As we now know, that infrastructure extends from right wing radio networks to non-profits like Citizens United and Americans for Prosperity. Although the Cato Institute was funded with Scaife, Olin and Koch money, it has managed to remain true to libertarian principles in their purer form.
But no more. With the death of one of the founding board members and shareholders, the Kochs have made a move to pack the board with their ideological counterparts and take majority control of Cato in order to use it as an "ammo shop" for AFP, as Susie wrote about Sunday.
Dave Weigel has more details:
“They said that a principle goal was to defeat Barack Obama,” remembered Levy. “The way David [Koch] put it was, ‘We would like you to provide intellectual ammunition that we can then use at Americans for Prosperity and our allied organizations.’ AFP and others would apply Cato's work to advance their electoral goals.”Levy asked them: “What gives you the impression that [Cato isn’t] providing intellectual ammunition?” He says now: "I never got a satisfactory answer. The only answer that makes sense was that Cato needed to be more responsive to their needs. We would take closer marching orders. That’s totally contrary to what we perceive the function of Cato be.”
Cato’s leadership didn’t respond to this directive, nor did they change anything about the think tank. The Kochs began to change it for them. In February, they nominated 16 people for four slots on Levy’s board. Levy and others were aghast at some of the names. One nominee, Tony Woodlief, a former leader of several Koch-funded groups, had blogged in the past about “sanctimonious libertarians” who refused to get serious about policy. “Libertarianism in practice largely consists of a homogeneous group of people talking to one another about a narrow set of things that matter most to them (legalized drugs, lower taxes), and hoping that the rest of America will wake up and elect them to office,” he sneered in a 2002 post. “The majority of Americans are not, in fact, ‘live and let live’ types.” John Hinderaker, a lawyer and founder of the blog PowerLine, had backed the Iraq war and called George W. Bush a “man of extraordinary vision approaching to genius.