Oh, we’ll all need an early spring vacation by January and what could be more fun than a nice desert escape and some infiltration of an invitation-only, confidential meeting at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage near Palm Springs, CA. Sponsored by Koch Industries’ founders Charles and David Koch, the until now top-sekrit gathering of conservatives entitled Understanding and Addressing Threats to American Free Enterprise and Prosperity is designed to
develop strategies to counter the most severe threats facing our free society and outline a vision of how we can foster a renewal of American free enterprise and prosperity.
Indirectly acknowledging that times must be tough even for the wealthy, and to encourage new participants, Charles Koch offers to waive the $1,500 registration fee. But in the letter obtained by the New York Times he urges secrecy and caution, lest any liburuls attempt a flippant James O’Keefe type stunt:
The letter advises participants that it is closed to the public, including the news media, and admonishes them not to post updates or information about the meeting on the Web, blogs, social media or traditional media, and to “be mindful of the security and confidentiality of your meeting notes and materials.”
Oh hai, Chuck Koch All your bases are belong to us: Web, blogs, social media and traditional media are now aware!
Invited participants are told they must wear nametags for all meeting functions. And, ensuring that no one tries to gain access by posing as a participant, the invitation says that reservations will be handled through Koch Industries’ office in Washington: “Please do not contact the Rancho Las Palmas directly to place a reservation.”
And maybe not flirt with attractive, seductive types at the bar? Bouwahaha!
Rancho Las Palmas has 450 rooms total, 22 of which are suites. They average $170 to $880 per night.
Koch Industries operates a foundation that finances political advocacy groups. While tax law protects those groups from having to disclose much about what they do and who contributes, NYTimes reveals that past participants
included some of the nation’s wealthiest families and biggest names in finance: private equity and hedge fund executives like John Childs, Cliff Asness, Steve Schwarzman and Ken Griffin; Phil Anschutz, the entertainment and media mogul ranked by Forbes as the 34th-richest person in the country; Rich DeVos, the co-founder of Amway; Steve Bechtel of the giant construction firm; and Kenneth Langone of Home Depot.
The group also included longtime Republican donors and officials, including Foster Friess, Fred Malek and former Attorney General Edwin Meese III.
According to the Times, the session’s agenda will
“review strategies for combating the multitude of public policies that threaten to destroy America as we know it.”
Those efforts, the letter makes clear, include countering “climate change alarmism and the move to socialized health care,” as well as “the regulatory assault on energy,” and making donations to higher education and philanthropic organizations to advance the Koch agenda.
Expect us. We are legion.