6. Overt Political Activity

B. Ties to the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce

Charles Koch's network of political donors, many of whom make up the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, have joined in the use of Koch's integrated strategy. We see several instances of these donors joining the Koch foundation in jointly financing academic programming to further their joint political agenda.



At the University of Kansas, several emails between Koch Foundation officials and the director of Koch’s Center for Applied Economics have surfaced as a result of a public records request. In addition to revealing details about how the Koch foundation funds academics to act as corporate lobbyists, the documents released show how Charles Koch’s Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce is jointly funding these research initiatives. A 2007 email describes a partner donorship:

To help underwrite the proposed project, the Center respectfully requests a grant of $108,400 from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. This sum represents one-third of the total projected cost of the project. The Center hopes to acquire an equal underwriting commitment from two other foundations.
The Center has submitted an identical proposal to the John William Pope Foundation and The Cortopassi Institute. The Center’s goal is to secure equal funding from each grant request. (KU records, pg 4)

These two foundations are run by Art Pope and Dean Cortopassi respectively. Both men have been identified as actively involved in Koch’s Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce through documents leaked from inside Koch’s secretive donor summits.

At Arizona State University the $5 million Center for the Study of Economic Liberty was co-financed with the W.P. Carey Foundation.

At Troy University, the Manuel Johnson Center of Political Economy is a partner donorship with Manuel Johnson, who has attended at least one donor summit.

At Creighton University, the $4.5 million Institute for Economic Inquiry, co-financed with Gail Werner-Robertson in Nebraska.  

At the University of Arizona, the $2.5 million Center for the Philosophy of Freedom, co-financed by Ken and Randy Kendricks and Karl Eller.

At the University of Kentucky, the $12 million Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise, co-financed with Papa Johns CEO John Schnatter.

At the University of Louisville, the $6 million Center for Free Enterprise, co-financed with Papa Johns CEO John Schnatter in Kentucky.

At the University of Maryland at College Park, the $6 million Center for Enterprise and Markets, co-financed with Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider.

At West Virginia University, the $5 million Center for Free Enterprise, co-financed by Ken Kendricks.