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Nation’s top conservative donors descend on Colorado Springs for Koch confab

Author: Dan Njegomir - June 23, 2017 - Updated: June 23, 2017

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Billionaire industrialist and conservative linchpin Charles Koch, in a 2012 photo. Charles and brother David Koch are hosting hundreds of the nation’s most powerful political donors at a retreat this weekend in Colorado. (Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle via AP, File)

Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch provide the daily bread for their formidable national network of conservative organizations and activists — and their extensive circle of like-minded donors helps turn water into wine.

All of them are converging on Colorado Springs this weekend to share inspiration and develop strategy for three days at The Broadmoor. They also are expected to draw a host of Republican celebs as they did at last year’s Springs event, where U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan was a featured guest.

The event’s host, the Seminar Network, a Koch brothers spinoff, “unites the country’s top business and philanthropic leaders behind a shared commitment to a society of mutual benefit, a free and open society,” according to the group’s website. Seminar Network’s chairman is former Coloradan Alex Cranberg, the oil and gas developer who has played a pivotal role in advancing the state’s school-choice movement.

This week in advance of the Colorado Springs summit, Seminar Network posted a video featuring Charles Koch, who expounds on the endeavor and its world view (sorry, no separate link, but the video is viewable on the website linked above).

The Kochs and their network have assumed near-mythic status in helping fund and organize the contemporary conservative movement, and they wield tremendous clout in political races nationwide. The Kochs’ network of course also includes political behemoth Americans for Prosperity, whose Colorado chapter is a cornerstone of the state’s conservative activism.

A spokesman with the Colorado Springs conference issued this backgrounder Friday:

The Seminar Network is an organization that unites the country’s most successful business leaders and philanthropists around a shared commitment to advancing a free and open society

This weekend Colorado Springs will once again host The Seminar Network’s summer seminar, one of two held each year. The seminar will take place from Saturday the 24th through Monday the 26th.

Since 2003, what began as a small group of the country’s business leaders and philanthropists, has grown to over 100,000 donors across the country – each motivated by the desire to make the American Dream more attainable and create a brighter future for all people.

Some of the exciting progress made over the last 15 years includes supporting research and education programs at over 300 universities and colleges, finding and scaling transformative community-based programs to solve problems of poor education and persistent poverty, and building a permanent grassroots infrastructure across 36 states, a world-class data operation, and a cutting-edge communications and marketing capability to improve public policy that helps people improve their lives.

One organization that participates in the gatherings is Americans for Prosperity, the grassroots group that that is well known for its network of state chapters that advocate for freedom-oriented policies. The Colorado chapter of AFP is supported by over 127,000 Colorado activists working together to hold government accountable and expand economic freedom and opportunity for all.

 

 

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is the opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.