This June, the Koch brothers had one of their annual shadowy retreats where a whole mess of Republican candidates and incumbents appeared to, well, grovel before their overlords, apparently. Like Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst, who is ever so grateful that the Kochs made her after she showed up at their 2013 conference in New Mexico.
"I was not known at that time," Ernst said. "A little-known state senator from a very rural part of Iowa, known through my National Guard service and some circles in Iowa. But the exposure to this group and to this network and the opportunity to meet so many of you, that really started my trajectory."Is there any question who's going to be pulling Ernst's strings if she actually makes it to the Senate?
"We are going to paint some very clear differences in this general election," she said earlier in her talk. "And this is the thing that we are going to take back—that it started right here with all of your folks, this wonderful network."