Jan 27 2011

Activists Protest Billionaires’ Caucus in Palm Springs

koch BrothersWatchdog organization Common Cause will host a press conference in an effort to draw attention to the so-called “Billionaires’ Caucus” hosted by conservative financier and energy baron Charles Koch, today in Palm Springs. This will be ahead of a panel this weekend that includes former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and former Obama administration environmental adviser Van Jones. The panel will precede a rally and will discuss the campaign finance ramifications of Citizens United. In addition, the panel will undoubtedly focus on the recent request by Common Cause for a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into previous interactions between the so called “Billionaires’ Caucus” and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court. In question is the alleged correlation of appearances made by Scalia and Thomas at Koch Industries’ sponsored retreats and the justices’ involvement in the Citizens United case. Both voted to lift the ban in the 5-4 split court decision that allowed groups like Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity to unload tens of millions of dollars into the media coffers of political candidates, in essence dictating the tone and content of select races in the 2010 midterms. Common Cause also cried foul of Thomas’ wife, Virginia Thomas, who earned more than $600,000 from the Heritage Foundation from 2003-2007, a violation of the 1978 Ethics in Government Act.

GUEST: Robert Reich, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written thirteen books, including The Work of Nations, Locked in the Cabinet, Supercapitalism, and his most recent book, Aftershock.

The protest action will take place from 1-4 pm next Sunday, January 30. Buses will be leaving from all over Southern California. The rally location is 41-000 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270.

Sign up for a bus ride to the protest and rally site here: http://www.commoncause.org/site/apps/ka/ct/contactus.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIw
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Before the rally, starting at 11 am, you can attend a panel discussion “Uncloaking the Kochs: The Billionaire Causus and Its Threat to Our Democracy” at the Hilton Garden Inn (71-700 Highway 11, Rancho Mirage, CA). Speakers will include Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary; Van Jones, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; Erwin Chemerinsky, UC Irvine Law Dean; Lee Fang, Center for American Progress investigative journalist and Koch Brothers expert; and DeAnn McEwen, Co-President of the California Nurses Association.

One response so far

One Response to “Activists Protest Billionaires’ Caucus in Palm Springs”

  1. Diane Heberton 30 Jan 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Love it.