Uncloaking the Koch Brothers
What was supposed to be a quiet retreat in an exclusive southern California resort became a rallying cry for angry progressives who say Americans’ freedom and liberty are being bought and sold.
“We don’t want excessive amounts of money being spent to buy policy,” said Van Jones, former advisor to President Obama, speaking to a crowd of activists in Rancho Mirage, California. “We don’t mind people contributing in politics, but when you’re trying to buy legislators to protect your bottom line, that’s very dangerous.”
Jones is one of the prominent progressives who are trying to expose billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch’s agenda. The Koch’s ultra secretive meetings are attended by prominent lawmakers, conservative pundits, and other wealthy business owners, set on stripping the free market of even minimal government regulation.
Reporter Lee Fang has done extensive research on the Koch’s multi-million dollar efforts to repeal environmental laws.
“They have people contact their legislators and tell lawmakers to gut the clean air act and gut the EPA so unfortunately he spends most of his money on manipulation and fear and it comes back to his bottom line,” said Fang when asked about David Koch.
The Koch brothers are major funders of conservative think tanks and activist groups like Americans for Prosperity, which helped mobilize Tea Party groups to the tune of $40 million in the 2010 campaign.
This weekend’s strategy meeting was a victory lap of sort, following a Republican takeover of the US House of Representatives.
Now activists are trying to take on the Koch brothers head on to stop what they say is an agenda to transform America into a right wing led, third world, where corporations, not the people, reign supreme.
25 people were arrested at the protest outside the Koch brothers meeting, but this simply motivated the crowd of fed up liberals.
Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart showed up to defend the Koch’s right to assemble and to provoke the crowd, by exclaiming his skepticism about climate change.He also tried to paint the crowd in a negative light by calling them socialists.
Meanwhile, those in the crowed are worried about the influence of such a small group of elites.
“The more people become aware of it, the more the media is involved, the more it will grow into something and maybe even a revolution will happen.That’s what we need,” said activist Lauren Keenan.
Their motivation to expose the Koch’s right wing agenda comes from real fear that a small group’s self interest, will eventually lead to a crushing of social safety nets in America, and a roll back of consumer protections.
Yasha Levine, the editor of The Exiled Online said the Koch brothers were the funders and masterminds behind the modern Tea Party movement.
“The Tea Party would not have existed without them,” he said. “The GOP’s recent victory in the elections would not have occurred without the Koch’s; they really made that happen, just these two brothers.”
The Koch brothers remain unregulated by the government, argued Levine. Their objective is to ensure conservative governance to keep their power and keep big government working in their favor.
They execute a fake war against government encroachment on the market and economy, when in fact they are merely securing their own dominance in the system.
“They are paying for the creation of these fake movements that are allowing the Republican Party to seize power again,” he said. “They are really controlling the game.”