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Friday, October 31, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 33.0° F  Partly Cloudy and Breezy
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Citizen Koch provides perspective on the 2011 Capitol protests and money's role in politics
Wealth as weapon
A clear recounting of the right's far-reaching attack.
A clear recounting of the right's far-reaching attack.

The documentary Citizen Koch attempts to elucidate the relationships among the Citizens United ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, the influence of billionaire businessmen Charles and David Koch, the tea party and the epic protests that took place in Madison in February and March of 2011, after Gov. Scott Walker introduced the "budget repair bill" that stripped public employee unions of much of their power.

If you were in Madison and paying attention at the time, not much in Citizen Koch will be a surprise, but it is a clear recounting of the right's far-reaching attack. It also provides perspective even to those who were on the front lines.

Filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal (Trouble in the Water) wondered at times if they had two films. Although Buddy Roemer's bid for the Republican nomination for president may seem a long way from the Capitol Square, both his story and the tales of three "Joe Republican" voters from Wisconsin who feel betrayed by their party illustrate money's effect on politics.

As Roemer says, "money is a weapon." A gun can be as effective a weapon when it's brandished as when it's shot, he notes. Though we don't get to see that much of the titular funders, the effects of their weapon-brandishing are ever-present.

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