Kochs: 3, Cato: 0

Back in March I wrote about the ongoing non-profit abuse by the Koch brothers, as exemplified in their effort at a hostile takeover of the Cato Institute so they could use it and its long reach to meddle in election messaging.

ThinkTanked Blog reported today that they've come to an agreement, which would dissolve the original corporate "shareholders'" agreement. In exchange, President Ed Crane would step down, the board will expand to twelve seats, and the Kochs would have the right to appoint three of those new board members.

As Muckety reports, this means the Kochs win the whole shebang:

Of the current board members, three, including David Koch, have direct ties to the Koch network.

Director Kevin Gentry is vice president of the Charles Koch Foundation. Another director, Nancy Mitchell Pfotenhauer, is a former lobbyist for Koch Industries.

Expand that network to include organizations funded by the Kochs and you add four more board members. Three are trustees of the Reason Foundation, where David Koch is a trustee and the Charles Koch foundation has been a benefactor.

Allison is a director of Mercatus Center, where Charles is also a director and his foundation is a funder.

Then there’s director Ethelmae Humphreys, whom we described earlier this month as a “hub on the Koch network.”

That puts the count of Koch connections to eight of 12. Add the three slots the brothers can now fill, regardless of whom Allison chooses, and the Kochs have a majority.

The "Allison" referred to there is the new President, retired banker John A. Allison. Allison is just the kind of guy the Kochs love. A retired banker with lots of good buddies in the banking profession, he's a libertarian with a penchant for Ayn Rand. He used to make all of his executives read Atlas Shrugged. Yippee. And he thinks sharing is very, very bad.

Speaking at a recent convention in Boston to a group of like-minded business people and students, Mr. Allison tells a story: A boy is playing in a sandbox, only to have his truck taken by another child. A fight ensues, and the boy’s mother tells him to stop being selfish and to share.

“You learned in that sandbox at some really deep level that it’s bad to be selfish,” says Mr. Allison, adding that the mother has taught a horrible lesson. “To say man is bad because he is selfish is to say it’s bad because he’s alive.”

Let's see how many cable networks keep using Cato commentators. Wanna bet they'll use more than they have in the past? I was never a huge Cato fan, but at least felt that they stuck to some principled analysis of issues, as seen through their lens. Now, academic principles be damned. Objectivism, full speed ahead!


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