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Colorado activists plan protest of Koch retreat

Word that a retreat hosted by conservative mega-donors Charles and David Koch is coming to Colorado has spurred activists across the state into action. Colorado Common Cause, ProgressNow, Moveon.org, and others plan to meet and protest in Beaver Creek, Sunday morning.

The news first broke Wednesday that the brothers would be hosting their twice-yearly event in the Vail area after Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell released his schedule, which noted he would be attending the Koch seminar Sunday.

Upon hearing the news, progressive groups, environmental organizations and numerous other groups immediately began an effort to both mobilize their membership and determine the location of the secretive gathering.

The groups now believe the event, which has seen such politicos as Rush Limbaugh and even Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, will be taking place at the Ritz Carlton Resort at Bachelor Gulch. The Colorado Independent could not confirm the location, though Colorado Pols reported they had similar information that came from a number of sources.

Jenny Flanagan, executive director of Colorado Common Cause, told the Colorado Independent that their event would be out in the open, unlike that of the Kochs’.

She said she and other activists planned to meet at a nearby park where they will speak to issues they feel are important–issues, which in many cases, the Koch brothers and the organizations they fund, such as the American Enterprise Institute, directly combat.

“They are going to be spending millions of dollars influencing the 2012 races and campaigns this weekend,” Flanagan said. “The attacks (will be) on the public worker, social security and environmental protections.”

She said while it was fitting that the brothers, who spend considerable amounts of money on hiding their political spending, should host an invitation only summit, their continual pushing against public disclosure of corporate campaign dollars, among other policies, make them a top concern for the organization.

“We are trying to bring together people who will stand up against this affront on our Democracy,” Flanagan said.

From the ProgressNow web site:

The Koch brothers are major funders of right-wing fringe groups who make up the so-called Tea Party, and wield tremendous influence in conservative politics. The Koch brothers have provided millions of dollars to fund recent attempts to privatize Medicare and Social Security. Previous Koch conferences have featured a virtual “who’s who” of right-wing politics, from Ann Coulter to Justice Clarence Thomas. And after the unexpected and lively protest of their last conference, you can understand why they tried very hard to keep the latest one quiet.

This Sunday through Tuesday near Vail, the Koch brothers will host an invitation-only discussion between wealthy funders and right-wing elected officials to develop their plans to spend tens of millions of dollars of corporate money on the 2012 elections. Many Colorado conservative officials and donors can be expected to attend. In the aftermath of the Citizens United decision, unprecedented amounts of corporate money is expected to be funneled into the political process next year.

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