The Koch network is getting into the holiday spirit, thanking lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for their work on Koch-aligned issues.
The bipartisan mail and digital advertisement campaign is meant to benefit lawmakers who are advancing criminal justice reform, relief for Dreamers, government spending and free trade — all issues that the organization is working to pressure Congress to addresses in the final weeks of the year.
"As Americans gather around the table to give thanks, we want to take the opportunity to bring people together to address some of the toughest problems facing our country," Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, said in a statement.
This tactic of positive reinforcement and reaching across the aisle is a continuation of a strategic shift the organization announced at its semiannual donor seminar in June. It has since been more open to working — and financially supporting — Democratic lawmakers who align with their priorities. The shift comes alongside the realignment of the Republican Party in the era of President Donald Trump where the party has moved away from the Koch Network's libertarian-leaning beliefs.
In this week-long effort, the network is thanking a handful of lawmakers who are helping to pass a component of criminal justice reform named The First Step Act, which is gaining momentum. It was endorsed by Trump last week, a move that could help propel the legislation through Congress. A sample mailer encourages recipients to call the lawmaker mentioned in the campaign and thank him for his support of the proposal.
Not every dollar spent on political ads this week, however, will be positive. Some will pressure lawmakers, too.
They are also releasing ads to "encourage" a handful of Democratic senators, including Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, who haven't yet signed onto the The First Step Act.
Voters in the districts of Congressional leaders like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi could see an advertisement to pressure leadership to act on Dreamers.
"As families prepare to gather on Thanksgiving, thousands of immigrants are living in uncertainty. Your senator can protect their contributions to America," a sample mailing says.
And finally on spending, the group is sending a "thank you" in the form of a digital or mail advertisement to more the two dozen senators — all Republican — for "voting to rein in spending."