Mayor Sanders Presented Special “Golden Pluto” Award by Koch Brothers for His Handling of Occupy Demonstrators

by on November 23, 2011 · 36 comments

in Popular, San Diego, Satire

The "Golden Pluto" award, annually presented by the Koch brothers.

PALM DESERT, CA.  At a special banquet last night held at Rancho Las Palmas – one of Southern California’s most exclusive resorts –  San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders was presented with one of the most coveted awards given out annually by the famous, billionaire Koch brothers.

Mayor Sanders was handed the “Golden Pluto” award by David Koch himself during the lavish banquet feast, which was attended by many big-city mayors, conservative politicians, pundits, and select press from all over the South West.

Sanders earned the sparkling “Golden Pluto” for the manner in which his office handled San Diego’s version of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators. Early in their occupation of Civic Center Plaza in downtown San Diego, the demonstrators had their tents removed and were ordered upon threat of arrest to get rid of all sleeping bags and personal property.

The way Mayor Sanders handled the protests became a model for other big-city mayors around the country.  During a recent 18-mayor conference call in which the municipal executives discussed how to deal with the proliferating Occupy encampments, Sanders made his pitch on how to remove the “tent cities”.  Sanders was praised by mayors from Oakland to Seattle, and from Denver to New York City.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders thanking his police chief for the way the department handled the Occupy Wall Street protesters.

As he awarded the “Golden Pluto” to Mayor Sanders, David Koch had this to say:

“Folks, Jerry has shown us the way.  The way that Mayor Sanders used his police force in dismantling the tent city that had popped up right beneath his window at City Hall was a model for all of us. We are so proud of Jerry Sanders. As a former police chief himself, he knew how to deal with these unruly, dirty hippie demonstrators.

“And he was able to do it all the while respecting their First Amendment rights to demonstrate.

“Jerry first removed all the tents, then he had his guys remove all the sleeping bags and made it an arrestable offense to even put anything down on the ground over there at the City Hall plaza.  This was great.  It became the model for [Mayor] Bloomberg himself in cleaning up Zuccotti Park.”

After the spirited applause died down, Sanders took the microphone and praised his staff for resisting efforts by the demonstrators to negotiate with his office.  He also had many good things to say about his police force, commandeered by Chief William Lansdowne, who was present in the audience.  At one point, Chief Lansdowne rose and made a slight bow to the audience to more applause.

Mayor Sanders said:

“We continue to monitor these demonstrators … who I am proud to say … are experiencing ever dwindling numbers.  We have successfully contained them, and by early December, I’m sure they’ll be gone. They’ll be history!” he declared to rising applause.

Mayor Sanders was all smiles as he strode from the podium to shake hands with his police chief.

David Koch at the banquet at Rancho Las Palmas.

The annual “Golden Pluto” award is handed out by the Koch brothers to demonstrate their appreciation for grand strides and  innovation on the municipal level in resolving problems created by the rise in income inequalities and other disparities created by the economic recession.

The “Golden Pluto” – “pluto” is short for plutocracy – remains one of the most coveted awards on the tea party circuit, as well as in the halls of many conservative city politician around the South West.


{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Patty Jones November 23, 2011 at 9:48 am

Oh, the joy of photoshop! The Golden Pluto Award began its digital life as a chocolate confection that I made a few adjustments to.


mike November 23, 2011 at 9:49 am

Is this real? Are all these quotes honest and what is the source? Links please? I am a former intern for Mayor Sanders and have been occupying SD as time allows for the past two months. I would like to write Sander an open letter (much like the Professor at UC Davis).


Frank Gormlie November 23, 2011 at 9:51 am

Please see tag that says “satire” at top of article.


Juan Soto November 23, 2011 at 9:53 am

Thank you, Mike… Is This Real… No other news sources reporting this story as of yet.


mike November 23, 2011 at 10:03 am

I got excited…whoops-se-daisy


Terrie Best November 23, 2011 at 9:53 am

You crazy hippies. :) Love you guys and gals.


doug porter November 23, 2011 at 10:08 am

Mayor’s Press Person Upset at OBRag…. from Twitter…. Rachel Laing:
Awesome, now @obrag has joined the @sdreader in publishing outrageous fake news people think is real.

Frank, do we have any 144 Point Type to paste “satire” on stories for slow witted people? I guess putting the word “satire” there with the byline isn’t good enough.


Patty Jones November 23, 2011 at 10:12 am

With some stories you have to wait for the punchline to know it’s a joke, we try to give them a hint right at the beginning!


mike November 23, 2011 at 10:31 am

The problem is, this article is not far fetched. I agree with Rachel – you could have been clearer this is Satire. A greyed out “Satire” on a byline?- come on! This is not funny as the article almost started a fairly swift coordination of action (peaceful, but powerful). Although, that is exactly what is needed.


Rachel Laing November 23, 2011 at 10:50 am

Doug, some of the people you’re referring to as “slow-witted” are big supporters of O.B. Rag and the Occupy movement, including Seth Hall (@loteck) and Murtaza Baxamusa (@Baxamusa). These guys are smart and don’t deserve to be mocked. It’s just not apparent that it’s a parody.


Frank Gormlie November 23, 2011 at 11:00 am

Doug, (I’m just addressing you b/c you got it) if anyone who read the entire article, even where it is explained in the last paragraph that the “Golden Pluto” award is short for “plutocracy”, who still thought it was real – needs to sit down, take a deep breath and think about what is going on, and why they thought it was an actual post, and what that means for Jerry Sanders.


JMW November 23, 2011 at 9:44 pm

You had me going until I’d read the entire article. Well done. I was thinking, “Oh Christ! Governor Sanders!?”


mr.rick November 23, 2011 at 10:16 am

The Koch Bros. seem to think they have the system wired to their own advantage. All we can perceive of their machinations is what’s on the surface. And their antics are really quite disturbing. Just imagine Herman Cain being a viable candidate for the Presidency? If people with this much money can come this close to taking over our country with their own “Manchurian” type of candidate, it won’t be long until they are successful. It might have already been done on a lower level. Mayor or Governor perhaps. We need to at least be aware of this type of crap so we don’t get blindsided in the future. This fight isn’t going to be easy, but we’ve got it to do. If the wrong side wins we will all be sentenced to lives of servitude and repression. Win and we can call our own shots for our own “Glorious Future”. This isn’t a battle that one fights alone,either. We have to be united for strength and intelligence.


Marisa November 23, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I’ve been waiting 32 years for the “tipping point”. I hope to all that’s good, it’s finally here, because, yes, this article may be satire, but I’m afraid it’s all too close to the truth of what goes on behind closed doors.


Rachel Laing November 23, 2011 at 10:28 am

Hi Frank, I enjoy reading the OB Rag and your voice in our community. I realize you are trying to voice your displeasure with SDPD’s handling of Occupy San Diego through satire, but I hope you’ll note how many people are questioning whether this is actually real — even promoting to others as real news — and that you’ll consider labeling it as satire more prominently. Mayor Sanders is not involved with the Kochs, he would never utter the quote you made up, and it’s irresponsible to let people think otherwise. I respect your opinion about the city’s handling, but it’s irresponsible to present that opinion as real news. The tiny “San Diego Satire” category is clearly not cutting it.


Anna Daniels November 23, 2011 at 10:46 am

Mayor Sanders needs to be reminded that the Constitution is not satire, and should not be treated like a joke.


Frank Gormlie November 23, 2011 at 10:48 am

Rachel – thanks so much for visiting us. I think that the fact that some people take this story seriously is a strong indicator of how Mayor Sanders is perceived as being on the cutting edge of dealing with those demonstrators who occupy our mind.


Rachel Laing November 23, 2011 at 10:57 am

So that’s it? If people think it COULD be true — if it feeds their false perception of someone — then it’s OK to put out false information about them? If I posted on the mayor’s site that Occupy San Diego participants were openly dealing pot to children with a TINY disclaimer, you’d be up in arms. But lots of conservatives would believe it! And hey, it’s a strong indicator of how you’re being perceived as miscreants by the far right, so it’d be OK.


Frank Gormlie November 23, 2011 at 11:01 am

Lots of conservatives believed those “true” stories about how the Occupy demonstrators pissed and shat on the coffee cart and the hot dog cart, so we obviously don’t need satire to be clear when there are false stories already out there disparaging the movement.


doug porter November 23, 2011 at 11:12 am

and if the Mayor’s Press person posted on twitter that she was unhappy about none of fellow her office workers bringing pre-Thanksgiving treats, i guess then they should be fearing for their jobs.

i’m really sorry that you didn’t get it. but it’s NOT the end of world. relax.


Rachel Laing November 23, 2011 at 11:14 am

Like you said, Frank, you have to wonder why people would believe something about the Occupiers; it must have had the ring of truth, under your logic. They believed it because they have their ideas about who you are, no matter how exaggerated or silly. I’ve said my piece. I think you’re being unfair and dishonest. But it’s your paper, and it’s your credibility — oh, and that of your loyal readers, who might feel foolish for passing this along as real news.


mike November 23, 2011 at 11:19 am

I don’t feel foolish at all. The article did have a loud ring of truth. How unfortunate. Believing it had nothing to do with Frank nor the OBRag; rather the Mayor’s current political agenda that has wrongfully and illegally unfolded on OSD.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!


Frank Gormlie November 23, 2011 at 11:05 am

Oh, a small point but an important one: this article was actually voicing displeasure with how MAYOR SANDERS is handling the Occupy San Diego. He is the boss man, the main guy, the go-to male, the top enchilada, the top banana, and he sits where “the buck stops”….


Marisa November 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm

You’ve obviously never read the Onion.


Bruce Coons November 23, 2011 at 2:26 pm


It is irresponsible and slow-witted to spend $57,000.00 a day for the police to watch Occupy San Diego. Please! I mean really.


David B. November 24, 2011 at 7:09 pm

I thought right away it was obviously satire. I mean, LOOK at the “award” that was given.


mr.rick November 23, 2011 at 10:28 am

Satire or not, the Koch Bros. are dangerous to a free, open and progressive society


Frank Gormlie November 23, 2011 at 11:43 am

Hmmm, I must be getting hungry, for every time I look at the “Golden Pluto” statute I feel like biting its head off and chewing down that yummy chocolate. Talk about ‘off with his head!’


Marisa November 23, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Lol, I’m listening to A Tale of Two Cities on audiobooks at the moment during my daily commute. Talk about off with their heads!


mr fresh November 23, 2011 at 11:45 am

let’s look at the bright side of things here.
never has an article about the dealings of Koch brothers in the OBRag gained so much attention. i certainly hope that the readers here “get it” that the Kochs are bad people and that a lot us wonder what it will take for the remaining Republicans who don’t identify with their extremist anti-democratic policies to actually come out and say something. The silence of Mayor Sanders and others speaks volumes and is the “edge” that gives this satire its bite.


Louisa Golden November 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Got it. Loved it. Thanks.


Jeff in North Park November 24, 2011 at 7:23 am

@Mike- you are right, it’s not that far fetched. I totally fell for it!


Gary Ghirardi November 26, 2011 at 8:03 am

Sadly, Americans this week have come one step closer to being true brothers and sisters of the protesters in Tahrir Square. Like them, our own national leaders, who likely see their own personal wealth under threat from transparency and reform, are now making war upon us. – Naomi Wolf – The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy – Guardian – No Joke


Louisa Golden November 26, 2011 at 8:36 am

I think this article from the Guardian is going viral. It’s very well written and persuasive. Thanks for brining it here, Gary.



Gary Ghirardi November 26, 2011 at 9:08 am

The Cris Hedges article is much better, Louisa…lending hope to staying the course…. slow and steady, then passing the baton…..Zero Point of Systemic Collapse


OB law(yer) November 30, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Great satire Frank. Loved it. Keep fighting the fight man.


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