imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Tell the NSA: StopWatching.US

Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - json version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles
link:

Political Thriller Citizen Koch Premieres in Los Angeles

by Jessica Lux Saturday, Jun. 28, 2014 at 2:35 AM

Citizen Koch director Carl Deal joined a political panel moderated by Lauren Steiner following Friday night’s theatrical premiere at the Sundance Sunset Cinema.

Political Thriller C...
citizen_koch.jpg, image/jpeg, 800x450

The financial influence of David Koch stopped the documentary Citizen Koch from airing for free over public television, but the film has arrived in theaters around the country this month.

The film, by Academy Award®-nominated directors Carl Deal and Tia Lessin (Trouble the Water), examines the fundamental shift on American democracy since the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In a strange reversal of the tradition of narrowly interpreting laws specific to only the case at hand, the Supreme Court issued a strikingly broad ruling that held that corporations and associations have First Amendment rights to unlimited, anonymous political spending.

The title of the film refers to the brothers Charles and David Koch, who control the second largest privately-owned company in the United States, Koch Industries. The Koch family gives millions of dollars to conservative and libertarian political action groups, including Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, as well as think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

While Democrats rested in a moment of post-election euphoria at the beginning of the Obama presidency, Republican strategists immediately began spending millions of dollars to influence the 2012 election. As the Washington Post revealed in January 2014, Koch-backed organizations spent $400 million on the 2012 election cycle. The film reveals secretly recorded remarks from the biannual Koch fundraising retreat of the country’s wealthiest conservatives, politicians, and pundits.

As the New York Times revealed in early 2014, the Koch brothers and other powerful corporate interests worked state-by-state to establish a “sophisticated political apparatus designed to channel political money from around the country into states where conditions were ripe for Republican takeover.” The strategy achieved marked success in the 2010 elections.

In Wisconsin, Koch money helped elect Gov. Scott Walker, who proposed eliminating collective bargaining rights for public employees (or in other words, “bust the unions,” to turn Wisconsin into a right-to-work state). Nearly 38% of union members, plenty of them Republicans, had voted for this candidate who turned on them once he was in office. Tens of thousands stormed the state capitol building in protest.

The film Citizen Koch follows several heartland union members as they react to Gov. Walker’s union-busting attempts on their state. A Republican teacher, nurse, and correctional institution guard all share their outrage at the takeover of their party by wealthy corporate interests.

Filmmakers Carl Deal and Tia Lessin believe the political drama of Wisconsin to be the cutting edge of a strategy to “undermine the already diminished power of working and poor Americans with the passage of voter ID laws.” They repeatedly “heard Republican operatives say that Gov. Walker’s Wisconsin was ‘a model for the country,’ that his moves against organized labor would help turn President Obama out of the White House in 2012.”

The film introduced many in the audience to 2012 Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer. The former governor of Louisiana (the only candidate with congressional and gubernatorial experience) ran a campaign financed entirely on individual donations. Roemer was shut out of the Republican debates despite polling at 2% and higher during his campaign, leading him to conclude that money is a weapon used to buy elections. His grassroots New Hampshire campaign office shown in the film was a striking contrast to the lavish, bustling campaign headquarters of other candidates who accepted PAC funding.

Following the film, Carl Deal answered a question about why the film was not shown on PBS, despite initial interest from a funding agency for public television. While in negotiations to become an Independent Lens production, the filmmakers were told they would have to change the title of the film and reduce the focus on David Koch. Why? New York PBS affiliate WNET was courting a seven-figure donation from David Koch, who sits on the boards of both WNET and WGBH.

On the corrupting influence of money in public broadcasting, Lauren Steiner commented that the American National Gas Association is one of the largest donors to NPR. As a result, NPR has reported on the virtues of fracking and supposedly “clean” natural gas.

The political panel discussed concrete solutions to the problems raised in Citizen Koch. State Senator Ted Lieu explained that his goal in authoring SB 1272 to overturn Citizens United in the CA legislature was to arouse other states to do the same, which will create nationwide pressure for a constitutional amendment. He was originally inspired by the 2012 “Money Out, Voters In” grassroots mobilization and the overwhelming support for Proposition C in Los Angeles.

Politicians have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo and keeping political funds flush with cash. As Daniel Lee of Move to Amend explained, “We’re going to have to force them to do this, not just ask them really loud.”

He described Move to Amend’s success getting the Los Angeles City Council to unanimously pass a “We the People” resolution in December 2011, supporting a constitutional amendment establishing that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights. After Los Angeles became the first major city to formally reject corporate personhood, similar measures were proposed in Pasadena, Santa Monica, and other localities. Initial resolutions were passed with surprising ease; but by late 2012 business interests had started mobilizing to lobby against city council approval of such resolutions.

Trent Lange of the California Clean Money Campaign discussed another bill to increase transparency in political spending. Viewers are purposefully misled by fine print disclosures at the end of current political ads. For example, how many people would have voted for Proposition 26 in 2010 if they knew the group Stop Hidden Taxes flooding the airwaves was really Chevron, Phillip Morris, and Anheuser-Busch? SB 52, the California DISCLOSE Act, would require the three largest funders of political ads to be clearly and prominently identified.

America is beginning to realize it has a Koch problem—dark money buying our democracy in the House, Senate, Supreme Court, and even the Presidency. More than one filmmaker has pulled back the veil on these billionaire conservatives; Robert Greenwald reissued an updated version of his film Koch Brothers Exposed in 2014. This summer, progressive advocacy group MoveOn.org launched the America Has a Koch Problem campaign, providing resources for movie houseparties screening Koch Brothers Exposed. Coaching services are available to anyone interested in leading a local campaign against the Koch brothers' toxic influence on our democracy.

In the upstairs theater lounge, moviegoers continued asking questions of the director and other political panelists. One attendee commented on the tendency of liberal audiences to splinter into a diverse set of issues, lacking a single focus. Others addressed the need to move past polar political labels. Daniel Lee remarked that he had conversations with people of the most varied political backgrounds during the heyday of the Occupy Wall St. movement in 2011, talking to Libertarians, Democrats, Greens, Ron Paul Republicans, and others, all of whom were able to coalesce around the issue of the corrupting influence of corporate power.

Watch the trailer and find a screening of Citizen Koch in your city:
http://watch.citizenkoch.com/

Petition to pass the California DISCLOSE Act:
http://www.credomobilize.com/petitions/pass-the-california-disclose-act

Boycott Koch Products for July 4th:
http://www.dontdokoch.org/

Washington Post expose of Koch-backed political network:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/koch-backed-political-network-built-to-shield-donors-raised-400-million-in-2012-elections/2014/01/05/9e7cfd9a-719b-11e3-9389-09ef9944065e_story.html

New York Times article on state-by state campaign to rig our democracy:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/12/us/politics/a-national-strategy-funds-state-political-monopolies.html?_r=0

Robert Reich Explains America's Koch Problem & Petition to Denounce the Koch Brothers:

http://front.moveon.org/robert-reich-explains-americas-koch-problem

America Has a Koch Problem Campaign Hub:
http://www.moveon.org/hub/kochproblem/#.U6-ameZdWVA

Petition to put SB1272, the Overturn Citizens United Act, on the November Ballot:

http://www.peaceteam.net/sign_sb1272.php
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 3 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Whining and sniveling nonya Tuesday, Jul. 01, 2014 at 10:49 AM
Not in my experience... Somebody Tuesday, Jul. 01, 2014 at 1:23 PM
That's Cool nonya Wednesday, Jul. 02, 2014 at 8:31 AM

Freenet/Sone comments box:

This is a comment system called babcom, which is a decentralized, anonymous, encrypted, troll-resistant, comment system that runs atop Freenet. These comments are not stored on this IMC server - they exist in the Freenet cloud, and you must be running Freenet and Sone to see the comments. Install Freenet and try it out.

Use Node:

⚙ Babcom is trying to load the comments ⚙

This textbox will disappear when the comments have been loaded.

If the box below shows an error-page, you need to install Freenet with the Sone-Plugin or set the node-path to your freenet node and click the Reload Comments button (or return).

If you see something like Invalid key: java.net.MalformedURLException: There is no @ in that URI! (Sone/search.html), you need to setup Sone and the Web of Trust

If you had Javascript enabled, you would see comments for this page instead of the Sone page of the sites author.

Note: To make a comment which isn’t a reply visible to others here, include the red link below somewhere in the comment text.

Add this link to the comment:

Local News

New ID Verification Feature on this Site O21 1:06AM

Sierra Club endorses activists for Water Board O20 2:02PM

INDY has been hijacked or sold? to commentators ? O17 9:58AM

Columbus Day Protest, Downtown L.A. O14 4:44PM

Demonstration in Los Angeles: In Solidarity with Kobani O11 12:23PM

Voters Rally Against Proposition 1 Outside the Beverly Hills Mansion of Water Barons O03 5:35AM

The Uber-fication of the Democratic Party O01 2:16AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Cracks in US/Israeli Special Relationship? O31 2:16AM

“Da’ Hip-Hop Wizzard of Oz,” an Upbeat Version of the Classic Story, Comes to you in April O30 11:46PM

The Shortwave Report 10/31/14 Listen Globally! O30 5:17PM

Vote!!!! O30 3:58PM

Israel's War on Islam O30 1:35PM

Murderous corruption at fbi, DPS, Texas AG, O30 9:46AM

America's Rogue Agenda O30 7:02AM

The Myth of the Unexpected Crisis and Security O30 5:56AM

Irresponsibly Targeting Russia O30 3:47AM

De Malik Oussekine à Rémi Fraisse, éréthisme policier O30 12:27AM

America's Deplorable Afghanistan Legacy O29 1:54PM

CT Republican Candidate For Gov Disappears An Island O29 1:02PM

In Ohio Governor Race, Disturbing Facts About John Kasich Emerge O29 9:52AM

Lavrov on Ukraine O29 3:40AM

Duplicitous Ukrainian Electoral Postmortems O28 1:41PM

Iowa Senate Race: Candidate Joni Ernst Voted To Block Women's Access To Contraceptives O28 9:39AM

Ukrainian Electoral Postmortems O28 7:31AM

Reinventing Vietnam War History O28 3:16AM

USA Government Is Overthrown O27 1:18PM

Putin Addresses World Order Rules O27 12:44PM

Neoliberalism has brought out the worst inus O27 10:41AM

MSM Misinformation on Ukraine's Parliamentary Electioms O27 9:24AM

Crisis of Freedom O27 5:00AM

Farcical Ukrainian Parliamentary Elections O27 3:58AM

Tantric Solutions O26 2:50PM

Philippines: Lawmakers studying the filing of bill against hate crimes O25 6:17PM

fbi illegal hacking incident O25 12:33PM

Animals Flunk These Candidates O25 10:09AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy