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Pilkington reports: "Charles and David Koch, the secretive oil barons who are attempting to sway the 2012 presidential contest, have moved one step closer to achieving their goal by staging a gathering of right-wing donors in San Diego."

The Koch brothers held the latest of their twice-yearly summits of super-wealthy conservative funders this weekend. (photo: Brave New Foundation)
The Koch brothers held the latest of their twice-yearly summits of super-wealthy conservative funders this weekend. (photo: Brave New Foundation)

Koch Brothers Forecast $400 Million to Unseat Obama in 2012

By Ed Pilkington, Guardian UK

25 June 12


While Romney has his own confab for the super-rich, oil baron brothers hunker down in California with wealthy conservatives.

harles and David Koch, the secretive oil barons who are attempting to sway the 2012 presidential contest by injecting vast sums of private cash into the electoral process, have moved one step closer to achieving their goal by staging a gathering of right-wing donors in San Diego.

The brothers, who have set themselves up as a two-man attack machine devoted to unseating Barack Obama, held the latest of their twice-yearly summits of super-wealthy conservative funders this weekend.

Previous conferences have raised about $250m in private donations, putting the Kochs well on the way to their target of $400m for this election cycle - a flexing of individual political muscle by the super-rich never before seen in American history.

Details of the guest list and agenda at the luxury Carlsbad resort were sketchy, unsurprisingly so given the brothers' legendary secrecy.

Only rarely have glimpses been achieved into the rarefied world of these gatherings, in which wealthy conservatives meet to discuss how they can overturn normal democratic processes by leveraging their money into electoral races.

The only major breach of the security fortress they erect around their summits was in 2011, when advance notice of a Koch confab at the enclave of Rancho Mirage in the California desert allowed protesters to swarm the event.

Snippets of information collected over the years have revealed some of the top names among the Kochs' guests, who have included the US supreme court justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia; talk radio stars such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck; and prominent Republicans like Rick Perry of Texas and Chris Christie of New Jersey, who are both regular attendees.

This year the Kochs had competition - an unusual experience for them - as the presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney staged his own shindig for super-wealthy donors in Park City, Utah.

His guest line up included that other powerhouse of conservative fundraising in this election cycle - the former George Bush adviser Karl Rove, who has also pledged to inject hundreds of millions of dollars into political campaigns this year through his Crossroads GPS group of super PACs.

Technically, there is no contact allowed under campaign finance laws between the non-party political fundraising efforts of the Kochs and Rove and the official campaign of Romney and the Republican party. But the cross-over of staff, supporters and issues makes the line between them very blurry indeed.

Taken together, Romney's official campaign and his outlying supporters could throw more than $1bn at their attempt to extract Obama from the White House and retake the US senate in November. Much of the money is being invested in negative TV attack advertising in key swing states.

The Kochs have also been working quietly behind the scenes to amplify their political influence by creating a vast database containing the details of potential Republican voters, known as Themis.

The database was believed to have been on exhibition at the San Diego summit this weekend.

Over the past five years, the Kochs have become a contentious force within American politics, partly because of the sheer resources they have at their disposal. The brothers, who made their money in oil, coal and manufacturing, have a personal wealth of $25bn each.

Their controversial role is heightened by the increasingly activist stance they have taken in recent years. They have a stated desire - expressed openly to their inner circle - to bend the political process to their individual will.

A leaflet sent to donors in 2008, obtained by one of the top Koch watchers in the US, Kenneth Vogel of Politico, warned that"our society faces dangerous and imminent threats".

It added ominously: "Can a small but dedicated group of leaders make a difference?"

The brothers have even caused fights within the core conservative movement.

On Monday, the Cato institute, a prominent libertarian think-tank, will announce that it has reached a settlement with them in a bruising fight for control.

The brothers had used the death of one of the Cato's four shareholders, William Niskanen, to launch a power grab for the institute, which was then fiercely resisted by senior Cato figures who feared the Kochs would reposition the organization to fit their own agenda.

The settlement appears to be a compromise. The Kochs will agree to give up their attempt to take over Niskanen's shares, which would have given them a majority stake, and in return the founder and president of Cato, Ed Crane, will stand down and be replaced by a successor that he will select - albeit with the Koch brothers holding an ultimate power of veto.

If they meet their target of $400m for this year's presidential election cycle, the Kochs will have surpassed the $370m that John McCain had at his disposal as his entire campaign funding in 2008. your social media marketing partner


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+2 # cordleycoit 2012-06-25 23:36
No surprises there they and the Blue Bros (Junior Koch type personality defects) Will be bringing our state a nice new uranium mill with all the death that Nukes bring and there is nothing the enviros can do except hand wring.Look for growth in General Atomics stock. Along with another pet governor.
+10 # rcossebo 2012-06-26 02:56
This is obscene! These guys need to be taken down a few pegs! The "IDEA" of America is that WE THE PEOPLE have a voice NOT the RICH BA$TARD$ who feel they can BUY A GOVERNMENT! This Country has and continues to decline on the world stage because of THESE TYPES OF PEOPLE; Yes I'm referring to the RICH IDIOTS that have self-loathing and greed at the core of their being!
Someday, hopefully not too late, WE THE PEOPLE will finally get enough, as they did in Iceland, and start arresting these people for crimes against humanity and for being just plain evil!
+13 # RMDC 2012-06-26 04:20
Sometimes I wonder just how much more corrupt the US government can get. Members of Congress are openly bought off by Israel, big banks, oil barons. Washington may be the center of the most corrupt government on face of the earth. Sure there are smaller countries that might be worse -- but they don't spread their corruption all over the world or invade other nations to get their oil.

How much worse can it get before it collapses? How would it collapse? Would people simply stop paying taxes? Would they say, "the Koch brothers bought the government, so let them pay the taxes." Frankly, the United States of Koch Industries has the world by the balls.
+7 # John Locke 2012-06-26 07:57
Money in this election will make the difference! Mainly because the citizens in this country don't have the ability to think or reason or to use common sense!

They are easily swayed by the Media! believing the propaganda they are told!

Thats why advertizers play to the Jr High School level intellect, because most of this country have IQ's that remain at or below 103. With only two Groups as exceptions...


American's are not an intellectual people!!! and they have no real interest beyond sports and a cool Budweiser!

The Latest Poll results shows Obama gaining on Romney, Slightly...

Romney has held a slight advantage in daily tracking for 18 straight days. The president has led just twice during the past month.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows Mitt Romney attracting 47% of the vote, while President Obama earns 45%. Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate, and three percent (3%) are undecided.
+7 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-06-26 08:42
It’s just a bunch of greedy, bigoted super-rich-cree p fascists plotting to take over the USA: so it’s not a treasonous Conspiracy, right? on the other hand, I guess $0.4 billion is a good, cheap knock-down price for the USA....
0 # Benjamin Franklin 2012-06-27 00:22
PAINTING DIXIE RED and also the book, POLITICS AND RELIGION IN THE WHITE SOUTH, both by the historian Glenn Feldman, should be consulted on this subject. They are excellent.

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