Rumble in Rock Center
Less than an hour after he called Caribbean singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte’s comparison of the Koch brothers to the KKK “hateful” and “race-baiting,” Republican mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota released a statement today taking more direct aim at his electoral rival, Bill de Blasio.
One year after it began, the Occupy movement appears to be waning, but Americans For Prosperity, the conservative economic activist group founded by the notorious Koch Brothers, held a rally near Rockefeller Plaza this morning to “stand up to Occupy Wall Street.” The event included comparisons between President Barack Obama and Fidel Castro, and several heated exchanges between the AFP contingent and Occupy Wall Street sympathizers who showed up to mock and infiltrate the rally.
TAMPA, FL — It’s fitting that one of the most enduring images of the 2012 Republican National Convention was Clint Eastwood’s empty chair, since the main purpose of the confab was crowning Mitt Romney as the titular leader of the party, finally filling the seat of GOP power that has remained more or less vacant since John McCain was vanquished by President Barack Obama four years ago.
As the saying goes, when you play the game of thrones, you either win or you die. After his defeat in 2008, Mr. McCain didn’t even bother joining the primary combatants vying to lead the elephant herd into battle against President Obama in this year’s race. His second, Sarah Palin, didn’t have a place in the primaries or at the convention in Tampa. Instead, she was banished to her Facebook page, where she railed against her overlords at Fox News for canceling all of her scheduled appearances, in which she’d hoped to take to the airwaves in praise of Mr. McCain on the night of his RNC cameo.
Like any coronation, last week’s convention was supposed to be a time for Mr. Romney’s fellow Republicans to rally around him and march into combat by his side. However, the ascent of the House of Romney was accomplished without the blessing of the conservative and libertarian factions of the party. As a result, Tampa became a theater for the sorts of behind-the-scenes drama, intrigue and power plays that so often accompany these matters of dynastic succession. Though ostensibly acting as standard bearers for Mr. Romney, the other lords of the GOP seemed to be more interested in plotting their own ascendancies four years from now than in following Mitt into battle against President Obama.
Talk To The Hand
TAMPA, FL — Billionaire Republican megadonor David Koch, who, along with his brother, Charles, is pumping an estimated $400 million into this presidential campaign, talked to Politicker about the controversial level of influence major contributors have on American elections in an interview on the floor of the Republican National Convention a few moments ago.
“We have a free society and people are free to do what they want, you know, as long as they don’t hurt others and they obey the law,” Mr. Koch said. “So, I believe in free speech and if people want to spend money in politics or something else, it’s their right, nothing wrong with that. So, I endorse that.”
TAMPA, FL — Reclusive Republican megadonor David Koch is currently on the floor at the Republican National Convention along with the rest of the New York delegation. However, he said he was too busy to talk with Politicker when we stopped by his chair to ask him a few questions.
CLEARWATER, Fla. — According to New York GOP Chairman Ed Cox, reclusive Republican megadonor David Koch has done quite a bit to shape the current Albany landscape and the cooperation between Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Republican majority in the State Senate.
“He was part of that. He was right on both sides,” Mr. Cox told Politicker.
At The Movies
David Koch, the billionaire conservative fundraiser who has become known as the “Tea Party’s wallet,” “liked having a lot of women around” in his younger days. However, he didn’t discuss politics with his many girlfriends, preferring to keep those conversations among his male buddies. Cindy Farkas Glanzrock told The Politicker she dated Mr. Koch in the late eighties and has remained an acquaintance of the infamous Tea Party backer ever since.
“I was just one of many girls that he had dates with. It wasn’t anything serious, it was just all lighthearted and fun, and dinners, and shows and things,” Ms. Glanzrock said. “He liked having a lot of women around.”
Documentarian Robert Greenwald screened a portion of his upcoming documentary, Koch Brothers Exposed, at a lunch in midtown hosted by The Common Good today. In the documentary, Mr. Greenwald, who previously directed exposés about Fox News and Walmart, makes the case billionaire businessmen Charles and David Koch are having a “dire impact” on “core American values” through their political donations to conservative think tanks, activist groups and politicians.
“They fund ideas, which are think tanks, then they fund pundits who go out and talk about those ideas, then they fund grassroots groups,” Mr. Greenwald said at the screening adding that these grassroots groups help give the impression there is popular support for these ideas. “And then and only then, they begin to fund the politicians who will impose their ideas from their scripts. It’s a very different model and a very important idea, I think, in terms of how they work. And to their credit, I don’t agree with them, but to their credit, very smart use of their dollars and a thoughtful use of their dollars that has resulted in significant impact.”
Occupy Wall Street is moving on up to the East Side — literally, with a coalition of activist groups is marching on the homes of some of New York City’s richest residents tomorrow.