This year’s crop of Republican Presidential candidates certainly appear to be cut from the same cloth as their predecessors. Five considered to be “top tier” candidates will be attending an exclusive retreat hosted by Freedom Partners at a luxury Orange County, California resort. Freedom Partners, while technically separate from Koch Industries, is basically considered to be the Koch brothers ‘secret bank’.
Those invited to this uber-rich, ultra-conservative gathering include Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Texas senator Ted Cruz, former CEO Carly Fiorina, Florida senator Marco Rubio and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. Rand Paul was also invited, but declined the invitation due to prior campaign commitments in Iowa. The five attending, in the words of one familiar with the Koch conservative network:
are most likely to elevate a serious debate on the principles of freedom.
Approximately 450 high powered, deep pocket donors will get to rub shoulders, hobnob, cocktail and mingle with the candidates. One can only assume the conversations, promises and deal-making that will ensue.
One big name in the Republican presidential campaign is missing from the list of those invited: Donald Trump. Mr. Trump is not considered to be among the candidates to elevate the “principles of freedom” debate, and insiders state the Koch brothers are “freezing him out.”
Trump hasn’t made many friends in the Koch machine with his hostile stance on Mexican and Latin American immigration. In addition, he further distanced himself from the Koch coffers by stating at an Iowa campaign event in July:
Those people are controlled by whoever gave them their money, and I will tell you they are totally controlled.
Not above buying a little influence himself, Trump went on to say:
I give to everybody and they do whatever I say.
Pot, meet kettle.
Featured image courtesy of politicsusa.com