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January 30, 2011 / J. Shaw

Secret Billionaires Caucus? Koch Brothers and Eric Cantor

This story of secret meeting is nothing new. The left and the right have done this for years.And many meetings are done in secret. The media claims these meetings allow the rich to pour money into politics to influence party leaders and issues. In a free society this is allowed . The media can’t stand the fact that they are excluded. Who else might hold secret meetings? Maybe Bloomberg, Obama,Soros, etc and there is no outrage.

The Tea Party and we the people sentiment that over turned Congress want the people to be in control of the issues, direction and how the country is run. But money is also a part of elections for both sides. I don’t like Eric Cantor involved in this secret meeting. Cantor looks more and more like a new version of ‘the old, business as usual politics’ That is not the same as Tea Party, We the People politics.


 ‘Secret’ weekend meeting fires up debate over $$$, politics & influence

This weekend, at a posh resort near Palm Springs, California, two billionaire corporate titans will convene a semi-annual meeting of a politically well-connected set. It will include wealthy donors and powerful Republicans, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

At David and Charles Koch’s meeting, attendees will discuss items like how best to promote free markets and how to help elect conservatives. Donors are expected to be asked to donate to conservative causes.

It will be conducted virtually in secret, with no press or public allowed and many attendees keeping event details on the hush.

That’s fueled criticism that this gathering is a sort of secret cabal – a “Billionaires Caucus,” critics say. Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary in the Clinton administration, even said that the Koch brothers’ meeting represents “a threat to our democracy.”

Those and other criticisms were leveled during a Thursday telephone press conference for reporters organized by the liberal-oriented, nonprofit group, Common Cause. On Sunday, the group will hold events to counter the Koch’s weekend conference: hosting a panel discussion titled, “Uncloaking the Kochs” and spearheading a protest rally, both near the Rancho las Palmas resort, the site of the Koch meeting.

A central issue inflaming this debate: the role of corporate money in politics, especially after last year’s landmark Supreme Court campaign finance ruling. That decision, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, found that the “government may not suppress political speech on the basis of the speaker’s corporate identity.”

During the telephone press conference, Reich said that decision “opens the floodgates to any amount of money by corporations and rich individuals” to be used in the political system – echoing the sentiment of many others. And many of them, Common Cause included, accuse the Koch brothers of funding a conservative political network to advance their corporate interests and political beliefs.

Koch Industries is the second largest privately-held company in the United States. It’s based in Wichita, Kansas, and is involved in industry areas such as energy, fibers, and chemicals, among others.

Koch Industries spokeswoman Nancy Pfotenhauer responded specifically to criticism of the weekend meeting.

“Those that are attending the conference believe that everyone benefits from the prosperity that emerges from free societies,” Pfotenhauer said. “This gathering is meant to discuss strategies for promoting policies that will help grow our economy, foster free enterprise and create American jobs.” By  Shannon Travis


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