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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 01:23 PM

Koch Brothers' Attempted Takeover Of Cato Could Be Part Of Bold Plan

WASHINGTON -- Anyone wondering why the ultra-conservative billionaire industrialist Koch brothers are trying to seize control of the libertarian Cato Institute might want to look toward Wisconsin.

The Cato Institute is a Washington think tank with a long history of rigorous scholarship in the name of championing individual liberty. It's known for taking positions outside the conservative mainstream on issues like civil liberties, the war on drugs and U.S. militarism, regardless of the political consequences.

Charles and David Koch, by contrast, are all about winning. Their massive underwriting of bellicose Tea Party groups and super PACs appears to have three main goals: ousting President Barack Obama, busting unions, and reducing the tax and regulatory burden on companies like their own.

In Wisconsin, the two brothers have a 501(c)(3) educational organization that, just like Cato, is allowed to accept tax-deductible contributions. And just like Cato, itís only allowed to do so on condition that it not intervene in political campaigns.

Rather than nurture libertarian eggheads, however, the Kochs' group -- the Americans for Prosperity Foundation -- just spent $700,000 in March alone on ads quite clearly intended to help union-busting Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker survive a recall.

This political weaponizing of a charity is yet one more way that the owners of Koch Industries, one of the largest privately held companies in the world, are rewriting the rules of right-wing philanthropy in the post-Citizens United universe.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/koch-brothers-cato-institute-takeover-irs_n_1368045.html

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Reply Koch Brothers' Attempted Takeover Of Cato Could Be Part Of Bold Plan (Original post)
a kennedy Mar 2012 OP
Initech Mar 2012 #1
gratuitous Mar 2012 #2
drm604 Mar 2012 #3
a kennedy Mar 2012 #4

Response to a kennedy (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:01 PM

1. The Koch Brothers - the most dangerous Americans alive.

Arrest them and try them for treason along with the rest of the tea party terrorists - they've done far greater damage to this country in two years than Al Qaeda could ever dream of. They're the real criminals in this country as far as I'm concerned.

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Response to a kennedy (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:04 PM

2. Wow, "Cato Institute" and "rigorous scholarship" in the same sentence

Comedy gold! Robber barons waging war on nincompoops. Is it okay if I don't choose a side?

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Response to gratuitous (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:41 PM

3. Seriously.

They're referring to the Cato Institute as a charity? I'm supposed to root for them?

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Response to a kennedy (Original post)

Sat Mar 24, 2012, 09:01 AM

4. "Billionaire Oil Guys" Lose Bid to Takeover Cato institute

It looks like the Koch Brothersí efforts to take over the libertarian think-tank the Cato Institute and oust long-time president Ed Crane has been thwarted. According to David Weigel, who is close to these folks, Crane called a meeting of the Cato board and used an obscure bylaw to expand it and then pack it with loyalists.

In a subsequent interview, Crane told Weigel this:

I want to save Cato. Iíll step down if it ends this thing. It canít be a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries. Who the hell is going to take a think tank seriously thatís controlled by billionaire oil guys? Itís just nuts!
I feel the same way about Americans for Prosperity. Why, if you have a grassroots group, activist group ó and Iím a free market guy, Iím for AFP ó but why do you make an oil billionaire the chairman?
I guess if you are the Koch Brothers, you do these things because you can. But maybe not this time.

http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/866358/%22billionaire_oil_guys%22_lose_bid_to_takeover_cato_institute/

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