Protesters demonstrate outside of Koch fund-raiser for Romney
July 8th, 2012
06:19 PM ET
2 years ago

Protesters demonstrate outside of Koch fund-raiser for Romney

Southampton, New York (CNN) – Some 200 protesters, according to local law enforcement officials, gathered Sunday near the residence of billionaire David Koch, who held a private fund-raiser attended by Mitt Romney at his home in Southampton.

The protesters, taking issue with the amount of money Koch and his brother Charles are likely to spend in the race, carried signs and beat drums as they marched along the water near Koch’s residence and chanted, "Our elections aren't for sale," and "Whose beach? Our beach."

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As they walked to the Koch residence, they passed the homes of fashion designer Calvin Klein and financier Leon Black. One group carried a large sign that read, "Romney has a Koch problem," while a plane flying overhead carried a banner with the same message.

David Koch, and his brother Charles are controversial figures in the Republican Party who support conservative and libertarian causes. Backers of the group Americans for Prosperity, the pair of industrialists are expected to spend tens – if not hundreds – of millions on Republican causes this year.

The protesters said they represented groups including MoveOn.org, Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Long Island, Occupy Huntington and the Long Island Progressive Coalition.

"We're here because of David Koch and his vow to purchase a president,” said Anthony Zenkus, with Occupy Wall Street, pointing to the large amount of money the Koch brothers are speculated to spend. “It doesn't sound like democracy to me."

Zenkus added that they’ve also “protested (President Barack) Obama."

Romney was in the area for three fund-raising events. Along a stop at the Koch home, Romney also appeared at a lunch hosted by business magnate Ron Perelman in East Hampton, as well as an event at former U.S. Ambassador Clifford Sobel’s home on Meadow Lane in Southampton.

Mark Epley, mayor of Southampton, characterized the demonstrations as "going well so far."

In East Hampton, where Perelman lives, two men were arrested after running their sailboat into a marine patrol unit set up as part of a police line along the shore, according to East Hampton Village Police Captain Michael J. Tracey.

The two men’s boat attempted to cross the line, but struck the police boat. One of them tried to flee by swimming to shore but was met by more police and arrested on the beach. Both men were charged with obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, according to Tracey.

The Koch residence in Southampton was surrounded by a high level of security, including about two-dozen personnel stationed outside the residence along the beach.

The protesters were assembled in a "free speech area" several blocks down from the Koch property, according to New York state police captain David Candelaria. Law enforcement officials shut down a portion of the road for the demonstrators, some of whom bused in from New York City.

"Its peaceful,” he told CNN as the protest was still underway. “No issues."

Responding to the protests, Romney's campaign described them as an example of the left attempting to divert from the president's record.

"After three and a half disappointing years in office, President Obama and his liberal allies are desperate to divert attention from his broken promises and failed record," said spokesman Rick Gorka in a statement."Under this President, unemployment has risen to 8.2% and his administration has been unable to propose any new ideas that can turn around our economy. As President, Mitt Romney will reform our tax code, cut bloated government spending and promote pro-growth policies that will create jobs for middle class families.”

– CNN’s Jessica Yellin and Khara Lewin contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Fundraising • Mitt Romney • New York
soundoff (360 Responses)
  1. paqrat137

    BTW – check out the new HBO series "The Newsroom". This week part of it focused on the connection of the Koch brothers and the Tea Party movement – how Koch and his cronies hijacked what started out a a basically good grass roots movement – no matter how misguided – and used it to get power in 2010 for their interests, not the interests of the Tea Party. Yes, Aaron Sorkin is no friend of Conservative Republicans, but like Jon Stewart, the show tells the story more succinctly than CNN/MSNBC/FOXNEWS/The Networks, etc and in a popular format. Well worth your time.

    July 9, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. Eddie The Barber

    Mitt Romney – The Buying of the Presidency by an outright lyer.

    July 9, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. ScreenAngel

    The 1% are putting a trivial amount of their money on the candidate most likely to protect them from paying millions more in taxes in the future. And they get to go to a party in the Hamptons with so many others who are filthy rich like them. What a great return on their minimial (to them) investment.

    What's not to like? The fact that the Occupy Wall Street folks and other activists from the 99% are protesting out of sight and sound only makes the whole experience that much more exclusive and enjoyable.

    July 9, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. Malory Archer

    tv22

    Ah, class envy is wonderful isn't it? Here's a thought, why don't these people who are so envious of the rich take the time they put into silly protests and dedicate it toward building a business?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Because those they're protesting against will start the same business and undercut the small business to the point of bankruptcy. Then they'll buy up any remaining assets at pennies on the dollar and ship them overseas to slave labor factories and reap even larger profits.

    July 9, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  5. Mitzy

    Secret bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands are huge red flags; they signal: CRIME. What is Romney hiding from the American people? Why is he hiding businesses and money like a criminal kingpin?

    July 9, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. Malory Archer

    Ryan

    I don't know why everyone is so mad about this. The Dominos pizza people are donating big bucks to Obama.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You're joking, right? Tom Monahaghan (spelling?) is an extreme, anti-choice, anti-fair wage conservative. His ideology runs exactly counter to the Dems.

    July 9, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  7. Eric in Denver

    Who cares how much somebody spends on an election it is there choice. The hollywood nuts spend 35k a plate to raise money for Obama and it is legit. If the Koch brother spend millions to give to Romney it is a problem? The libs are getting desperate because Obama will be gone in November. George Soros is only spending 2 million come on Ancient Texan. He spends that a day for Obama!!!

    July 9, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. Gisabun

    I guess Rick Gorka is spewing the standard half truths. Unemployment has risen? Better off looking at how many jobs were created while Obama has been in office. If i remember right, there has been just a few months were there has been job losses. Meanwhile during one of George W. Bush's last months [November 2008], a half a million jobs were lost.
    As for "his administration has been unable to propose any new ideas that can turn around our economy" – ya. That's because the Republicans are blocking everything Obama has tried to pass. As for the rest, standard BS.

    July 9, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. family4obama

    I can't even imagine how much money is going to be spent on this campaign by both sides. but I do know that I make 70000 a year and make a decent living, and that 400 million could put a lot of people to work instead of being spent on tv time and rhetoric. the people spending that money on both sides are gonna want pay back. and it's not gonna be good for the little guyalike me

    July 9, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  10. Malory Archer

    Ryan,

    I googled "Dominos pizza people are donating big bucks to Obama" and found nothing on the subject. Perhaps you could post a CREDIBLE link to that info.

    However, President Obama's reelection campaign has been a boon for Domino's Pizza – ordering upwards of $1,700 worth at a time! When I worked for Domino's back in the mid late-80s, that was a HUGE night – and the pizzas are actually less expensive now!

    July 9, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. 1twinsfan

    Kevin–

    Yet, CNN doesn't bother to question where or how Obama gets his funds. Not to mention why he has yet to show a birth certificate (a certificate of live birth is not the same thing) or his college transcripts.
    ___________________________________________
    Seriously, Kevin? Well, then I guess I'm not a US citizen, either since the state of Michigan issued a certificate of live birth to my parents. Nor is my husband, also issued a cert of live birth by the state of AZ. and the odd thing about that is that AZ is so satisfied with certs of live birth that they were still issuing them some 20+ years later when our kids were born in AZ. Oh wait, at least one of my parents was a citizen just like Obama's mama so there goes that thought.

    July 9, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. Malory Archer

    Gisabun

    I guess Rick Gorka is spewing the standard half truths. Unemployment has risen?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Lots of baby boomers are retiring every day. Could have a lot to do with it.

    July 9, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. Malory Archer

    paqrat137

    BTW – check out the new HBO series "The Newsroom". This week part of it focused on the connection of the Koch brothers and the Tea Party movement – how Koch and his cronies hijacked what started out a a basically good grass roots movement – no matter how misguided – and used it to get power in 2010 for their interests, not the interests of the Tea Party. Yes, Aaron Sorkin is no friend of Conservative Republicans, but like Jon Stewart, the show tells the story more succinctly than CNN/MSNBC/FOXNEWS/The Networks, etc and in a popular format. Well worth your time.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I haven't got HBO, but I plan to buy the series as soon as it's out on DVD or downloadable format.

    July 9, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  14. Malory Archer

    Eric in Denver

    George Soros is only spending 2 million come on Ancient Texan. He spends that a day for Obama!!!

    Got any proof? No? Didn't think so, but thanks for playing!

    July 9, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  15. Saboth

    Supreme Court says our government goes to the highest bidder. That corporations are people, and have the same rights and liberties as real Americans. Unless some legislation is passed to negate this decision, you'll soon see the end of the middle class, benefits, rights and liberties for all Americans, except for those corporations deem us worthy of.

    July 9, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. Phil

    "...Mitt Romney will reform our tax code, cut bloated government spending and promote pro-growth policies..."

    Read: Romney will cut tax rates for the rich even more, smash civic rule and institute corporatocracy.

    Show us your tax returns and your investment portfolio, Mr. Romney.

    July 9, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  17. Jayson

    Will these same individuals be protesting any of Obama's fundraisers with rich Hollywood individuals or his venture capitalist buddies.....

    July 9, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. MIttens Rmoney

    I'm for sale to the highest bidder. Just put the money in my secret Swiss bank account.

    July 9, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  19. Ted Ward

    Looks like the George Soros funded marxists ("progressives") from the city got a free ride to the beach for the day. This is more of the far left's tactics of personal attacks and demonization of the reputations, names, property and privacy of anyone who doesn't agree with them, which is pretty much anyone with an ounce of common sense.

    July 9, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  20. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    As usual, the leftists want to interfere with the rights of people in order to force THEIR BS on all of us. I hope they donate a BILLION dollars if it means getting rid of the worse failure of a President this countyr has ever seen. They will be performing a HUGE public service. They would be great partiots in my book.

    In 2008, it was OBAMA that refused public funding and raised record amounts but that was all just fine. It is only when the leftitss get out spent that this is an issue. boo hoo hooo

    July 9, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. Mike

    @Larry L:

    Well said. To be honest, both parties are locked in a battle that takes this country on a ride to a land where payola and cronyism flourishes. What do our children learn about democracy in this age of unlimited money going to putting someone in the highest office in our country – only so that they have a bigger "favor account" than anyone else. To be honest, I'm not sure I care too much about the money – but it should be fully accounted for, and those that contribute – if found that they, their heirs, their corporations, etc. directly benefit through contracts, tax breaks, relaxing of regulations, or anything else that is deemed to be of inordinate benefit to them due to these favors...then they are breaking a law. Fine, let the SCOTUS have Citizens United, but pass legislation that makes it unlawful to directly benefit from your contributions. I like the thoughts of Abramoff and his new view on life. 99% of those that contribute want something in return for their money. I guess I do as well, but I want an America where we stop fighting internally and finally move forward. Another solution would be to pay Congress based on performance. Maybe they don't need the pay and it won't matter, but if you tie their compensation to actually getting something done...I think you'll see the stalling and blocking games decrease significantly.

    July 9, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. Sniffit

    "Lots of baby boomers are retiring every day. Could have a lot to do with it."

    In fact it does.

    July 9, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  23. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    I didn't where the uniform of this country for it to be sold out to the highest bidder. There needs to be a new Occupy movement. We need to Occupy the Supreme Court of the United States for selling America out. The Citizens United ruling is the death of democracy. WE WANT FULL DISCLOSURE!!!

    July 9, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. Sniffit

    "Rubio was out there with a banner reading PICK ME MONTY but he was still too Hispanic."

    No way man...he avoids the sun so he won't get too brown and trigger an autonomic response from his fellow GOPers/Teatrolls.

    July 9, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. ertdfg

    Money in politics is bad.

    I learned that when I paid $40,000 and Sarah Jessica Parker told me that at the Obama fundraiser.

    Oh wait; I mean "money in politics is bad, unless it's given to a liberal; then it is GREAT". That's the rule, right? It's only good when we do it?

    Sorry... try again. Obama out raises and outspends McCain 2:1 in 2008; did Obama "buy the election"? So why is being out raised this time such a horrific concept that nobody could possibly accept?

    July 9, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
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