The so-called “Koch primary” began this weekend, as GOP presidential hopefuls are courting mega-donors at Charles and David Koch’s annual invitation-only gathering at a resort near Palm Springs, Calif. About 450 top donors and business leaders were expected to attend. For the first time, the gathering will open its closed doors a crack, broadcasting a live Web stream Sunday night of a panel discussion featuring Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz or Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida. The senators are hoping to “shore up financial backing in advance of their White House bids,” Time magazine reported. The New York Times reported the gathering “will provide a critical early test of the race to win the Koch sweepstakes.” – Phillip Brownlee
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