Education Reform

Who Is Mike Pence? The Koch Brothers’ Favorite Politician

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The Koch brothers hate Donald Trump, but they love Mike Pence. The Koch brothers had supported Scott Walker in the Republican primaries. When he sank like a stone, they made clear their distaste for Trump. But now Trump has chosen a politician they admire: a religious and economic conservative.

The billionaire brothers, who run a network of donors to their vast infrastructure of Republican-allied political operations, so loathe Trump that Charles Koch described the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as voting for either “cancer or a heart attack.” David H. Koch, meanwhile, is reported by Politico to have withdrawn his $1 million donation to the Republican National Convention because of the party’s new standard-bearer.

Having built no ground operation of his own, Trump desperately needs the ready-made, plug-and-play infrastructure built by the Kochs, the mightiest entity of which is Americans for Prosperity, whose president just loves, loves him some Mike Pence. And why wouldn’t he? Phillips’ boss, David Koch, has given some $300,000 to Pence’s campaigns, according to the website Follow the Money.

Pence is the hard-line Evangelical conservative who signed legislation legalizing discrimination against gay people in Indiana, making it okay to refuse service if your religion opposes homosexuality.

Pence built his reputation opposing LGBT rights and abortion rights.

Pence fought to defend the state’s right-to-work laws (initiated by his predecessor Mitch Daniels) and opposes raising the minimum wage.

Pence, of course, is a vocal supporter of charter schools and vouchers, anything but public schools. Trump too loves charter schools, so at least we know they agree on that issue. They both want to privatize American education and abolish teachers unions.

Trump is indeed a card. Maybe the joker. He has been married three times and has had countless girl friends. He owned casinos. He has gay friends and enjoys the friendship of Elton John and Caitlyn Jenner. His daughter is married to an Orthodox Jew.

And his running mate is a hard-right social conservative who opposes all the things that Trump practices in his own life.

Go figure.

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