Conservative megadonors David and Charles Koch are hosting a major political event this weekend to help them and their allies prepare for the 2016 presidential race.
Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a Koch organisation, is hosting the conclave of wealthy donors at a luxurious Palm Springs, Florida, resort, according to The Washington Post.
And, in what the Post describes as a first, they are opening their event to the public Sunday night, when ABC News will interview three likely 2016 presidential candidates: Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), and Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) at the event. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is also set to attend the conference.
“It’s a dramatic change in approach for the Koch-backed operation, which has withheld information about previous donor seminars, held under tight security,” the Post’s Matea Gold wrote. “The events — typically held in Palm Springs in the winter and in Colorado in the summer — feature prominent GOP officials as guests and high-brow panel discussions about economic and political theory.”
The Kochs are a lightning rod for liberal activists and others who accuse them of undermining the democratic process with their seemingly unlimited spending on political campaigns. To mark the Kochs’ annual donor summit, Crowdpac, a group dedicated to ending the “stranglehold of big money donors” created a website about the event encouraging readers to “Crash The Koch Party.”
Despite the controversy surrounding the Koch Brothers, for Republican candidates, their support is highly coveted.
“Our members care deeply about the future of our nation and we’re honored to host some of today’s most influential and respected leaders in shaping public policy,” James Davis, a Freedom Partners spokesman, told the National Review. “We hope that this panel will give each participant the opportunity to lay out their vision of free markets and the role of government. Our goal in 2015 is to help inform the national debate around key domestic economic issues, and this forum is the beginning that conversation.”
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