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, intensifying its nationwide efforts in the initial years of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Network officials disclosed their rough spending plans Saturday as donors gathered at a luxury hotel in the California desert.
Billionaire industrialist Charles Koch is hosting the event, which has attracted more than 550 donors, each willing to donate at least $100,000 each year to the various groups backed by the Koch brothers — a network of education, policy and political entities that aim to promote a smaller, less intrusive government.
Koch and many of his top donors refused to support Trump in the run-up to his election.
The network’s spending level marks an increase from the two years before the 2016 election, which was roughly $250 million. Ignoring the presidential race, the network focused on several key Senate races, along with promoting conservative policies at the state level across the nation.
Charles and his brother David Koch have hosted such gatherings of donors and politicians for years, but usually in private.
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.
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