Protests at the Wingnut Billionaire rally
Which pols are owned? See who visits hat in hand to the Koch brothers gathering.
Hundreds of environmentalists, union members and liberal activists converged on Rancho Mirage on Sunday to rally against what they see as the influence of two of the nation’s leading financial backers of conservative causes.
The protestors waved signs condemning “corporate greed,” chanted slogans and surged toward a line of helmeted police officers at the entrance to a resort where billionaires Charles and David Koch were holding a retreat for prominent conservative elected officials, major political donors and strategists.
Protest organizers said they hoped to raise awareness about the Koch brothers and what activists portray as their shadowy attempts to weaken environmental protection laws and undercut campaign contribution limits.
Save on daily L.A. Times deals powered by Groupon.
The brothers control Koch Industries, the nation’s second-largest privately held company. They have funded groups pushing a limited-government, libertarian agenda, helped organize “tea party” groups and contributed $1 million to a failed ballot initiative to suspend California’s law to curb greenhouse gases.
“We cannot have democracy unless everyone has a voice,” said Cathy Riddle, a Temecula website developer who held a sign reading “Corporations are not people.” Donors like the Koch brothers are “drowning us out,” she said. “Their voices are louder.”
The orderly protest, involving 800 to 1,000 people, ended after the arrest of 25 people for trespassing, according to authorities.