Huff Post- First Posted: 02/ 3/2012 3:43 pm Updated: 02/ 3/2012 9:05 pm
By- Ryan Grim
WASHINGTON — At a private three-day retreat in California last weekend, conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch and about 250 to 300 other individuals pledged approximately $100 million to defeat President Obama in the 2012 elections.
A source who was in the room when the pledges were made told The Huffington Post that, specifically, Charles Koch pledged $40 million and David pledged $20 million.
The semi-annual, invitation-only meeting attracts wealthy donors, Republican politicians and conservative activists. Last year, hundreds of activists gathered outside the walled-off resort to protest the meeting. This year, however, the conference went off quietly.
“Conference organizers and their guests successfully slipped in and out of the Coachella Valley without being detected, by buying out nearly all of the 500-plus rooms at the Renaissance Esmeralda resort in Indian Wells,” reported The Desert Sun. “The resort closed its restaurants, locked down the grounds with private security guards and sent many workers home.”
This is the ninth straight year the Kochs have hosted the conference. As Politico reported last year, the meetings often adjourn “after soliciting pledges of support from the donors — sometimes totaling as much as $50 million — to nonprofit groups favored by the Kochs.”
The fact that the wealthy conservative donors pledged $100 million for the 2012 elections shows how intent they are on trying to get Obama out of office — and previews how intense, and likely nasty, the general election will be.