Thursday, March 15, 2012

How Much Influence Do The Koch Brothers Have on Think Tanks?

This Politico article titled "Think Tanks Still Look For Koch Cash" details the influence that the Koch brothers have in various conservative think tanks.
Heritage Foundation spokesman Jim Weidman said the Kochs’ donations have amounted to 1 percent of their income...The Heritage Foundation received at least $843,571 from a Koch-run charitable foundation in 2008 and 2009, according to federal tax filings.
Jim Spiegelman, spokesman of the nonpartisan research group Aspen Institute, said there are “prominent differences” between Cato and his organization. He pointed to the fact that the Koch brother involved with the Cato Institute is Charles, whereas David is a trustee of the Aspen Institute, and he said his group is “definitively nonpartisan, so the idea that Mr. Koch would seek to influence our work is a really nonissue.”
“We value the support of the Charles G. Koch Foundation, and it has been instrumental in enabling [the Mercatus Center] to support dozens of graduate students in the Department of Economics at George Mason University,” said Carrie Conko, vice president for communications at the center, which accepted at least $1.6 million from the Koch foundations in 2008, tax filings show. 
And several groups that have received Koch cash refused entirely to comment on the matter, including the Manhattan Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which did not respond to requests for comment about the Cato flap.