[A]ccording to audio obtained by The Undercurrent and Lady Libertine from a source who was present, Schweizer spoke at a political strategy summit for the Koch brothers last summer, urging donors to relentlessly pursue the left and rallying them ahead of a big fundraising pitch. His own organization, the Government Accountability Institute receives funding from Koch-funded groups.
Schweizer told the crowd:
That debate is going to come down to the question of independence versus dependence… The left and the academic sphere is not going to let up. The question is, are we going to let up? And I would contend to you that we cannot let up.
Asked if “Clinton Cash” was motivated by this strategy of relentless pursuit, Kurt Bardella, whose firm, Endeavor Strategies, represents Schweizer, said:
As he has in several speeches as a lifelong conservative, Schweizer was espousing his view that conservatives should be informed, engaged, and active.
Kevin Gentry, the emcee and a vice president of the Charles Koch Foundation, later named “competitive intelligence,” the business terminology equivalent of opposition research, as one of the enumerated Koch political investment areas.
Schweizer’s speech, entitled “The Stakes: Who Will Define the American Dream,” teed up the Kochs’ appeal to raise $290 million in donations for their fundraising hub, Freedom Partners, its affiliated network of non-profits, and a newly created super-PAC called Freedom Partners Action Fund. Bardella declined to answer whether Schweizer was speaking in a fundraising capacity for GAI, or whether Schweizer or GAI received any funds from Koch-affiliated organizations.
Stephen Bannon, the director of conservative propaganda films like the Sarah Palin biopic “The Undefeated” and a frequent collaborator with Citizens United Productions, chairs GAI’s board. Another GAI board member is Ron Robinson, who also sits on the boards of Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation.
Citizens United Productions was the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission – the decision that rolled back significant campaign finance law pertaining to independent expenditures. At the center of that landmark case was a political documentary-cum-attack ad on Hillary Clinton called “Hillary: The Movie,” released ahead of the 2008 primary. Now nearly eight years later ahead of the 2016 primary, Schweitzer has published what could be considered the follow-up, Hillary: The Book.