Rick Scott attends secret Koch brothers meeting in Coloradoby Dara Kam | June 28th, 2011
Florida Gov. Rick Scott attended a secret, invitation-only meeting outside Vail, Colo., hosted by conservative billionaire GOP donors David and Charles Koch, the governor’s staff confirmed today.
The meeting wasn’t on Scott’s official schedule and his spokesman Lane Wright initially refused to confirm or deny whether the first-term governor would make an appearance, saying he would not “speculate as to what he has done, or will do on his personal time.”
But, after The St. Petersburg Times reported Tuesday Scott did attend the meeting, Wright confirmed that the governor was there but would not say whether Scott was in Colorado on Sunday or Monday.
“I told anybody who asked me,” Scott, in Washington, D.C., told the Times, without revealing too much about what took place.
“It was very interesting,” he told the Times. “They wanted to know basically… what am I doing in Florida.”
Scott, the self-proclaimed “jobs governor,” joined at least three other conservative Republican heads-of-state at the semi-annual meeting.
Govs. John Kasich of Ohio and Bob McDonnell of Virginia all dropped into the conference, entitled “Understanding and Addressing Threats to American Enterprise and Prosperity.” And Scott’s competitor-in-chief, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, addressed the group on Sunday, the first of the four-day meeting that wraps up Wednesday.
“The purpose of this conference is to develop support for the kind of free-market policies and initiatives that can get our country back on the path to economic prosperity and sustained job creation,” a spokeswoman for Koch Industries told The Denver Post last week.
Kansas-based Koch Industries, the second largest privately owned company in the United States, earned $100 billion in revenues in 2009, is controlled by Charles and David Koch, political activists who have donated more than $100 million to conservative GOP causes over the past three decades, according to a New Yorker profile. The pair have recently donated to tea party groups and organizations opposed to President Obama.
Florida Democratic Party spokesman Eric Jotkoff blasted Scott for secretly leaving the state during a state of emergency he declared because of wildfires.
“For Rick Scott to secretly leave the state during a state of emergency is completely irresponsible and shows why he continues to be the least popular governor in America,” Jotkoff said.