Koch Industries Finds Irony in Protest

Photograph by Kathy Kmonicek/AP Photo

Protestors from MoveOn.org, the Occupy Movement and the Long Island Progressive march to the beachfront home of industrial billionaire David H. Koch to demonstrate against a fundraiser for Mitt Romney in Southampton, N.Y.

Funny how there was little outrage from MoveOn.org and other Democratic supporters over President Barack Obama’s high-dollar fundraisers, Koch Industries noted on its “Koch Facts” Web-site.

Mitt Romney’s July 8 fundraiser at the Southampton, New York, beach home of energy billionaire David Koch drew an oceanfront protest and was part of a Sunday trio of fundraisers that may have netted the presumptive Republican presidential nominee $3 million.

About 75 protesters, including some involved with Occupy Wall Street bused in from Manhattan by MoveOn, hiked up the beach to shout at Koch party-goers. MoveOn paid about $3,000 for a plane to circle the property towing a “Romney has a Koch problem” banner.

“It is ironic that the pretext for the protest is supposed ‘outrage’ at the role of money in politics,” a post on the “KochFacts” website says. It links to coverage of Obama’s large fundraisers, which have included a May dinner at actor George Clooney’s Los Angeles home said to have raised $15 million.

Obama and Romney are raising record sums this year, during the first presidential cycle since Watergate in which both candidates are eschewing public money in favor of financing their campaigns through private donations. June alone saw Obama and the Democratic Party raise $71 million and Romney and the Republican Party collect $106 million, the campaigns reported.

“There is a double standard at work here, and the message from the left is that fundraising for their preferred candidate is fine, but donations to those with differing points of view are somehow immoral,” the Koch Web post says. Robert Tappan, director of external relations for Koch Companies Public Sector LLC alerted Bloomberg to the post.

William Dobbs, a spokesman for Occupy Wall Street, points out that his group indeed has protested Obama fundraisers, including one in November at the Sheridan Hotel in Manhattan.

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