Tuesday, March 3, 2015

GOP Hopefuls Flocking to AEI Confab at Swanky Resort

The influential conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is hosting its annual "World Forum" this week in the swanky Sea Island resort in Georgia, and Republican presidential hopefuls are going there to pitch wealthy donors.  Among those attending include:
  • Jeb Bush
  • Ted Cruz
  • Bobby Jindal
  • Scott Walker
  • Lindsey Graham
  • Chris Christie
  • Rick Santorum

Here is more from Bloomberg:
The goal for many of the prospective candidates will be to impress the uncommitted donors and bundlers in the audience, including TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, whose super-PAC, Ending Spending, spent roughly $13 million in the 2012 election; Newscorp Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch; Alliance Resource Partners CEO Joseph Craft, who donated $2.7 million to Republican and conservative committees in 2014; Equinox Partners President Sean Fieler; and former Amway CEO Dick Devos and his wife, Windquest Group Chairman Betsy Devos, who donated $850,000 to Republican groups last year.
A who's who of conservative thought, the World Forum will also feature such notable speakers as former Vice President Dick Cheney, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, former George W. Bush senior advisor Karl Rove, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks, and Tennessee Senator Bob Corker. As with past World Forum gatherings, a select few Democrats have been offered speaking slots. This year, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard, and Maryland Representative John Delaney round out the only official Democratic speakers at the Republican-dominated event.

Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post about how one lawmaker got himself in trouble by attending AEI's World Forum.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the think tank's World Forum. 

The New York Times notes that Sea Island is just one of the stops on the GOP donor primary trail.  It also mentions an event sponsored by The Committee to Unleash American Prosperity, a group of "supply side theorists" spearheaded by Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore, and Steve Forbes.  Mr. Moore is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Heritage Foundation.