Koch Brothers Leap Into PR War
Brothers Charles and David step out of the shadows
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2011 11:27 AM CST
Protesters are seen outside the Kochs' annual fundraising meeting in this YouTube screenshot.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – Thrust into the spotlight after years of operating in the political shadows, Charles and David Koch are fighting back, Politico reports. They’ve hired a crack PR team that has worked with GOP heavy hitters like Sarah Palin and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and encouraged attendees of their uber-secret fundraising meeting to talk to the press, an unprecedented step. But they also erected blockades to prevent documentary crews from filming attendees, hired private security to tail "suspicious" resort guests, and threatened to arrest a Politico reporter found in the resort café.

They’ve also slapped a $100,000 lawsuit on some young environmentalists who pranked them. The brothers have been caught off-guard by their newfound notoriety. “They somehow thought that they could run tens of millions of dollars in ads, but fly under the radar screen,” says a source close to them. “So they’re scrambling now, because they weren’t nearly as prepared for the fallout as they should have been.”