INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — The conservative Koch network plans to spend between $300 million and $400 million to influence politics and public policy over the next two years.
Network officials disclosed their rough spending plans Saturday as donors gathered at a luxury hotel in the California desert. The investment, backed by the organization's extensive nationwide network, positions the billionaire industrialist family to play a major role in the debate over several Trump priorities — even those they oppose.
"We're just getting started," billionaire industrialist Charles Koch said at the opening reception for the weekend conference, which attracted more than 550 donors, each willing to donate at least $100,000 each year to the various conservative political and policy groups backed by the Koch brothers.
Charles and his brother David Koch have hosted such gatherings of donors and politicians for years, but usually in private. Organizers report that this year's attendees include five senators — prominent Trump critic Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, among them — three governors and two congressmen.
All are Republicans. Several reporters, including one from The Associated Press, were invited to attend some of the forums. As a condition of attending, reporters were not permitted to identify any donors without their permission.