July 31, 2018


'It's a significant shift in our thinking': Business takes fresh look at Democrats (LORRAINE WOELLERT and MARIANNE LEVINE 07/31/2018, Politico)

Business groups, at war with President Donald Trump over trade and immigration, say they're taking steps to rebuild the political center -- including taking fresh looks at moderate Democrats.

The American Bankers Association this month began airing ads in support of candidates for the first time, including Democrats Sen. Jon Tester of Montana and Rep. Lou Correa of California. The International Franchise Association has more than doubled its support to Democrats this cycle, with 27 percent of its donations going to centrists in the party. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which leans heavily Republican, endorsed Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey over Republican John McCann, who has the support of former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka.

Even the powerful Koch network appears to be withholding some support for the Republican Party, if not outright supporting Democrats. Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips said at a donor retreat Monday that the political network would not help Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) in his Senate race against Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), citing inconsistencies on a range of Koch priorities.

"Republicans aren't the only people who have great ideas for business," International Franchise Association President Robert Cresanti said. "We really need more members of Congress that are in the middle and are willing to listen to both sides."

"It's a significant shift in our thinking," Cresanti said. "Before, it was you're either with us 100 percent of the time or you're against us."

Posted by at July 31, 2018 4:30 AM


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