Kochs' Dark-Money Network Bankrolls Campus "Free Speech" Group - 2019-06-11
Over the last few years, right-wing groups have cried that there is a "free speech crisis" on campuses and have pushed state governments to pass legislation that many professors and civil liberties advocates argue only makes the situation worse.
Speech First is the latest group to arise to challenge university speech policies. Launched in late 2017, it claims to be a "membership association of students, parents, faculty, alumni, and concerned citizens," but is in reality managed by a right-wing operative and funded by the Koch brothers' dark money network, a joint investigation by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and the Corporate Genome Project (CGP) has found.
While other organizations, such as the Christian Right hate group Alliance Defending Freedom, have been challenging campus speech policies for years, Speech First is the only group to be specifically set up for this purpose. Its aim is to show universities that "shutting down unwanted speech will no longer be tolerated," says founding executive director Nicole Neily.