Case Study / Activists Throw a ‘Koch Party’ Outside David Koch’s Southampton Fundraiser for Mitt Romney

 

9767998d8b96e4f9092ed3a377522518On July 8th, 2012 The Sparrow Project was honored to play a role in coordinating, promoting, and developing a media strategy for an action targeting a Romney 2012 Campaign fundraiser at the Southampton home of billionaire David Koch. This action was part of a non-partisan coalition effort with widespread support from both mainstream and grassroots groups who wished to challenge the pervasive role of Koch money on policy making.

In the days that followed the action, Koch’s Public Sector offices in Washington D.C. launched a venomous (and bizarrely unprofessional) counter attack against Sparrow Project cofounder, Andy Stepanian. Shortly thereafter Koch Industries made an announcement that David Koch would be attending the Republican National Convention as a delegate for the state of New York. To coincide with David Koch’s attendance at the RNC the Sparrow Project released a detailed counter-response to the published attacks Koch Industries released through their press office.
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While Mitt Romney was scheduled to make four appearances at Southampton events on July 8th, the coalition made a conscious effort to not have protestors attend any events other than the fundraiser at David Koch’s home. This was done in an attempt to assure that the narrative would not become preoccupied with Mitt Romney but rather stay focused on the issue of money in politics, specifically money with strings attached to the petrochemical industry, the military industrial complex, and similar business interests that would place capital over compassion and profit over people. As part of the action’s media strategy a list of ten talking points related to the Koch brothers was printed up and handed out to those who attended. This talking point sheet stirred Koch Companies Public Sector President and COO Phillip Ellender into releasing an immediate response through their DC press office challenging each of our listed talking points and went further to single out Sparrow Project cofounder, Andy Stepanian as a “convicted terrorist” wholly responsible for the demonstration. You can read our exchange with Koch Industries HERE.

While only 200 people attended the action, a focused media strategy, creative visuals, and an airplane-pulled banner that read “Mitt Romney has a Koch Problem” made the action a success. In the week that followed the action we received favorable news coverage from hundreds of national media outlets, including 7 separate write-ups in The New York Times. For background we would encourage you to read Natasha Lennard’s article for Salon, Michael Tracey’s coverage for Mother Jones or Jessica Yellin’s report for CNN, as these phenomenal pieces do a great job of communicating the action’s mission as well as the sentiments of those who participated. We have also included a long-form roundup of media coverage below.

• Publicist: Andy Stepanian (with support from Fenton Agency)
• Read the press release HERE
• Read more related articles HERE

 

MEDIA COVERAGE

Romney Mines the Hamptons for Campaign Cash – New York Times

Romney Donors Out in Force in Hamptons – New York Times

The Republicans’ $3 Million Weekend in the Hamptons – New York Times

Mitt Romney’s Hamptons Weekend – New York Times

Protesters raise cloud of sand as Romney raises $3 million in N.Y. – Los Angeles Times

Mitt Romney’s $50,000-a-Head Fundraiser at David Koch’s Hamptons Mansion – Vanity Fair

Crashing David Koch’s party – Salon

Billionaire Koch Comes Out Publicly For Romney With $50,000-A-Head Hamptons Party – Forbes

‘Mitt Romney Has A Koch Problem’ Say Protesters At Billionaire’s Hamptons Fundraiser – Forbes

Romney’s Hamptons Fundraising Blitz Draws Beach Protest – Bloomberg Businessweek

Protesters demonstrate outside of Koch fund-raiser for Romney – CNN

Liberal group to protest Romney-Koch fundraiser – CBS, Political Hotsheet

Romney hosts three fundraisers in the Hamptons – CBS, Political Hotsheet

Protest Greets Mitt Romney at Hamptons Fundraiser – ABC News, The Note

In Hamptons, protesters converge on Romney fundraisers by air and land – MSNBC, First Read

Mitt Romney’s Koch Problem – Huffington Post

DNC ad hits Romney over Koch-hosted Hamptons fundraiser – The Hill

Romney fundraiser draws protests – Washington Examiner

Koch Brothers: N. Y. fundraiser for Mitt Romney draws protestors – The Christian Science Monitor

Creative Protest Action to Greet David Koch’s Elite Fundraiser for Mitt Romney – AlterNet

Mitt Romney’s offshore accounts draw more fire – Boston Globe

Protest Greets Mitt Romney at Hamptons Fundraiser – ABC News

Activists Protest Romney’s ‘Koch Problem’ – The Nation

Protesting the Kochs – Politico

Protests at Romney fundraisers in Hamptons – Newsday

John Boehner Cannot Make People Love Mitt Romney – New York Magazine

Protesters Assail Romney’s “Koch Addiction” Outside Hamptons Fundraiser – Gothamist

Starring Mitt Romney as Gordon Gekko – Slate

Romney in the Hamptons: The View From Outside the Gates – Mother Jones

Occupiers invade LI Mitt meet – New York Post

Romney’s Hamptons Fundraising Blitz Draws Beach Protest – Business Week

Protesters Crash Mitt Romney’s Hamptons Fundraiser  – Southampton Patch

The Best Quotes From Guests at Romney’s Hamptons Fundraisers – The Atlantic

Hundreds Protest Romney Fundraisers in Hamptons – Democracy Now!

Hilarious Photos Of Protesters Crashing Mitt Romney’s Fancy Hamptons Fundraisers – Business Insider

Koch brothers’ fundraiser for Romney draws protest in NY – Newsday

Mitt Romney’s Koch Problem – MSNBC Rachel Maddow Show

Protest Greets Mitt Romney at Hamptons Fundraiser – ABC News

Body image, eating disorders, and Romney’s ‘Koch problem’ – Citizen Radio

Romney Says Wealthy Donors ‘By And Large…Doing Just Fine’ – Fox 2, St. Louis

Modest Occupy Protests Mark Romney Hamptons Trip – Buzzfeed

Romney dodges protests for a $3m day out in the Hamptons – The Independent (UK)

Police Barricade Meadow Lane For Romney Fundraiser – Southampton Patch

Romney draws big donors at events on Long Island – Minneapolis Star Tribune

Demonstrators March Against Koch, Romney in the Hamptons – Patch 

Romney’s Pricey Fundraisers in Hamptons – The Young Turks

Protesters Crash Mitt Romney’s Fundraiser! – Global Grind

Protesters crash billionaire Koch $50,000-a-head bash for Romney – Digital Journal

Romney confronted in the air, on land, and at sea! – People’s World

Dems take on dark money – Salon

A Street Art Exhibit; A Mitt Romney Fundraiser/Protest – Hamptons Curbed

Protesters To Descend On Romney Visit – East Hampton Star

Village Police Prep for Romney Fundraiser, Protest – East Hampton Patch

You’re Invited to Crash David Koch’s Southampton Mitt Romney Fundraiser – ArtInfo

Crashing Romney’s Koch Party – WBAI Newshour

Mitt Romney To Fundraise In The Hamptons This Weekend – Dan’s Papers

Protesters To Disrupt Koch Brothers’ Romney Fundraiser On Long Island – Gothamist

Mitt Romney Will Fundraise In The Hamptons On Sunday – 27 East

Grupos pro justicia económica preparan protesta contra Mitt Romney – Huffington Post Voices (Spanish)

Roundup: Nothing Inspires Confidence More Than A Helmet – Politicker

Creative Protest Action to Greet David Koch’s Elite Fundraiser for Mitt Romney – Alternet

Protesters Turn Out At Romney Fundraiser On Meadow Lane – 27 East

Dems want Romney to explain offshore accounts – Long Island Business News

Koch’s host Fundraiser for Mitt Romney, Occupy Wall Street joins them – CNN Ireport

“GOV RICK SNYDER’S GOT A KOCH PROBLEM!”Just like Mitt Romney  – Schlockumentaries

Protest Against David Koch at a Fundraiser for Romney – NYC Raw Videos

Does Mitt Romney Have a Koch Problem? – MoveOn.org

Protest plans for Romney’s visit to David Koch’s Long Island home – Capital New York

Progressives Plan to Crash Romney’s Fundraiser at Koch’s Southampton Estate – SouthHampton Patch

Crashing the Hamptons: How $25 Billion is Being Used Against You – Farmingdale Patch

The $50K-a-head fundraiser/dinner David Koch is throwing for Mitt Romney at his Southampton estate next weekend might need a few more place settings – Curbed Hamptons

PLAN TO CRASH ROMNEY’S LONG ISLAND FUNDRAISER – LI Politics

OWS, Liberal Groups Plan Protest At Koch Fundraiser – Capital Tonight

You’re invited to a Koch Party! – NY Alt News

Protesters To Disrupt Koch Brothers’ Romney Fundraiser On Long Island – Legal News

Progressives Plan to Crash Romney’s Fundraiser at Koch’s Southampton Estate – East Hampton Patch

19 Million Could Turn Out to Protest Koch Fundraiser for Romney in the Hamptons July 8 – Irregular Times

‘Mister 1% Himself’ Holds Fundraiser with the Bishop of Pomposity on the Hamptons – Freak Out Nation

Romney beats Obama in fund-raising again – Herald Tribune

YOU’RE INVITED …TO A KOCH PARTY! – Occupy.com

You’re Invited…to a Koch Party! – The Occupied Wall Street Journal

Protesters Turn Out At Romney Fundraiser On Meadow Lane – The Hamptons Press

Protesters Crash Mitt Romney’s Hamptons Fundraiser  – Southampton Patch

Police Barricade Meadow Lane For Romney Fundraiser – Southampton Patch

Progressives Plan to Crash Romney’s Fundraiser at Koch’s Southampton Estate – Southampton Patch

Village Police Prep for Romney Fundraiser, Protest – East Hampton Patch

ROMNEY FUNDRAISER PROTEST – Oneida Dispatch

‘Mitt Romney Has A Koch Problem,’ Say Protesters – Towleroad

 

NEGATIVE PRESS

Koch Respects The Right of All Americans to Support Their Political Candidates – KOCH Industries

Occupiers, Convicted Terrorist to Protest at Private Residence of David Koch – Breitbart.com

Demonizing the Kochs – The Washington Times

One of America’s unrepentant terrorists to lead Romney protest – Red State

Anti-Romney Protest Reveals MoveOn.Org’s Terminal Hypocrisy – The National Review

Conservatives to Protest Progressives Picketing Romney – Patch (on counter protest)

One of America’s unrepentant terrorists to lead Romney protest – Examiner