This weekend, Rep. Eric Cantor (R., Va.), the House majority leader, will be attending the Koch conference in Palm Springs, Calif. Sources tell us that Cantor plans to detail his party’s “cut and grow” agenda in sessions with business leaders. It will be the Virginian’s third visit to the retreat, which is hosted semi-annually by brothers Charles and David Koch, who manage Koch Industries, a global manufacturing and investments group.
The Koch brothers, as NRO readers know, have received much attention in recent months due to their financial support of Americans for Prosperity, a leading organizer of the conservative grassroots. So it comes as no surprise that their meeting in the Coachella Valley this week is attracting a slew of left-wing activists to the region. Groups such as Common Cause will be huddling nearby. Van Jones and former labor secretary Robert Reich, among others, will be participating in the festivities.
Republicans who have attended the event, however, shrug off the Left’s concerns. They point to liberal groups such as Democracy Alliance — which holds its own closed-door conferences and is partly funded by George Soros — as examples of how both sides of the political spectrum raise coin and discuss issues.
“Groups on the right, left, and in the middle get together all over this great country to exercise their First Amendment rights to talk about these issues — some of them are public,” said Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia in an interview with Politico. “So, to the degree that some on the left may be trying to attack these Koch seminars is really ridiculous.”