire the big data firm Cambridge Analytica, which her father is a key investor in and Bannon sits on the board of, for messaging and communications drives to boost administration goals, according to a digital strategist familiar with the firm.

 

I think most of the network is pretty pleased” with the cabinet selections to date, said Texas investor Doug Deason who, in tandem with his billionaire father Darwin Deason, poured almost $1m into the Republican National Committee to help Trump and other GOP candidates. “They’re pleased Trump has softened his rhetoric.”

 

Deason, who said he is “passionate about school choice”, also said that he spoke to Pence for a half hour around Thanksgiving – and then followed up with texts – to tout Rudy Giuliani for secretary of state and, as Hamm did, Pruitt to head the EPA. Giuliani is a partner of Deason’s at Giuliani Deason Capital Interests, a private equity firm.

 

The early moves by Trump and his transition team have also pleased Hubbard, a billionaire media owner. “I’m feeling a lot better about him than I did earlier,” Hubbard told the Guardian. “Trump’s picked good people for his cabinet.”

 

Hubbard and other donors are also betting that Pence, who some Koch network donors once hoped might lead the GOP ticket, will be a powerful force in the administration. “My guess is that Pence will be a lot more active than most vice-presidents,” said Hubbard.

 

Besides overseeing the transition, Pence has been working closely with House speaker Paul Ryan, whom he served with in the House before he was Indiana governor, to coordinate plans for Obamacare’s repeal, a hugely controversial and risky effort, but a top priority for the Koch network and many Republicans.

 

Still the Koch network, which spent $42m on ads to help GOP Senate candidates, is expected to have some dust-ups with the Trump administration: Trump’s protectionist trade stances and some of his policy goals, such as a massive infrastructure spending program, pose potential conflicts with Koch world’s free-market views.

 

But Koch network officials sound cautiously upbeat about the incoming Trump administration. “We are encouraged by the Trump administration’s stated commitment to reduce corporate tax and regulatory burdens and make America more competitive,” James Davis of Freedom Partners, the network’s financial hub, said in an email. Davis added that the network would “try to find areas to work together” with the new administration.

 

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Trump’s Koch administration

 

Despite past clashes — and looming policy disputes — the Koch brothers’ operation has allies in key positions on Trump’s team.

 

By Kenneth P. Vogel and Eliana Johnson

 

11/28/16 05:01 AM EST

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/trump-koch-brothers-231863

 

 

Charles Koch once likened the contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to being asked to choose cancer or a heart attack.

 

Now, Koch’s allies are helping to launch Trump’s administration, giving Charles and his brother David potential inroads with a president whose campaign they refused to support.

 

The president-elect, in filling out his transition team and administration, has drawn heavily from the vast network of donors and advocacy groups built by the billionaire industrialist brothers, who have sought to reshape American politics in their libertarian image.

 

From White House Counsel Don McGahn and transition team advisers Tom Pyle, Darin Selnick and Alan Cobb to Presidential Inaugural Committee member Diane Hendricks and transition-team executive committee members Rebekah Mercer and Anthony Scaramucci, Trump has surrounded himself with people tied to the Kochs.

 

In creating the Koch network, I don’t think that we ever envisioned that we would be supplying staffers to this semi-free market, semi-populist president,” said Frayda Levin, a donor to the network who chairs the board of its main voter mobilization group, Americans for Prosperity. “But we’re happy that he’s picking people who have that free market background, particularly because on many issues, he is a blank slate, so anybody with expertise is in an amazing position to shape his agenda.”

 

And many more Koch-linked operatives are expected to join Trump’s nascent administration in the coming weeks, according to Trump transition-team sources. Names being considered include Koch Industries lobbyist Brian Henneberry and former company spokesman Matt Lloyd, as well as Daniel Garza, who runs a Koch-backed nonprofit called the LIBRE Initiative that courts Latinos, not to mention a handful of veterans of the Koch network’s advocacy groups who worked on the Trump campaign — from top Pence adviser Marc Short and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to ex-campaign aides Stuart Jolly, Eli Miller, Scott Hagerstrom, Charles Munoz and Matt Ciepielowski.

 

Perhaps more surprisingly, despite some predictions of imminent policy clashes, there’s already informal communication between the Trump team and the Koch network, and both camps are signaling a willingness to work together on issues of mutual interest. David Koch even attended Trump’s election night victory party.

 

How long the comity lasts between Trump and the powerful Koch brothers could go far in determining whether Trump is able to take full advantage of the complete Republican control of Washington ushered in by his stunning victory over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

 

Things weren’t so agreeable during the campaign, when the Koch operation blocked Trump from directly accessing its data or its candidate forums, while the brothers condemned the first-time candidate for his combative tone, his calls for a Muslim immigration ban and his opposition to the sorts of trade policies that facilitate the brothers’ vision of unfettered global capitalism. At one point, Charles Koch compared the choice between Trump and Clinton to choosing between “cancer or heart attack,” and the Koch network did not spend any money directly boosting Trump or attacking Clinton.

 

Trump in turn boasted that the Kochs could not influence him because he didn’t “want their money or anything else from them.” And he blasted his rivals for the GOP nomination as puppets of the Kochs. A possible truce after Trump clinched the nomination broke down quickly, with the two sides clashing over who rejected a proposed meeting.

 

The Koch network, which some believed was discouraging its operatives from working with Trump’s campaign, is now seen by insiders as welcoming the chance to have allies on the inside of Trump’s administration.

 

At the same time, though, the network already is signaling that it intends to oppose aspects of Trump’s agenda that run counter to the brothers’ brand of small government, low-regulation conservatism, possibly including the incoming president’s $1 trillion infrastructure spending plan and his pledge to renegotiate trade deals.

 

Trump’s press office didn’t respond to requests for comment.

 

James Davis, a spokesman for Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the central group in the Koch network, said, “We’ll try to find areas to work together to advance a free and open society and reverse the counterproductive policies that have created a two-tiered society.” He added: “We wish the new administration well.”

 

Setting aside the personal and policy conflicts, Trump’s willingness to draw from the Kochs’ operation makes sense in several ways.

 

Charles and David Koch over the past decade mobilized some of the biggest donors on the right to finance what amounts to a privatized political partya network of donors and advocacy groups that became a leading employer of conservative operatives and policy professionals independent of the official GOP during a period when Republicans were mostly out of power in Washington.

 

The 1,200-employee network, which claims it will have spent about $750 million in the run-up to the 2016 election, would have been a logical pool from which any incoming Republican administration might have drawn as it endeavored to fill thousands of jobs.

 

But there’s an added appeal for Trump.

 

During the campaign, Trump railed against a Washington GOP establishment — embodied by the family of his vanquished primary foe Jeb Bush — from which the Kochs for years had worked to demonstrate their independence. And, after he won, President-elect Trump announced a sweeping lobbying ban that could be more of a deterrent for many conservative policy professionals than for Koch network staffers, who can work for years within the brothers’ network of think tanks and advocacy groups without directly lobbying federal or state officials.

 

If you’re not going to pull from the Chamber of Commerce, Bush wing of the party, you don’t have that many places to go, so it makes sense to look to Koch world,” said a GOP operative who advised Trump team’s during the campaign and the transition. “Trump is looking for new blood that wasn’t part of the traditional establishment, and his presidency is already totally rewriting the Republican hierarchy. There were all these people who were locked out who are now getting their chance.”

 

Some former Koch staffers told POLITICO that the allure of joining Trump’s team was compounded by what they saw as the network’s retreat from the 2016 presidential race and its increased emphasis on advocating libertarian-infused policies such as decreasing incarceration and government subsidies.

 

It’s less a result of Trump recruiting from the network as it is a result of the network retreating from the political field, leaving people looking for places they could go to have an impact,” said a former network staffer who worked on the Trump campaign.

 

In fact, many of the Koch veterans who played major roles in the Trump campaign had left the Koch network weeks or even months before joining forces with Trump, including Short, Lewandowski, Ciepielowski, Cobb, Jolly, Miller and Munoz — none of whom responded to requests for comment for this story.

 

Most notably, Short resigned his role as president of Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce in late February to join Marco Rubio’s rival presidential campaign, motivated partly by the network’s decision to sit out the presidential race.

 

Short landed in Trump’s orbit when the Republican nominee tapped as his running mate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. A longtime ally of the Koch network, Pence had previously employed both Short and Lloyd, who later went to work for Koch Industries, the privately owned multinational oil and industrial conglomerate that is the source of the brothers’ fortunes, which are estimated at $43 billion each. Short is now helping Pence run the transition effort and is expected to fill a senior role in the vice president’s office, as is Lloyd, who is working as a deputy chief of staff in Pence’s gubernatorial office in Indiana and could not be reached for comment.

 

Other ex-Koch operatives, including Lewandowski, left the network on less-than-great terms, and jumped at the chance to join up early with Trump as he launched a campaign that few establishment operatives or donors took seriously.

 

Lewandowski had worked for years at Americans for Prosperity, where he drew complaints from co-workers and directed an underperforming voter registration initiative. Still, he brought with him from AFP undeniable organizing experience. Under his leadership, the Trump campaign brought on a number of former AFP operatives, including Ciepielowski, Cobb, Jolly, Miller and Munoz — all of whom are up for posts in Trump’s administration or at the Republican National Committee, according to sources in Trump’s operation.

 

Cobb is currently working for the transition team, which also is getting advice from Selnick and Pyle.

 

Selnick is a senior adviser and consultant to Concerned Veterans for America, a nonprofit group funded by the Koch network that has pushed to allow veterans to access private health care — a goal that Trump embraced on the campaign trail.

 

The Trump transition team’s collaboration with experts like Darin is a positive sign that the president-elect is prioritizing real VA reform,” said Dan Caldwell, a Concerned Veterans spokesman, referring to the Department of Veterans Affairs. “We are optimistic that President-elect Trump will now turn these ideas into tangible reforms, and we will support him in that effort.”

 

Pyle, who is leading the Trump transition team’s Energy Department landing team, is the president of a fossil fuel advocacy group called the American Energy Alliance, which has received significant Koch network funding. But the group gradually has been cut out of the network, which may have given it leeway to officially endorse Trump over the summer, even as the Koch network was sitting out the race. Pyle declined to comment.

 

Additionally, some of the deepest pockets helping Trump have either contributed significant sums to the Koch network or attended its twice-a-year donor gatherings. They include transition team executive committee members Mercer, a hedge fund heiress, and Scaramucci, a Wall Street impresario; as well as self-made roofing billionaire Hendricks, a member of Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee. Family members of Betsy DeVos, whom Trump nominated last week as his secretary of education, have also been contributors to the network.

 

McGahn, who last week was named White House counsel, represented Freedom Partners and its affiliated super PAC — work he continued for a time even after signing on with the Trump campaign. He didn’t respond to a request for comment.

 

Garza, whose LIBRE Initiative is in good standing in the Koch network, told POLITICO that he is engaged in “some initial talks” about a possible role with the Trump team. But he suggested that, even if he joined the team, it wouldn’t mean that the Trump administration would get a free pass from his group. “We’ll encourage and advocate for freedom-oriented, pro-growth policy proposals and call out bad policy prescriptions regardless of party or personality.”

 

The first potential battle between the Kochs and the Trump administration — the one repeatedly mentioned by operatives in and out of the network — is Trump’s centerpiece infrastructure plan, which constitutes the sort of Big Government domestic spending for which the Kochs have long attacked Democratic and Republican politicians alike.

 

It will be interesting to see whether AFP actually holds the line on something,” said one top Republican operative. “There really could be a Trump-Koch spat in Year One.”

 

Others are interpreting the Koch-Trump détente as evidence that the true allegiance of many Koch staffers was always to the Republican Party, despite the network’s attempts to cast its efforts as independent from the official GOP.

 

Starting in 2006 when Republicans lost control of Congress and even more so in 2008, when we lost the White House, a lot of people just needed a paycheck to keep up with their mortgage, and the Koch network kept them afloat,” said one former network official. “That’s not the way Charles Koch saw it, but the people who were accepting the checks saw it that way. And now, there’s an opportunity for them to get off the Koch dole and get back in power.”

 

Then there’s the question of whether Trump will even want to collaborate.

 

Several operatives around the Koch network said there’s concern that the Trump administration will have no incentive to work with the network.

 

Even as operatives who have cycled through the network are brought into the fold, the prevailing sentiment in Trump world is studied indifference towards the Koch operation. The president-elect’s team, having won without the aid of the Kochs, feels that he can govern without them too. Unlike the campaign, when it was the Kochs who were in the position of strength, weighing whether to support or oppose Trump’s insurgent candidacy, now it is Trump and his team who are in the driver’s seat.

 

If Koch network officials want to work with the Trump administration, they’re the ones who need to reach out, not vice versa, said one former network official now working with the transition team.

 

With the network’s lack of involvement, they essentially said that they didn’t care if Hillary Clinton was elected,” said the former official, arguing that the network has more to gain from working with the president-elect than vice versa.

 

Levin, the AFP board chair, conceded, “I’m not really clear how willing the Trump people will be to work with us. The Trump campaign was aware that we did not actively support him.”

 

While she cited “many common supporters and policy goals” between the network and the Trump team, Levin also suggested the network won’t be without recourse if Trump ignores its priorities. “We feel we have strong allies in Congress, so our power will come from maintaining the relationships we built over the years with senators and congressmen.”

 

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Did the Kochs Bring Us President Trump?

12/01/2016 10:25 am ET | Updated Dec 02, 2016

180

 

Pete Tucker Independent DC reporter @PeteTucker

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-the-kochs-brought-us-president-trump_us_583df558e4b002d13f7a8771

 

Pundits have plenty of reasons for Republicans’ 2016 electoral success, but none may be as explanatory as a book published in January, before a single ballot was cast.

 

In Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, Jane Mayer zeroes in on brothers Charles and David Koch and the secret network they’ve created to push their anti-government zealotry. Their decades of work and billions of dollars help explain the rise of the far Right today.

 

During the 1970s, a handful of the nation’s wealthiest corporate captains felt overtaxed and overregulated and decided to fight back,” writes Mayer. “Disenchanted with the direction of modern America, they launched an ambitious, privately financed war of ideas to radically change the country.

 

Koch Industries – one of the country’s top polluters – has faced hundreds of millions of dollars in government fines and penalties. Its owners, oil and gas barons Charles and David, would go on to lead this coordinated anti-government war.

 

Into the Shadows

 

Charles and David Koch used to be more open about their anti-government extremism.

 

In 1980, David made his case to the public, running for vice president on the Libertarian Party ticket against Ronald Reagan, who the Kochs felt was too mainstream. The ticket received just one percent of the vote.

 

The Kochs failed at the ballot box in 1980,” writes Mayer, “but instead of accepting America’s verdict, they set out to change how it voted.”

 

Undaunted by the electoral rebuke, Charles and David pushed on, only now away from the spotlight (“The whale that spouts is the one that gets harpooned,” their father used to say).

 

The brothers began clandestinely partnering with fellow billionaires to secretly fund a vast network of right-wing organizations, dubbed the “Kochtopus” by critics.

 

The Kochs and their allies learned that “if they pooled their vast resources,” writes Mayer, “they could fund an interlocking array of organizations that could work in tandem to influence and ultimately control academic institutions, think tanks, the courts, statehouses, Congress, and, they hoped, the presidency.”

 

Foot Soldiers for the 1%

 

The Koch network has taken decades to perfect. Win or lose, it doesn’t dismantle after elections – if anything it grows. Obama’s presidency in particular spurred billionaires to invest in the Kochtopus.

 

It wasn’t just the ultra-rich who were stirred up after Obama’s 2008 win. Economic insecurity and the election of the first black president resulted in white backlash, which presented an opportunity for the Kochs to develop what they always needed: an army of dedicated foot soldiers willing to fight for their extreme agenda.

 

What we needed was a sales force,” explained David, who, along with his brother, had been unsuccessfully pitching tea party-themed revolts for many years.

 

With the first hint of the coming Tea Party movement, the Kochs set out “to shape and control and channel the populist uprising into their own policies,” explained economist Bruce Bartlett in Mayer’s book.

 

A generation earlier, Charles and David’s father, Fred Koch, helped put Koch Industries on the map by working on a major oil refinery in Hitler’s Germany. Mayer revealed this, as well Fred’s dealings in Stalin’s Soviet Union, in her book.

 

Citizens United, Republican Gains

 

A year into Obama’s presidency, a second momentous event put even more wind in the Kochs’ sails. The Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United lifted restrictions on political spending by outside groups.

 

Now there was little stopping the Koch network, with its seemingly inexhaustible funding. (Ironically, Charles’ and David’s fortunes grew under Obama from $14 billion to $43 billion each.)

 

Since Obama took office, the Koch-backed Republican Party has made inroads at all levels of governments, particularly at the state level, where they’ve gained an eye-popping 900 seats.

 

This makes Republican electoral supremacy more likely for the next decade or more, since legislative districts are drawn by state legislatures, which are now mostly controlled by Republicans.

 

(The Republican advantage comes from politicized redistricting – stuffing large numbers of Democrats into a few districts, making the surrounding districts more likely to go Republican. The 2016 election illustrates the impact of this gerrymandering: The proportion of House seats won by Republicans was greater than their overall vote.)

 

The 2016 election – in which the Koch network pledged nearly $900 million – saw Republicans recapture the White House despite losing the overall vote (which Hillary Clinton now leads by over 2.5 million votes).

 

Trump’s Koch Administration’

 

Donald Trump wasn’t the Kochs’ choice for president, but he still benefited from their powerful network. While the Kochs held back on funding efforts specifically for Trump, they spent heavily to get out the vote for Republicans in key swing states. This helped secure Trump’s win.

 

Since then, the Trump team has tapped so many Koch operatives for top positions that Politico dubbed it “Trump’s Koch administration.”

 

High profile selections include Vice President-elect Mike Pence, a Koch favorite.

 

Trump’s choice to head the CIA, Mike Pompeo, is, like the Kochs, from Wichita, Kansas, and is so close with the brothers he earned the nickname the “congressman from Koch.”

 

Billionaire Wilbur Ross, Trump’s pick for Commerce Secretary, is a personal friend of David’s.

 

For Education Secretary, Trump has tapped billionaire Betsy DeVos. The DeVos family, which owns Amway, has partnered with the Kochs for years, focusing on their home state of Michigan. “I have decided... to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence,” Betsy DeVos said of her family’s massive political contributions. “Now, I simply concede the point.” (Betsy’s hushand, Dick DeVos, spent $35 million on his unsuccessful 2006 run for Michigan governor. Betsy’s brother, Erik Prince, founded the mercenary group Blackwater.)

 

Helping lead Trump’s transition team is Rebekah Mercer, whose family has given more than $25 million to the Koch network. Mercer also funds the racist Breitbart News and is close with the site’s former editor, Steve Bannon, who headed up Trump’s campaign and will now be his chief strategist in the White House.

 

Leading Trump’s EPA transition team is Myron Ebell who, like both Trump and the Kochs, is a climate change denier. Ebell works at the Competitive Enterprise Network, which receives funding from the Koch network.

 

Plenty of other, lesser-known names from the Koch network have also been tapped by Trump, who pledged to “drain the swamp” in Washington.

 

Whose America?

 

They didn’t want to merely win elections,” Mayer writes of the Kochs and their partners.

 

They wanted to change how Americans thought. Their ambitions were grandiose – to “save” America as they saw it, at every level, by turning the clock back to the Gilded Age before the advent of the Progressive Era.

 

What the Kochs have achieved in just a few decades is staggering. But it’s worth remembering they had to go underground to pull it off because their extremist views are so unpopular (registering only one percent in the 1980 election).

 

Exposing what the Kochs have done to the country is critical to ensuring it doesn’t continue.

 

In the age of Trump and Koch, there may be no better gift this holiday season than the story told by Jane Mayer in Dark Money.

 

* Correction: The article previously stated that Democrats won more votes than Republicans in the 2016 House races. That’s incorrect. Republicans captured 51 percent of the two-party vote (and 55 percent of House seats), according to The Cook Report’s Dave Wasserman.

 

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