Against the Kochs

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 31 2011 8:10 AM

Against the Kochs

Ken Vogel wraps up this weekend's protest of a biannual meeting for influential businessmen hosted by Charles and David Koch. (If you haven't been paying attention , liberals very, very slowly caught on to the fact that the Kochs bankroll many of the libertarian projects that have taken on political heft in the Tea Party era.) The event itself was closed to the public, but Kate Zernike scooped the invitation, and a coalition of liberal groups and leaders -- hello again, Van Jones! -- held a sizable rally outside the Rancho Mirage meeting/

Despite the publicity, the conference drew a slew of prominent politicians and conservative donors, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Home Depot lead investor Ken Langone, former Attorney General Ed Meese, Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips, long-shot GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain and former Jack Abramoff associate and Bush appointee Patrick Pizzella. Other big donors, including retired Sysco chief John Woodhouse and Amway founder Rich DeVos, were expected to attend, as well. 

The luxury resort was closed to everyone except Koch conference-goers and those attending a meeting of federal judges from the Ninth Circuit, who coincidentally had scheduled their gathering for the same hotel, and who were expected to bring a significant security presence as well.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Advertisement

Liberal protestors couldn't get close . Witness:

But I'm not sure what the point was. Vogel frames the story with an interview of Tim Carney, who's a journalist and, coincidentally, one of the few people at the Koch gathering who felt like talking, and Carney stresses that he told the crowd about the dangerous intersection of government and business -- of rent-seeking, basically. Last year Carney recapped a previous Koch speech for me, and not only did he give another variation of this speech, he told me that he was urged to do it by Charles Koch -- whose head could be seen in cartoon form on a blimp above the gathering, caricatured as a rent-seeker.

I'm generally in agreement with libertarians that the Kochs are more interested in funding libertarian projects than getting favors from the government. But let's not forget that their massive collection of business interests do intersect with the state at some points, and profit of off taxpayers.

More Carney here ; he will post his speech at some point.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technocracy
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.