The Koch Brothers’ attempted “hostile takover” of fancy glass-brick-and-steel libertarian think tank the Cato Institute — which Chuck and Dave Koch already control 50% of but are now suing a widow for her dead husband’s stake so as to then rule the world! — has prompted some very public outcries and gossip nuggets (yay!) from angry Cato staffers who are seeking to preserve their intellectual chastity. The Cato people, according to one senior fellow, have been told by Koch toadies that they intend to “transform [Cato] into an intellectual ammo-shop for American for Prosperity and other allied (presumably, Koch-controlled) organizations.” Another has offered his “presignation” should the Kochs ever succeed in their aggressive plot to do things they obviously want to do. And here you libtards all thought the Cato Institute was already a mouthpiece for the Kochs! Well, there’s always more… mouth… piece… shares… whatever… to buy! Let’s just get to the block quotes already.
The Kochs, according to senior fellow Jerry Taylor, have been quietly stacking the Cato board with a hilarious crew of Koch-loyal wingnuts to replace the Honest Libertarians, who just let Cato staffers sit in their offices and think about property rights or whatever all day:
We seek no ‘takeover,’ and this is not a hostile action.
This is at odds with both the words and deeds of the Koch brothers of late. Last year, they used their shares to place two of their operatives – Kevin Gentry and Nancy Pfotenhauer – on our board against the wishes of every single board member save for David Koch. Last Thursday, they used their shares to force another four new board members on us (the most that their shares would allow at any given meeting); Charles Koch, Ted Olson (hired council for Koch Industries), Preston Marshall (the largest shareholder of Koch Industries save for Charles and David), and Andrew Napolitano (a frequent speaker at Koch-sponsored events). Those four – who had not previously been involved with Cato either financially or organizationally – were likewise opposed by every member of our board save for Gentry, Pfotenhauer, and David Koch. To make room for these Koch operatives, we were forced to remove four long-time, active board members, two of whom were our biggest donors. At this moment, the Kochs now control seven of our 16 board seats, two short of outright control.
Why are they forcing out Cato board members, all strong, principled libertarians who have been heavily involved with Cato – financially and organizationally – for years? The answer was given in early November of last year when David Koch, Richard Fink (he of many Koch hats), and Kevin Gentry met with Cato board chairman Bob Levy. They told Bob that they intended to use their board majority to remove Ed Crane from Cato and transform our Institute into an intellectual ammo-shop for American for Prosperity and other allied (presumably, Koch-controlled) organizations. That statement of intent is certainly consistent with what we’ve been hearing from both Kevin Gentry and Nancy Pfotenauer. They’ve frequently complained during their short time on our board that Cato wasn’t doing enough to defeat President Obama in November and that we weren’t working closely enough with grass roots activists like those at AFP.
You may recognize some of these cartoon characters. Charles Koch is Charles Koch; Andrew Napolitano is The Judge who spits and screeches at Fox News teevee cameras all the time; Ted Olson is the evil Republican Establishment Lawyer (who is cool on gay marriage though); and Nancy Pfotenauer is this imbecile operative from the 2008 McCain campaign, whom your Wonkette used to call “Nancy Poopenheifer” for cheap laughs:
And then, of course, there’s a semi-famous wingnut blogger who was nominated for a board seat but was somehow, somehow rejected:
John Hinderaker of the Powerline blog, whose firm counts Koch Industries as a client. Hinderaker has written, “It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.” Hinderaker supports the Patriot Act and the Iraq War and calls himself a neocon.
Meanwhile, Julian Sanchez, another famous-for-DC Cato fellow, posts his own account of the Koch Takeover War of Thrones on his personal blog and offers his conditional resignation, should the Kochs succeed in winning majority control and putting more wingnut spokespeople and bloggers on the board who then force all staffers to campaign full-time for Herman Cain or Scott Walker’s write-in candidacy, maybe.
What does the future hold in the Koch Fight for Think Tank Glory? Stay tuned to your Wonkette for more updates on this terrible Beltway insider baseball story that interests maybe 34 people in the country.
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