Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) is in Vail, Colo. Monday to attend a seminar sponsored by the Koch brothers, the wealthy supporters of conservative and libertarian causes, including Americans for Prosperity,
Koch Industries, the second largest privately owned company in the United States, is run by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who hold seminars twice a year, though the location and details are generally scarce.
McDonnell has attended previous seminars, though he skipped the last one in Palm Springs, in January.
The invitation-only summer seminar is entitled “Understanding and Addressing Threats to American Enterprise and Prosperity.”
McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said the seminar gives the governor an opportunity to hear from job creators, entrepreneurs and business leaders about policies that could encourage job creation and economic growth. “He’s looking forward to the meeting, and to bringing back innovative ideas and solutions that will help Virginians gain access to the good-paying jobs and opportunities they need and deserve,’’ Martin said.
But the Democratic Party of Virginia was quick to criticize the trip.
“It’s not surprising that billionaire CEOs like Charles and David Koch would court Republican politicians and convince them to pursue a policy agenda that puts corporations ahead of working families, nor is it astounding that they’ve found such an ally in Bob McDonnell,’’ party spokesman Brian Coy said. “The only surprising thing about the governor’s trip this weekend is just how enthusiastically he comes running when one of the nation’s largest influence peddlers and corporate polluters beckons.”
Updated, 1:30 p.m.: Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli also attended the seminar. He spoke at a breakfast about federalism and touted his office’s role in lawsuits against the federal government involving health care and the Environmental Protection Agency, Cuccinelli’s political director, Noah Wall, said.