A group composed of self-professed “Americans who can’t write huge checks to Congress” will protest House GOP leader and potential future Speaker of the House John Boehner’s support of a corporate agenda at 3 p.m. in Destin today.
The protest will coincide with a fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Steve Southerland, which will be held at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort and feature Boehner as a special guest. According to a press release from Americans United for Change (who aim to “challenge the far right conservative voices and ideas that for too long have been mistaken for mainstream American values”), protestors will pose as members of a fictitious lobbying group called RepubliCorp in order to draw attention to Bohner’s support of corporate America: “The RepubliCorp theme emphasizes the close allegiance between corporate interests and their Republican allies who together plan to spend at least $400 million this election cycle to try and take back control of Congress.”
From the press release:
Protest participants will highlight how Boehner repeatedly acts on behalf of the country’s largest corporations, and against the best interests of middle class families in Ohio. The New York Times recently reported that Boehner: “maintains especially tight ties with a circle of lobbyists and former aides representing some of the nation’s biggest businesses, including Goldman Sachs, Google, Citigroup, R. J. Reynolds, MillerCoors and UPS. They have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaigns, provided him with rides on their corporate jets, socialized with him at luxury golf resorts and waterfront bashes.”
In a statement, President of the Northwest Florida Federation of Labor James Lingley seemed hopeful that the protest will draw attention to a very real political problem: “RepubliCorp may be a funny name, but the idea of this merger is frighteningly close to the truth. When oil billionaires and health insurance front groups are spending $400 million to take over Congress for the Republicans, how can we expect Boehner to be on the side of America’s working families?”
Barbara DeVane, state secretary for the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans and vice president of the Northwest Florida Federation of Labor, said that she found the idea of Boehner as Speaker of the House “frightening” given his “support for plans to privatize Social Security – to gin up fees for his Wall Street buddies who would manage private accounts and to privatize Medicare – and help make a few dollars for his friends in the insurance industry.”
According to OpenSecrets.org, Boehner was one of Congress’ top seven recipients of lobbyist dollars since 2009.
Today’s fundraiser will likely drum up even more publicity for Southerland, who has been running a harsh campaign against incumbent opponent Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Tallahassee, over who will represent Florida’s District 2 seat, with either side churning out negative and accusatory campaign ads.