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Uncloaking the Kochs
Our government is supposed to be of, by and for the people. So are you ready to take it back? Join us in Palm Springs for a panel discussion and rally to counter an exclusive gathering of corporate billionaires who are meeting to plot strategy on how to dominate the 2012 elections!

Please sign up to participate in one or both of these events taking place on Sunday, January 30:

* 11:00am at the Hilton Garden Inn (71-700 Highway 11, Rancho Mirage, CA): Panel discussion on "Uncloaking the Kochs: The Billionaires Caucus and its Threat to our Democracy", featuring Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary, Van Jones, founder of Green for All, Erwin Chemerinsky, UC Irvine Law Dean, Lee Fang, Center for American Progress blogger and Koch Brothers expert, and DeAnn McEwen, Co-President of the California Nurses Association. Space is limited!

* 1:00-4:00pm in Rancho Mirage, near where the "Billionaires' Caucus" is taking place (location TBA): Rally including a coalition of environmental, labor and good government organizations.

Need transportation to Palm Springs? We're running buses from the Los Angeles and San Diego areas.
After you sign up below, you'll get more information on bus rides. If you ride the bus, you'll have time to attend both events.


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Some facts on the Kochs:


Tea Party

David Koch founded “Americans for Prosperity” and “FreedomWorks”, which began the Tea Party Network.

He was referred to as the “tea party’s wallet” in New York Magazine in June, and although he denied affiliation, Tea Party leaders were taped reporting to him directly about turnout at their local anti-tax rallies. On the fourth of July in Texas the Americans for Prosperity Foundation held a “training session” for Tea Party members.

The Kochs have been major underwriters of the Tea Party and its efforts to disrupt congressional town hall meetings to keep the insurance companies in charge of our health care. The Koch brothers used their wealth to finance scurrilous attack ads -- and recruit others to do the same -- in the wake of the Supreme Court's Citizen's United ruling that allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts of secret money on politics. Their goal is to undermine our democracy so they can increase their profits and control and undermine our standard of living.

Environment

Koch Industries injected $1 million into elections last fall to try to roll back California’s global warming law with Prop 23. In 1990 David Koch cofounded Citizens for the Environment (doesn’t include other citizens), which referred to acid rain as a myth. From 1997 to 2008 Koch Industries donated almost $48 million to climate-change-denial groups. Another Koch project, the Mercatus Center, claimed that smog helps prevent skin cancer. Koch Industries is responsible for more than 300 oil spills and was fined $30 million, the largest civil penalty to date under the Clean Water Act. Koch Industries also paid out a $25 million settlement for stealing oil from federal and Indian lands.

The New Yorker writes, “In a study released this spring, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. And Greenpeace issued a report identifying the company as a “kingpin of climate science denial.” The report showed that, from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups. Indeed, the brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies—from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program—that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus.”

Policy

Charles Koch cofounded the Cato Institute in 1977, described as “the most effective private force pushing to end social security”. It also pushes to deny climate change and cut public education. David Koch ran for president in 1980 on a platform of eliminating the minimum wage, Social Security, and corporate taxes. They work to drastically lessen oversight of industry, to lower corporate taxes, and to cut social services to a minimum.

On 30 August 2010 the New Yorker quoted Center for Public Integrity founder Charles Lewis as saying, “…There’s no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.”

Their four-day event at the end of January 2011 is called, “Understanding and Addressing Threats to American Free Enterprise and Prosperity.”

Previous guests of the twice-yearly meetings have included Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court, Gov. Haley Barbour and Gov. Bobby Jindal, Senators Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn, and Representatives Mike Pence, Tom Price and Paul D. Ryan.

(To learn more read Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama).