Iowa candidate: Koch backing 'like being endorsed by Charles Manson'
February 6th, 2014
03:18 PM ET
10 months ago

Iowa candidate: Koch backing 'like being endorsed by Charles Manson'

(CNN) - Elections in Coralville, Iowa, a town of about 20,000, took a big city turn when the billionaire Koch brother's group, Americans for Prosperity, jumped into last year's mayoral and city council race.

"It was kind of like being endorsed by Charles Manson," is how Chris Turner, a fiscally conservative city council candidate, described the support by AFP to "The Daily Show's" Jason Jones.

Turner said in the segment that aired Wednesday that the group's tactics against his opponent were "reprehensible."

"It put me in a very awkward position," he said, adding later that he tied for last place in the election.

The New York Times reported on the powerful conservative political group's ambitions in the small, Midwest town days before the election last November, when AFP was mounting an aggressive campaign against the now-Mayor John Lundell using direct mail attacks, advertising and phone calls to voters.

Lundell, who won with 65% of the vote, told Jones that AFP's attacks were "full of very misleading, I would call lies," including allegations that he manipulated his property taxes.

"I've been through several elections and I welcome opponents but they brought an air of ugliness to this campaign that is not the way we run our government in Coralville," he said.

The Koch brother's group's attacks also warned that Coralville, where the city's debt was a major issue in the campaign, would become the next Detroit.

But not everyone was put-off by the outside influence.

Matthew Vadum, a conservative author who "The Daily Show" labeled as a "political insider," said to sell a point of view, sometimes you have to employ a bit of "salesmanship."

"Some man's sleaze is another man's class," he said. "You have to have a little bit of showbiz."

AFP's attacks didn't get the group far in Coralville. The Daily Show segments notes that none of the Koch group-backed candidates won in the Iowa race.


Filed under: Americans for Prosperity • Iowa
soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. smith

    Well sir hopefully you learned your lesson and while spreading this around why not spread it to the evil twin of the koch bros.-George Soros.

    February 6, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. xray vision

    Kudos Iowa, very glad to hear it.

    February 6, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. xray vision

    That's why their chomping at the bit over keystone, they will have plenty of money to corrupt, and oh so willing to do it. Like it or not rwnj, you've got a choice to make soon, you better mean it when you choose to vote for their candidates, its all out war . Ask yourself do you really want then setting the rules to the game your stuck in?

    February 6, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Matthew Vadum, a conservative author who "The Daily Show" labeled as a "political insider," said to sell a point of view, sometimes you have to employ a bit of "salesmanship."
    ---------------------–
    In other words, you are exercising your freedom of speech when you prevaricate, slander, and flat out lie to people.

    February 6, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. xray vision

    Soros is a kitten compared to the kochs. He puts money in programs to help the poor, can you honestly say that about the Koch brothers?

    February 6, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Jack

    I won't want any of their money either!

    February 6, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. VJ

    Koch brothers are poisoning this country...

    February 6, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. winchester74

    actually the Koch Bros. are much worse than Manson – their kill count will be in the millions.

    February 6, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. urouttolunch

    Way to go, Coralville!

    February 6, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    "It was kind of like being endorsed by Charles Manson,"
    ------------------------------------–
    A better analogy will be "it was like we endorsed by some rich Saudis to carry out a terrorist attack."

    February 6, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. James

    Basically the Koch brothers are like if Emperor Palpatine had a twin.

    February 6, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. sly

    Koch, like most conservatives, are basically back woods hillbillies who struck it rich.

    These billionaires care about themselves, and themselves, and only themselves.

    How do you think they became billionaires? Off of YOUR money.

    February 6, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. GrogInOhio

    The best hope to kill "Citizens United" is for voters to turn out and tell the Koch brothers that we will NOT allow our government to become simply one of their investments.

    February 6, 2014 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. Mr. Balls

    No impact just as Karl Rove had none in the last election. The difference being the Koch's spent their own money where Rove spent other people;s.

    February 6, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. Susan

    Gives me hope then that the Koch brothers aren't bullet-proof.

    February 6, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. LJ

    Please, the left and soros have mastered these tactics. The Koch brothers are rookies compared to soros.

    February 6, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. Eric Teichman

    The Koch Bros. are wana-bees. I have respect for their old man, none for them. They haven't earned a thing the own.
    They're not intelligent enough to be compared to Charles Manson.

    February 6, 2014 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. liz

    Well done Coralville, Bravo !!!!

    February 6, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  19. lewtwo

    "The Koch brother's group also sent off flares that Coralville,"
    Perhaps the word "flyers" ???

    February 6, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. bugs

    I'd support the Koch brothers over Soros anyway.

    February 6, 2014 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  21. Mike

    Rudy, I think you're refering to the kind of showmanship the GOP used this week to say the ACA would cost 2.5 million jobs instead of 2.5 million would choose to retire, or otherwise leave the workforce as stated by the CBO. I actually thought that was great news that people would not have to work just to keep HC benefits. Sounds like it opens more jobs to people who want them, not just need them.

    February 6, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  22. mountainlady

    Talk about selling your soul to the devil. Once the Koch brothers buy a politician, he stays bought and he/she does what they're told. Maybe the more apt comparison would be that being backed by the Koch brothers is like being backed by the Mafia. The voters are getting smart and deciding that they don't need or want that kind of government. The Koch brothers are continuing the fine tradition of John D. Rockefeller Senior as soulless robber barons.

    February 6, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  23. quinLee

    These are the wizards hiding behind the curtain. Anyone ever really ask why? What is their true agenda? Why do they have to go to such extremes to manipulate and deceive voters.

    February 6, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. Richard

    So he lost and like most politicians it wasn't cause he sucks, but that the Kock brothers donated to the campaign.

    February 6, 2014 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. srcactus

    Ignorant is a word either for the Soros critic or the Koch critic. There have always been money flowing to our politicians.

    February 6, 2014 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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