Last September we wrote [Here] about an investigative report that appeared in The New Yorker and was written by their splendid staff writer, Jane Mayer, titled “Covert Operations: The brothers trying to bring down Obama.” The brothers were, of course, David and Charles Koch and they are at it again. This time the venue for their political and economic planning will be in sunny, luxurious Rancho Mirage in California.
The Koch brothers host two such meetings every year. The previous one was held last June in Aspen, Colorado. These meetings are invitation-only affairs offered to only 200 guests, who are urged to wear name tags at all times and to keep the discussions private and confidential. (Oh, dear! Where do they pin their name tags on their swimming togs? Rancho Mirage is reputed to have several gorgeous swimming pools.)
Last June’s discussions were focused on the upcoming midterm elections and raising money for the huge, largely successful, ad campaigns that were directed against Democratic Candidates. The invitation to the upcoming event, according to thinkprogress.com. reads: [Here]
...We must dedicate ourselves to making major advances in the direction of economic freedom. Our goal for these meetings must be to advance ideas that strengthen that freedom, beat back the unrelenting attacks and hold elected leaders accountable.
What an agenda! How thinkprogress got a copy of the invitation I do not know, but it sounds very Koch-like, doesn’t it? It also sounds very Friedmanesque, too.
The list of past guests to these events reads like a Conservative Who’s Who--Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (some claim just before Citizens United v. FEC), talk show folks Glenn and Rush, Senators Jim DeMint, Engineering Industrialists Steve and Betty Bechtel, and so on. [Here] For a list of last June’s Aspen attendees from thinkprogress.com., click [Here].
This year the group will not be left entirely alone. Just down the road there will be a counter conference, sponsored by Common Cause and other liberal and progressive groups. The purpose of the alternative meeting is to call attention to the power and influence of these multi-billionaires and their influence on the American political world. Mary Boyle of Common Cause said, [Here]
We want to raise public awareness of the harmful influence of corporate money. The Koch gathering embodies all that we consider damaging to our democracy.
Robert Reich, Berkeley Economics professor and Labor Secretary under Clinton, will be a panel speaker. He, too, is alarmed at the reach and power of corporate money, calling it: [Here]
...the worst I've seen it in my lifetime.
Reich has a powerful, intelligent voice and is well-respected with high name recognition. Let us hope that the speeches in opposition to the corporate power, which, unfortunately, will NOT be on public display at Rancho Mirage, will be well covered by the press.
The date for this event? January 30-31, 2011
Address for the event? Rancho Las Palmas Resort
Rancho Mirage, California
Let’s see what the msm says and does about this event...