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Koch Network Making Changes, Looking Past 2016

The group is working to ensure they have a head start in policy battles they expect in 2017 and to be in a strong position for the 2018 midterms
Image: Charles Koch is pictured in this undated handout photo
Charles Koch is pictured in this undated handout photo. Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce/Handout via REUTERSHANDOUT / Reuters

The Koch-backed network is making changes to their organization to ensure their weight and influence is felt beyond the 2016 election, regardless of who wins the White House.

The organization is working to ensure they have a head start in policy battles they expect in 2017 and to be in a strong position to impact the 2018 midterm elections, according to an official at the organization.

“The goal is to influence the Congress and it’s (also about) pushing long term cultural change,” said James Davis, vice president of communications at Freedom Partners.

The network, founded and funded by Charles and David Koch and their network of donors, plans to invest more heavily in its grassroots organizations that work to mobilize and educate millions of voters.

The organizational change, which the group announced Friday, will merge its four grassroots groups into Americans for Prosperity, its largest organization, to be one powerhouse that aims to shape conservative politics for the years ahead.

Concerned Veterans of America, which targets veterans, LIBRE Initiative, which focuses on Latinos, Generation Opportunity, which speaks to young adults will fold into Americans for Prosperity, the largest of the four, to “scale more rapidly” to create a larger grassroots movement, Davis said.

AFP is currently in 35 states, allowing each group to have a presence in all 35 states.

The change come as the group has had to rethink its role in politics as Donald Trump won the Republican nomination and has left the conservatives donors without a candidate to support.

Davis said the updated organization will enable each of the groups to work together to more effectively change – or stop – policies that impact the size of government and a free market.

Related: Koch Group Turning Away From TV Ads in Final Election Stretch

The merge will go into effect after Election Day but be in place by the inauguration of a new president in January.

“We’re preparing for 2017 right now,” said Davis.

Instead of spending in the presidential, the Koch network has been pouring resources into six Senate races, spending $42 million on television advertisements.

Then the group announced Wednesday that in the final months of the election, it is going to move away from television advertising and instead mobilize its volunteers and staff to persuade voters in eight states to vote for Senate Republicans.