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Koch Brothers: You Can't Protest Us, We're a Sizeable Employer!

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In the era of astroturf movements, billionaire petrochemical brothers Charles and David Koch have been seen as the landscape architects of public opinion manipulation. The bucks behind the operations, the very caffeine of the Tea Party, if you will, the Kochs have bankrolled over $100 million into the brilliantly orchestrated grassroots-disguised-conservative cause.

Through foundations like Americans for Prosperity, they rile up so-called citizenry ire about issues like taxes, health care, and climate change. In a “War on Coal” rally in Moundsville, Ohio, in August, led by the foundation’s Ohio director, Rebecca Heimlich, ordinary Americans seemed to protest EPA regulation of coal-fired power plants and supported government getting off the backs of the energy industry.

While the Koch brothers and their agenda has been one of the many targets of the amorphous Occupy Wall Street movement, a group that calls itself Kansans United in Voice & Spirit had its sights specifically set on Koch Industries’ headquarters in Wichita.

On Saturday afternoon, about 100 of these Kansans, “Mobilizing Against Secrecy,” marched across the street from one of the richest privately held corporations in the world, chanting slogans and holding signs that read: "Main Street, not Wall Street," "Pay your share” and "I Can't Afford to Buy My Own Politician. I'm part of the 99 percent."  

From the group’s website:
Kansans United in Voice & Spirit are concerned citizens of Kansas united to support, advocate for, and protect valuable State services and programs and to promote government by and for all Kansans. Citizen input is crucial at a time when the governor is holding secret meetings. Join us in Wichita as we march & rally near Koch Headquarters. All Kansans who are concerned about the future of Kansas are welcome.

A written response from Koch Industries deflected blame to Washington, after raising an interesting objection: “Rather than protest an American company that employs 50,000 Americans, including more than 2,600 Kansans, we encourage citizens to turn their attention to the burden of excessive government spending, uncontrolled debt and onerous regulations that are crippling our nation.”

No, you're right, it's totally wrong to protest a company that employs Americans. Everyone should just be thankful these job creators are blessing us with their enonomic activity -- nevermind the whole "corrupting the political system" bit. One counterprotester had the right idea with this sign:
"I Stand for Charles and David Koch, Who Stand for Principled Entrepreneurship and Freedom, and Against Crony Capitalism."
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.