Category: Koch

Unprincipled, former libertarian David Koch backs Romney

David Koch wants people to know that he disagrees with Mitt Romney, the candidate for whom Koch is raising hundreds of millions, on defense cuts, gay rights, and taxes.

Koch’s profession of contrary positions on those issues merits him nothing. The candidate on whom Koch lavishes vast sums, if elected, will do all he can to bring about policies the opposite of Koch’s supposed principles.

Funding opposition to your own views isn’t principled; it’s just more evidence of David Koch’s selfish and scheming support for his corporate interests over a universal commitment to liberty.

Via Politico.

The End of the Koch-Cato War

On a day when all America is talking about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, I’m thinking about the Koch-Cato war, now resolved.

Bob Levy explains the dispute and its resolution:

In the end, this was a win for Cato, and an abandonment of the shareholder structure through which the Kochs sought to control the think tank. For more on that view, see Cato at Peace.

More than a victory, though, a reminder: libertarianism may be ruined through an association or control by major-party partisans.

The Armistice in the Koch Brothers War for the Cato Institute

The Cato Institute and prominent Republican donors Charles and David Koch are set to settle their legal fight over control of the libertarian think tank….

The settlement involves an agreement to dissolve the shareholder agreement. In addition, Crane is expected to retire under a deal that allows him to select his successor, though the Koch brothers could veto the choice.

Via National Journal.

We’ll see.  It’s heartening, though, that the press has stopped calling the Kochs libertarians, and begun to describe them as they are – former libertarians and current Republicans.

The Washingtonian‘s recent story on the Kochs bid to seize Cato described them accurately, too:

Although Charles Koch, 76, had once been a die-hard libertarian, he has emerged as a major financial champion of Republican causes. He and his brother plan to direct more than $200 million to conservative groups before Election Day, according to Politico.

They are no longer libertarians, and will never be dependable libertarian allies.

Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson as the antidote to Koch Bros. scheming

Every four years, it’s sure to be a libertarian, and a Libertarian, year. It may sometimes be the former, but it has never been the latter.

Hope rises yet again, this time in the candidacy of former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, now seeking the LP 2012 nomination. If recent polls are right, he has a chance for an historic LP showing in November.

If Johnson won even three-percent of the national vote, it would be historic for the Libertarian Party (where 1% of the presidential vote is a good showing).

This year, though, three-percent would be more than a large haul – it would be a result likely influential between the major parties.

That’s wouldn’t merely concern Messrs. Obama and Romney – it would be of concern to Charles and David Koch, former libertarians who through Americans have showcased any Republican (no matter how anti-libertarian) in the name of defeating Pres. Obama.

So here we are, with Koch-flush AFP about to get behind Mitt Romney (not as conservative as the Kochs might like but not libertarian, either) to defeat the incumbent Democrat.

(Johnson is a former Republican, who is now more manifestly libertarian than anyone running for president, including Ron Paul, and certain more than the Kochs have been in years.)

What if, despite Charles and David’s willingness to abandon sound libertarianism for a win against Obama, it’s a libertarian third-party candidate who sinks their hopes?

That’s not merely an irony, it’s a delicious one.

It’s also, in this season of perennial optimism, another reason for hope.

FreedomWorks sides with Cato against the Koch Brothers

The Tea Party activists at FreedomWorks have now condemned Charles and David Koch’s war to control the Cato Institute.

Though they value independence themselves, they’ve received Koch money, and funding like that softens resolve. To their credit, FreedomWorks stayed true to their oft-professed belief in independence:

The work of the Cato Institute – producing top quality intellectual ammunition unyielding in its defense of economic freedom and the unalienable rights of the individual over the encroachments of big government – is clearly threatened by the decision of Charles and David Koch to file a lawsuit against the Institute and Bill Niskanen’s widow, Kathryn Washburn. These actions put an internal governance dispute into the light of day, and the enemies of liberty are having a field day exploiting the distraction. We don’t always agree with individual Cato scholars, but that is precisely the point. They are independent, and their independence is their most valuable asset in the push and pull of the public debate.

It is our hope that the parties at Koch Industries will reconsider their ill-conceived actions so that Cato is there in the future, intact, aggressively holding both Democrats and Republicans to account for any and all efforts to grow the size and reach of government.”

Well-said, true, and welcome to the friends of Cato in their struggle to defend the finest libertarian research institute in the world.

The Kochs double down on their war for Cato

Of course they do – there was not the slightest chance that men accustomed to having their way, and defining the world in the grandiose way they prefer, would relent.

So, it’s a second lawsuit to control Cato, this one insisting that the libertarian Cato Institute is impermissibly packing its ranks with….libertarians.  Not any libertarians, mind you, but the very ones the Kochs insisted on replacing with supine, non-libertarian supporters.

The Kochs may accurately be known as former libertarians.

SeeKoch vs. Cato: Koch brothers file second lawsuit over ‘Board-packing scheme’ – Think Tanked – The Washington Post.

Does Koch-supporter Kevin Gentry think everyone else in America is gullible?

At CNN, a Charles Koch-backed Cato Institute board member insists that the Kochs have always supported libertarianism, and that they want an independent Cato.

Kevin Gentry must think that libertarians, and lots of other people, are particularly gullible. We’re not.

If Gentry thinks the Kochs have always been true to libertarianism, he might want to explain why the Kochs have poured so much money into Americans for Prosperity. An AFP event is likely to be a showcase for anti-libertarian politicians like Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, or Herman Cain.

Those are favored candidates for GOP activists, but they’re not libertarians. The Kochs may spend their money as they want, but when they spend for those who are against libertarianism, we may reasonably doubt the claim that the Kochs remain faithful libertarians.

As for the second claim, that the Kochs want an independent Cato Institute by making it a dependent part of their family-controlled financial empire, one may ask: What do they and Gentry think it means to be independent?

They should know that real independence means something more than what the Kochs insist it means. Independence is an actual quality, not an industrialist’s talking point.

One can see from Gentry’s editorial that the Kochs are surprised that their lawsuit to control Cato has met with such strong libertarian criticism. They’re surprised out of confusion: they’re no longer what they still claim to be, and we’re still committed to what we have always been.

Via ‘Koch believes in an independent Cato’ at CNN