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Californians to protest against Koch brothers in Rancho Mirage
Environmentalists, labor union members and liberal activists across Southern California are mounting a protest Sunday in Rancho Mirage against billionaire "tea party" funders Charles and David Koch and their semiannual confab of conservative activists.

The brothers, who own oil refineries across the U.S., helped fund last November's Proposition 23, the failed ballot initiative to delay California's landmark global warming law, AB 32. They are major backers of groups that seek to refute scientific evidence of global climate change.

The Kochs' regular gatherings attract several hundred Republican officials and wealthy business executives to raise money for conservative causes. In the past, the Koch-sponsored conferences have attracted such luminaries as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas along with GOP members of Congress.

The counter-meeting, dubbed "Uncloaking the Kochs," will feature former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, Oakland green energy activist Van Jones, and constitutional scholar Edwin Chemerinsky at a panel discussion at the Hilton Rancho Mirage, two blocks from where the Koch group is meeting. Protesters will rally afterward on the street.

"The Kochs will be able to see the protesters from their resort," said Derek Cressman, a spokesman for Common Cause, the nonprofit group that is organizing the event. More than 500 people have signed up so far to take buses leaving from Culver City, Los Angeles' Koreatown, the San Fernando Valley, Riverside, Whittier, San Bernardino and the San Diego area, organizers said.

In a conference call Thursday, Reich said the Koch brothers' financing of Citizens United, a group that led the Supreme Court to lift restrictions on corporate funding of political campaigns, has "opened the floodgates" to wealthy contributors, widened the gap between rich and poor and enabled "billionaires entering the political fray big time."

De Ann McEwan, co-president of the California Nurses Assn., said her union and others were joining the protest because of the Koch brothers' opposition to Social Security and Medicare, which they have cloaked behind "Astroturf front groups."

UPDATE: Streaming video of the “Uncloaking the Kochs” panel is available at

RELATED: Billionaire Koch brothers back Prop 23

—Margot Roosevelt

UPDATED photo: Greenpeace flew an airship over Rancho Mirage Friday with a banner reading "Koch Brothers Dirty Money," as businessmen, politicians and conservative activists began to arrive for a semi-annual confab sponsored by Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who own Koch Industries, the nation's second largest private company. Credit: Gus Ruelas/Greenpeace

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This is why liberals should stop fighting against the ownership of guns. We as the people need to protect ourselves against dirtballs like the Koch bros. & corrupt politicians like Scott Walker and some of those republicans(facist) in goverment. So WAKE UP working class people.

Whats keeping that rediculous greenpeace blimp in the air unless its greenpeaces own HOT AIR

It's 'they're' not 'their'.
From correspondence I've had with former classmates of mine I've discovered that all of these problems (at least from the point of view of voting intelligently) could be helped by continuing education--also maybe by some sort of an artificial (if that were possible) boost in IQ. Bummer! (In other words these people are a lot dumber than I realized at the time, demonstrated by deplorable English and simplistic views of the world, economic systems, etc.)

That said, maybe the only thing left that can save this nation from poverty and eventual Fascism is the diversity of our people and the fact that the ruling group has been dumb enough to allow so many guns loose in this country.

Most of you posting against the Koch enterprises would do well to look into YOUR OWN mirror prior to casting stones.

Soros anyone?

What about George Soros? It's a different situation when someone is on
the liberal side. The Avaricious Union parsites are breaking this country
but the Liberal Democrats are to dumb to know it or don't care. The kind of change we need in this country is not what Liberal's are offering or that Socialist Obama, not to mention the Main-stream Media. I hope Conservatism prevails over the Liberals that are hell bent on destroying this country. Southern Calif can't even get water because of some frickin tree huggin idiot protecting a worthless fish. Another favorite Liberal movement!
I say good for the Koch brothers!

This protest was sponsored by Common Cause. Billionaire criminal George Soros' Open Society Institute has given $1.25 million to Common Cause since 2001

The Koch brothers need to go away and take their dirty money with them. I hear North Korea is looking for like minded individuals. Sounds like a "two bird, one stone" situation.

One would think, that the Koch brothers would be EXACTLY the people that the Tea party folks should hate the most!

What about "Environmental Justice Groups" that build childrens parks next to illegal trucking companies... and dont say anything about the pollution.

When the community complains, the Justice Group defends the polluters and call the reporting parties "snitches".

How dare anyone protest against Corporate America, the Tea Party, or cartoon character, Glenn Beck.

Please people, come to your senses.

Let them do away with All Environmental Regulations, All Banking Regulations, Social Security Medicare and National Health Care

The Koch brothers, the johns with the biggest wallets at the bordellos we call Congress and the state legislatures.

The left in the U.S. must find a newer voice than Robert Reich, who has become an intellectual slave to his physiological inadequacies. "Don't want no short people 'round me." -Randy Newman

Glenn, people who choose to believe right-wing propaganda, lies and fearmongering make Fox News and the rest of the right-wing media what it is.

The Kochs exploit this ignorance and fear for personal gain. And because of their efforts, we are right back to where we were before FDR, back to the Gilded Age of the robber barons, a feudal system, which is exactly what the Plutocracy have been working all these years since to regain.

That is what the John Birch Society was all about. And it's called Fascism, defined properly here, because Jonah Goldberg lied:

But yeah, sure, if you say so, Glenn, the Koch family influence is a conspiracy theory, just like evolution, science, climate change, and truth.

When the reports are filed for this demonstration, the photos of all the participants wearing Che and communist flag t-shirts will have been ommitted.

The environmentalists, unions and other liberals have destroyed the CA economy and their best defense is to attack suceessful businesmen? go figger.

Better to go further south and create a human border wall.

WHAT? Us lefties are a joke???? And what about you, brainwashed, rightwing puppets who wouldn't know the truth if you fell over it. Liars! Liars! Liars! Thank God for Liberals who care about every American, UNLIKE THE GREEDY AND HORRIBLY CORRUPT GOP/Teabagger/Comservatives who only think about getting richer, and say, "To Hell With the Middle Class."

From: Sacramento Bee, 1/3/11 - Citizens United Fallout
We do know that 150 organizations outside of the political parties reported spending nearly $300 million to influence federal elections, and that the actual number is much higher. Outside groups spending favored Republicans by about 2 to 1.

Scott C.- Your info on 2010 election campaign spending is incorrect. Instead of all this petty bickering let's have some constructive thinking about what we can do to help create jobs for the unemployed. I'll start.

Infrastructure of US (roads, bridges, airports, power grid etc.) need work. US companies group together and fund projects. Show that we don't need government money. Do it ourselves. Wealthy Americans do the same. Start funding projects to help with education, or the environment. Get this country moving again. Show the world how Americans can work together to get things done!

I suppose it's the Koch brothers who are responsible for the popularity of Fox News, not the many millions who choose to watch it......The evil Koch brothers are using mind control, it's obvious...they also control Area 51, they were the real perpetrators of 9-11, and their ancestors were behind the cover -up at too many other things to mention here....

I am grateful that patriotic Americans will be exercising their First Amendment rights tomorrow in Rancho Mirage.

We need to expose the unamerican activities of the Koch Brothers that are undermining our democracy, not to mention rendering our planet uninhabitable.

There is no more patriotic activity than to protest the unjust activities of these truly despicable American citizens.

I can't wait to protest tomorrow! I hate what the Koch brothers are trying to do to this country! Kudos to all who are planning to attend!

Hey Scott or any other self avowed "Tea Party" member-
What is the Tea Party's position on the magnitude of defense spending and our current wars?

Nice to see the Koch minions active in the comments here. The Koch brothers, through their Americans for Prosperity organization, not only fund the Tea Party, they fund classes teaching right-wingers how to take over discussions all over the Internet, to sway public opinion with deliberate misinformation and right-wing talking points.

In the old days, the fringe, which included the Koch family's John Birch Society, was ignored by journalists. I think we need to return to that mindset, and if that means also eliminating online commenting at newspapers, so be it.

Remember the last ten years of factories moving overseas to be called, "globally competitive?" The people who are coming to this secret meeting were the one's who favored this type of move to become even more profitable, and at the expense of losing over 40 thousand factories right here in the U.S.A. The middle class, who by the way is the backbone of this nation has suffered greatly and are still struggling to put food on their table for loved ones, keep a roof over their head and provide for themselves. When such a huge disconnect such as this between the wealthy and the poor continues, we see a harsh inequality between classes and that is not right. With record profits reported on Wall Street and Main Street struggles to find decent jobs to support our people right here in the USA, do we find a lack of being in touch with people.

To John W.

Yes I do somewhat, but I am neither as you stated either a ("right wing nuts & libs") and repealing the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution would restore the balance between the states and federal government.

Were Senators, was as originally intended, to represent their respective states we would never have unfunded mandates forced upon the states as they would answer to the states legislatures and be the wall of protection of over reaching federal authority.

Excuse the link as it is general and can be changed by anyone, but it is intended as general info, not the authority of Constitutionalism.

I do agree both parties represent "special interests" over the will of the people. We support said special interests out of need as it is "status quo" not by choice.

I am a Tea Party supporter and NRA supporter out of need, not choice as I am not represented as an individual...

Scott C.

Americans think prostitution is only legal in Nevada. What they don't realize is the two biggest cathoused in the US are called the House of Representatives and the Senate.

At least a hooker is honest about what she does. That's more than you can say for our politicians.

This isn't a protest by Californians! You are a fool if you think it is! Talk about "astro-turf" protest! This is orchestrated by the un-American Soros!

In recent times the pollution put into the earth's atmosphere by the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland, the eruption from Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines (which was 10 times larger than that of the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980), and volcanic ash rising from Mount Shinmoedake in Japan, have long surpassed any man made pollution and or contaminants. Who do we blame and charge for this?

Hey "Scott C."-

Why don't we work together ("right wing nuts & libs") and start the process of curing this nation....The problem is not just Obama but the whole cesspool in DC. Whether it's Koch or Soros they're both raping America. Maybe we could start by eliminating the Senate, who seems to be completely under special interests' control.
Sounds good but not practical- any suggestions? I think right, left or middle America has the same problem- special interests controlling our government.

Do you agree with this premise?

TO: misanthropicus - if you don't know who the Koch Brothers are, please refrain from calling people crazy. Read up on them before you write about what others think about the environment.

@Kim Greene ... LOL ... the sentence that began your comment, "Its a story not fabricated out of whole cloth ..." ... means ... "The story is true".

Are you aware of that?

Also seems to be a whole lot of others here that don't know what they're saying as well. Just sayin. Hahaha ...

Okay let me get this straight, a bunch of union idiots are protesting successful private company owners who know that over regulation is killing California's economy? Give me a break, This is soooo stupid. Prop 23 was all about saving the economy (private and public sector) and did not hurt the environment. In comparison, AB32 is destroying our economy and does not really help the environment. What the Newspaper won't tell you as taxpayers is that the same rules that applied to the acquisition of new Diesel equipment for private companies also applied to Government. So, who do you think paid for all of that new State, County and local equipment...That's right YOU the taxpayer. So, does the air look any cleaner to you...really? be honest. It's no wonder that we are the laughing stock of all of the States in the Country, the people who live here are stupid.

The Koch brothers just happened to be born to the right parents, inheriting daddies companies and his John Birch Society thinking.

A good argument for a stiff inheritance tax.

Partners George Soros and Van Jones should be arrested for acts of treason against the United States of America. SEIU and their leader Andy Stern should be subjected to a RICO investigation immediately!

John W. and the libs...

We are obviously better informed, thus we get here before you bots that parrot Obama's lies.

How many jobs were lost due to the moratorium in the Gulf?

Which President granted a permit to drill knowing BP had the worst safety record?

More off shore jobs shipped out by Obama,

Obama Underwrites Offshore Drilling
Too bad it's not in U.S. waters.

The U.S. is going to lend billions of dollars to Brazil's state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil's Tupi oil field in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro. Brazil's planning minister confirmed that White House National Security Adviser James Jones met this month with Brazilian officials to talk about the loan.

Why did Obama do that?


Feb. 17, 2009, 9:20 p.m. EST
Soros reports 73.5% increase in Petrobras stake

Billionaire investor George Soros on Tuesday reported that during the fourth quarter he increased his already considerable stakes in Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (PBR 35.68, +0.27, +0.76%) and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT 174.20, +0.04, +0.02%) .

Soros, through his Soros Fund Management LLC, reported holding 36.8 million American depositary receipts of the Brazilian oil company known as Petrobras as of Dec. 31 - a holding valued at about $900 million at the time. Soros held 21.2 million ADRs at Sept. 30, according to his disclosure filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Who's environmental policies prefer importing foreign oil over drilling our reserves?

Progressives, that's who!

You are as corrupt as Obama.

At least the Koch Brothers provide jobs in AMERICA.

So many right-wing extremists, so few REAL conservatives.

"Liberal this, teabag that". The powers that be love it when the masses fight over trivial things, as it allows them to keep operating under the radar, thereby getting wealthier and wealthier as the gap widens. You all do realize we're still fighting two uber expensive wars halfway around the world, right? Sheesh!

From the looks of these comments there are plenty of right wing people that have little to do but write comments. They always appear first because they don't seem to have real lives and wait for stories to appear so they can crawl out of the cracks and make the first few inane comments. This is an intentional strategy by the right wing nuts advocated by numerous conservative organizations.

The funniest part is the Koch Brothers have been robbing them blind for over 10 years but they are to tied up in their right wing sound bites to admit it! Keep on paying $3.00+ per gallon of gas so the Koch Brothers can continue to pay for their brainwashing campaign. Be a "good little American conservative" and continue to support the Koch Brothers raping of America!!!
By the way, why not continue the class warfare on the middle class by the wealthy. Its worked well in Tunisia.

A collection of loons, this is what the liberal activists are -
I don't know who the Koch brothers are - but I know who Van Jones is -

So the best sign that all this affair is a mental ward spillover, is the presence of Van Jones amongst them -

I'm all for right of assembly and protest but what is the real reason for this protest? Is it to demonize/vilify those that want to create jobs that aren't government jobs? We have a huge problem in CA with government employee pensions that we are going bankrupt. If we don't start working with and for business we'll all be running to AZ or NV for jobs. Get your facts here:

scientific evidence of global climate change? What evidence? That all got lost last year. You libs have no basis for your arguments anymore, yet you continue to cite sources that dont exist!

Not one of these anti-freedom of association, conservative hating liberals has refuted the FACTS I posted yesterday.

Since you are obviously too physically challenged to click a link, allow me to post the relevant FACTS about "Corporate funding" and who received the most.

Democrats Rake In Record Donations From Corporations
Obama's Outrage Over Corporate Influence Overlooked A Record Fundraising Haul

During his State of the Union address, President Obama decried the potential for a crush of corporate money – even foreign money – to enter the American political system in the aftermath of the recent landmark Supreme Court ruling that alters who can contribute to candidates.

But tax forms recently made public show that Democrats have not been immune from collecting corporate funds to help its politicians gain an electoral edge. The Democratic Governors Association vacuumed up $11.6 million in contributions -- mostly from corporations and unions -- during the second half of 2009. For the year, DGA raised $23.1 million, a record.

The contributors included hefty checks from nearly every top lobbying firm in Washington, and from such multi-national giants as Exxon Mobil, which pitched in $50,000. The DGA even accepted funds from the American subsidiaries of companies with foreign ownership.

Obama lied and you parrot his lies!

You leftists are a joke.

To MDSD You are against Oil Tycoons? Then why do you support Soros? I guess it isnt because he is heavily invested in oil companies. And I dearly hope you do not use a car or anything that needs a lubricant to avoid overheating otherwise you are just supporting the oil industry not too mention the carbon footprint that all of those busses are going to create going out to the desert, but I guess this is another case of do as I say not as I do from the greenies

I'd seriously consider cancelling my subscription to the Liberal Times over such unprofessional articles like this... but I'm afraid my parakeet would really miss the editorial section...

Enough is enough!!!I am so glad so many people signed up to go. It is about time we rise up to help make a difference and let our voices be heard. I wish I could be there in person ...but I will be there in spirit!

Wish I was there! We should do the same in NYC-they are on the board of Lincoln Center (an attempt to clean up their image). They are a disgrace.

Entering the " political fray"? Kind of like George Soros and the chairman of Progressive Auto insurance? H-m-m-m-m! Depends on whose Bull is getting gored, doesn't it?

People want to protest the Koch brothers and this meeting? Good for them. Who cares, really? If they want to interrupt or disrupt the meeting -- a typical extreme liberal control tactic -- I can only hope the police are there to protect the rights and freedom of those participating in the Koch brothers event.

What I don't understand is.. why in the world is this guy running around free? He's one of the biggest crooks in the world, certainly among the richest too from all his crooked thefts... why isn't this guy in jail rather than schmoozing with the prez.

Maybe you Mr. Reeder can explain how reporting the facts, is liberal biased reporting. Are the facts of the article wrong, or are they lies? How does reporting that there is a protest being organized, make this some kind of liberal reporting?

Where did you get your education? Did they teach you that reporting a story is somehow being liberal? Does conservative mean not understanding the facts. Or does it mean creating your own facts?

What exactly is wrong with like-minded people meeting peacefully to discuss their politics? We do have freedom of assembly, don't we? I'm wracking my brain to figure out why anyone has any objection to free people associating and exercising their right to assemble. Oh, wait, they're conservative and that gives every lefty weenie a case of the buttinskys....

This kind of liberal biased reporting is one major reason the LA Times is sinking. Maybe one day we can say "good riddance"!

Fortunately, for many years only about 20% of the American public consider themselves "liberal" vs. over 40% who consider themselves "conservative."

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