Koch Brothers' Americans for Prosperity Is Now the Nation's Third Biggest Party

Here's a fact that will blow your mind. The $300 million the Kochs plan to spend in the 2014 election cycle could replace the annual income for 5,270 American households. And it's barely a drop in the bucket of what these guys and their cronies have to draw upon to buy themselves a Congress. They've got so much money and staff invested in this—240 full-time employees in 32 states—the Washington Post Fix team determines, that they're the nation's third-biggest political party.

Two charts showing number of staff for Democrats (4000+) GOP (400) and AFP (240) and state engagement (Dems 50, GOP 47, Kochs 32) in 2014 elections
The huge bubble there for the Democrats in staff reflects how they structure campaigns, hiring and paying field staff through the congressional campaign arms. There aren't 4,000 people currently on the payroll now, so the comparison there isn't apples to apples. Nor are either of the parties really likely to be engaged in 50 or even 47 states. The safest states on both sides aren't going to see much investment from the national parties. The Kochs, however, are deeply engaged in those 32 states where they have staff, on everything from Senate races to  city bond measures to fund zoos.

By the way, this is just showing Americans for Prosperity staff and state engagement, not the entirety of the Kochs' network of political groups. And really, as it stands now you might as well lump them in with the Republicans, because the Kochs really aren't interested in electing anyone but Republicans.


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