inewsource: 24 hours with the Koch brothers

Team 10 partners book room in same hotel as summit

SAN DIEGO - Two of the world's top billionaires held a secretive meeting in Southern California and Team 10's investigative partners at inewsource spent 24 hours monitoring the Koch brothers.

The billionaire Koch brothers bought out the exclusive Saint Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point for a  political summit. David and Charles Koch set policy for their political organizations at these meetings and raise millions of dollars for politically conservative candidates.

Team 10's partners at inewsource report most of the cash is funneled through "dark money" groups that are not legally required to disclose their donors.

Investigative reporters Joanne Faryone and Brad Racino each booked $600 a night rooms at the 5-star resort.

"Those were the cheapest rooms there," said Racino.

The inewsource investigative reporters checked in and split up.

Faryone spotted one of the brothers almost right away.

"And I nearly ran into David Koch and his entourage. And when I say entourage it was security surrounding him," said Faryone.

Security and secrecy would be the theme of the 24 hours the reporters spent there.

"Everywhere we went, we were being watched and guarded and the agendas, as Joanne said, were under lock and key," said Racino. "That was our whole goal was to get a peek at this thing. Just open it up. These things were glued to people's hands and hips."

The secret event had a code name on the schedule called the T and R sales meeting.

The actual theme of the conference was called "Courage, Our Commitment to a Free Society," which was printed on large framed mirrors in a hallway.

"I asked what is the conference about and the man said freedom but he said this part of the hotel was closed," said Faryone.

Faryone and Racino checked out Saturday. They booked time at the spa and were told they could stay at the hotel for as long as they booked services, but they were escorted out by security when the conference began.

"We learned … big money can buy secrecy on this other level. It can buy a luxury resort. It can buy a security force. It can keep outsiders out," said Faryone.

Read the full inewsource investigation by clicking here.

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