Image: David and Julia Koch looking down on rally at Rancho Mirage.

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Politico is reporting today that fossil fuel barons and global warming denial ringleaders Charles and David Koch have retained an army of public relations spindoctors to shine up their reputation.

As Sarah Palin would say, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. No amount of PR will address the critiques of the Koch brothers unless they address the issues. 

For many months now the Koch Bros have been the subject of great scrutiny for pumping millions of dollars into efforts to delay action on global warming, boost the Tea Party and fight regulations meant to protect our health and environment.

Our report last year Koch Industries, Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine documented the millions of dollars the Koch Brothers spends on lobbying, campaign contributions, and funding to front groups and think tanks that spread inaccurate and misleading information about climate science and clean energy policies, and new tax records we obtained show that Koch foundations have given a total of $54.9 million to climate denial organizations since 1997, including $31.3 million in recent years of 2005 – 2009.

Last week we released more research finding that the Koch's have contributed a whopping $61 million to political campaigns since 1990, as Ed Pilkington from the UK's Gaurdian newspaper rightly observed, "that makes them a major, though unofficial, bloc within American politics."

On the weekend, thousands of everyday people showed up at a Koch-organized event in Palm Springs to voice their concerns about these types of activities. They are concerned that our democracy is being overwhelmed by the voices of a few people who have a long and proven history of putting profit ahead of people and dollar signs ahead signs of impending environmental catastrophe.

No amount of public relations and spindoctoring is going to polish Charles and David Koch's rightly deserved reputation. The only way the Koch's can deal with this in the long term is sit down, listen to their reasonable critics, and fundamentally change the way they operate.

Image courtesy of Brooke Erdmann at Common Cause via Twitter.