By: Kourosh Behnam
April 25, 2012
Depending on your political views, Charles and David Koch have recently become famous or infamous for their influence, supporting libertarian and conservative causes.
Recently the Koch Brothers filed a law suit against the Cato Institute. Founded by Charles Koch 30 years ago, it is the leading libertarian think tank in Washington D.C. The Institute primarily promotes limited government, and free markets. Leading scholars at Cato such as Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies, believe the suit would give the Koch’s full power over the institutions research operations.
The Cato Institute is unique in that it is controlled by shareholders. There are four people who hold equal shares in the organization. The Koch Brothers hold 2 of those shares meaning that they own half of the organization. However, ownership of the institute can be bought and sold for cash under certain circumstances. This is only applicable to a number of states in America which is shunned upon by the Internal Revenue Service. Charles and David Koch are suing to increase their 50 percent stake in Cato to propel their ideological agenda. This lawsuit, to gain control of Cato, displays that the brothers see ideological political think tanks as a crucial part of their on-going agenda to create a permanent American oligarchy.
If these billionaire brothers prevail then they will own the biggest libertarian think tank in the world. If this happens, the Cato Institute will loose its reputation in the political realm and it will always be known as a organization coddled by the Koch Brothers.