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It’s always good to see a corporate bully get popped right in the snout by those it’s bullying – and what bully is more deserving of a comeuppance that Koch Industries?
This $100 billion-a-year conglomerate routinely runs roughshod over everything from the environment to worker rights. Likewise, the two Koch brothers who run it are narcissistic right-wing extremists who feel entitled to throw their multibillion-dollar fortunes at America’s historic democratic structures, hoping to knock them down and erect their own corporate plutocracy over our democracy.
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But along came a little David to rock Goliath. Last December, a merry band of tricksters called Youth for Climate Truth spoofed Koch Industries with a fake press release that appeared to be from the conglomerate itself. In essence, the release declared that the Kochs’ had seen the error of their ways in opposing efforts to regulate global warming emissions and were becoming environmentalists.
It was a harmless joke, but bullies don’t like anyone laughing at them – so the grumpy billionaires unleashed their pack of snarling lawyers on the spoofing youngsters. They demanded the activists’ names and hurled an intimidating lawsuit at them, claiming everything from financial harm to trademark infringement. The message was clear: mess with us and we’ll bury you in legal costs.
That’s when Public Citizen stepped in. This longtime champion of the rights of the little guy has a group of top-notch lawyers, and they went head to head with the Kochites in federal court. They requested that Judge Dale Kimball quash the subpoenas, protect the spoofers’ identities, and dismiss Koch’s lawsuit. On May 9th, the judge said yes to all three requests.
The Kochs are still bullies, but it sure feels good to see them knocked down a peg.
“Judge dismisses lawsuit against activists who spoofed Koch Industries,” www.alternet.org, May 10, 2011.