Balancing Act: Can Koch Giving Bolster a Corporate Brand While Pushing a Libertarian Agenda?
Mike Scutari, March 6 2017
"To the degree that these ideas have greater traction in U.S. society and public policy, Koch Industries will face less regulatory oversight, and the Kochs themselves may pay less in taxes. Even if you believe that Charles Koch is committed to his views for the sake of principle, it's hard to not see Koch donations on college campuses as a form of interested money. Which helps explain why these gifts continue to draw enormous pushback, with the group UnKoch My Campus leading the charge. "
UnKoch My Campus:
Opposing Billionaires' Efforts to Infiltrate Higher Education
Eleanor Bader, Dec 7, 2016
"By all accounts, fighting the 'Kochtopus' and the growing corporatization of academia will be a steep climb for the foreseeable future, but UnKoch My Campus activists are optimistic. [Lindsey] Berger cites increasing numbers of faculty members across the country who are revisiting policies to make sure that they have a say in governance, faculty hiring and procedures that both directly and indirectly impact education. 'They understand the reach of funding agreements and are looking at stipulations that donors place on grants,' she says."
Koch brothers supersize higher-ed spending
Center for Public Integrity (December 2015)
Suffolk University cuts ties with conservative
research group, Boston Globe (December 2015)
Koch brothers pour millions into education to promote libertarian ideas
Center for Public Integrity (October 2015)
“The [Koch] network is fully integrated, so it’s not just work at the universities with the students, but it’s also building state-based capabilities and election capabilities and integrating this talent pipeline,” he said.
“So you can see how this is useful to each other over time,” he continued. “No one else has this infrastructure. We’re very excited about doing it.” - Kevin Gentry, vice president of the Charles G. Koch Foundation.
Sunshine and the Koch Foundation
The Wall Street Journal (April 2015)
"We [UnKoch My Campus} do not seek to stifle debate on campus, nor do we discourage private donations from anyone. We welcome the debate; we just want to know whom we’re debating."
Koch Funding of Universities Shrouded in Mystery
PR Watch (April 2015)
"Our work with UnKochMyCampus has shown us that transparency removes the smoke and mirrors that cloud the debate, leaving ordinary people ill-equipped to develop informed opinions on research and policy around the most important issues of the day. Our policy is being shaped by corporations, for corporations - and that’s a huge problem."
The Campus Climate Crusade
Wall Street Journal (March 2015)
"Disclosure is becoming the left’s new weapon. And it’s shutting down debate across the country."
Koch foundation proposal to college:
Teach our curriculum, get millions
Center for Public Integrity (September 2014)
"In 2007, when the Charles Koch Foundation considered giving millions of dollars to Florida State University's economics department, the offer came with strings attached.
First, the curriculum it funded must align with the libertarian, deregulatory economic philosophy of Charles Koch, the billionaire industrialist and Republican political bankroller.
Second, the Charles Koch Foundation would at least partially control which faculty members Florida State University hired.
And third, Bruce Benson, a prominent libertarian economic theorist and Florida State University economics department chairman, must stay on another three years as department chairman - even though he told his wife he'd step down in 2009 after one three-year term."
Koch Foundation Criticized Again for Influencing Florida State
NPR (May 2014):
"RUDY FICHTENBAUM: You know, it amounts to the Koch Brothers' foundation basically trying to buy a position on the faculty [at Florida State University]. And that certainly is a threat to academic freedom."
"Inside the Koch Brothers' campus crusade,"
Center for Public Integrity (March 2014):
"In all, two of the six private charitable foundations the Koch Brothers control and personally fund combined in 2012 to infuse colleges and universities with more than $12.7 million, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of Internal Revenue service tax filings."
"In 2012, the Koch foundations sent six- or seven-figure donations to 12 colleges and universities, including big-name schools such as George Mason University in Virginia, Southern Methodist University in Texas, West Virginia University, Florida State University, Utah State University, Kansas State University and the University of Arizona."
Charles Koch's Wall Street Journal Op-eds (2014):
"Far from trying to rig the system, I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates, subsidies and protective tariffs—even when we benefit from them. I believe that cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful, and should be abolished."
"Those in power fail to see that more government means less liberty, and liberty is the essence of what it means to be American. Love of liberty is the American ideal."
Covert Operations (August 2010):
"Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products. Forbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles Koch - who, years ago, bought out two other brother - among the richest men in America."