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Koch Brothers: N. Y. fundraiser for Mitt Romney draws protestors

Mitt Romney raise $3 million Sunday at three events, including one at the Southampton home of David Koch, one of the billionaire Koch brothers, who have come to dominate conservative fundraising.

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Maria d. Maisonet, center, marches with protestors from MoveOn.org, the Occupy Movement, and the Long Island Progressive at a fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Sunday, July 8, 2012, near the Southampton estate of billionaire industrialist David Koch. Koch asked donors to give $50,000 per person or $75,000 per couple.

(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

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They never got close, and Mitt Romney may not have even seen them, but protesters — some from Occupy Wall Street — took political theater to a new level Sunday outside the beachfront estate of billionaire David Koch, where the Republican candidate was raising money.

Some of the 200 protesters marched down mile-long Coopers Beach toward the home in a cloud of sand, bearing banners and signs: “Your $50,000 ticket equals my child’s education,” “End corporate personhood” and “Don’t forget to tip the help.”

Kean University professor Stuart Leonard led an advance party to the beach in front of the Koch estate — only the rooftop and tip of a tent were visible from the sand — and the protesters posed with a flag in the style of the Marines at Iwo Jima.

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The figurative clash between rich and less-so came as Romney spent a highly profitable day in the Hamptons, divided into three fundraisers of the sort that has propelled a lucrative money-making operation for the unofficial presidential nominee. All three events, which raised an estimated $3 million, were closed to reporters.

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