Koch brother hosting fundraiser for Blumenthal rival

August Wolf

August Wolf

Washington – Billionaire industrialist David Koch is hosting a high-dollar fundraiser Monday evening for August Wolf, a Republican running against Democratic U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

The $10,000-a-plate fundraiser in Manhattan will also benefit several GOP senators, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Kelly Ayote of New Hampshire and Jerry Moran of Kansas.

The event will feature former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and Rep. Ken Buck, R-Col., as “special guests.”

Wolf, of Stamford, is a former U.S. indoor shot put national champion who competed in the 1984 Olympics, has had a long career on Wall Street and is a managing director of Lebenthal Asset Management. Unlike the other veteran lawmakers who will benefit from the fundraiser, Wolf has never held political office.

David Koch and his brother Charles are best known for initiating the establishment of third-party super PACs that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money independent of a candidate’s campaign to help or hurt that candidate.

David Koch established the Americans for Prosperity super PAC, and the brothers say they plan to spend as much as $300 million of their own money to influence the 2016 elections.

But Monday night, David Koch is raising money in the more traditional way for a candidate’s campaign, which is subject to limits on the amount of money individuals and political action committees can contribute.

Nevertheless, Wolf Campaign Manager Tom Daly hopes the event will raise about $100,000 for Blumenthal’s challenger.

Daly said Wolf and David Koch are longtime friends and share a common interest.

“Augie, like David, is seeking to change how Washington works,” Daly said.

To date, Wolf is at a fundraising disadvantage. As of Sept. 30, his campaign had raised about $350,000 while Blumenthal’s campaign reported having $2.5 million in cash on hand on June 30. Blumenthal’s latest filings with the Federal Elections Commission are not yet available.

Wolf may also face a primary challenge from fellow Republican Larry Kudlow, a CNBC host and conservative commentator who is weighing an entry in the Connecticut Senate race.

 

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