Koch Brothers Group Prepares to Fight Deal in Detroit Bankruptcy as Settlement Prospects Grow
LANSING, Mich. — Americans for Prosperity, the conservative advocacy group supported by the Koch brothers, has launched an effort to torpedo a proposed settlement in the Detroit bankruptcy case, potentially complicating chances for completing the deal just as its prospects seemed to be improving.
The organization, formed to fight big government and spending, is contacting 90,000 conservatives in Michigan and encouraging them to rally against a plan to provide $195 million in state money to help settle Detroit pension holders’ claims in the case, a key element of the deal.
The group has threatened to run ads against members of the Republican-controlled Legislature who vote in favor of the appropriation before the state’s August primary. An initial legislative vote may come this week.
Using public money for Detroit’s case “is very toxic, especially to out-state and Republican, conservative-leaning individuals,” said Scott Hagerstrom, director of the Americans for Prosperity’s chapter in the state. “Even out-state Democrats, why send any more money to Detroit? Certainly other areas of the state have needs.”