Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Martinez Speaks at Koch Brothers Retreat

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
Aug. 7, 2013

Somehow this didn't make it to the New Mexican website this morning, so I'll post it here.

The Brothers Koch
Gov. Susana Martinez attended a political gathering at Santa Ana Pueblo this week that also was attended by national Republican leaders, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman who was the GOP’s vice presidential candidate last year.

But no official would say whether she met with billionaire Republican activists David and Charles Koch, who reportedly sponsored the Monday event at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa.

“Gov. Martinez attended a private political event at the Tamaya, where she gave brief remarks and had casual meetings with several national political leaders, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Congressman Paul Ryan,” said Jay McCleskey, Martinez’s political consultant on Tuesday. Ryan reportedly is considering a 2016 run for president.

But McCleskey, who wasn’t present at the event, said he couldn’t say whether the Koch brothers were there.

Earlier, a spokesman for the Governor’s Office had referred questions about the Koch brothers to McCleskey.

Joe Montes, president of the New Mexico chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-affiliated group, referred questions about the event to a spokesman for Koch Company Public Sector, who couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday night.

KOB TV reported Monday that the resort had been completely rented out for an event. The report quoted an unnamed “Tamaya insider” saying the entire hotel had been rented to the Koch brothers and that a private jet parked at Cutter Aviation in Albuquerque was registered to Koch Leasing, which is part of Koch Industries in Wichita, Kan.


According to a story in Politico this morning: "The meeting featured some discussion of the unfolding GOP Senate primary challenges to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, but no consensus opinion emerged, a source who attended the event told Politico. The source said that Cantor and Ryan both delivered presentations that were well-received by donors, as was (American Enterprise Institute President Arthur) Brooks’s speech on work as a source of happiness."