Donor Intent of the Koch Network

Despite the notoriously covert nature of their operation, several key documents and recordings have been obtained that reveal the intent and strategy Charles Koch and his network has been using for decades. These are primary sources include accounts from Koch network allies, Koch foundation officials, and Charles Koch himself.

We have collected what we believe to be the key resources needed to illuminate Koch’s business strategy, and its resulting political and academic strategy.

Charles Koch’s political activities consist of a large and rapidly growing network of wealthy corporate and ideological donors that coordinate funding to achieve policy change by leveraging universities, think tanks, front groups, and politicians.

The Koch family has funding efforts to impose corporate-friendly policies and repeal civil-rights protections. and Since 2003, this strategy has been coordinated at Charles Koch's highly secretive bi-annual donor “seminars.” Charles Koch told USA Today that his Seminar Network intended to spend $899 million around the 2016 election

After an introduction to the Koch family’s driving motivation, Koch Industries Inc., the early writings of Charles Koch from 1970’s reveal the longstanding indignation of a billionaire “resisting regulation,” and his aspirations to build a free-market “cadre” of scholars through “highly leveraged” campus donations in order to “defeat the statist paradigm.” Additional documents and recordings from Koch foundation officials not only reveal the final version of Koch’s “integrated strategy,” but confirm that has been used for decades and continues as the guiding strategy of Koch’s Seminar Network.

In excerpts from an unpublished history of Charles Koch (commissioned by his brother during a family-feud), we see documentation of a 1976 conference of the Center for Libertarian Studies, sponsored by $65,000 from Charles Koch. In several papers, Koch and his longtime political and academic collaborators lay out strategies for a corporate-funded political revolution, many which have been adopted by Koch’s network. Papers described how donors can maintain control over the use of their campus donations, how the libertarian movement should learn from the Nazi Youth program and its success in capturing the state, and what lessons the movement should learn from Koch’s longtime membership in the industry-funded/far-right group, the John Birch Society.

Additional documents reveal the clear intent by other donors and scholars, aiming to covertly leverage philanthropy for political and ideological gain.

December 2018