Cato says Koch engaged in “a hostile takeover” of the think tank

The Cato Institute’s president, Edward Crane, released a statement responding to the lawsuit filed yesterday by billionaires Charles and David Koch, calling the move “an attempt at a hostile takeover.”

Crane accuses Charles Koch of attempting to “transform Cato from an independent, nonpartisan research organization into a political entity that might better support his partisan agenda,” and vowed to keep the think tank “an independent, nonpartisan research organization.”

Although the lawsuit names Charles and David Koch as the plaintiffs, Crane’s statement only names Charles Koch.

According to the Cato website, David H. Koch remains a member of the board of directors.

Crane’s full statement:

Charles G. Koch has filed a lawsuit as part of an effort to gain control of the Cato Institute, which he co-founded with me in 1977. While Mr. Koch and entities controlled by him have supported the Cato Institute financially since that time, Mr. Koch and his affiliates have exercised no significant influence over the direction or management of the Cato Institute, or the work done here.

Mr. Koch’s actions in Kansas court yesterday represent an effort by him to transform Cato from an independent, nonpartisan research organization into a political entity that might better support his partisan agenda. We view Mr. Koch’s actions as an attempt at a hostile takeover, and intend to fight it vehemently in order to continue as an independent research organization, advocating for Individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace.

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He blogs and hosts a podcast at governmentality.net and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.

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