by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Wonder why some people get so worked up about the Koch brothers? Lachlan Markay of the Washington Free Beacon reminds us that it’s a good idea to follow the money.
Liberal foundations financing a nonprofit news venture that is reporting on donations made by the Koch Brothers to colleges are also financing on-campus groups protesting the Kochs’ donations.
The same foundations have also spent billions backing educational initiatives of their own that frequently promote left-wing policy agendas. Despite that spending, their grantees say that conservative and libertarian philanthropists are uniquely determined to advance their own views on campus at the expense of academic freedom.
The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative news venture, on Friday published a story highlighting libertarian philanthropists Charles and David Koch’s contributions to, and involvement in, programs at a handful of universities that seek to promote free market values and train students for public policy-focused careers. …
… One group committed to such “pushback” is UnKoch My Campus, which immediately picked up on and promoted CPI’s story. Its publication came just days before UnKoch’s planned “day of action” this Thursday to protest what it says is the Kochs’ undue influence on the curricula and staffing of those programs. …
… UnKoch’s views reflect those of the groups backing the campaign: environmental giant Greenpeace; Forecast the Facts, a climate-focused project of the left-wing Citizen Engagement Lab; the Center for Media and Democracy, another nonprofit news venture; and the American Federation of Teachers.
Those groups receive significant funding from the same foundations that finance CPI’s reporting. The Park Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Foundation for an Open Society have all granted money to CPI and at least one of the groups behind the UnKoch effort.