The Statesman: Perry spoke Sunday at Koch brothers’ gathering near Vail

-By Jason Embry

June 27, 2011- Gov. Rick Perry spoke Sunday at a summit hosted by the billionaire Koch brothers near Vail, Colorado.

Perry spokesman Mark Miner described the Colorado summit as a “private gathering of business leaders” and said it was not related to a possible presidential campaign.

“This was an opportunity to talk about the economic success in Texas,” Miner said, adding that it was no different than other speeches Perry gives touting the Texas job record.

Miner also said Perry talked about issues related to his role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Perry frequently talks in public political speeches about the importance of electing Republican governors around the country.

Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries, an energy conglomerate based in Kansas, are among the country’s leading financial backers of conservative candidates and causes.

The Denver Post has more on the gathering: “The meetings are organized by two of the nation’s most powerful conservative political donors, Charles and David Koch of the privately held energy giant Koch Industries. Their brother, William Koch , who on Saturday paid $2 million at a Denver auction for a tintype image of Billy the Kid, also is a conservative political donor, but he does not participate in his brothers’ activities. The guest list is kept secret, and organizers won’t say where the four-day retreat is being held beyond describing it as in the Vail area. … On Friday, a spokeswoman for Koch Industries said, ‘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.’”

It’s not entirely clear how Perry got to Colorado, but a plane owned by aircraft dealer Goldsmith Team LLC flew from Aspen to Georgetown on Sunday, flight records show.

In 2010, Goldsmith made more than $25,000 worth of in-kind contributions to Perry’s re-election campaign. And now that the legislative session and veto period are over, Perry and other state officials can again accept in-kind contributions. 

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