Koch Event Drawing 2016 Hopefuls Rubio, Paul, Cruz, Walker

25 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A GOP Weekend, Courtesy Of The Koch Network And Citizens United.

The first-term Republican lawmaker planned to join several other potential candidates at a gathering Sunday in Palm Springs, California, organized by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, who have a keen interest in the party’s contenders. Charles Koch on Saturday signaled to hundreds of donors, operatives and conservative leaders gathered in the California desert that the political operation he and his brother David created was just getting started. “Americans have taken an important step in slowing down the march toward collectivism,” Charles Koch said in his speech, seemingly in reference to the Republican takeover of the Senate during the 2014 midterm elections.For the first time, a private gathering of wealthy conservative political donors brought together by Charles and David Koch will allow a look inside its much-scrutinized conclaves. On Sunday night, the group will share with news organizations a live Web stream of one of its final panels set to be held in the weekend at a luxurious Palm Springs resort.

The document calls for restoring fiscal accountability in government, repairing ineffective public programs and reforming regulations and the Tax Code. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida will participate in the hourlong panel discussion, on domestic policy issues, to be moderated by ABC’s Jonathan Karl. Much of our efforts to date have been largely defensive to slow down a government that continues to swell and become more intrusive – causing our culture to deteriorate.” Koch’s remarks were released by Freedom Partners, the tax-exempt business league that functions as the hub of a sprawling network financed by the Kochs and other major donors on the right. But because the format will be styled as a discussion, rather than a debate, it will not violate strict new rules laid down by the Republican National Committee.

The organization is primarily made up of nonprofits, such as Americans for Prosperity, that do not reveal information about their financing or their spending. While Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, which is hosting the event, holds a winter meeting annually, this year is the first to include a policy forum of this kind.

The event, called the “American Recovery Policy Forum,” will be focused on economic prosperity, health care and energy and moderated by ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl. Over the past two days, Rubio met with his main group of 300 supporters on Miami’s South Beach, and he intended to skip the Senate’s schedule for the upcoming week for fundraisers on the West Coast, Texas and Illinois. It’s also the first that will be made available to the news media: The group plans to email to reporters a link to a live-stream video of the event Sunday evening. This weekend’s gathering, one of two donor conclaves that the network holds annually, is being held at an exclusive desert resort perched on a rocky hillside near Palm Springs, with stunning views of the palm tree-speckled desert floor. At the same time, he is trying to keep longtime donors and establishment-minded supporters from shifting loyalties toward another Floridian, former Gov.

Jeb Bush, or the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, who is also moving toward a third White House bid. “Jeb Bush is going to be a very credible candidate. Visitors who attempted to enter the grounds of the resort Saturday were told politely by security officials that the venue was closed for a private event. Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James on Monday night during pregame warmups wore an “I can’t breathe” T-shirt, referring to Eric Garner, who died after a New York police officer placed him in a chokehold during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes. Scott Walker, another potential 2016 candidate, will also attend the meeting, along with about 450 members of the business community and philanthropists, according to a statement from Freedom Partners.

I think he’s going to raise a lot of money,” Rubio said this past week. “He’s got an extraordinary network of donor around the country and I know he’ll be a strong candidate if he runs.” Rubio, who no slouch in fundraising, would catch up to Bush and Romney. Last June, someone recorded Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, then running for re-election, saying the day the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law was signed was “the worst day of my life.” Another audio clip, in which Iowa Republican Joni Ernst praised the Koch network, was used in an attack ad in her Senate bid, which she won. The gathering remains closed to the public and media, but Freedom Partners will provide a live video stream of Sunday night’s forum to news organizations.

The shirt, one of several featuring the slogan that have been seen around the league in recent days after a grand jury declined to indict the officer last week, is just one in a long history of political statements made by athletes on the playing field. In the summer, a series of internal documents and audio recordings leaked out that revealed details about the group’s June 2014 conference in Dana Point, Calif. In the excerpts of his speech released Saturday, Charles Koch described what he said is the group’s vision of society, one that “maximizes peace, civility and well-being.” “A society that is free in which people succeed by helping others improve their lives,” he added. “A society with a culture of integrity, responsibility, hard work, tolerance and treating others with dignity and respect. David and Charles Koch, who back Freedom Partners along with a number of other groups that spend heavily on elections, were a target of Democrats’ frustration in the 2014 election cycle. Then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) frequently took to the Senate floor to criticize the Kochs as running a “campaign of distortion,” calling them “un-American.” A primary reason for the anger directed toward the brothers is that most of the groups they support are so-called 501(c) nonprofits that are not required to disclose their donors.

Courting the Kochs — and donors — amounts to a public signal that Rubio is in the game, no matter that Bush, his early political mentor, may be, too. It ensures free speech and free markets so everyone has the right to express their views and the opportunity to benefit by benefiting others.” “Making this vision a reality will require more than a financial commitment,” he said. “It requires making it a central part of our lives. They’re scripting it very carefully.” “The Koch brothers are too influential in politics,” he said. “With all their oil and gas interests, it’s a very anti-environmentalist stance. McConnell also said a GOP-controlled Senate wouldn’t focus on “gosh darn proposals” like raising the federal minimum wage — comments his opponent at the time seized on in her campaign attacks.

Amid the rise of opposition research groups, there have also been several other instances of recordings from private meetings being leaked to the press.

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