What could $25 billion do for the world? You could look to small non-profits that make positive impacts in their local areas, and imagine how much greater an impact they could make if their funding swelled. You could also look to some of the biggest, like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which in 2010 spent over $2 billion to tackle global problems including the elimination of diseases like malaria. Or, if you're David Koch, you could focus your $25 billion fortune on promoting the most regressive causes you can find, and funneling money to the ultraconservative politicians who are willing to assist.
While David Koch is used to spending millions on causes that work against the 99%, he's not used to having the 99% show up on his doorstep. This Sunday, the Long Island Progressive Coalition will be joining a host of other groups including Occupy Wall Street, Unite NY, MoveOn, and Greenpeace among others, to crash a fundraiser Koch is throwing for Mitt Romney in the Hamptons.
For years, David Koch, along with his brother Charles, has used his political advocacy group "Americans for Prosperity" to promote some of the most conservative causes in recent memory. Wisconsin workers recently faced an attack by Governor Scott Walker to take away much of their bargaining rights, and unsurprisingly, Koch was one of the major funders of the effort. Through Americans for Prosperity, he spent $700,000 on television ads lauding Governor Walker’s anti-union and anti-public education policies. In total, Americans For Prosperity President Tim Phillips estimated that his organization spent more than $10,000,000 in Wisconsin to support the Governor during the recent recall election. But where does all of this money come from?
David Koch made his billions through Koch Industries, which primarily profits from the oil business. In recent years, the same oil speculation that has been hurting regular people like us at the pumps has been helping to vastly increase his wealth. It's hardly surprising then, that Koch has been described by reporter Margot Roosevelt of the Los Angeles Times as one of "the nation's most prominent funders of efforts to prevent curbs on fossil-fuel burning." He knows that the more oil we burn, the more money he gathers, and is willing to put his full energy against the environmental reforms that most people agree we need.
To ensure that his anti-worker and anti-environment agenda is made into policy, Koch is now working towards his promise to raise $200 million for anyone who runs against President Obama, Koch is insuring that the Republican nominee will be indebted towards both him personally, and towards the repugnant policies that Koch wants to see enacted. The $50,000 that attendees will pay to dine at his Southampton fundraiser will just be a drop in the bucket of the money Koch will be funneling into this election. Each one of those dollars is a dollar that is used against the majority of Americans, regardless of their political affiliation.
However, Long Island is about to show David Koch that we won't just stand by while he uses his wealth to hurt regular people. This is while we'll be there Sunday to non-violently protest the fundraiser at Koch's sprawling shorefront estate, located at 880 Meadow Lane in Southampton. People from across the region are ready to make it clear that they do not support Koch's profits-before-people agenda. His work has had a direct, negative impact on our lives, and we can't afford to ignore it any longer. This Sunday, let David Koch know that there's a lot $25 billion could do to help the world, and that we'll be there protesting until he figures that out.
To get involved, please contact LIPC Communications Coordinator David Segal at firstname.lastname@example.org.