Kochs’ CA donor conclave reflects uneasy race

Koch BrothersWith the Republican primary race for the presidential nomination still remarkably fluid, donors and campaign heavyweights gathered under the Koch brothers’ aegis in the California desert to discuss — and possibly shape — the party’s political future.

The event, located in Indian Wells, boasted the largest group of attendees in its history — around 500, according to BuzzFeed News. Participants “were briefed behind closed doors on the 2016 landscape and on of each of the presidential candidates’ policy positions early Sunday morning by two of the top officials from the Koch network,” the website noted. “Although the seminar stuck to policy during the 2016 briefing, presidential politics and the future of the party were on the minds of a lot of the donors.”

The Trump factor

Unsure who was going to place where in this week’s first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, anxiety around Donald Trump’s prospects ran high. “Top supporters of Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas held private meetings to sway potential new recruits at the annual winter conference,” according to one participant, the New York Times’ Nicholas Confessore reported, adding that “officials with the Kochs’ political operation also began sounding out allied donors about a potential campaign” against Trump, “whose evolving views on issues like corporate subsidies put him at odds with the Koch network’s own policy priorities.”

Although Cruz managed to best Trump in Iowa, with Rubio coming in a surprisingly strong third, Trump had pulled into a substantial lead over the rest of the field in the run-up to Iowa, aggravating fears among donors and more traditional Republicans that the insurgent mogul could use a dominant first-place showing to break the spirits of his rivals and run the primary-season table. Instead, Cruz’s victory — which has deepened a different sort of anxiety among some established members of the donor class, who believe Trump to be more electable and open to influence than Cruz — wound up heartening many Koch attendees, who are inclined to view Cruz more favorably than Trump.

Still, the Trump factor left attendees cagey in Indian Wells. “Despite Trump rankling donors for months, the Kochs’ political network and its members were reluctant to do anything that might cause him to launch a third-party bid, sources said this weekend,” according to BuzzFeed News. “Also, there was concern that attacks from the Koch brothers and their allies could have potentially added to Trump’s momentum and his populist appeal with the GOP base.”

Lining up votes

Cruz and Trump, once willing to treat one another with relative kid gloves, have been drawn into an increasingly fierce competition as they bump up against each other at the top of the polls. “Cruz and Donald Trump are now knotted in a statistical dead heat for top support among California’s likely GOP voters five months before the state’s primary,” the San Jose Mercury News reported. “The poll may mark the end of the blustery billionaire businessman’s dominance in California. It shows Cruz probably has room to grow his Golden State support even further, while Trump’s already might be maxed out.”

But some pro-Republican analysts have cautioned that Cruz is too conventionally conservative to draw disaffected former Republicans and so-called Reagan Democrats into the fold — especially in states like California, where those sorts of likely voters are plentiful. “According to what one of the state’s most reputable voter list companies told me not too long ago, there are about 340,000 ‘decline-to-state’ voters in California who are former Republicans, and who have a reliable voting history,” wrote James Lacy at the Orange County Register. “This special, large group of voters should be a big focus of the Republican Party’s attention right now. And the best way for these voters to empower themselves is to re-register Republican.”


Write a comment
  1. Dawn Urbanek
    Dawn Urbanek 6 February, 2016, 08:28

    If you want to make America great again- you need to start by fixing CA public education system.

    California had 6.3 million preK-12 students in 2011, and that is projected to increase to almost 7 million by 2023.

    54.1% percent were eligible for free/reduced lunch and

    23.2 percent were in English Language Learner programs

    California’s failure to educate its students will greatly impact how educated the Nation is as a whole; and how well prepared the Nation will be to compete with it’s peers around the world in the future.

    The CDE is telling districts that they are no longer required to follow State Content Standards or Curriculum frameworks – under local control subject content and instructional time is at the discretion of the classroom teacher

    http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/cc/ccssfaqs.asp look at #5

    I guess that is why my daughter only received 2/3 of her Algebra I curriculum.

    Capistrano Unified is in a wealthy suburban area and one would expect our students to be doing well- they are not which is why the State is now hiding test scores and changing anything that could be used to measure academic performance going forward-

    A-G Completion Rate: 52.5%

    EAP College Ready:

    English: 42%

    Algebra II: 3% * Required to go well on college entrance exams and is required to get into a 4 year selective university.

    Summative Math: 27%

    Math Total: 20%

    Absolutely disgraceful

    Reply this comment
    • Scott
      Scott 11 February, 2016, 10:01

      Your daughter probably only got ⅔ of the Algebra curriculum because the teacher only understood ⅔ of it.

      Reply this comment
      • Dude
        Dude 11 February, 2016, 11:13

        “54.1% percent were eligible for free/reduced lunch and 23.2 percent were in English Language Learner programs”

        This explains and encapsulates everything that is wrong and in violation of our immigration laws.

        Reply this comment
  2. Dude
    Dude 6 February, 2016, 09:07

    Why am I not surprised that this rag never has anything to say about all the money George Soreass pumps into Dims?

    Reply this comment
  3. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 8 February, 2016, 19:09

    Soros finances all sorts of leftists and gun control groups him like most all leftists wants to become a dictator just like Obama

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Who’s running the Delta Stewardship Council?

By KATY GRIMES With the five major component bills of the 2009 water package representing a massive undertaking for the

Bills address campaign donations from private parties, not unions

Editor’s note: This is Part 1 of 2. California lawmakers object to “dark money,” a term for campaign contributions used

Harris tempts challengers with ‘blood sport’ politics

Attributing her success to a “blood sport” view of politics, California Attorney General Kamala Harris has established herself as the leading contender to