Meet the Koch Brothers' Data Guru - 2016-07-31
Michael Palmer knows if your house buys more meat than vegetables. He knows if you have an American flag on your porch and a political sign in your yard. He knows what car you own, when you last voted and if you have cats. He is, in essence, the eyes and ears for the network led by industrial billionaires Charles and David Koch. And he may be the man who decides if Republicans keep their majority in the Senate this November.
As the president of the Koch-owned i360 data giant, Palmer has hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces of information on each and every American, gleaned through documents his team picks up from courthouses, auto dealerships and frequent shopper programs. No magazine subscription is too insignificant, no online purchase too small to note. All of it adds up, with the help of the nine PhDs on his staff, to predict voter behaviors and perhaps determine the outcome of races up and down the ballot.
"If someone came around and gave me $200 million today and 100 people from Google, we could not build what we've built in the last seven years, in a year or two," Palmer said as he met with reporters Sunday at a retreat of 400 donors to the network led by the Koch brothers, known officially as Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce.