A David vs. Goliath story is unfolding in Wichita, Kansas. Joel Francis, a college student and Marine Corps veteran is going face-to-face with one of the richest men in America, Charles Koch. Koch Industries is using their deep coffers to influence elections around the country: giving millions to Senate candidates who deny climate change, fueling the Tea Party, and funding Proposition 23, a ballot measure to overturn California's climate and energy policy.
Proposition 23 is what brought Joel into this story. He recorded a video challenging Charles Koch to debate Proposition 23 because he's excited about green job employment opportunities in California, and he sees Big Oil's attempt to push through Prop 23 as an attempt to hold the state back.
Joel might be David in this story, but he's got a plan and back-up. He's using his wit and courage to speak to the heart of what people around the country are feeling: we can't let corporate influence dictate our politics any longer, we have to stand up. And he's inspiring people to join him. In the last 24 hours we've asked people to sign their name to "Stand with Joel" and nearly 2000 people have joined. And they're not just signing a petition, their organizing their own events and actions to challenge dirty money and turn out the youth vote for clean energy.
Across California dozens of campuses have joined Power Vote California to "No on Prop 23." And from Missouri to Florida, young people are calling out dirty money in politics and building the power to overthrow these corporate interests.
With Citizens United and this wave of corporate cash, we've got a lot of work in front of us. But Joel has shown us how it's done: speak the truth, call it out, and get a wave of people behind you." I hope you'll stand with him today as he arrived at Koch Industry headquarters in Wichita.
Follow Courtney Hight on Twitter: www.twitter.com/c_hight