Looks like the desert heat may have gotten to Charles and David Koch. The billionaire brothers and Daddy Warbucks of conservative causes have hired a battalion of public relations officials experienced handling the likes of Sarah Palin to “handle” their image with the press and to try and shape their coverage.
At the same time their lawyers and related attack dogs have gone full force with critics and suspected foes. One target includes a group of young environmental activists who just got hit with a lawsuit seeking $100,000 as a result of a prank and the leak of an internal document detailing their political activities.
The Koch’s have actually been doing this for some time now and in direct response for their role in helping to start and fund the big money groups behind the Tea Party movement. But according to Kenneth Vogel over at Politico, the brothers were apparently shocked at the idea that funneling tens of millions of dollars to groups designed to debunk climate change, for example, would bring public scrutiny.
Much like the campaign against Target Corp. for its political donations, public shaming may be the only immediate recourse for concerned citizens in the wake of the Citizens United debacle. The Koch brothers, each worth about $20 billion, made their fortune in privately held oil, gas and consumer products and have a direct and immediate financial incentive to block solutions to the problems their businesses exasperate. The fact that they are now trying to massage their image and control reporting around their activities suggests the scrutiny is working.
So lets keep it up.
photo courtesy of TracyO via Flickr
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