The 2016 Koch Primary Begins: GOP Candidates Audition In Palm Springs
— POLITICO (@politico) January 20, 2015
With the 2016 presidential race heating up GOP hopefuls are auditioning for the ruling donor class. No family is more important within that class than the Koch family led by Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries. The Koch brothers are two of the richest men in the world with a combined net worth of over $80 billion and are extremely active donors funding candidates, PACs, SuperPACs, lobbyists and think tanks.
Part of the Koch brothers’ fundraising strategy involves an annual winter retreat under the banner of the
Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce set to be held at the Palm Springs Hotel. The retreat is a who’s who of GOP heavyweight donors and any candidate hoping to be president would undoubtedly love to get in that room and get some face time with people who can make the monetary difference in any campaign.
So it should not be surprising that, according to Politico, four potential Republican presidential candidates have been invited to attend this year’s retreat.
Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida, and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin received coveted invitations to speak to the vaunted network assembled by the billionaire industrialist megadonors Charles and David Koch, the sources said…
The Freedom Partners donor meetings — which started in 2003 and are now held twice a year — are central to the expansion of the Koch network. Dubbed “seminars” within Koch circles, they bring together dozens of conservative business leaders from across the country — including a healthy contingent of heartland industrialists like the Kochs — for three days of presentations from top conservative politicians, operatives and thought leaders, including American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks, pundit Erick Erickson and pollster Frank Luntz.
The “seminars” reportedly end with donors pledging millions of dollars to different policies that were discussed with Freedom Partners then distributing the funds. In the 2012 presidential election cycle the Koch network raised over $400 million.
And, of course, it’s no secret what the Koch brothers and friends want in exchange for their ocean of cash – continuing to have a free hand to exploit the planet and the people on it. So far, so good. And with these investments continuing it seems likely that the status quo will be maintained.