Clarification - Colorado reporter says Walker met with Koch Brothers in Colorado last summer | WisCommunity

Clarification - Colorado reporter says Walker met with Koch Brothers in Colorado last summer

Ed Note -

We've received a clarification from Troy Hooper on this -

Unfortunately this blog and headline are not accurate. I did not confirm that Governor Walker attended the so-called "dark money" fundraiser that Mother Jones famously reported on last year. That event was held somewhere near Avon, Colo.

What I did confirm is that Governor Walker was in Aspen, Colo., during a two-day executive Republican Governors Association roundtable that the Koch brothers convened. I reported on a public discussion that Governor Walker participated in at the Aspen Institute during that time. As I've explained to Jud Lounsbury, there is video of the Aspen Institute discussion and it would be worth watching.

But to be clear: The events in Aspen are not the same as the event in Avon. In fact, they were held at different times with a mostly different cast of attendees.

- Troy Hooper

Update to this story available

Troy Hooper is the editor and co-founder of Colorado's popular Real Aspen and a frequent contributor to their sister outfit, Real Vail. He also covers Congress and the environment for The Colorado Independent and his work has appeared in The Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, Playboy, New York Post and the Huffington Post.

In an article written last July on Gov. Perry, Hooper off-handedly mentioned that Perry, Governor Scott Walker and others were returning to the Aspen area shortly after an event hosted by the Koch brothers a few weeks before:

The swashbuckling 61-year-old was the main attraction in an hour-and-a-half conversation with Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson along with four other governors: New Mexico’s Susana Martinez, South Carolina’s Nikki Haley, Virginia’s Bob McDonnell and Wisconsin’s Scott Walker. He and the others were in town for the Republican Governors Assowciation’s two-day executive roundtable convened by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

I assumed that Hooper must have been mistaken-- Walker meeting with the Koch brothers after all the grief he's received over his taped call with the fake David Koch?!?

So, I contacted Hooper.  He says it was no mistake-- that he indeed has confirmation Walker was at the Koch event held the weekend of June 25 and 26.

Walker's public schedule that weekend included a morning event at Devil's Lake on the 25th to celebrate the park's 100th birthday.  And in the of the 26th he had a budget signing ceremony up in Green Bay-- meaning he could have had time to fly out to Colorado, attend part of the event-- perhaps the Saturday night festivities-- and fly back the following morning.

He would have probably needed a  private plane, though:  There is confirmation that Diane Hendricks and John Menard, two of Walker's major contributors, both flew their private planes out to Colorado to attend the event, so he could have hitched a ride with either of them. 

Mother Jones as a "dark money" fundraiser and was able to record Charles Koch guaranteeing anonymous donors "the best possible payoff":

"I've pledged to all of you who've stepped forward and are partnering with us that we are absolutely going to do our utmost to invest this money wisely and get the best possible payoff for you in the future of our country."

Mother Jones also said the event was top-secret and most of who was there is unknown:

Security was tight at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch on opening night of the weekend conference, which drew an estimated 300 guests. (Past attendees have included prominent politicians, right-wing media luminaries, corporate titans, and wealthy political donors.) Audio technicians even set up outward-pointing speakers around the perimeter of the outdoor dining pavilion, according to sources, emitting static to frustrate would-be eavesdroppers.

"There is anonymity that we can protect," noted emcee "Kevin"—likely Kevin Gentry, a VP for the —as he gently urged guests to open their wallets in support of the brothers' causes. Indeed, Charles Koch named 32 who had donated more than $1 million over the previous 12 months, yet because of loopholes in federal campaign law, their donations do not exist in the public record.

Initially other Republican Governors, including Rick Perry, Rick Scott and Bob McDonnell did not disclose that they went to the conference, but were later pressed into disclosing they had gone after being pressed by the media in their state.



January 10, 2012 - 11:10am