Koch & Co. Tea Party Tour Truly “Running on Empty” in Billings Montana

by jhwygirl

Americans for Prosperity got some national attention on their “Drill Baby Drill” tour, but not exactly the kind that they probably wanted.

MSNBC has Billings NBC station KULR’s reportwith video – of Koch Industries-funded “Running on Empty” tour as it made its stop in Billings Montana championing maintaining tax subsidies and eliminating regulatory controls on big oil.

In watching the video what I wonder is how friggin’ selfish do you have to be to be protesting the price of a gallon of gasoline when the very places you are talking your tours to have homeless families and bankrupt food banks?

How ridiculous that that spectacle of a tour look in an economy like this? Really? The price of gasoline?

They found out. 50 supporters of big oil were overtaken by “hundreds” of anti-Koch Industries/Americans for Prosperity “Running on Empty” protesters.

I’m sure they think that’s unfair. No one stopped them from meeting, just as no one stopped those protesters. Simple numbers….but we all know how poorly the Tea Party is with numbers, don’t we?

American’s for Prosperity “Running on Empty” stops here in Missoula tomorrow – noon – at Bonner Park. Hopefully you are aware that Alice and her friend the Mad Hatter will be there – along with a band of friends. I hear it will be quite the show.

UPDATE: Apparently they got even less of a welcome in Helena today.

Honestly, I won’t be surprised if they just drive on by. Scott Sales and his buddies paid for by Koch Industries don’t have the guts to stand in here in Missoula after the welcome they received east of the divide.


  1. anyone hear what happened in bonner park today? i was too busy working.

  2. Ingemar Johansson

    You guys really scared of old number 87?

    • demagogue

      campaign contributions arent the problem, it’s funding superpacs to delude tv viewers that citizens united blew open.

      • Ingemar Johansson

        Soros spent $27M to defeat Bush in ’04.

        Betcha that bought a lot of TV.

        • demagogue

          if reagan and bush hadn’t gutted the tax structure, individuals wouldn’t have this kind of money to burn

        • JC

          Yeah, somebody had to counter Bob Perry, Jerome Corsi and all those Swift Boat ads.

          How much the Koch Bros been spending on politics this time around? Betcha it’ll far outweigh $27m.

    • Steve W

      We put on better theater than the Koch’s and their minions. As such, we won our local stage. The audience doesn’t really go for unauthentic lame ass performances and they didn’t have to settle.

      I didn’t see you there Inge.

  3. according to @anontana…anontana Anonymous Montana
    We sang as we walked around the sad group of tea partiers who showed up. At least twice as many counter-protesters as teabaggers..

    the running on empty tour ran out of gas again in missoula…. again- more than double the amount of counter protestors showed up to have a good time while a small band of diehards showed up to defend corporate welfare.

  4. How did the visit to Missoula turn out?

    • Steve W

      The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party was about 3 times bigger than the Koch’s Tea Party.

      A very good piece of humorous political theater was performed, and then about 100 folks walked over and circled around the Americans for Prosperity for the Super Wealthy people and we sang a funny song. Then we had a big laugh.

      • Pete Talbot

        I hoped to attend (as a counter protester, of course) but was called out of town. Didn’t see any media coverage, which disappoints. Any links to video or still photos … or anything? Thanks.

        • Steve W

          The video is as yet unedited but should be available next week.

        • Pronghorn

          Right…nothing on the news (watched the first 1/2 of KPAX last night), nothing in the Missoulian. Guess they were too busy reporting on a dog who can count. Maybe if the dog had been at the rally counting Koch Industries oil spills it would have gotten some coverage?

          • the death of the tea party is really not news anymore. their numbers have been dropping and the trend line of public opinion verifies that resentment toward corporate greed is growing.

            and those dim enough to support the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer are probably discovering that they are themselves getting poorer and not well served by koch brother/tea party goals.

        • Steve W

          Here Pete;

  5. Looks like the public is catching on to koch bros and their tea party sham.

    Only people showing up are the die-hards.

    Latest polls show 20 percent and slipping for tea party. Resentment is spreading. Looks like you are losing the blame game bs.

  6. by the way- i would like to say that karl tyler made the right decision in not politicizing their business by holding this sham event at their place of business.

    i am back on as a customer. and this is no idle talk. when i owned my own business, i bought my entire fleet of company vehicles from them. they treated me right.

    i plan on buying a silverado from them soon. thanks karl.

    more businesses should return to the old adage:

    don’t mix business with politics or religion. alienating customers is just not smart.

  7. Ummm – I don’t know how to break it to you, but the election is over 14 months away – and the tea-partiers are not going in full-force yet by design.

    Even while idling though there is a lot more enthusiasm from them than from former Obama supporters.

  8. Keep whistling through the graveyard problembear –

  9. New generation coming eric- better pick out a plot for the tea party. Koch bros Lies don’t cut it anymore.

    Read the latest cnn poll I linked to.

    63 percent want the rich to pay more taxes. Voters have figured out that rich don’t create jobs in america. The rich move our jobs overseas.

    Tea party’s just a sham for corporate interests.

  10. this should give some good examples of people waking up in america to the lies of the tea party……


  11. the tea party lies about jobs in this country are being exposed….


    just how long did the corporate masters pulling the puppet strings of the tea party think they were going to be able to hide this from the american people?

    the backlash from this is going to bury the tea party. tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations go into the pockets of the wealthy and expand jobs overseas. they do nothing to create jobs in the US.

  12. Pogo Possum

    I watched the Billings video. Keep up the good work and continue the anti oil protests in eastern Montana. I hope you have more of them.

    Tester and Bullock need to do well in Billings if they want to have a chance of winning in 2012. These anti oil protests are the best way to ensure that won’t happen.

    • Pete Talbot

      You’re saying that kowtowing to big oil and the Koch boys is a vote getter in Eastern Montana? Not sure I agree with you, Pogo.

      • People in eastern Montana aren’t fools Pete. They know that “not kowtowing to big oil” is code for stopping oil and coal development. Oil and coal mean jobs in Yellowstone County and in much of eastern Montana.

        Walk into any working class bar in eastern Montana and announce it is time to stop “big oil” and see what reaction you get. Remember to duck.

        • Ingemar Johansson

          Pogo, you had them hooked and then you let’em off.

          Which means I’ll have to put on my liberal ponytail ball cap and my print up some “evil oil companies signs”.

  13. Make certain to carry a Bullock for Governor sign with that ponytail cap.

    Which reminds me, if the left has decided stomping out “big oil” is the best campaign stragegy to win in 2012, why aren’t the counter demonstrators carrying some Bullock signs? In fact, why isn’t Bullock leading the group?

    We know Bullock voted for Otter Creek Coal at the same time he voted against it, so I am wondering where he stands on allowing the Big Haul loads to retrofit the Billings oil refineries, fracking, the oil well permitting process, fracking and “big oil”.

    • the far left wants to shut er down. the far right wants taxpayers to subsidize oil companies.

      most of us just want oil companies to get off the dole and support themselves. take their own risks and reap their own profits and pay their fair share of taxes….and of course, we want the oil companies to comply with basic safety and health standards that protect our workers and our water. nobody wants the yellowstone fouled up again.

      the screaming from the tea partiers and the far left don’t really interest the majority of montanans. most politicians (except rehberg – who signed the pledge to be a part of the far right tea pary) understand this.

      • It’s good to hear you aren’t one of those far left crazy liberals PBear. I guess that means you support allowing the big haul shipments of oversized coke drums from Japan through Idaho and Montana to the Billings oil refineries, speeding up Montana’s oil well permitting process, decreased taxes on oil rig equipment, building more oil pipelines and fracking.

        • most reasonable people want big oil to build the stuff they need here in the states – not korea, providing jobs for american workers and profit for american manufacturers. most people also agree that it is stupid to haul their stuff on two lane highways. they should build their equipment so it can be hauled on interstate freeways safely. most people also want better regulation and compliance of the oil companies. speed is not as important as safety and good common sense which prevents things like pipelines bursting.

          as far as taxes go, oil companies should pay their fair share. they are certainly not doing so now. most people understand that taxes on corporations are already low enough- especially the oil companies who gouge us at the pump and then bribe politicians to get special favors.

          there is enough concern regarding ground water contamination associated with fracking to warrant a very close look by the epa and the state deq before licensing should occur.

          • Uhhhhh…….You may have a little more in common with those “far left” “shut er down” liberals than you think PBear, at least in the eyes of a lot of eastern Montana voters who’s livelihoods depend on oil development.

            But hey, what do I know. Go for it……and remember to carry a Bullock for Governor sign with you for the cameras the next time you go protesting “big oil” or those big coke drums moving through Montana to the Billings refineries.

            • reasonable people can differ pogo. the problem is the far right tea party is anything but reasonable when it comes to shilling for big corporations.

              the question is; are you in favor of korean manufacturing companies?

              risking our groundwater with little or no supervision by those responsible for protecting it ?

              decreasing taxes on big oil?

              your turn to answer some questions now.

            • Steve W

              Please get your facts straight Pogo before you stumble over the truth and do a face plant.

              The giant over sized highway closing rigs and coke drums from Korea are going to Canada, NOT to Billings.

              It’s just like the Repos to ship our jobs out of country, charge us for it and then expect us to be grateful.

              No way, Jose.

                Simmer down guys. You should really check to see what your are protesting when you are out late at night.

                The Korean loads are going to Canada. The much needed Japanese manufactured coke drums went to Billings for the Conoco-Philips refinery to help support the 400 plus jobs there. That refinery supplies 25% of Montana’s motor fuel needs.

                http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/article_4ce002a8-bdd3-11e0-bd61-001cc4c002e0 .html

                “BILLINGS – Two halves of one ConocoPhillips coke drum are sitting atop the Rimrocks waiting for an overnight move to the downtown refinery.
                It’s the second 300-ton megaload to make its way along the 5,200-mile journey to Billings.
                The drums, built in Japan, are shipped across the ocean, up 300 miles of river to Lewiston, Idaho, and trucked 700 miles to Billings.
                The drums arrived early Wednesday and are perched on the Rimrocks near the Billings airport.
                The load will move to the ConocoPhillips refinery, 401 S. 23rd St., at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.”

                Do I prefer the Billing’s plant uses US made products. You bet I do. But I bet the 400 plus refinery workers in Billings are not willing to shut down the plant and lose their jobs because they are using non US parts. You fellows on the other hand apparently are willing to “shut er down” to get your way.

                With regards to Kearl Oil Sands Project in Canada, the prefabricated modules manufactured by Sun-Jin in Korea are only 20% of the whole Kearl oilsands project. The other 80% is manufactured in Canada.


                “These prefabricated modules represent slightly less than 20 per cent of the off site pre-assembly,” said Rolheiser.
                “The modules will be manufactured in one location, transported and assembled at the Kearl oilsands project. The rest will be manufactured in Canada, primarily in Edmonton.”


                “Almost all the modules that can be fabricated in Canada are fabricated here,” notes Cocquyt. “There are vessels and other complex pieces that are often ordered months in advance that would come from Asia, even from the United States, and these would be things that the producers couldn’t source in Canada.”
                That was the case when Imperial Oil turned to Korean manufacturer Sung-Jin for some of its Kearl modules.
                Cocquyt points out that when Imperial made its decision, it was done at a time when the local capacity was fully engaged.
                “I know we talked with Imperial several years ago; we were at maximum capacity working on Suncor’s Firebag 3. We were working on Shell Albian. We were working on StatoilHydro at the same time, and we had no capacity left over.”
                Imperial Oil spokesman Pius Rolheiser says that the majority of the company’s modular fabrication is done in Alberta, while 20 per cent for Kearl is being manufactured by Sung-Jin.”

              • If the issue really is about US made products versus Korean products, then here is a curve ball for you. The wind tower sections for the Judith Gap wind farm are manufactured in China and Korea. And, get this, each section weighs between 42 and 59 tons each and are shipped from Longview Washington to Montana. Sounds like a “Big Haul” to me. Where were the protestors.

                Click to access ATS%20-%20Longview.pdf

                “Longview, Washington – The third vessel loaded with GE Energy wind tower sections for a
                Montana power project was successfully discharged at the Port of Longview in early August.
                The entire shipment consists of 180 tower sections manufactured in China and Korea and
                shipped to the Port by Oldendorff Carriers. From Longview the tower sections are being
                transported by specialized trailers to Montana’s largest wind farm in Judith Gap. The shipment
                handled by the Port represents 60 of the 90 towers in the wind farm.
                This is the fourth vessel discharge of GE Energy wind cargo handled by the Port in 2005. Last
                May an Oldendorff Carrier vessel discharged 60 wind tower sections from Korea for GE Energy
                that went to the Klondike Project-Phase II. Prior to 2005, the Port handled just over 350 tower
                sections, 60 blades, 20 hubs, 20 nacelles and numerous crates of associated assembly parts for
                The Judith Gap tower sections weigh between 42 and 59 tons each. Three wind tower sections
                form the base of a 260-foot tall wind turbine, which is capped with rotors that sweep up to 387
                feet into the air. The Longview shipment makes up approximately two-thirds of the towers in the
                Judith Gap Wind Farm.”

                Now what was that line about “…shipping our jobs out of country, charging us for it and then expecting us to be grateful.” Or doesn’t that apply to “green energy”?

  14. Ingemar Johansson

    Tarry, tarry sands
    Keep your oil far away
    Send it over to Cathay
    For guys to befoul and spoil that shit hole.
    Pipelines in the hills,.
    Crush the trees and the daffodils,
    Pumps so loud with sound that kills
    Wildlife in the snowy northern lands.

    Now we don’t understand what makes an economy,
    So you’ll suffer for our purity,
    Can’t afford to have you free.
    We will not listen, we do not know how.
    Perhaps we’ll have a cow.*

    *Apologies to Don MacLean

  15. Escapee

    The same amount of attention given Greens in 2000 would have landed them some electoral success as the Tea Party got. TP is not an accident nor a natural phenomenon. It is a PR campaign that originated and was advanced by that industry and financed by the right wing. There’s plenty of money to keep them going and they are useful, and they are shifting the entire spectrum even further to the right. It allows Obama and the Dems to move right as well, and that they are doing so with great gusto.

  16. mr benson

    Speaking of protesters, I’m still looking for all the anti war protesters of the Bush era. We’re still in Afghanistan, Iraq, and we’re bombing Libya.

    Where is the Obama-era Missoula city council resolution calling for immediate withdrawal from those countries?

    Great job calling the question Pogo. Is it road wear, or dirty mining, or domestic jobs? Because jobs in Eastern Montana depended on the machinery. And it seems to me, and most of the state, that Missoula demands the oil money for its schools, but wants adopt an air of superiority when protesting the machinery needed to produce it.

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