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Koch brothers take on Amazon over HQ2 tax breaks

Empire State building at night
The Empire State Building was lit up orange in October 2017 in support of Amazon HQ2. New York City is one of the top contenders for the new headquarter's location. Photo: Michael Nagle / Bloomberg via Getty Images

A group linked to the Koch brothers is trying to convince young Americans to just say "No" to giving Jeff Bezos a tax break or other incentives.

What they're doing: Generation Opportunity — a right-leaning group for young people linked to the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity — is running a digital ad campaign that calls big incentive packages for Amazon's second headquarters "sweetheart deals" that are "unfair to taxpayers."

  • The ad is running on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and will be targeted to 18–38 year olds who are seen as possible supporters of free-market issues. It'll be geographically targeted to the locations that are finalists for Amazon HQ2.
  • The group declined to comment on how much money it would spend on the ads.

The bigger picture: This is another example of skepticism about possible tax deals for the online commerce giant — but that doesn't seem to be slowing down the HQ2 selection process.

Go deeper: Why the tax breaks to lure HQ2 could be significant.

Dave Lawler 7 hours ago
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What Trump and Putin did and didn't discuss

President Trump spoke with Vladimir Putin this afternoon, and congratulated him on winning re-election on Sunday. After the call, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked whether Trump felt the election had been free and fair, and said it wasn’t up to the U.S. to “dictate" how Russia holds elections.

The bottom line: Trump is not alone in congratulating Putin — leaders in France, Germany and elsewhere have done so this week, as Barack Obama did in 2012. But past administrations certainly have seen it as America’s role to call balls and strikes when it comes to elections abroad, and weigh in when democratic institutions are being undermined. A departure from that approach would be welcomed not only by Putin, but other leaders of pseudo democracies around the world.

Ina Fried 6 hours ago
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Facebook plans a briefing for state AGs on Thursday

Facebook's Menlo Park HQ
Facebook's Menlo Park HQ. Photo: Facebook

Facebook is expected to meet with state Attorneys General from across the country on Thursday to address growing concerns over the Cambridge Analytica issue.

Why it matters: Two state AGs, New York's Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts' Maura Healey, have said they are investigating Facebook's actions.