The Kochs will raise $889M from conservative millionaires and billionaires to spend in the 2016 election, which, thanks to Citizens United, can be used to buy effectively unlimited political advertising to support policies that will make more money for the donors.
This year, Koch aides also provided — for the first time — limited access to the winter conference events and allowed reporters to view live video of the candidate forum on Sunday night.
As the three senators addressed the audience of rich donors — effectively an audition for the 2016 primary — they dismissed a question about whether the wealthy had too much influence in politics. At times they seemed to be addressing an audience of two: the Kochs themselves, now among the country's most influential conservative power brokers.
Mr. Cruz gave an impassioned defense of his hosts as job creators and the victims of unfair attacks by Democrats, while Mr. Rubio suggested that only liberals supported campaign finance restrictions, so as to empower what he said were their allies in Hollywood and the news media.
Koch Brothers' Budget of $889 Million for 2016 Is on Par With Both Parties' Spending [Nicholas Confessore/NYT]