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. Seller of Tin Foil - and Business is GOOD

    "...will reform our tax code, cut bloated government spending and promote pro-growth policies that will create jobs for middle class families.”

    Only question I have is...what KIND of jobs is he talking about? You need DEMAND for PRODUCTS in order to CREATE JOBS. And when the DEMAND we have in the US is no longer CREATED in the US (DUH) we have no jobs as the creation of those products is now in some other country (China...).
    So, Mitt.... and the erst of your conservatives and republicans, WHAT jobs are you referring to when you state that you're going to create them? Unless I am mistaken, ECON 101 is at play here. It's not Rocket Science nor Brain Surgery for the bulk of us 99%'ers to see that what the GOP has to off, ain't squat....

    wanna buy some tin foil??? make all your bad dreams go away??? I got rolls and rolls (Costco been berry, berry good to me...)

    July 8, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  2. America1st

    And where do we find Mitt Romney? With all his outsourcing campaign contributors. Case closed.

    July 8, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  3. mjw

    We cannot afford a president who is for sale to the highest bidder, pays the lowest tax rate while stashing money overseas, while the middle class and poor suffers under the weight of the disastrous recession caused by the same style of little rich boy policies. We need someone who will fight for us and believe in us and invest in America and not stash money overseas.

    July 8, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  4. blahahahaaaa

    "Reform tax our tax code." ie... he feels he paid too much in taxes last year, hardly worth hiding his money in offshore accounts... but he promises if elected that him and the Koch brothers will pay even less.

    July 8, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  5. Deb in MT

    Of course, the gazzillionaire Koch brothers would buy Willard the Presidency: they'd get a whopping big tax cut on 'day one' from their bought man!

    How can 2 spoiled rich guys–and John Birch Society members–like Koch 1 & Koch 2 control so much of our politics? Why do we allow this? They've turned our once great system into "1 dollar, 1 vote"!

    July 8, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  6. mjw

    I salute the protesters, we need more of them all over this country, but more so at the ballot box in November. We cannot afford a president who is for sale to the highest bidder, pays the lowest tax rate while stashing money overseas, while the middle class and poor suffers under the weight of the disastrous recession caused by the same style of little rich boy policies. We need someone who will fight for us and believe in us and invest in America and not stash money overseas.

    July 8, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  7. Don66

    Well, if you're a billionnaire, Romney is probably your choice. The rest of us will vote for the President.

    July 8, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  8. 100 % ETHIO

    The good President is, the one who challenged the difficult times, with stabled economy and lower unemployment rate.

    But, those who ran for elections in a good time, they are untested and they might easily fail, if little difficult time occurred.

    July 8, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  9. jane

    OK 99%ers it's time for us to hit the streets AGAIN!

    July 8, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  10. Jan

    The Koch Brothers support neither Republican nor Libertarian causes. The Koch Brothers support their father's political organization - the John Birch Society. Let's remind American voters of their heritage. In fact, labeling the Koch Brothers "Libertarians" is an insult to Libertarians.

    I'll let Republicans speak for themselves, as they've gotten a little goofy for me.

    By the way it's not about the Rich; it's about the Greedy One Percent. Our three wealthiest Americans - Buffett, Gates, and Zuckerberg don't fall into the G.O.P. (and I don't just mean their politics) .

    July 8, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  11. Aprophet

    Here are some thruths about the republican agenda
    1) SCOTUS pass rule allowing corporations and wealthy to spend unlimited amount of money
    2) Congress block any bills that will help economy and obstruct Obama admin at all cost
    3) Repress the voting blocks that lean Democrat
    4) Spew lies over and over until general public belives them, no matter how outlandish they seem
    5) throw the Great Country of the United States of America under the bus, to prove the people of color are unquailified for the Office of the Presidency. I read this fequently from pro replublicans. "We tried the black man, it didn't work"
    How do you expect it to work. When you are block every step of the way. all of your suscesses come from things you did not need any help from congress

    July 8, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  12. Mittens Rmoney

    My principles are not for sale. You should know by now that I have no principles.

    July 8, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  13. w l jones

    Would it be nice if spent all that monies on the good old day manufacturing kits ! BOY ! were they good. Bless.

    July 8, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  14. jetty

    If money can buy American election, then Mitt Romney's win 2012 would be a clear manifestation of that and the end of representative democracy.

    The GOP primary is just a glimpse of what is to come if the American citizenary do not salvage thier civil liberty from that pathetic ruling by the Citizen United case. Vote out all those splashing money arround while vowing to balance the budget on the backs of the Middle Class.

    Bush Tax Cuts and the Wars in the Middle East is the source of 90% of our deficit and nobody wants to double down on that path but Mitt Romney and his GOP cohorts.

    July 8, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  15. Peggy

    Why didn't someone do this when obama was in hollywood with the rich and famous. him and all his rich white friends were having a good old time on our money. I am sure there was a lot of drugs being passed around at that party for real. I say obama should be given a drug test I bet he would fail!!!!

    July 8, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  16. george

    It puzzles me how American electors (middle class voters) allow themselves to be deceived and influenced by political ads. You have one presidential candidate in the pocket of the upper class and one trying to work in the best interest of working class Americans. Do you need a rocket scientist to tell you how to vote?

    July 8, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  17. kaycee

    Plutocracy is here, thanks to the SCOTUS. Anyone who cannot see that is blind. Notwihstanding, I applaud the protestors' efforts. Maybe it will galvanize those who oppose the demise of democracy.

    July 8, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  18. Snow

    So, a couple hundred MOOCHERS more likely less than 20, show up on a beach protesting. So what, the moochers (occupiers) have been protesting for the past year.

    July 8, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  19. encie

    if romney is elected he will be a yes man beholden to the kochs and their cronies just as former president bush. at least with this administration we know it is trying and having to fight tooth and nail for the ordinary people of this country. i do not understand how they can say that this administrations policies have all failed. i believe that they think the people of this country are stupid, as republican chris christie called a reporter stupid for asking him a question he did not want to answer and romney called him a great leader for it. sounds like a bully to me.. they want us to be stupid so that we will believe everything they tell us. we would be stupid if we did. american critical thinking scares them. they think if they keep us uneducated by cutting education funding we will all just be obedient workers and bow down to them to make a living. the kochs and cronies plan to buy this election and unless the people intervene our rights and freedoms that our ancestors fought and died for will slowly and insideously be taken away from us by using the fear factor. scare the people and they will let you do anything.

    July 8, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  20. Linda

    Just remember Obama raises his money at $35 from individual donors and he raises millions.......Romney raises millions from just a few very rich billionaires and millionaires that give 10 million in one donation.......the rich and powerful think they can buy this election......but come election day in November you will see that these ultra rich men and woman hold only one vote just like you and I.......and the American people will again come out in numbers to show these rich and powerful people that they can't buy our votes with their money........it's just a shame that this kind of money is being used to try and buy this election.....if only they had the balls to donate this kind of money to our poor and starving children in this country or spent on the education for our children in this country........Romney is up there in this same rich and powerful group and these are the people he will dedicate his efforts to....to big business, big corporations not to us the middle class or to the poor.....remember he said he wasn't worried about the poor.........

    July 8, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  21. Patrick

    Give me a break, did the media ever make much of Obama raising millions of dollars at the mansions of so many movie stars and entertainment figures? I think every candidate needs to be judged fairly and the media needs to expose and report in a more professional and balance way. Unfortunately we all know where the main media stands today and where they stood yesterday. It is clear that if the main media is not "buying" the presidency, they are surely helping more one specific candidate than the other, by not presenting the American people with unbiased and professional reporting. The editorial lines of the main media are being controlled by powerful people, with unlimited resources and access to millions of people who follow the news tainted with personal opinions and distortions. Let's return America to the values and principles that made this country great and respected in the past. Let's focus on families, the pursue of happiness, standing up for good values, honesty, integrity. We cannot continue in this course of destruction of character of people and the values that make America the greatest country on earth. Moving "Forward" does not make sense when the end result is destruction. Changing course after almost four years of failed "moves forward", seems to be where we need to go. God bless America!!!

    July 8, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  22. d

    Obama's thugs are at it again.

    July 8, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  23. chuck weidemann

    The more I hear the Romney talking points the more I think I will see pigs fly before I would belive a single word from this deluded group....they obviously have a low opinion of the voters they are trying to appeal to. The protesters have it right.....big money wants Romney for a reason and It's not about helping the middle class.......When pigs fly!!!!!

    July 8, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  24. n

    And the Romney robots Responding to the protests, with the same old tired comeback . . .
    "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. "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". End of quote. Go back and research it, every time the Romney people are confronted with the truth, their response are always, the same old lie. They believe if they keep repeating the lie, some how, it will be received as the truth. Ok, the real truth is it's the republican leadership that is the absolute problem and Romney is a major part of this problem along with this failed economy. Period.

    July 8, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  25. sick of SC

    Read more about how the attendees are so disappointed in the common folk for not understand politics or being educated enough to see why the rich are necessary to the economy.

    Yes conservatives...you've truly proven why ignorance is the real backbone of the right wing.

    July 8, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
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