What Would You Say to the Koch Brothers if You Had the Chance?


Brave New Foundation's latest video project, Koch Brothers Exposed, launched a video yesterday that features activists knocking on the doors (or talking through the intercoms at the gates) of five mulitimillion-dollar homes belonging to either Charles or David Koch, the principals of Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held corporation in the United States. The video bears the title, "The Kochs are Buying Our Democracy."

"I'm here to find out why they want to kill Social Security," one activist, Jerry McDowell, tells the guard at the gate outside of David Koch's Palm Beach mansion, which he says is worth $30 million. "I'm going to have to ask you to get off private property," the guard replies.

Koch's Americans For Prosperity is a big booster of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., who has proposed a phase-out of Social Security, to be replaced with a private scheme.

Another, unnamed, activist lifts the heavy door-knocker on Charles Koch's Aspen mountain getaway, valued at $7.9 million, according to the video. "I'm trying to ask Charles Koch why he won't help homeowners whose homes have been foreclosed on."

Think tanks and organizations funded by the Kochs oppose both the Obama stimulus funding, and funding for the refinancing of mortgages gone bad to homeowners caught in the economic downturn.

Other visits by activists and Greenwald's video team include Koch homes in Manhattan (a building housing David Koch's apartment, reportedly worth $18 million), a country home in Long Island's Southhampton (also worth a reported $18 million), Charles Koch's Wichita mansion.

At the Koch Brothers Exposed Web site, viewers can add photos of themselves to an image of the Koch brothers, along with a caption that poses a question they would like to ask of the billionaire siblings. Here's the text of an e-mail blast from Greenwald, promoting the project.

The Koch brothers had plenty of places to party after their triumphs last November. They might’ve celebrated at any one of their multiple homes in five states worth a total of $105.9 million.

And that’s not including the Koch’s two-story single family home that David Koch bought for his children as a play house.

The billionaire brothers who brought you Tea Party groups like Americans for Prosperity and anti-worker governors like Scott Walker and John Kasich are also using their billions to attack some of the most vulnerable Americans who had the audacity to fall on hard times.

We went on offense to make this video. We went right up to the Kochs' doorsteps to ask, Why are you spending millions to try and buy our democracy? The New York Times heard about our camera crews and published an exclusive about Koch Brothers Exposed and what we're trying to achieve.

Watch what happens, then add your voice to our movement by posting a picture, caption or both to the Koch brothers house party.

Tell them we are not for sale.

AlterNet / By Adele M. Stan

Posted at May 5, 2011, 9:25am

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