Speed Reads

Today in schadenfreude

The RNC turns against the Koch brothers

It all comes down to data.

The Republican National Committee and the Koch brothers, who have the deepest pockets in conservative politics, are fighting what one GOP operative is calling an "all-out war" over who gets control of the party's voter profiles, Jon Ward at Yahoo Politics reports. If that sounds too esoteric to be meaningful, it shouldn't.

Voter data is the stuff that campaigns are built on. It lets politicians, super PACs, and advocacy groups know who to target with different messages and where. The RNC controls the GOP voter file — but the Koch Brothers apparently have built the better interface to process it. And the latter is getting more and more traction with Republicans campaigns. The RNC isn't pleased.

"I think it's 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," Katie Walsh, the RNC’s chief of staff, told Ward.

But Democrats should probably swallow their schadenfreude. The DNC had a similar issue back in 2006, when its voter file was largely eclipsed by for-profit company Catalist — which counted conservative bogeyman George Soros as an investor — in a nasty, public battle. I guess the moral of the story is age-old: History repeats itself.