Charles and David Koch made considerable investments in the 2012 elections, and as the dust settled, they didn’t have much to show for their investments.
Several months later, however, the Koch brothers aren’t exactly scaling back their political efforts.
Rep. Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez secretly spoke to wealthy donors at the Koch brothers’ recently concluded summer gathering on the outskirts of Albuquerque.
The 2012 vice presidential candidate and No. 2 House Republican are return participants to the twice-annual seminar…. A spokesman for Cantor’s office declined to comment, while Ryan’s office did not immediately respond to questions.
As the Politico report explained, Koch Industries periodically hosts these “invitation-only seminars” under “extremely tight security.” The brothers’ powerful allies attend so they can hear from “Republican elected officials, conservative dignitaries and leaders of right-leaning groups backed by the Kochs’ network,” which Republican players attend to connect with donors and make the Kochs happy.
Ryan, Cantor, and Martinez are hardly unique – previous attendees include governors (Christie, Perry, McDonnell), senators (Cornyn, DeMint), notable Republican media personalities (Limbaugh, Beck), and even sitting Supreme Court justices (Scalia, Thomas).
And while conservatives are certainly free to get together like this, I can’t help but wonder why all the secrecy is necessary. Neither Ryan nor Cantor were willing to talk about the appearance, before or after attending, and when a reporter from the NBC affiliate in Albuquerque tried to cover the event where the New Mexico governor was speaking, he was turned away at a checkpoint – a mile from the resort.
If the Koch brothers want to give the public the impression that something untoward is going behind closed doors with leading Republican policymakers, this is certainly the way to do it.