Already, roughly 1,000 full-time staffers are working for Koch network organizations such as AFP, Concerned Veterans for America and the Libre Initiative — more than double the number four years ago, according to officials.
“One of the biggest things we learned and shared with our investors is that we can’t parachute in the last couple months of an election cycle with a bunch of activists into a new state and expect to have the same impact that President Obama had by staying in those states for four years and being invested in the community,” said Marc Short, president of Freedom Partners, the nonprofit business chamber that serves as the funding arm of the network.
The [i360] operation is similar to one run by Data Trust, a private data company that has an exclusive list-sharing agreement with the RNC and provides data to independent groups.
The parallel efforts have created tension between the Koch network and party officials, who have worried that the RNC will lose valuable voter information when campaigns decide to work exclusively with i360.
The friction broke out into the open in June, when RNC Chief of Staff Katie Walsh told Yahoo News that it was “very dangerous and wrong to allow a group of very strong, well-financed individuals who have no accountability to anyone to have control over who gets access to the data when, why and how.”