Blog Post

The (Koch) Empire Strikes Back

On Sunday, nearly 2,000 citizens converged on the resort town of Rancho Mirage, California to confront a secretive meeting of billionaires meeting behind closed doors.  The event has generated widespread coverage in the LA Times, NY Times, Politico, Reuters and many more.  As a result, the Koch Brothers recently hired a public relations firm to transform the coverage to be more favorable to Koch Industries and their web of front groups, as revealed in Politico.  Unfortunately, some of the reporting and opining completely omits key reasons why the organizers of the protest decided to Uncloak the Kochs.

The LA Times Editorial Board wrote an editorial saying:

“The point of the rally was to decry the corrosive impact of money on American governance, but we're not sure that the marchers were quite clear on the concepts of democracy and free speech.”

Let me respond on behalf of an unprecedented coalition effort - we are quite clear on the concept of democracy and free speech.  Our problem with money in politics (and why we were protesting the Koch Brothers’ secretive billionaires retreat) is that it is drowning out the voices of ordinary citizens in the United States and elevating the interests of CEOs, bankers, polluters, and corporations.

Joel Francis, a Marine Corps veteran and student leader said it on Sunday:

“We need real solutions to the jobs crisis, rising health care costs, our addiction to fossil fuels, climate change, the foreclosure crisis and other economic problems facing families across the country. We need public officials who will stand up to the private interests and take the side of America's middle class. We need an economy that works for working families and a democracy where the people and citizens of our great nation count more than private profit.”

The Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission opened the floodgates for people like Charles Koch (and other billionaires) to influence our democratic elections process through direct campaign contributions, front groups, television advertisements and more. Unfortunately, our democracy, post-Citizens United will continue to put corporate interests over people until we level the playing field.

The Wall Street Journal (owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, whose employees have been regular guests at Koch retreats) reported that:

“Billionaires have political views (often strong ones) and they aren’t afraid to use their money to support them. There are activist billionaires on all points of the political spectrum, and their influence often is kept in check by each other. In the end, it is unclear what impact they really have on the country beyond funding a vast industry of think tanks, panel discussions, vanity publications and golf retreats for legislative aids.”

Yes, there are billionaires on both sides of the aisle influencing public policy, but unfortunately there is no balance of power.  Billionaires are still putting their interests over the interests of working families and ordinary citizens.  Furthermore, there is a huge difference between funding a think tank or front group to promote your interests and meeting with Supreme Court Justices while they are considering a case on corporate spending in democratic elections.  Justices Scalia and Thomas both attended previous Koch retreats and as a result, Common Cause sent a letter to the Department of Justice asking for an investigation into a possible conflict of interest -  an investigation that could undermine the 5-4 Citizens United ruling.

Finally, Sunday was NOT about liberals versus conservatives.  Sunday was about We the People.  It was about rebuilding a democracy of We the People – a country where you don’t need to have millions of dollars to have your voice heard.  Where the government is small, but it protects the public health from polluters, protects our economy from bankers and speculators, and protects our national security even when the oil companies don’t want to invest in homegrown American energy.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Cathleen Kirby's picture

Thanks for your great

Thanks for your great post!

Our website :

meena jain's picture

I didn’t agree with you

I didn’t agree with you first, but last paragraph makes sense for me… Karnataka PDO Answer Key 2017

l arginine's picture

thanks for this awesome

thanks for this awesome article really liked it expecting some more stuff like these
l arginine


Copper Vents's picture

Nice Blog Post! Thanks for

Nice Blog Post! Thanks for sharing this new

HVAC Dampers

guitartuner's picture

wow, thank you very much for

wow, thank you very much for this posting, it helped me a lot. I am subscribing to you now
guitar tuner
123 guitar tuner

vindiesel's picture

Thanks for sharing this

Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your way of expressing the opinions and sharing the information. It is good to move as chance bring new things in life, paves the way for advancement,
carpets sheffield

123 guitar tuner's picture

wow, thank you very much for

wow, thank you very much for this posting, it helped me a lot. I am subscribing to you now.
123 guitar tuner
guitar tuner

mechanic apprentice's picture

Just before all of us jump in

Just before all of us jump in the required steps to become a mechanic, or even a mechanic apprentice, it's essential to first comprehend whether that profession may be the suitable match for you personally. The procedure to become a mechanic isn't simple and easy and it may be regrettable for those who determined you aren't anyone to do the job soon after benefiting from features.

joedavids's picture

Thank you for this blog.

Thank you for this blog. That's all I can say. You most definitely have made this blog into something that's eye opening and important. You clearly know so much about the subject, you've covered so many bases. Managing agents Bournemouth

Asnsossssnsymousssassss's picture

i have been visiting various

i have been visiting various blogs for my research work. I have found your blog to be quite useful. Keep updating your blog with valuable information. kids apps

stuart's picture

Wow what a brilliant article,

Wow what a brilliant article, so good that I read it twice.
Tropical Fish Tank

123 guitar tuner's picture

wow, thank you very much for

wow, thank you very much for this posting, it helped me a lot. I am subscribing to you now.
123 guitar tuner
guitar tuner

tom's picture

Thanks for this interesting

Thanks for this interesting and informative post, I really enjoyed reading it.
Used Cars

Janna Loker's picture

Yes agreed with you ,a post

Yes agreed with you ,a post about rebuilding democracy is a great one ,always. We are like in a car games competition,and always tried to make the democracy system to work at normal parameters,because there is a danger for democracy,now.

MariaaJohanson's picture

I don't want to say on this

I don't want to say on this post after reading your comment because you have already told all of my feelings on this post in your comment.
best balance transfer credit cards

Asnsossssnsymoussassss's picture

In fact your creative writing

In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own blog now. Social Bookmarks

voiture occasion's picture

voiture occasion The next

voiture occasion
The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention

Asnsossssnsymoussassss's picture

Amazing what Loretha

Amazing what Loretha Weisinger is doing! A pioneer for teens, women and her community. What a blessing! EZ Bookmarking

Asnsossssnsymoussassss's picture

Thank you for posting her

Thank you for posting her story; A Doula Story. I hope it will be archived here for many years to come! Social Bookmarking

aaliya's picture

This site is

This site is fantastic..Thanks for sharing this site with us..Awesome post.
rift gold

Asnsossssnsymoussassss's picture

I just want to emphasize the

I just want to emphasize the good work on this , has excellent views and a clear vision of what you are looking for

Asnsossssnsymoussassss's picture

I hope you can continue this

I hope you can continue this type of hard work to this site in future also..Because this blog is really very informative and it helps me lot. Intelligent Directory

Asnsossssnsymoussassss's picture

Woah this is just an insane

Woah this is just an insane amount of information must of taken ages to compile so thank you so much for just sharing it with all of us. If your ever in any need of related Online Business Listings

Asnsossssnsymoussassss's picture

Thank you so much for sharing

Thank you so much for sharing this with people like me who really do not know much about the topic.

Asnsossssnsymoussassss's picture

high appreciate this post.

high appreciate this post. It’s hard to find the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it! would you mind updating your blog with more information. Favorite Directory

Asnsossssnsymoussassss's picture

I could not get the

I could not get the translation result about this webpage, but it seems to me this one has related with some kind of organic coffee business done by young korean. I am sure, just like many other asian people in many asian countries Business Listings

Asnsossssnsymoussassss's picture

You’ve got it, whatever that

You’ve got it, whatever that means in blogging. Anyway, You’re definitely someone that has something to say that people should hear. Keep up the wonderful job

Geld verdienen 's picture

Thank you so much for sharing

Thank you so much for sharing this magnificent information.

It is indeed an honorable and noble cause to help in protecting the environment of our beautiful home called Earth. The dirty coal mines and industrial wastes are creating a huge imbalance in Earth's atmosphere.

Keep up the good work!

amateur home pictures's picture

Yes, that's exactly what I

Yes, that's exactly what I wanted to hear! Great stuff here

amateur home pictures

Anonymous's picture

Your ideas was a blessing. I

Your ideas was a blessing. I was looking for this kind of article for my paper and I got here. Truly educational. Thank you so much.
casino online legali

girl team's picture

Gabriel, you are just an

Gabriel, you are just an amazing writer. The style of your writing attracts of readers.

Make A Website

Anonymous's picture

It is a very profitable post

It is a very profitable post for me. I've enjoyed reading the post. It is very informative and useful post. I would like to visit the post once more its valuable content.

girl team's picture

It is a pleasure to be a part

It is a pleasure to be a part of your reading. If you want to Make A Website, Y.ou can come to my Blog

seo's picture

Release your web site to the

Release your web site to the peak associated with Bing by turning water to Search engine optimisation, so potential clients hunting for your product or service might actually locate your website prior to these people locate your rivals. Seo Industry experts is actually keen about seo and also they’ve established that over and again with the exceptional clients results. Many of us again our own operate 100%, that’s why many of us ensure first page final results on the internet within Ninety days! Once we don’t produce results, people don’t pay out. It’s with such ease!

afak's picture

Thanks for this wonderful

Thanks for this wonderful post and hoping to post more of this blog here. I am a newbie and your success is very much an inspiration for me

Christmas gift ideas for mom

afak's picture

What an amazing content is

What an amazing content is this and surely it makes realize each and everyone who read this. Please keep providing so fantastic and sweet suggestions ….I really appreciate it.Great things you’ve always shared with us.

radio advertising

kini's picture

Great Site! I must say i

Great Site! I must say i admire your notions and just how you've set these kinds of information on this page. Many thanks for spreading an instructive posting.

comparatif GPS

joedavids's picture

What I wouldn't give to have

What I wouldn't give to have a debate with you about this. You just say so many things that come from nowhere that I'm pretty sure Id have a fair shot. Your blog is great visually, I mean people wont be bored. Italian Translation

quotes about me's picture

Thanks for taking the time to

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful and beneficial to your readers.
quotes on change

geoffry's picture

tropical fish

miraz's picture

Excellent Blog! I really

Excellent Blog! I really admire your thinking and the way you have put these information in this post. Thanks for sharing an informative post.

philosophical quotes

bobby's picture

Internet Forum

donald's picture

Discussion Forum

donald's picture

Internet Discussion forum

raymond's picture

General Discussion Forum

raymond's picture

General Internet Discussion

herbert's picture

classic cars

daniel's picture

Car maintenance

robert's picture

Car Repair

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.