Koch brothers' higher-ed investments advance political goals - 2015-10-30
Key findings: The Koch brothers use donations and key connections to amass clout on college campuses. The money often helps forward their political goals and to build a "talent pipeline" of libertarian-minded students. Koch-led charitable foundations combined to spread more than $19.3 million across 210 college campuses in 46 states in 2013, IRS filings show. At the center of the Koch college universe is George Mason University, recipient of $14.4 million from the Charles Koch Foundation in 2013. Charles Koch is a director of the George Mason-based Mercatus Center, which produces work that Congress increasingly cites in reports and bills Some strings attached: At the College of Charleston, the Charles Koch Foundation sought names and email addresses of any student participating in a Koch-sponsored class, and to be notified in advance of media outreach related to the school.
Last year, a top lieutenant of Charles and David Koch's vast network of philanthropic institutions laid bare the billionaire brothers' strategy to evangelize their gospel of economic freedom.
Political success, Kevin Gentry told a crowd of elite supporters attending the annual Koch confab in Dana Point, Calif., begins with reaching young minds in college lecture halls, thereby preparing bright, libertarian-leaning students to one day occupy the halls of political power.
"The [Koch] network is fully integrated, so it's not just work at the universities with the students, but it's also building state-based capabilities and election capabilities and integrating this talent pipeline," he said.