Charles Koch calls for unity against ‘corporate welfare’

2 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Charles Koch Decries Corporate Welfare as Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina Court Donor Network.

DANA POINT – Billionaire industrialist and conservative political donor Charles Koch welcomed a group of roughly 450 like-minded fundraisers to one of his twice-annual conferences Saturday by challenging them to advocate for ending “corporate cronyism” – even if those policies help their businesses.Conservative billionaire Charles Koch told his ultra-rich friends that they face a “life and death” decision whether to keep lobbying for tax breaks and government subsidies. “Business leaders (must) recognize that their behavior is suicide, that it is suicide long term.

Face to face with some of her party’s wealthiest donors, Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina made clear Saturday night she won’t shy away from attacking Democrats and their record of governance.—Charles Koch, the billionaire industrialist who co-founded a sprawling web of conservative interest groups, opened his biannual conference here Saturday by calling for an end to corporate welfare and singling out “big banks” as a primary offender.

Koch, who along with brother David has long pressed for a federal government that collects fewer taxes and issues fewer regulations, said cutting back special treatment for business is the first step to ending a “two-tiered society” and encouraging “principled entrepreneurship.” “Where I believe we need to start in reforming welfare is eliminating welfare for the wealthy,” Koch said. “This means stopping the subsidies, mandates and preferences for business that enrich the haves at the expense of the have-nots.” Most recently, the Kochs have been strong advocates of shutting down the federal Export-Import Bank, and their groups have spent money on advertisements and outreach to win senators and representatives over to their side on the issue. – Charles Koch, in a Saturday evening speech welcoming major donors and leading Republicans to his network’s annual summer meeting, took a swipe at Harry Reid, but also called out both parties for big spending, reckless foreign policy and corporate welfare. To survive, long-term, they have to start opposing, rather than promoting, corporate welfare,” Koch told about 450 allies at an Orange County, Calif., summit that began Saturday. — Conservative benefactor Charles Koch assailed the banking industry Saturday for accepting “corporate welfare,” saying that financial bailouts have left big banks controlled by government regulators. The press-shy 79-year-old chief executive of Koch Industries took the nation’s biggest banks to task for accepting “massive bailouts” and cheap loans from the Federal Reserve in return for the federal government wielding increased influence over how they run their businesses.

The Wisconsin governor told mega donors at the Koch donor network summit here that he would look to other Republicans seeking the nomination if elected, specifically former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and “any of the governors I’ve worked with.” The Washington Post is one of nine news organizations allowed in to cover the traditionally private confab, on the condition that donors present not be named without their permission. With the Pacific Ocean behind him and friendly CEOs sipping wine nearby, one of the biggest political donors in the country said it is time for conservatives to start eschewing tax breaks. “Obviously, this prescription will not be an easy pill for many business people to swallow. Scott Walker signaled he has no problem going straight at GOP front-runner Donald Trump, whom he’ll likely face at next week’s first presidential nomination debate in Cleveland.

The Fed now decides what businesses they can be in and how they can run those business, and they’ve implanted, whatever you want to call them – regulators, auditors, controllers – to make sure the banks follow these rules. The Koch brothers and their network of donors, many in attendance at the weekend event at a luxury resort south of Los Angeles, are preparing to spend $889 million to influence elections next year — much of it aimed at ushering a Republican to the White House.

Cory Gardner, Mike Lee, Ben Sasse and Dan Sullivan – of a “life or death struggle for our country.” “One of the things I ask you to think about over this weekend is will you stand together with us to help save our country. Walker were the first of five Republican presidential contenders to address the Freedom Partners’ donor conference at Dana Point resort in Southern California organized by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. Charles Koch – introduced by the meeting’s emcee Kevin Gentry as “our great leader” – stumbled slightly on his way to the stage, as attendees squinted into a hot Southern California sun. He made a sly nod at the enmity that he and his brother David Koch have triggered on the left — particularly from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who spent much of 2014 lambasting the Koch network’s influence.

But he also found himself on the defensive when Allen asked him how he could justify his support for steering $250 million in taxpayer money for a new arena for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks – a policy seemingly anathema to the Kochs opposition to government intervention in the free market. The brothers, who are billionaires many times over and rank among the wealthiest people in the world, dismiss the criticisms. “We’re doing all this to make more money? I didn’t see him, but I know he’s watching.” Koch steered clear of any mention of the 2016 presidential race, although five of the Republican contenders are addressing the donor group during the conference: former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Sen. It marked the first time that mainstream reporters were permitted inside a Koch donor seminar, as the long-running twice a year meetings of the Koch network are known. He questioned why Republican majorities in Congress couldn’t repeal the 2010 health law or the Dodd-Frank financial-market reforms, a not-so-veiled shot at the senators in the race.

The Koch operation – which is overseen by a non-profit group called Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce that is hosting the meeting – is not expected to formally back any candidate in the GOP primary. Fiorina has emitted the most unrelenting criticism of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic presidential nomination front runner. Jeb Bush and real-estate developer Donald Trump. “You’re not going to hear me belittle any other Republicans,” he said, before restating his criticism of Mr. In addition to the massive checks many are expected to write to the super PACs aligned with specific candidates, they also serve as bellwethers for other donors. Former Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Carly Fiorina, the other 2016 contender to appear at the event Saturday, was much more assertive in her critique of Mr.

Leaders of two of the largest Koch-backed political entities, Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners, have said they will not spend money to influence the Republican presidential primary, instead holding back their resources to spend on defeating the Democratic nominee in November 2016. Walker, in an open-collared button-down shirt and slacks, explained that the money each basketball game brings to the state in revenue from that arena makes the taxpayer investment tiny by comparison and a move any smart businessman running a state would make. The donors plan to spend somewhere in the ballpark of $900 million in the run-up to 2016, with roughly a third of that money going to overtly political endeavors.

Still, many of the men and women at the donor conference, including the Kochs themselves, have the ability to spend millions of dollars backing their preferred candidate. An official said Saturday that the Freedom Partners Action Fund, the most political arm of the empire, plans to spend roughly $100 million on ads in this election cycle, a fourfold increase from what it spent in the 2014 midterm elections.

David Koch has said several times in recent months that Walker would make a great president, while asserting that he is not planning to formally endorse anyone. This secretive donor network has become a popular specter for Democrats and other liberal groups because of the amount of money it spends influencing elections. And American Bridge, an outside group that defends Democrats and attacks Republicans, circulated a list of federal violations by Koch Industries, the privately held company run by both brothers. Reid was trying to trip him before making a quip about the Nevada Democrat’s inability to see out of one eye after an exercise accident earlier this year. Walker again balked when asked whether he thinks President Barack Obama is a Christian, repeating an earlier response to the question in which he said, “He’s said he is, and I take him at his word.” During his appearance, Mr.

Koch’s public image as the head of a vast donor network that consistently fights to reduce regulations and federal spending, including on programs that benefit the poor.

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