The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Billionaire businessman and philanthropist David Koch is wading into the New York City mayoral election, making a hefty donation to a political action committee supporting Republican Joe Lhota.

Koch, who is tied with his older brother Charles as the sixth-richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of $34 billion, reportedly donated $145,050 to “New Yorkers for Proven Leadership,” a new pro-Lhota PAC. Koch’s wife Julia reportedly made an identical donation.

The PAC is wasting no time in spending the new cash. On Wednesday, it released two new ads promoting Lhota’s ties to former mayor Rudy Giuliani, under whom Lhota served as deputy mayor, and emphasizing Lhota’s “strong conservative leadership.”

Koch, of course, is no stranger to political giving. Koch founded the “dark money” group Americans for Prosperity in 2004, and used it — along with other 501(c)(4)’s — as a vehicle to spend millions of dollars in a failed effort to defeat President Barack Obama in the 2012 election. Ultimately, Koch received almost no return on his massive investment.

There is reason to believe that he will be frustrated again in 2013. Although polls suggest that Lhota is the strong frontrunner to defeat billionaire John Catsimatidis in the Republican primary, it would take a shocking upset for the former Metropolitan Transit Authority chief to defeat his Democratic opponent in a general election in heavily Democratic New York City.

Photo: MTAPhotos via


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Donald Trump

Image via Twitter

A year after former President Donald Trump left the White House and Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States, Trump continues to have considerable influence in the Republican Party. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a former Trump critic turned Trump sycophant, recently told Fox News that having a “working relationship” with Trump must be a litmus test for anyone in a GOP leadership role in Congress. But an NBC News poll, conducted in January 14-18, 2022, finds that many Republican voters identify as Republicans first and Trump supporters second.

Analyzing that poll in the New York Times on January 21, reporters Leah Askarinam and Blake Hounshell, explain, “Buried in a new survey published today is a fascinating nugget that suggests the Republican Party may not be as devoted to Trump as we’ve long assumed. Roughly every month for the last several years, pollsters for NBC News have asked: ‘Do you consider yourself to be more of a supporter of Donald Trump or more of a supporter of the Republican Party?’ Over most of that time, Republicans have replied that they saw themselves as Trump supporters first.”

Keep reading... Show less

Ivanka Trump, right

Image via @Huffington Post

As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee on the January 6, 2021 insurrection moves along, it is examining Ivanka Trump’s actions that day — especially the former White House senior adviser urging her father, then- President Donald Trump, to call off his supporters when the U.S. Capitol Building was under attack. This week, Ivanka Trump’s importance to the committee is examined in a column by liberal Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent and an article by blogger Marcy Wheeler.

Sargent notes that the committee’s “new focus on Ivanka Trump” shows that it “is developing an unexpectedly comprehensive picture of how inextricably linked the violence was to a genuine plot to thwart a legitimately elected government from taking power.”

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}