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Cato Institute is a glorified PR firm for Koch Industries.

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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 02:08 PM
Original message
Cato Institute is a glorified PR firm for Koch Industries.
Pristine libertarians turn out to be filthy corporate whores!


http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/200207/thinktank.asp


Rethinking the Think Tanks

How industry-funded "experts" twist the environmental debate.

By Curtis Moore

"You know us better than you think," boast the ads of Koch Industries, a conglomerate owned by reclusive billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. And its true: Most of us have unknowingly wolfed a burger ground from Koch beef, ridden on tires made from Kochs Trevira polyester, or escaped the rain beneath a roof covered with Koch asphalt.

But theres a darker side to the boast. Turn on National Public Radio most any afternoon, leaf through a newspaper or news magazine, watch a congressional hearing, or surf the Internet, and you will likely encounter the thoughts of Charles and David Koch (pronounced "coke"). The views will seem to be coming from an independent think tankthe Cato Institute or Citizens for a Sound Economy, for example. Yet behind these groups stands the brothers vast fortune: Koch Industries is the nations second-largest privately owned company and the largest privately owned oil company, with annual revenues of more than $30 billion. Charles cofounded Cato in 1977; in 1986 David helped launch CSE. The brothers are following in dads footsteps: Fred Koch was a charter member of the ultraconservative John Birch Society in 1958.

Today, Koch moneyand cash infusions from corporate allies such as Exxon, Philip Morris, General Motors, and General Electricfunds industry-friendly messages that fill our airwaves and editorial pages, and influence outcomes in the halls of Congress and courtrooms across the country.

...

These opinions were echoed on MSNBC, C-SPAN, PBSs NewsHour With Jim Lehrer, and elsewhere by representatives from the libertarian Cato Institute. Cato "experts" are working hard to pound home a variety of anti-environmental points. They have argued that the global ban on chlorofluoro-carbonsthe chemicals that destroy stratospheric ozoneis a case of science being "distorted, even subverted." Theyve suggested that concerns over lead paint, asbestos, radon, and similar in-home poisons amount to "hysteria." And theyve maintained that federally funded research at Harvard and other universitiesused, for example, in the regulation of air pollution"has frequently been tainted by poor methodology . . . and even borderline cases of fraud."

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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. Pretty, pretty whores
Gosh, what do you suppose all that make-up, mascara and lipstick is covering up?
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. This is one reason why I feared any success by Dean in the primaries.
Knowing he sold Vermont Yankee to the Koch Brothers, I just knew the Koch's would have SOME concocted (or planted) questionable document that would be utilized to smear Dean and the Dem party. His former coziness with CATO would have supplied them with enough fodder to ensure Bush's stranglehold on WH.

That is what the Koch Brothers specialize in. They even pretended to be McCain supporters for a few years until he was running against W and so they funded that so-called envirogroup and ran a MILLION dollars worth of ads against McCain.

Koch's try to trap pols YEARS ahead. That was Atwater's specialty and legacy to the GOP.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I don't see how you make that leap
from Dean's alleged "coziness with Cato" to Bush's WH stranglehold. But I wasn't paying attention to this sale last year, and I was unaware of Cato's deep background until reading "What's the Matter with Kansas?" just a day or two ago. The Kochs sound like total sleazebags!
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Dean sold Vermont Yankee to Koch Bros.
CATO Institute had Dean speak there in 1997 and they proclaimed afterwards he was a Dem they could work with because of his probusiness attitude that came most often at the expense of some environmental regulation. That's why he had such a thorny relationship with the left in Vermont, especially the environmentalists.

Surely you couldn't have missed all this info during the primaries, Burt.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. I knew about the "Dem we could work with" bit.
I knew Dean's environmental record was less than pristine because of this. I was not tuned into the fine points of the Koch-Cato alliance. Just as many Kerry people forgave him his IWR, Patriot Act and Leave No Child Behind votes for whatever positives they believed he had, I forgave Dean his sins as governor of Vermont for his critique of politics as usual.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Well, I think his
hook about "politics as usual" rang a bit hollow considering his record of being probusiness, antienvironment, and appointment of conservative judges. I believe in a person's actions WHILE they are in power over the words they use trying to gain power.

However, I do believe that the devotion of Dean's supporters changed him immensely in this regard and he is not the same person today he was as governor or the cynical pol crafting a message for the lefty primary voters. I think he now intends to use that devotion for future good.

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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Dean's campaign was all about action.
I think that's become obvious to most people now.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Not when he first started campaigning.
He was promoting his centrism and supporting Bush publicly as commander-in-chief well into 2002. He didn't ramp up until late 2002/early 2003.

I recall well how he was campaigning in SC back in March 2002 when his plan was to capture the middle. The growing protests to Iraq war had Dean adjusting his stand on other issues like free trade to further his appeal to the antiwar left.

He grew into a voice for the left. He certainly didn't start that way based on his own longheld positions like Kucinich.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. No, he clearly evolved to fill a vacuum in the party.
And thank the stars someone did! ;)
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. It's unfortunate that it wasn't filled by someone who had a more rounded
game.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. What's done is done. I'd think even Edwards supporters would agree
Edited on Tue Jul-27-04 05:55 PM by BurtWorm
that they're glad someone among the candidates put words on their own feelings about the Bush boy, that someone among the candidates made it safe and respectable to laugh out loud at the Bushist idiots.

PS: How did this thread get turned into a Dean-bashing thread. Funny timing to bash Dean, too. :wtf:
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. I think it's really really important not to let emotion cloud politics and
judgment.

In my opinion, what has always been at the core of what Bush is doing is the idea that he's intentionally transferring power up to the top. When you talk about only the war, and not about the tax code, and jobs, and corporate welfare, and trade, and destroying the social safety net, you lose sight of the bigger picture.

When you watch this convention, you see that all these speakers see the big picture. They're ALL talking about the direction power flows, and the message, I believe, is getting across.

A day or two ago DU'ers were talking about how the Dems should be attacking Bush. I don't discount the value of that at the time Dean was doing it in the primaries, but I think it's very important to realize that Dean didn't have the big picture down. For example, when he talked about taxes and race, I wanted to bang my head against the wall because the way he talked about it suggested to me that he didn't see how racism plays into which direction power flows in America.

I also think that if you feel like I do -- that there is a huge transfer of power going on in America in the wrong direction and that it needs to be reversed -- you actually got quite energized by John Edwards, and slightly confused by Howard Dean.

Now's a good time to talk about it, since Dean's speaking today, and speaking within a context -- a convention that is focussing on framing the election as a battle over which direction economic, cultural and political power should flow -- that isn't quite what Dean was arguing.

I wouldn't be talking about it if blm didn't bring it up first. I'm all for unity. But since blm did bring it up, I think it's important to talk about this in the context -- as I've already said -- that Dean had one small part of the chat right, but there was a much bigger picture that this convention is drawing that is way more important to present to the voters. That bigger picture is about the direction power is flowing, and how jobs, wages, taxes, race, gender, etc. or all hugely integral in that dynamic.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. Dean was pretty suspect on the tax code before and during the campaign
and that happens to be the Cato's favorite issues.

I think Dean was seriously Libertarian, but nobody wanted to admit it because they just wanted to focus on him criticizing Bush.

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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
4. So it's not a coincidence that their political philosophy is basically an
argument about how big corporations should be able to get bigger and then dominate the world?
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69KV Donating Member (444 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. A little history
The Koch family were the ones who provided most of the seed money to get all the libertarian think tanks off the ground, especially Cato. They were also big funders of the Libertarian Party and related organizations during the 1970s.

There was some kind of split in that party around 1983 with the libertarian true believers on one side, and the Koch forces on the other. The Kochs wanted the Libertarian Party to drop its left-wing and anti-war positions on some issues, moderate its positions on others, and turn it into a strictly right-wing party. The Koch aligned people wound up walking out of that convention. They took their money with them. The book where I read about the inside story is "An Enemy of the State" by Justin Raimondo.

Since then the Koch family have been major Repuke donors. Their biggest hot button issues seem to be anti-environmentalism and anti-labor. They are one of the big money sources behind Wise Use and the "right to work" groups.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. In "What's the Matter with Kansas," the Kochs are associated with
Brownback, if I recall correctly. In fact Brownback has a lot of weird shit in his background, including a connection with Opus Dei and another archconservative Catholic organization that praises Hitler's organizational "genius." But I think the Kochs have also funded his campaigns.
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iamtechus Donating Member (868 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
7. Funny that you didn't mention .....
......that the Kochs also support the DLC.

And for $25,000, 28 giant companies found their way onto the DLC's executive council, including Aetna, AT&T, American Airlines, AIG, BellSouth, Chevron, DuPont, Enron, IBM, Merck and Company, Microsoft, Philip Morris, Texaco, and Verizon Communications. Few, if any, of these corporations would be seen as leaning Democratic, of course, but here and there are some real surprises. One member of the DLC's executive council is none other than Koch Industries, the privately held, Kansas-based oil company whose namesake family members are avatars of the far right, having helped to found archconservative institutions like the Cato Institute and Citizens for a Sound Economy. Not only that, but two Koch executives, Richard Fink and Robert P. Hall III, are listed as members of the board of trustees and the event committee, respectively--meaning that they gave significantly more than $25,000.

http://www.prospect.org/print-friendly/print/V12/7/drey...
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. If I'd have known I'd have mentioned it.
Edited on Tue Jul-27-04 03:24 PM by BurtWorm
PS: I have no love for the DLC, and I resent the implication that I, of all people, omitted this fact deliberately. Maybe you were just being careless with your implications?
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Viking12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
9. Also fund CSE
"Citizens for a Sound Economy" - they've paid big bucks to collect sigs to get Nader on the ballot.

David H. Koch

David H. Koch is one of the billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. With his brother, Charles G. Koch, he runs the Koch Family Foundations, one of the largest single sources of funding for conservative organizations in the United States.


Dirty Koch Industries received a $30,000,000.00 criminal fine in March 2000:

"$30 Million Settlement Approved - US v Koch U. S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore approved the Department of Justice and State of Texas settlement with Koch Industries for $30 million in civil penalties and an additional $5 million in supplemental environmental projects to be funded by Koch. This is the largest penalty imposed on a company under federal environmental laws, and is based upon spills of at least 41,000 barrels of oil and other petroleum, resulting in over three hundred violations of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 in six states. The largest single spill was approximately100,000 gallons of crude oil which caused a 12-mile oil slick on Nueces Bay and Corpus Christi Bay. Eroded and broken pipelines caused the spills. Six of the spills were into ponds, lakes and rivers." <1>

During the 1990s, the firms faulty pipelines were responsible for more than 300 oil spills in five states, prompting a penalty of $35 million. In 1996, a flawed pipeline caused an explosion outside of Dallas in which two teenagers were killed. In a lawsuit related to the deaths, a trial court returned a judgment of $376.69 million against the company.

But these lawsuits and fines accompanied many other brushes with the law. As one writer has put it, The corporate history of Koch Industries a company David Koch co-owns with his brother Charles --reads like a laundry list of legal disputes. Two decades ago, David and Charles bought out the shares of two other brothers, Bill and Frederick, for $1.1 billion. Bill (David's twin) and Frederick then claimed that Charles and David had misrepresented the company's value, and shortchanged them by $340 million. The dispute dragged on until last October 1999, when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in the case, letting stand a lower court's decision in favor of Charles and David. <2>


http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=David_H._K...

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AntiCoup2K4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
13. Is there any relationship between Ed Koch and these guys?
Or did he become a weasel ass neocon traitor entirely on his own?
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Weasel ass neocon traitor entirely on his own.
The Kochs of Kansas are probably of German descent, I would guess. The Koch of New York is Jewish.
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
18. The same Koch Brothers who fund "seminars" for state & fed judges
They're wined, dined, and squired about for days as they learn of the glories of unfettered, unregulated and deregulated capitalism from various John Stossel types.

But there's no attempts to sway judges politically, nosiree Bob - it's just to help them learn about economics and entrepreneurship and all that good shit.
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aint_no_life_nowhere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-27-04 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
22. Bush's sleazy dealings with Koch Industries
The Clinton Administration issued a 97 count indictment against Koch Industries along with fines totaling more than a third of a billion dollars for unlawfully releasing 91 metric tons of a known carcinogen from their Corpus Christi, Texas oil refinery. Bush came into office as the case was ongoing. After only two months in office, the Bush Administration dropped all charges against Koch which, if found guilty, could have meant an aggregate of more than 100 years of prison time for their upper management. Bush had them plea bargain and admit to only one felony, that of intentionally falsifying documents and leveled a small fine, far less than the one-third billion dollars that Clinton had sought. Koch has been overwhelmingly pro-Republican in their campaign donations and contributed heavily to George Bush. In April, 2001, Ari Fleischer was asked whether George Bush would retain the $30,000 campaign contribution he had received directly from Koch's CEO, as the company had pleaded guilty to a felony. Fleischer put on the best song and dance of his career, saying that the CEO wasn't Koch Industries (although Koch is NOT a public company but is owned by the Koch family). Unfortunately, this major Bush scandal has been completely forgotten by all.


http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=Koch_Indus...
".......Koch Industries is the second largest privately-held company in the United States (behind Cargill), with annual sales of more than $40 billion. Its owners, brothers Charles and David H. Koch, are leading contributors to the Koch Family Foundations, which support conservative organizations and think tanks such as Citizens for a Sound Economy and the libertarian Cato Institute. Koch was started in 1927 by Fred Koch with an oil delivery business in Texas. It quickly diversified into a number of other areas, but it amassed most of its fortune in the oil trading and refining.

(EDIT)

Koch Industries is also a major polluter. During the 1990s, its faulty pipelines were responsible for more than 300 oil spills in five states, prompting a landmark penalty of $35 million from the Environmental Protection Agency. In Minnesota, it was fined an additional $8 million for discharging oil into streams. During the months leading up to the 2000 presidential elections, the company faced even more liability, in the form of a 97-count federal indictment charging it with concealing illegal releases of 91 metric tons of benzene, a known carcinogen, from its refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas. If convicted, the company faced fines of up to $352 million, plus possible jail time for company executives. After George W. Bush became president, however, the U.S. Justice Department dropped 88 of the charges. Two days before the trial, John Ashcroft settled for a plea bargain, in which Koch pled guilty to falsifying documents. All major charges were dropped, and Koch and Ashcroft settled the lawsuit for a fraction of that amount. Koch had contributed $800,000 to the Bush election campaign and other Republican candidates......"
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