Monthly Archives: March 2012

Huffington Post: Koch Brothers, Chamber of Commerce Face Possible Campaign Donation Disclosure After Ruling

-By Paul Blumenthal

March 30, 2012- WASHINGTON — On Friday evening, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling that could begin the process of revealing the identities of secret donors to groups connected to Karl Rove and the Koch brothers.

The court ruled in Van Hollen v. Federal Election Commission that the FEC rules that restricted campaign donor disclosure are not valid and must be changed to provide for disclosure.

"We are very happy to see the judge got it right," says Paul Ryan, a lawyer for the Campaign Legal Center, a campaign finance watchdog that was a part of the team challenging the FEC rules.

Al-Jazeera: People & Power: The Koch Brothers

New York Times: Lobbyists, Guns and Money

-By Paul Krugman

March 25, 2012- Florida’s now-infamous Stand Your Ground law, which lets you shoot someone you consider threatening without facing arrest, let alone prosecution, sounds crazy — and it is. And it’s tempting to dismiss this law as the work of ignorant yahoos. But similar laws have been pushed across the nation, not by ignorant yahoos but by big corporations.

Specifically, language virtually identical to Florida’s law is featured in a template supplied to legislators in other states by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate-backed organization that has managed to keep a low profile even as it exerts vast influence (only recently, thanks to yeoman work by the Center for Media and Democracy, has a clear picture of ALEC’s activities emerged). And if there is any silver lining to Trayvon Martin’s killing, it is that it might finally place a spotlight on what ALEC is doing to our society — and our democracy.

Huffington Post: Koch Brothers’ Attempted Takeover Of Cato Could Be Part Of Bold Plan

-By Dan Froomkin

March 22, 2012- WASHINGTON — Anyone wondering why the ultra-conservative billionaire industrialist Koch brothers are trying to seize control of the libertarian Cato Institute might want to look toward Wisconsin.

The Cato Institute is a Washington think tank with a long history of rigorous scholarship in the name of championing individual liberty. It's known for taking positions outside the conservative mainstream on issues like civil liberties, the war on drugs and U.S. militarism, regardless of the political consequences.

Charles and David Koch, by contrast, are all about winning. Their massive underwriting of bellicose Tea Party groups and super PACs appears to have three main goals: ousting President Barack Obama, busting unions, and reducing the tax and regulatory burden on companies like their own.

Kansas City Star: Koch brothers file Kansas lawsuit over think tank ownership

By John Hanna – Associated Press

March 2, 2012- TOPEKA | Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, known for supporting conservative political causes and candidates, are pursuing a lawsuit in their native Kansas over the ownership of a libertarian-leaning think tank based in Washington.

The Koch brothers are longtime shareholders in the Cato Institute, a research organization that promotes free-market, small-government policies. Their lawsuit seeks a court ruling that would leave the institute with only one other shareholder, its president and chief executive officer, Edward Crane III, who also is a defendant.

The brothers filed their lawsuit Wednesday in Johnson County District Court, arguing that the Kansas court has jurisdiction because the Cato Institute, while based in Washington, also lists an office in Overland Park. The brothers are the top executives at Wichita-based Koch Industries Inc., but the multibillion-dollar industrial firm is not involved in the lawsuit.

Megaloads and Arrests, Moscow Idaho

As enormous loads of oil-field equipment head for the climate-killing Alberta tar sands project, citizens of Moscow, Idaho, gather on their streets to raise their voices in protest. Some enter the street in spite of police presence and briefly block the loads before being arrested and carried away. These surreal scenes in a small, rural, North Idaho college town are emblematic of the madness that attends every aspect of the Aberta tar Sands project.  

Slate: Cato Goes to War

The Koch brothers have launched an extraordinary campaign to take control of America’s most respected libertarian think tank. Will they destroy it?

-By David Weigel

March 5, 2012- On Friday afternoon, as the Washington offices of the Cato Institute were emptying out for the weekend, the libertarian think tank’s president sent an e-mail to all staff. The subject was the Koch brothers crisis.

“Catoites,” wrote Ed Crane, “You are all probably aware by now of the unfortunate development with Charles and David Koch. They are in the process of trying to take over the Cato Institute and, in my opinion, reduce it to a partisan adjunct to Americans for Prosperity, the activist GOP group they control.”

Huffington Post: Koch Brothers File Lawsuit Over The Ownership Of the Cato Institute

-By John Hanna

March 1, 2012- TOPEKA, Kan. — Billionaire brothers and political donors Charles and David Koch are pursuing a lawsuit in their native Kansas over the ownership of a libertarian-leaning think tank based in Washington, and the organization's CEO described it as a "hostile takeover" attempt.

The Koch brothers, known nationally for supporting conservative causes and candidates, also are longtime shareholders in the Cato Institute, a research organization that promotes free-market, small-government policies. Their lawsuit seeks a court ruling that would leave the institute with only one other shareholder, its president and chief executive officer, Ed Crane, who also is a defendant.

The brothers filed their lawsuit Wednesday in Johnson County District Court, arguing that the Kansas court has jurisdiction because the Cato Institute, while based in Washington, also lists an office in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park. The brothers are the top executives at Wichita-based Koch Industries Inc., but the multibillion-dollar industrial firm is not involved in the lawsuit.

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