Koch funds the Minnesota AG candidate who would end litigation against Koch
Koch Industries is supporting Jim Schultz. It also finances the Republican Attorneys General Association, which is spending big to defeat Keith Ellison.
UPDATE 11/10/2022: Keith Ellison was re-elected by Minnesota voters, narrowly defeating Jim Schultz by about 20,000 votes.
I won’t attempt any poetic narratives here, just a bulleted rundown of some facts related to Koch’s involvement in the Minnesota Attorney General election battle.
Keith Ellison vs Koch:
Democratic Attorney General Keith Ellison sued Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, several of their subsidiaries, and the American Petroleum Institute in 2021 for “deceiving, defrauding Minnesotans about climate change.”
Keith Ellison vs Jim Schultz:
Ellison is currently being challenged by Republican candidate Jim Schultz in a close election race.
Schultz pledged to stop Ellison’s litigation against Koch, Exxon and API if he wins his election.
Koch support for Jim Schultz:
Schultz disclosed the maximum legal campaign contribution from the Pine Bend PAC, affiliated with the Pine Bend refinery, which is owned by Koch Industries subsidiary Flint Hills Resources:
This was Sept. 20 - well after Schultz's pledge to end Ellison's litigation against Koch.
Schultz also received $250 from Jake Reint, the Vice President of Public Affairs at Flint Hills Resources, on Sept. 20, 2022.
Koch funds RAGA. RAGA supports Schultz:
Koch Industries has contributed $1,720,870 to the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) since 2017:
RAGA has provided 100% of the funds for "MN for Freedom," an independent expenditure political fund in Washington, DC, totaling $2,513,098:
$2,004,522 from Sept. 16 - Oct. 24
$41,300 on Oct. 26
$467,276 on Oct. 28
"MN for Freedom" has spent over $2 million in support of Schultz and against Ellison.
Complaints against Schultz involve Koch and RAGA:
The Minnesota DFL (Democratic) Party filed a successful complaint against Schultz for his support from RAGA via MN for Freedom, which could be fined several million dollars for running “illegally coordinated ads.”
The DFL filed another complaint against Schultz for his contribution from Koch’s Pine Bend PAC. The complaint alleged a conflict of interest from Pine Bend’s lobbying against the consumer fraud lawsuit initiated by Keith Ellison. This complaint was dismissed.
Koch affiliates’ support for Schultz:
An attorney from Jones Day, one of the firms retained by Koch in its defense against the lawsuit initiated by Keith Ellison, has contributed $2,000 to Schultz: $1,000 on Dec. 14, 2021, and $1,000 on Oct. 6, 2022.
Two of Koch’s business partners in Wichita, Kansas have also contributed to Schultz: Berexco CEO Adam Beren and his wife Ellen each gave the maximum campaign contribution of $2,500 to Schultz on October 31, 2022.
API law firm support for Schultz:
At least one employees at Winthrop & Weinstine, a firm retained by the American Petroleum Institute, gave the maximum campaign contribution of $2,500 to Schultz on June 25, 2022.
Neither ExxonMobil nor the American Petroleum Institute appear to have contributed directly to Schultz.