At the Koch Brothers’ donors’ strategy meeting at the Renaissance Esmeralda golf resort in Palm Springs, California, last week, the atmosphere was a blend of reality and optimism. The reality was stated in an e-mail from Charles Koch that was sent to potential participants back in January explaining why the meeting was being postponed to April:
Despite November’s disappointing election results, I am convinced that America’s long-term decline is far from a foregone conclusion. Our goal of advancing a free and prosperous America is even more difficult than we envisioned, but it is essential that we continue, rather than abandon, this struggle.
We are working hard to understand the election results and, based on that analysis, to re-examine our vision and the strategies and capabilities required for success. This is a painstaking and time-consuming process. Although some of the needed changes are already evident, it will be several months before the state data necessary to complete this analysis is available.
For that reason, we are postponing the date of our winter meeting from January … to April …
The summer seminar, which will build on April’s meeting, will follow on August 4-5.
The optimism was that the analysis of what worked, and what didn't, last November would be used to make changes and additions that could turn control of the Senate back to the Republicans and set the stage for a Republican presidential victory in 2016.
Among the 200 attendees at the weekend event were several of those who might be political participants in, and possible beneficiaries of, those Koch-funded and directed strategies, including Dr. Ben Carson, Governors Nikki Haley (R-S.C.) and John Kasich (R-Ohio), and Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
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