The Obama campaign recently signaled that the First Family won't be vacationing on Martha's Vineyard this year, nor will the president be holding any glitzy fundraisers in the Hamptons. These seem like transparent efforts to prevent their campaign to be associated with the current scene in front of David Koch's Long Island estate, where Mitt Romney is stopping by as part of a three-event, $3 million fundraising effort. "Is there a V.I.P. entrance," the Times quotes one woman shouting to a Romney aide out of a black Range Rover. "We are V.I.P.”
According to David Segal, the spokesman for the Long Island Progressive Coalition, one of several organizations protesting the fundraisers, there are around 150 protesters along the road that acts as Koch's driveway. Meanwhile the Times gives us a taste of who's in the long line of luxury vehicles:
A few cars back, Ted Conklin, the owner of the American Hotel in Sag Habor, N.Y., long a favorite of the well-off and well-known in the Hamptons, could barely contain his displeasure with Mr. Obama. “He is a socialist. His idea is find a problem that doesn’t exist and get government to intervene,” Mr. Conklin said from inside a gold-colored Mercedes as his wife, Carol Simmons, nodded in agreement. Ms. Simmons paused to highlight what she said was her husband’s generous spirit: “Tell them who’s on your yacht this weekend! Tell him!”
Yes! Tell the reporters for this glossy society rag the "New York Times" who is staying on their yacht! Couldn't hurt the image of the guy they're donating $75K to, right?
Over Mr. Conklin’s objections, Ms. Simmons disclosed that a major executive from Miramax, the movie company, was on the 75-foot yacht, because, she said, there were no rooms left at the hotel.
Koch's estate isn't even the swankiest venue Romney will visit today. That distinction belongs to billionaire Ronald O. Perelman.
With 9 fireplaces, 40 rooms and an expansive wine cellar, his estate makes the Koch spread look modest by comparison. Sitting on 57 acres, it was built for the painter Albert Herter in 1899, and when it last went up for sale in 1991 (for $25 million), The New York Times described it as “the largest and most spectacular estate in the Village of East Hampton, with more than a mile of frontage on Georgica Pond and a view of the Atlantic Ocean beyond.” That article also said that an American Conifer Society Bulletin — for tree enthusiasts — had called its grounds “the eighth wonder of the horticultural world” and “the most outstanding private conifer collection in the United States, a living work of art.”
So when all the trees are clear-cut for the pipeline of Koch Industries moon-gas, we'll all get to pass through Perelman's conifer collection once to remember what green things looked like.