FRIDAY UPDATE: Coverage from the Vail paper and the Colorado Independent.
UPDATE #3: More details from Common Cause’s invitation email after the jump.
UPDATE #2: The uber-swanky Ritz-Carlton Resort at Bachelor Gulch is the location we just got from multiple sources. We are working on confirmation now.
UPDATE: Not much information yet, but it looks like the Koch brothers will indeed have a warm “welcome”–this just went up on the Facebook page of Colorado Common Cause:
Uncloak the Kochs
Time: Sunday, June 26 · 11:00am – 1:00pm
Location: Vail, CO
More Info: The billionaire Koch brothers are organizing their annual retreat in Vail this weekend to decide where they will funnel millions of dollars to influence political outcomes which change our nation.
And because of the Citizens United Supreme Court case, these millions of dollars will be spent in secret. Stand with us to demand transparency and accountability.
We’ll update with more information, and we do apologize if our timely posting in any way disrupted the tranquility of this secretive event.
But, you know, stuff happens.
Some of our readers might recall an event held this past January in Palm Springs, California that attracted considerable attention–Politico reported at the time:
In the past, the meetings have drawn an A-list of participants – politicians like Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, leading free-market thinkers including American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks, talkers Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and even Supreme Court justices – to mingle with the wealthy donors who comprise the bulk of the invitees. The meetings adjourned after soliciting pledges of support from the donors – sometimes totaling as much as $50 million – to non-profit groups favored by the Kochs.
For the most part, the meetings, which are closed to the public and reporters, have attracted little attention outside conservative circles. But very different circumstances surround the Koch conference set to begin Saturday at an exclusive resort outside Palm Springs, Calif.
The Koch brothers – Charles and David – have come under intense scrutiny recently for their role in helping start and fund some of the deepest-pocketed groups involved in organizing the tea party movement such as Americans for Prosperity, and for steering cash towards efforts to target President Barack Obama, his healthcare overhaul, and congressional Democrats in the run-up to the 2010 election.
January’s conference blew up on its organizers, Charles and David Koch, after liberal activist groups in California and around the country got wind of it and organized protests–and unwanted exposure for the secretive Koch brothers. Who, as we saw with their recent hardball lobbying of Colorado Republicans to abandon legislation they had sponsored promoting natural gas, prefer to do their political work behind the scenes.
With that in mind, did you know that the next big Koch brothers conservative political conference, set to draw a similar high-profile group of Republican leaders, funders, and media luminaries…is happening in Vail this coming week? Because until we saw a brief Richmond Times-Dispatch story on the upcoming travels of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell yesterday, we hadn’t. And nobody else we’ve talked to knew about it either.
McDonnell…leaves on Sunday for Vail, where he’ll attend the Koch brothers’ summer seminar.
Koch Industries is a Kansas-based energy conglomerate owned by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, the backers of conservative causes, including Americans for Prosperity. The Koch brothers hold conferences twice a year, keeping the guest lists and details largely under wraps. [Pols emphasis]
The last one was held in Palm Springs, Calif., in January. McDonnell has attended at least seven of the seminars…
Tucker Martin, the governor’s spokesman, described the seminar as a way for McDonnell to hear from job creators, entrepreneurs and business leaders on policies they believe would best facilitate and support private sector job creation in Virginia.
This story appears to be the only reference to this conference in any media, anywhere–it does not appear to be an event the Koch brothers wanted publicized, and after what happened in Palm Springs, that makes an awful lot of sense. At any rate, this conference will be in Vail this weekend, and based on Gov. McDonnell’s attendance, it’s likely to be as much of a who’s-who of conservative politics as the prior Koch brothers conferences.
Which means that the press, and anyone else who’d like to “greet” the infamous Koch brothers and their entourage of right-wing big names coming to our state, should probably get to work.
Speak Out Against the Koch Brothers this Sunday in Beaver Creek
Last January, some 1500 people protested outside a political fundraiser convened by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch in Palm Springs, California. Weeks later we saw Koch funded front groups and Gov. Scott Walker mount a war against teachers and other public workers in Wisconsin. Since then, we’ve seen Koch funded assaults on the EPA, on Social Security, and a new effort to build an environmentally risky tar sands pipeline.
Now, the Koch’s are coming to Colorado. This Sunday through Tuesday in Beaver Creek (near Vail) they will host an invitation only discussion between corporate titans and political operatives to plot a secret plan to spend tens of millions of dollars of corporate money on the 2012 elections. We learned this news just days ago when the Richmond Times Dispatch reported that Governor McDonnell of Virginia will be joining the strategy sessions. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has said he’s “dropped by” these meetings in the past.
Will you be there to raise your voice in protest?
Citizens from across Colorado will be converging in Avon, Colorado right below the Ritz Carlton at Bachelor Gulch on Sunday from 11 AM to 1 PM to speak out against this corporate assault on the middle class. We’ll meet up at Nottingham Lake Park located at 1 Lake Street Avon. You can get details of the event and RSVP at this Facebook event page.
The event will be non-violent and family friendly. Please bring signs, but not ones mounted on sticks or anything that could be construed as a weapon. Some sign suggestions would be “UnVail the Kochs”, “Corporations are not people”, “Koch + Thomas = Supreme Conflict”, “Reverse Citizens United”, “Money does not equal speech” and “Stop the War on the Middle Class.”
I realize this comes on short notice, and that just what the Koch’s want. They’ve managed to keep this event under wraps until now precisely to keep folks like you and me from showing up. Let’s not let them get away with it.
Thanks for all you do,
p.s. If you want more information about the Koch brothers, you can check out our website here.