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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJune 23, 20174min730

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.

 

 



Ernest LuningErnest LuningMay 22, 20176min864

After serving as chief of staff for the Colorado Senate Republicans for five sessions, Jesse Mallory takes over as state director of Americans for Prosperity-Colorado, the influential conservative organization announced Monday. AFP-Colorado’s previous state director, Michael Fields, was named senior director of issue education for the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, a related organization, he announced on Twitter on the last day of the legislative session earlier this month.


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In certain working-class towns on Colorado’s Western Slope, it’s a slur to say someone is an Aspen liberal, and it’s an accusation that’s been thrown at Democrat Gail Schwartz repeatedly since she first decided to challenge incumbent U.S. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, in early April. “While Gail Schwartz has been at a cocktail party somewhere in Aspen, far removed from the working people of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District and no doubt patting herself of the back for all her brilliant extremist ideas, Congressman Tipton has been standing up for the coal industry, high paying jobs and affordable energy,” a Tipton fundraising email read on June 7. The strategy is clear: Paint Schwartz, a former state senator and member of the CU Board of Regents, as an elitist Aspenite obsessed with renewable energy at the expense of Colorado’s coal, oil and natural gas industries. It’s reminiscent of Republican attempts, ultimately successful, to portray former Sen. Mark Udall as a Boulder liberal obsessed with social issues over economic concerns.


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Americans for Prosperity came to the Capitol Thursday — not just some of the group’s legislative specialists, but a whole crowd of liberty loving followers, who Republican lawmakers thanked for their dedication to small-government and their hard work championing conservative causes in recent years. “I want to say thanks,” said Senate President Bill Cadman, R-Colorado […]

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