Aegis Strategic is a political consulting firm with close ties to the Koch brothers. Headed by Republican operative and former Americans for Prosperity COO Jeff Crank, Aegis Strategic "plans to handpick local, state, and federal candidates who share the Kochs' free-market, limited-government agenda, and groom them to win elections," according to Mother Jones.
Aegis describes its mission as "to help establish America as a country of freedom and opportunity for all citizens by identifying and working to elect principled leaders committed to promoting a free and prosperous America."
The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.
Ties to the Koch Brothers
Aegis Strategic appears to have close ties with the billionaire Koch brothers. Its founding president, Jeff Crank, formerly worked for the Koch-funded and Koch-founded Americans for Prosperity. Crank has also attended at least one Koch network summit meeting.
Aegis's lead strategist, Karl Crow, previously worked for Themis, a Koch-funded voter database project, and at the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, and was a Koch Associate. Crow was a presenter at the June 2010 Koch network meeting in Aspen, Colorado.
Aegis Strategic is reportedly approved by the Kochs. According to documents obtained by Mother Jones in 2013, Koch aide Kevin Gentry e-mailed Koch network meeting invitees in March 2013, writing that during the April 2013 meeting "A plan will be shared to help recruit more principled and effect advocates of free-enterprise to run for office." In January 2014, Mother Jones reported that
- "Crank has touted his firm's connection to the Kochs in meetings with potential business partners, according to three people who've spoken with him about this new venture. They say he has promoted Aegis as having the approval of the Koch brothers' political operatives. [...] In an interview, Crank downplayed his company's Koch connections but did not dispute the accounts of those who say he mentioned Aegis' Koch affiliation.
On its website, Aegis lists a comprehensive set of candidate services, including: campaign consulting, opposition research, fundraising, direct mail, social media campaigns, television ad production and placement, and voter database management.
2014 Midterm Elections
According to Mother Jones, Aegis's first client was New Hampshire State Rep. Marilina Garcia, a Republican, who planned to run for Congress against incumbent brRep. Ann Kuster (D-NH).
As of June 2014:
- Jeff Crank, President. Former COO, Americans for Prosperity.
- Karl Crow, Lead Strategist. Formerly worked at Themis, Charles G. Koch Foundation.
- Alan Philp, COO. Republic political operative, former policy director to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and regional policy director for Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign, former research director for Americans for Tax Reform.
- Brad Stevens, Director of Candidate Identification. Formerly worked for Americans for Prosperity.
- Aaron Greenberg, Political Analyst. Former research analyst for Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research. Former intern at the Heritage Foundation.
- Christina Van Horn, Political Analyst. Former intern at the Tax Foundation.
- Andy Kroll, "New Koch-Linked Political Firm Aims to Handpick "Electable" Candidates," Mother Jones, January 17, 2014. Accessed June 19, 2014.
- Aegis Strategic, About, organizational website, accessed June 19, 2014.
- Andy Kroll, "EXCLUSIVE: Read the Koch Brothers' Plans for Their Upcoming GOP Donor Retreat," Mother Jones, April 23, 2013. Accessed June 19, 2014.
- Aegis Strategic, Services, organizational website, accessed June 19, 2014.
- LinkedIn, Aaron Greenberg, personal profile, accessed June 19, 2014.
- LinkedIn, Christina Van Horn, personal profile, accessed June 19, 2014.