Liberal group to protest Romney-Koch fundraiser

Charles and David Koch. Koch Industries/MIT

Charles and David Koch.
Koch Industries/MIT
Updated 4:39 p.m. Eastern Time

(CBS News) MoveOn.org, a liberal non-profit advocacy group, is protesting a July 8 fundraiser for Mitt Romney being held at the house of billionaire Republican donor David Koch, it announced on Friday.

In addition to organizing what it's calling a "Koch Party" outside Koch's Southampton, N.Y., estate during the Sunday fundraiser, MoveOn will be flying an airline banner in the area reading "Romney has a Koch problem" and driving what it calls a "Romneymobile Cadillac, with corporate decals on the side and Seamus the dog on top," outside the dinner, according to a press release from MoveOn.

The group is touting the participation of a number of liberal activist groups, including Occupy Wall Street, The Long Island Progressive Coalition, Greenpeace, Strong For All, United New York, and says activists will stake out Koch's property with signs, "peacefully demonstrating against the unprecedented flood of money the Koch brothers and their wealthy friends are using to try to buy the election for the 1%."

"Mitt Romney has a Koch problem: He'd lay off teachers and firefighters to fund even more tax privileges for billionaires like the Koch brothers," said Justin Ruben, Executive Director of MoveOn.org Political Action, in a statement. "Romney may not want voters to know about his Koch problem, but MoveOn members will make sure all the Super PAC money in the world isn't enough to keep them from finding out."

Koch, a co-owner and executive vice president of Koch Industries, is arguably one of the largest funders of non-profit "social welfare organizations" that support conservative causes, along with his brother Charles Koch, the co-owner of Koch Industries. It has been reported that the brothers plan to raise up to $400 million for this year's elections, much of which will be via anonymous donations to groups like Americans for Prosperity.

The Romney campaign declined to comment on the planned protest. 

Update: A representative for Koch Companies Public Sector responds in an email (links theirs):

We have seen media reports about the protest being organized by a convicted terrorist and a number of fringe organizations.

We respect the protestors' rights to free speech and to peaceably assemble. These rights apply not only to the protestors, but to those who are hosting and attending the fundraiser.

It is ironic that the pretext for the protest is supposed "outrage" at the role of money in politics. Considering the record-setting fundraising by President Obama reported here, here, here, here, here, and here, the hypocrisy of the Left and their attempts to mislead the public are obvious. There is a double-standard at work and the message from the Left is that fundraising for their preferred candidates is fine, but donations to those with differing points of view are somehow immoral. The left's outrage is selective and hollow.

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