A small and disorganized group of liberal protesters led by a convicted terrorist protested outside of a Hamptons fundraiser for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney Sunday.
Around 100 to 150 sign-wielding activists, roused to action by a cadre of Democrat and left-wing organizations, descended on the site of the fundraiser, held at the home of liberal bete noir David Koch.
[L]eftists thought they could make some hay out of connecting Romney to the Koch brothers, perhaps because they assume, wrongly, that most people share their detestation of the Kochs. So for some weeks, a consortium of left-wing groups including MoveOn.org, Occupy Wall Street, the Long Island Progressive Coalition, Greenpeace, Strong For All, United New York, the Teamsters Union and others have been urging their members and supporters to turn out for a protest at David Koch’s home. This "invitation" by the Occupy movement was one of many that went out to liberals across the country. The event’s Facebook page is here.
The protests were organized by Andy Stepanian, who was convicted of terrorism and sentenced to three years in federal prison for his role in a radical animal-rights terrorist organization.
The protesters hired an airplane to fly overhead with a banner that read "Romney has a Koch problem." However, the plane soon flew away and returned with another banner promoting Lacoste L!ve.
Two protesters were arrested after trying to sail across a pond to crash the fundraiser, but instead crashed into a police boat.
In a public statement, Koch Industries called the protest shallow and hypocritical.
"We have seen media reports about the protest being organized by a convicted terrorist and a number of fringe organizations," the company wrote. "It is ironic that the pretext for the protest is supposed ‘outrage’ at the role of money in politics. Considering the record-setting fundraising by President Obama as reported here, here, here, here, here and here, the hypocrisy of the Left and their attempts to mislead the public are obvious. There is a double standard at work here, and the message from the Left is that fundraising for their preferred candidates is fine, but donations to those with differing points of view are somehow immoral. The Left’s outrage is selective and hollow."
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee used the opportunity to fundraise.
"Today, Mitt Romney is holding a $50,000-a-head fundraiser in the Hamptons with one of the Big Oil billionaire Koch Brothers," the DCCC wrote in a fundraising letter Sunday. "They'll have a lot to celebrate together: Romney's campaign brought in a whopping $100 million in June and the Kochs have raised millions more for their outside groups. … If Mitt and his SuperPAC backers can bury us under a wave of corporate special interest cash right now, we will lose in November."
Democrats weren’t the only ones accused of selective outrage. Michael Moynihan, writing for the Washington Post’s Right Turn blog, noted the media’s one-sided obsession with conspicuous wealth:
The Associated Press discovered that donors arrived driving "Mercedes, Bentleys — and, in one case, a candy red 2013 Ferrari Spider." The Los Angeles Times, also noting that rich people tend to own expensive cars, reported on the "line of Range Rovers, BMWs, Porsche roadstersand one gleaming cherry red Ferrari" waiting to get into the fundraiser. The New York Times spotted—you guessed it!—"a line of gleaming Bentleys, Porsches and Mercedes-Benzes" queuing outside the venue. This reminded me of a San Francisco Chronicle headline from last year, during the height of the media’s mania for all things Occupy Wall Street-related: "Mercedes hits 2 Occupy Oakland protesters." Imagine, if you will, a slight twist on that headline: "Ford Focus hits 2 Occupy Oakland protesters." Yeah, didn’t think so.
But just in case you were still unclear on the income level of those who attend fundraisers for Republican presidential candidates, TPM stresses that they are "rich," "super-rich," "mega-rich," "well-heeled,"and "moneyed," as distinct from the suburban moms and union stiffs present at Obama recent Manhattan fundraisers.
And while Democrats and progressive groups regularly claim Democracy is subverted by wealthy donors, President Obama himself told a group of such fundraisers they were the key to his re-election.
"You're the tie-breaker," President Obama said at a recent fundraiser hosted by Sarah Jessica Parker. "You're the ultimate arbiter of which direction this country goes."