Wednesday, March 15, 2017


The New York Times on Neil Gorsuch, February 4, 2017:

The New York Times on Neil Gorsuch today:
The publicity-shy billionaire Philip F. Anschutz inherited an oil and gas firm and built it into an empire that has sprawled into telecommunications, railroads, real estate, resorts, sports teams, stadiums, movies and conservative publications like The Weekly Standard and The Washington Examiner.

Mr. Anschutz’s influence is especially felt in his home state of Colorado, where years ago Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, a Denver native, the son of a well-known Colorado Republican and now President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, was drawn into his orbit.

As a lawyer at a Washington law firm in the early 2000s, Judge Gorsuch represented Mr. Anschutz, his companies and lower-ranking business executives as an outside counsel. In 2006, Mr. Anschutz successfully lobbied Colorado’s lone Republican senator and the Bush administration to nominate Judge Gorsuch to the federal appeals court. And since joining the court, Judge Gorsuch has been a semiregular speaker at the mogul’s annual dove-hunting retreats for the wealthy and politically prominent at his 60-square-mile Eagles Nest Ranch.

... The Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, which developed the list of potential Supreme Court nominees from which Mr. Trump selected Judge Gorsuch, receive funding from Mr. Anschutz.

... [Gorsuch] has connections with others who work with the Colorado billionaire. For nearly a dozen years, Judge Gorsuch has been partners in a limited-liability company with two of Mr. Anschutz’s top lieutenants. Together, they own a 40-acre property on the Colorado River in the mountains northwest of Denver, where they built a vacation home together.
Politicians of both parties are taken under the wings of rich benefactors, but Democratic voters tend to find this offputting, while Republican voters -- all of whom seem to imagine themselves as lone wolves who'd much rather be taming the West, in a ruggedly individualistic way -- are generally unfazed. They seem to have no problem, for instance, Marco Rubio and Florida car dealer Norman Braman.

Or Newt Gingrich and Sheldon Adelson in 2012. Or any number of Republicans and the Koch brothers. Or, um, Donald Trump and that shirtless Russian.

And Gorsuch isn't even a politician -- he's a potential Supreme Court justice. But, of course, we learned in 2010 that Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas had been guests at secret Koch brothers shindigs. Everybody needs a rich patron, right? So they can progress in their careers while preaching the gospel of self-reliance for the rest of us?

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