Capitol Alert

California U.S. Senate candidate wants to fistfight Koch brothers

Senate candidate confronts Koch brothers over climate change

Mike Beitiks wants to do something. Even, he says, if that something is stupid.
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Mike Beitiks wants to do something. Even, he says, if that something is stupid.

California’s first open U.S. Senate race in nearly a quarter-century hasn’t exactly been the barn burner some predicted when Barbara Boxer decided to step away.

There have been momentary bursts of awareness, centered primarily on the leading Democrats, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Rep. Loretta Sanchez of Orange. But who could hope to compete with the bonkers presidential contest, led by the showmanship and unorthodox political approach of Donald Trump?

Surely not Mike Beitiks, a little-known Senate candidate and environmental activist in San Francisco whose last stab at recognition involved praising Harris, Sanchez and Republican Duf Sundheim – all people he would rather not die because federal officials are failing to protect the planet from climate change.

This is strictly a gentleman’s challenge.

Mike Beitiks

This week, Beitiks, a 32-year-old attorney, surfer and father of two, upped the comedy quotient with a new video in which he “reluctantly” offers to fistfight billionaire industrialists David and Charles Koch, aged 75 and 80, who he says pay large sums of money to successfully thwart climate change legislation.

Beitiks has a few rules, the primary one being the Koch brothers are not allowed to pay someone else to fight him. They also must agree to the match.

“This is strictly a gentleman’s challenge,” he said. “A possible solution for this little ‘federal-legislators-are-doing-nothing-to-protect-my-children-from-climate-change-in-large-part-because-of-you-and-your-money’ kerfuffle that’s come up between us. Nothing more, nothing less.”

Beitiks doesn’t shy away from the fact that his long-shot (longer, really) campaign is designed to draw attention to fighting climate change.

“I have two young children who will grow up in the world I leave them,” he added. “I could no longer stand by and do nothing as our federal legislators stand by and do nothing. Someone, even me, has to do something in the face of a challenge that literally determines the future of human life on this planet. Even if that something is this stupid.”