Saturday, June 23, 2012

Koch Brothers Bring Shadowy Summit to San Diego


While an elite group of major conservative donors meets this weekend at an undisclosed San Diego-area location (story in Politco), members of the Democratic Party, organized labor, the Occupy movement, and other groups will protest the Koch brothers event with rallies Saturday night and Sunday morning downtown.

WHAT:  "Koch Hunt" Rally and March

WHEN:  Saturday, June 23, 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 24, 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: Children's Park, Downtown San Diego (1st & Island)

Republican financiers Charles and David Koch are reportedly on track to raise and spend at least $400 million this year on behalf of conservative political causes. Aided by the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling -- which opened new avenues for unregulated campaign spending -- their activism on behalf of the corporatist agenda shirks public scrutiny and subverts the laws and standards that have governed American elections for decades.

The latest in a series of highly secretive summits the Koch brothers and their related organizations have held to raise funds and plan their operations, the conference in San Diego this weekend also calls attention to connections of local Republican politicians with the Koch world. For example:

* Ten years ago, Republican mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio was the "director of government redesign" for the Reason Foundation, a right-wing think tank that received millions in funding from the Koch brothers and other conservative interests.

* Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group founded by David Koch, bestowed a glowing 95% approval rating on Congressman Brian Bilbray in 2010 in recognition of his support for corporate special interests, including the oil and tobacco industries.

* Already ideologically aligned with Congressman Darrell Issa in their staunch opposition to regulating or reforming Wall Street and the energy and healthcare industries, the Koch network has funneled more than $200,000 in recent years to members of the House Oversight Committee, which is led by Issa.


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