Orlando Sentinel: Kochs shouldn’t put strings on $1.5M for FSU

May 14, 2011- I wanted to go rogue and support the 'Noles.

Think of it: a mainstream-media Gator defending Florida State for taking money from the right-wing Koch brothers.

But I can't do it.

For those of you who don't watch MSNBC, Charles and David Koch play the roles of Satan and Satan in liberal theology.

They are the First Evil, the evil that makes other evil possible by funding it with the billions they make from their carbon-spewing industries.

They are behind the Cato Institute, the tea-party movement and the dismantling of public-employee unions.

Liberal paranoia about the Koch brothers is surpassed only by conservative paranoia about George Soros.

Last week, the St. Petersburg Times reported that that the Koch brothers' charity foundation had given Florida State $1.5 million to hire libertarian economic professors. The brothers "bought a rare commodity: the right to interfere in faculty hiring at a publicly funded university,'' reported the Times.

The left wing went wild.

Oh, the horror! The mainstream media are floundering, the unions are kaput, and now the Kochs are infiltrating the last stronghold of liberalism: the universities.

An embattled FSU President Eric Barron quickly defended his school. In a letter to the Times, he wrote: "The Koch Foundation does not hire faculty."

He argued that the university's economics department screened candidates hired with Koch money and had final say in their selection.

What he didn't say is that the Koch Foundation could have vetoed the choices if it didn't like them. The mechanism for doing this would have been an advisory committee that must sign off on who is hired.

And the Kochs must sign off on who is on the advisory committee.

You can connect the dots.

Obviously, such veto power will weigh not only on the economics department as it screens candidates, but also on the candidates who might apply. For example, I doubt Paul Krugman, Nobel laureate and liberal New York Times columnist, would send a résumé.


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