Sunday, August 14, 2016

Why big money conservatives back GOP candidates for attorney general, like Leslie Rutledge

Posted By on Sun, Aug 14, 2016 at 7:54 AM

click to enlarge KOCH SPEAR CARRIER: Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.
  • KOCH SPEAR CARRIER: Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.
Here's a tidbit that illustrates how big money from committed corporate conservatives is at work in far more places than presidential politics or even the states where the rich people live.

Ron Cameron of Little Rock, head of Mountaire Poultry, is a familiar name in big-money conservative circles. He's a regular at Koch "put" sessions to raise money for their causes and almost single-handedly underwrote Mike Huckabee's Super PAC with a $3 million contribution. 

His name turned up this week in filings in Missouri as a $100,000 contributor to "constitutional conservative," Josh Hawley, who a friend describes as a wingnut GOP candidate for attorney general. Our own Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge illustrates what's going on. Think Progress also has details of how Koch money is a vital cog in the dark money efforts of the Republican Attorneys General Association to elect a.g.'s who will carry the spear for the Kochs in fights against environmental regulation and other government work for the broader public interest.

RAGA has already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars this election cycle in support of Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes (R) and, through its Mountaineers Are Always Free state PAC, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R), though the group claims both races are “safe for the incumbent party.”

Thus far in the 2015–2016 cycle, RAGA has disclosed about $19 million in contributions received.

So where did RAGA get its money? More than $2.4 million — about 13 percent — came from Koch Industries, Murray Energy, the American Petroleum Institute, Exxon Mobil, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, and other fossil fuel interests. Another nearly $1.4 million came from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which receives a significant amount of its funds from fossil fuel companies and Koch-backed nonprofits.
Attorney general elections don’t garner big headlines. Most Americans likely can’t even name their state attorney general. But these people play a major role in enforcing — or fighting — environmental laws.

Last week I listed Leslie Rutledge's dutiful work all over the country, in league with other Republicans, to pursue the Koch agenda, with occasional forays in service to the Religious Right. Can she be bothered to look into illegal payday lending in Arkansas? So far, she cannot.

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