Iowa candidate: Koch backing 'like being endorsed by Charles Manson'
February 6th, 2014
03:18 PM ET
11 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. anbesaw

    The rich are super greedy to the point where they will try to devour every citizen of the Great United Staes of America.

    February 6, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. JBHedgehog

    Well if it was Shirley Manson I'd be totally cool with that.

    February 6, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Mensaman

    Looks like CNN's liberal machine is very scared of the Koch brothers and so they use a disgruntled loser conservative to snark the opposition. Surprised the devoted time to it.

    February 6, 2014 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. plenty

    The Koch's are like the robber barons of the past, and are proud of rhe fact.

    February 6, 2014 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. tebaho

    Koch Bros' efforts are uniformly, universally below-the-belt, in favor of all that's Neanderthal, negative and retrogressive.

    February 6, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Sashatree

    The Koch Brothers are the most evil people alive, bar none. They are destroying our nation!! They have bought our politicians and are plying D.C. with their billions. They are the reason we need to get behind politicians like Bernie Sanders and Al Franken who are working to THROW OUT THE SCOTUS "CITIZENS UNITED" DECISION that has allowed Koch Cancer to destroy environmental regulations, write new tax loopholes that feed their insatiable greed even more, and to contribute limitless money to PACs that buy their bidding. GET INVOLVED!! WORK TO OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED!!! THE KOCH BROTHERS AND THEIR ILK ARE SCREWING EVERY AMERICAN MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD, AND OUR PLANET AS WELL!!!!

    February 6, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. iceload

    Here's to Iowa. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is too often successful.

    February 6, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. GIUK

    What an insult. To Charlie and his followers that is.

    February 6, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. Lynsu

    The Koch brothers are soulless creatures.......

    February 6, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. Feels sorry for Coralville

    Poor Coralville. First the mustard gas people, and now this. Kind of the sewer of humanity there/Iowa City area. The bad people win there.

    February 6, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. Steve

    The Koch Bros. are TOXIC haters and liars. They are PROOF of the reasons why Citizens United was a horrendous miscarriage of justice. They try to buy elections. Their practices should be outlawed, and if they continue thereafter, they should be imprisoned. They are a force for ruining our Republican form of democracy.

    February 6, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. DC Observer

    I could ask my Democratic Congressman here in Massachusetts about the Koch brothers, but he is in jail serving 6 months for domestic abuse - and the Massachusetts Legislature just voted him out of office by a vote of 146 – 5

    February 6, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The Koch group is the garbage and sewage of America and the should stop living off of their daddy's money and donate it to charity. Why don't you clowns get a job and become Americans instead of subversives. Romney didn't win with your dirty oil money and neither will any of the GOP conservative teaparty slugs you support in November, Cruz Labrador Rubio yaho and the rest of your GOP STOOGES!!!!!!!

    February 6, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. radar8

    the Koch brother will do anything to control elections. They have in the past and will continue their slimy dongs until we get money out of politics. Citizens United bill allows slimewads like the Koch brothers to give unlimited funds to elections. They are trying to steal elections from the voters.

    February 6, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. longtooth

    Koch vs. Soros? Let's eliminate both and start over without the billions. How about honest debate? I know. I'm being silly.

    February 6, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  16. timmy

    that's a fair comparison.

    February 6, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. penguin

    The Koch brothers "earned" their money the old fasioned way – they inherited it. Then they increased it largely through government subsidies of the energy industry.

    February 6, 2014 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. ErnieS

    All I say is I feel sorry for the Koch kids and Grandkids. Who'd want a father like these evil people.

    February 6, 2014 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. radar8

    Mensaman – The Koch brothers are the very worst lthat our political system has to offer. They lie and slander and pump millions of dollars into campaigns to control the outcomes. They are the poster boys for what is wrong with the US political system.

    February 6, 2014 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "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, Vadum believes that lying to the public about the issues that matter to them is perfectly ok if done in service of his conservative ideology.

    February 6, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. abmri60

    The Koch brother are murders, they killed many people due to cancer and other illnesses due to their polluted factories and so on.....

    February 6, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. WEEDY

    Hilarious bit on the daily show... truth is these two Koch clowns will drive the party to irrelevance if they continue this plan of hateful retribution.

    February 6, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  23. David

    The Koch Brothers will destroy anyone/anything and everyone/everything in front of them to capture more wealth. They stand proud of their toxic tar sands waste piles along Chicago's south side without a care in the world about the health and safety of their residential neighbors.

    February 6, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  24. Mr. Moderate

    Sheila – The Koch Brother's net worth is three times that of George Soros. Maybe you an educate us on where Soros is hiring dozens of political operatives to influence political races like the Koch Brothers or what local races???? Soros is trying to influence. Fact is these guys make Soros look like an amateur.

    February 6, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. IAdad

    Candidates around the country should really take note on this. It's important that crazy billionaires can't just go around buying any election they feel like. I'm astounded that people are defending them or whining about "liberal media." Just how stupid have we gotten?

    But the blueprint is here. They come into local elections with outsized money, don't try to match it because you can't. You have to make their own money work against them.

    February 6, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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