by Max Brantley
A new political consulting firm with deep ties to the Koch brothers has quietly set up shop in Arlington, Virginia. Its mission: to prevent future Todd Akins and Richard Mourdocks from tanking the Republican Party's electoral prospects. The firm, named Aegis Strategic, is run by a former top executive at Charles and David Koch's flagship advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity, and it was founded with the blessing of the brothers' political advisers, three Republican operatives tell Mother Jones.
The consulting firm plans to handpick local, state, and federal candidates who share the Kochs' free-market, limited-government agenda, and groom them to win elections. "We seek out electable advocates of the freedom and opportunity agenda who will be forceful at both the policy and political levels," the company notes on its website. Aegis says it can manage every aspect of a campaign, including advertising, direct mail, social media, and fundraising.
Brad Stevens, the former state director for Americans for Prosperity-Nebraska, is Aegis' director of candidate identification.
People who've spoken with Crank about Aegis say he told them that the firm has access to the Kochs' formidable donor network, and Aegis' website appears to allude to this. Noting the "services" it provides, the consultancy says that its fundraising team "takes on a limited number of candidates each election cycle and markets them to Aegis' exclusive fundraising network."We're talking a whole lot more than 30 pieces of silver.