David Koch obituary

US businessman, free marketeer and rightwing activist David Koch, who has died aged 79, was ranked as the eleventh richest person in the world. Charles wanted to minimise the role of government and maximise the role of the private economy … and personal freedoms, but the brothers philosophy was self-serving, protecting their worth and working against regulation of their business interests. David was the more public of the two, his philanthropy extending beyond the brothers massive spending on rightwing thinktanks, academic programmes, activist organisations and campaign funding; he was a major donor to the arts and medicine, especially in New York, where he maintained homes in Manhattan and the Hamptons. He moved between them, Aspen (Colorado), Palm Beach (Florida) and …

Kris Kobach: why Democrats hope the GOP won’t stop his run for US Senate

Tolerance for Kansass former secretary of state is waning, with Republican politicians saying the party has become too rightwing It was only nine months ago that Kansas Democrats were bidding good riddance to Kris Kobach as Donald Trumps closest political ally in the conservative midwestern state went down in flames. But now Kobach, who briefly spearheaded Trumps commission on the illusion of voter fraud after using his stint as Kansas secretary of state to target immigrants and then losing a disastrous campaign that cost Republicans the governors office is back and narrowly unseated the sitting governor in the Republican primary but then lost in the general election amid distaste among moderate voters for some of his positions, including calls for …

Higher Ground Labs is betting tech can help sway the 2020 elections for Democrats

When Shomik Dutta and Betsy Hoover first met in 2007, he was coordinating fundraising and get-out-the-vote efforts for Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign and she was a deputy field director for the campaign. Over the next two election cycles the two would become part of an organizing and fundraising team that transformed the business of politics through its use of technology — supposedly laying the groundwork for years of Democratic dominance in organizing, fundraising, polling and grassroots advocacy. Then came Donald J. Trump and the 2016 election. For both Dutta and Hoover, the 2016 outcome was a wake-up call against complacency. What had worked for the Democratic party in 2008 and 2012 wasn’t going to be effective in future election …