Cato scholars' mutiny: The Koch brothers' attempt to seize control is an "existential threat"

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The Koch brothers are getting under the skin of some Cato scholars. And by getting under their skin, I mean creating a stir. And by creating a stir I mean they want to kick the brothers' asses.

One senior fellow, Jerry Taylor, who's worked there for 21 years, even threatened to quit.

Via Roll Call:

Scholars at the Cato Institute are waging an aggressive and methodical campaign to persuade Washington, D.C.'s conservative leaders to support them in their feud with Charles Koch, the billionaire conservative who helped found the institution.

Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at Cato, called Chucky Koch's attempt to seize control of the nonprofit as an "existential threat" at a private meeting hosted by Grover Norquist, another paragon of virtue.

"This misguided attempt at corporate control of an independent, nonpartisan think tank is bad for the Cato Institute and bad for the libertarian movement," read the memo, posted later on Cato's blog. "We hope that everyone will come to see that, soon, before any more damage is done."

Cannon stopped short of threatening mutiny, but other senior employees have said they would abandon the highly respected think tank if Charles Koch and his brother, David, do not drop their lawsuit seeking to dramatically increase their control over the organization.

Cannon went on to say that the kerfuffle would "feed the left-wing narrative — what we call Koch derangement syndrome — that the Kochs control the entire conservative movement."

Wait, they're calling us deranged?

Wait, the Kochs don't control the entire conservative movement?

Jerry Taylor, who I mentioned earlier, understands the Kochs all too well. He responded to the members who dared to speak out against the brothers by saying, "After all this, if the Koch apparatus seizes control, their careers are over."

Meantime, Common Cause wants an IRS investigation of the Koch brothers, saying that they're trying "to use Cato's corporate structure and tax-exempt status to serve their own political and economic interests."

Me oh my. Whatever would make them say such a thing?

Interestingly, Grover Norquist wouldn't comment. Guess who's on the receiving end of a hunk of that Koch Kash, hmmm?

Charles Koch released a statement:

"We view recent events as evidence that Cato's leadership has turned its back on these core principles... Some have speculated that we would micro-manage the enterprise. Others have suggested we would turn Cato into a partisan Republican organization. These rumors are absolutely false."

Of course they are, dear.

Roll Call has a lot more here.

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  • Laur

    The Koch brothers have been working to have President Obama removed from office. If it is done through the electoral process, then they have cover. The brothers have bought so many GOP officials, including the governor of NJ, who is doing their bidding in order to secure their financial support for his own reelection campaign--in 2013.

    Hopefully, it'll turn out to be a case of the Koch brothers discovering they have bought a "pig in a poke". (Sorry, could not think of a better metaphor.)

  • majii

    " Others have suggested we would turn Cato into a partisan Republican organization. These rumors are absolutely false.”

    Yeah, right.  The Koch tentacles are long, and their attempt to appear to be harmless is a major fail.  I know $*!t when I see and smell it.

  • http://twitter.com/JPJABBER JUDI

    Kochs=treason, maybe?????

  • http://twitter.com/kimbutgar Kimberly Garrison

    I am becoming more and more convinced that the Koch's are in the process of attempting a coup to overthrow the elected President and Democratic Senate. By throwing around millions of dollars and taking over governments in several states the Koch 's are working uncover to take over this country. We the people must fight back in November 2012 and send a strong message that this is our country. If what the Koch's did during the bush years against him they would have called it treasonous. They are committing treason against the US and it's citizens.