Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Will Peyton Manning Run for US Senate?: Koch Brothers Connection

Adam K. Raymond writes at New York Magazine:

As soon as Tennessee senator Bob Corker announced his plans to retire Wednesday, speculation about who would take his place began. And in the era of President Donald Trump and future senator Kid Rock, it is required that one of the potential successors be a celebrity. In this case it’s Peyton Manning.

The former NFL quarterback who starred at
the University of Tennessee before playing for the Colts and Broncos could find his second act in politics, some pundits are suggesting. At least one congressman says he could see it too. Tennessee representative Scott DesJarlais told Business Insider that Manning may make a Senate run, but said the 41-year-old is more likely to wait until 2020, when Senator Lamar Alexander, who will be 80 on Election Day, faces reelection....

Over the years, Manning has donated thousands to GOP politicians, including Corker, former Law & Order star and presidential candidate Fred Thompson and George W. Bush. In the 2016 presidential election, Manning and his brother Eli joined team Jeb! In 2012, he gave generously to Mitt Romney.

If Manning’s preference in politicians is any indication of his own leanings, then he’s an Establishment Republican in the mold of Corker himself. But we might get a little more insight on where Manning stands by looking at the people he’s gone into business with, specifically Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter, the first person Manning kissed after winning the Super Bowl last year....

The business relationship between Manning and Schnatter began in 2012 when Manning bought 21 Papa John’s franchises in Denver after joining the Broncos. Several months prior, Schnatter complained about the onerous effects of Obamacare, which he said would require a price hike of 11 to 14 cents per pizza to pay for employee health insurance. That, he suggested, was a bad thing.

In recent years, Schnatter, whom Manning has appeared alongside in plenty of Papa John’s commercials, has closely aligned himself with the Koch brothers. Together they have opened centers of “free enterprise” at the Universities of Louisville and Kentucky, along with Schnatter’s alma mater Ball State.


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