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News Wednesday, Feb 3 2016

California Dreamin’ Cole Heads To Palm Springs To Pick Up Koch Cash

Feb 03, 2016

Gubernatorial candidate Bill Cole got a break from West Virginia winter last weekend as he joined the billionaire Koch brothers for a retreat at the luxury Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa in sunny Palm Springs. Between facials at the spa and rounds on the legendary Indian Wells golf course, Cole addressed the Koch network on his own extreme agenda, including his plans to make West Virginia a right-to-work state.

Cole’s attendance at the top secret retreat can only mean one thing – the Kochs have anointed yet another handpicked candidate to shill for their extreme, self-serving agenda. With Americans for Prosperity spending on his behalf, and having been named a preferred candidate of the Koch-affiliated money-bundling Aegis PAC, Cole has already benefited from the Koch network’s support. Like previous Koch retreat alums Joni Ernst, Cory Gardner, and the like, he’s sure to make the Koch brothers’ agenda his own back at home in West Virginia.

West Virginia Senate President And Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Cole Spoke At The Freedom Partners’ Donor Retreat And According To His Spokesman Kent Gates Addressed His Legislation “To Make West Virginia The 26th Right-To-Work State.” According to the Charleston Gazette Mail, “Senate President Bill Cole spent the weekend at a Palm Springs resort with about 500 high-spending donors, where he spoke at a retreat organized by the conservative mega-donors Charles and David Koch. The annual donors retreat is organized by the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit affiliated with the Koch brothers, which requires an annual membership fee of $100,000. The event is not open to the public, just to major conservative donors, although select media were invited to attend. Charles Koch gave the opening address at the retreat. Cole, R-Mercer, and a candidate for governor, spoke at the exclusive event, to discuss his work in improving West Virginia’s economy, a campaign spokesman said. ‘He specifically addressed his legislation to make West Virginia the 26th right-to-work state,’ campaign spokesman Kent Gates said in an email. ‘Bill Cole will travel throughout West Virginia and beyond — to talk about his commitment to fixing the economic and financial crisis that West Virginia faces.’” [Charleston Gazette Mail, 2/1/16]

Senate President Bill Cole Flew His Personal Plane To Speak At Charles And David Koch’s Palm Springs Retreat. After AFP “‘Amped Up’ Its Advertising” In West Virginia. According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, “Senate President Bill Cole spent the weekend at a Palm Springs resort with about 500 high-spending donors, where he spoke at a retreat organized by the conservative mega-donors Charles and David Koch. […] Gates said the donor retreat was “not a political event.” He said that Cole did no fundraising or campaigning at the event. “He was introduced in his official capacity and did not discuss the campaign for governor,” Gates said. Gates emphasized that Cole, who left Friday afternoon and returned Sunday evening, traveled at his own personal expense. He flew to California on his personal plane. […] Jason Huffman, the state director for Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group founded and largely funded by the Koch brothers, is a regular presence at the state Capitol and has spoken at two recent public hearings. And Americans for Prosperity recently accelerated its advertising in West Virginia, specifically related to right-to-work. The group has been advertising in favor of a right-to-work law — a top priority of Republican legislative leadership — since December. They launched a television ad on Friday. Christian Hertenstein, a spokesman for Americans for Prosperity, said the group recently spent “a strong five figures” on a digital ad buy. Hertenstein said Americans for Prosperity has now ‘amped up’ its advertising, in advance of a vote on right-to-work in the House of Delegates this week.” [Charleston Gazette-Mail, 2/1/16]

As Of February 2016, West Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Cole Was Listed As An Aegis PAC Candidate. According to Aegis PAC, “Election of Bill Cole to the Governor’s Office in West Virginia would cap a conservative renaissance in the Mountain State in recent years. Dominated by Democrats and unions for nearly 100 years, West Virginia in 2014 saw both legislative chambers flip to Republican control. Under now-Senate President Bill Cole’s leadership, the state has embarked on a conservative reform agenda, capped by a push for right-to-work legislation in 2016. Cole, who has the GOP nomination to himself, represents the very type of conservative leadership West Virginia needs, in this time of transition.” [Aegis PAC, accessed 2/3/16]

  • Politico: The Koch Network’s Efforts Are “Spearheaded Partly By A For-Profit Consulting Firm Called Aegis Strategic That’s Backed By The Koch Network.” According to Politico, “The ambitious effort, spearheaded partly by a for-profit consulting firm called Aegis Strategic that’s backed by the Koch network, is one of several ways in which the brothers and their allies are seeking to influence the types of candidates who carry the GOP banner.” [Politico, 11/12/15]

Published: Feb 3, 2016

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