Did Charles and David Koch, the bully mastiffs of the overdog class war, actually come this week all the way to New Mexico for an intended-to-be-secret meeting at a block-booked, roadblocked luxury resort north of Albuquerque? Probably not, but their money and their minions did.
The secret was busted when a Koch company plane was spotted by a local KOB-TV news crew tucked away at a private Albuquerque airfield.
When The Albuquerque Journal asked the New Mexico director of the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity political group, Joe Montes what was going on, he said Tuesday, nothing. He was, he said, “unaware of any such meeting in New Mexico sponsored by the group”.
But the next day, the Journal reported that the Koch Industries website had confirmed the conference at theTamaya Resort and its purpose: “to gather ‘some of America’s greatest philanthropists and most successful business leaders’ to ‘discuss solutions to our most pressing issues, and strategies to promote policies that will help grow our economy, foster free enterprise and create American jobs.’”
Among the business leaders and philanthropists who came creeping in on their little feline feet were 2 of the Koch brothers' favorite political cats’ paws: GOP Congressmen Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor, as well as New Mexico’s Republican Governor Susana Martinez.
One wonders, did Rep. Ryan discuss government contracts, the kind he’s always saying he wants to eliminate, the kind that fostered his uncle’s free enterprise and job creation, and made him wealthy enough to underwrite young Ryan’s education?
I’d guess that would be about as likely as Rep. Cantor proposing philanthropic funding to feed the families of 4 million unemployed Americans he has proposed to deny food stamps.
More likely were discussions about a little philanthropic giving to Gov. Martinez’ 2014 re-election campaign. The Journal has estimated the Koch boys tossed millions into NM’s 2012 GOP political campaigns, funds that failed to stop President Obama from winning the dust-poor state’s 4 electoral votes, or Democrat Martin Heinrich from beating former Congresswoman Heather Wilson for a seat in the US Senate.
That’s just guesswork on my part, because, Martinez’ spokesman told the Journal only that that the Governor “gave brief remarks and had casual meetings with several national political leaders.”
Which is more than the mouthpieces for Ryan or Cantor would divulge, which was precisely nothing. These 2 “leaders” were happy to hide behind the security checkpoint that walled uninvited guests away from their undercover conclave.
The Governor herself, and her spokesman himself continue to stonewall questions about her recent creation of jobs for what the journalistic website New Mexico In Depth revealed was an Arizona social services company with ties to one of her biggest campaign funders. The jobs, at substantially higher levels of pay, (for the executives, of course, not necessarily the service provision workers) supplanted those of 15 New Mexico social service suppliers ordered closed and called “under investigation” for Medicaid fraud.
The Governor also refuses, NMID has reported, to answer reporters’ questions about the fact that the Massachusetts firm she hired to audit those 15 NM companies, did not report finding any evidence of “fraud,” and did not recommend closing down any of the NM companies.
In fact, after weeks of disruption, at least 2 of the 15 companies are reported to be reinstated, albeit with what the auditors did recommend, some additional oversight from the NM Department of Human Services.
I guess this exemplifies another topic of those closed-door discussions, “solutions to our most pressing issues.”
No wonder so much of politics in New Mexico has to be kept secret.