Common Cause makes a great argument that there's a conflict of interest between Scalia and Thomas over the Citizens United ruling because of their past participation in Koch Brothers' Bircheresque political retreats:
When the conservative financier Charles Koch sent out invitations for a political retreat in Palm Springs later this month, he highlighted past appearances at the gathering of “notable leaders” like Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court.
A leading liberal group is now trying to use that connection to argue that Mr. Scalia and Mr. Thomas should disqualify themselves from hearing campaign finance cases because they may be biased toward Mr. Koch, a billionaire who has been a major player in financing conservative causes.
The group, Common Cause, filed a petition with the Justice Department on Wednesday asking it to investigate potential conflicts by Justices Scalia and Thomas and move for their disqualification from the landmark Citizens United case, in which the court last year lifted a ban on corporate spending on political campaigns. Common Cause also cited the role of Mr. Thomas’s wife, Virginia Thomas, in forming a conservative political group opposed to the Obama administration as grounds for his disqualification.
The petition is a new tack for opponents of the court’s decision in the Citizens United case. Common Cause, by its own acknowledgment, faces a difficult task in getting the justices’ to remove themselves from the case and seeking to have the Citizens United decision itself vacated.
“We’re treading in new territory here for us,” said Arn H. Pearson, Common Cause’s vice president for programs. “But a situation like this raises fundamental questions about public confidence in the Supreme Court.” Officials at Koch Industries, which Mr. Koch leads, did not respond to e-mails and a phone call Wednesday seeking comment on the petition. A spokeswoman at the Supreme Court declined comment...read on
I'll be going to the Common Cause panel discussion and rally against the Koch Brothers Billionaire Caucus next weekend in Palm Springs to represent. Aren't you getting sick and tired of our Democracy being bought and sold to uber-rich megalomaniacs who only care about their free market profits with no concern for the American worker?
In October of 2010, The NY Times wrote this: Secretive Republican Donors Are Planning Ahead
Koch Industries, the longtime underwriter of libertarian causes from the Cato Institute in Washington to the ballot initiative that would suspend California’s landmark law capping greenhouse gases, is planning a confidential meeting at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa to, as an invitation says, “develop strategies to counter the most severe threats facing our free society and outline a vision of how we can foster a renewal of American free enterprise and prosperity.”
The invitation, sent to potential new participants, offers a rare peek at the Koch network of the ultra-wealthy and the politically well-connected, its far-reaching agenda to enlist ordinary Americans to its cause, and its desire for the utmost secrecy.
It's basically a strategy session on how to re-brand their John Birch propaganda to many more millions of Americans that haven't already bought into their fraudulent claims.
The Kochs also seek to cultivate Americans’ growing concern about the growth of government: at the most recent meeting, in Aspen, Colo., in June, some of the wealthiest people in America listened to a presentation on “a vision of how we can retain the moral high ground and make the new case for liberty and smaller government that appeals to all Americans, rich and poor.”
The goals for the twice-yearly meetings, the brochure says, include attracting more investors to the cause, but also building institutions “to identify, educate and mobilize citizens” and “fashioning the message and building the education channels to re-establish widespread belief in the benefits of a free and prosperous society.”
And guess who was a key speaker in their Aspen circle jerk hoedown last year?
The participants in Aspen dined under the stars at the top of the gondola run on Aspen Mountain, and listened to Glenn Beck of Fox News in a session titled, “Is America on the Road to Serfdom?” (The title refers to a classic of Austrian economic thought that informs libertarian ideology, popularized by Mr. Beck on his show.)The participants included some of the nation’s wealthiest families and biggest names in finance: private equity and hedge fund executives like John Childs, Cliff Asness, Steve Schwarzman and Ken Griffin; Phil Anschutz, the entertainment and media mogul ranked by Forbes as the 34th-richest person in the country; Rich DeVos, the co-founder of Amway; Steve Bechtel of the giant construction firm; and Kenneth Langone of Home Depot.
The Super Elites are gathering their forces to buy themselves another election in 2012. If you know of any billionaires that want to play for the good guys please ask them to email me. firstname.lastname@example.org