“Kochtopus” cash and Koch Brothers U. (ASU)

Donna Gratehouse did a great job on the B.S. income tax study from Steven Slivinski with the “Kochtopus” Death Star in an earlier post. Arizona is being groomed for the eradication of income tax.

The Arizona Republic’s E.J. Montini focuses on the “Kochtopus” infiltrating research universities with their money to fund institutes and professors of propaganda, like Mr. Slivinski. Tempe Normal, er, Arizona State University is now “Koch Brothers U.” Big news out of Koch Brothers University…ah…ASU:

When a scholarly report out of Arizona State University says the state could phase out the income tax in six to eight years we pay attention.

It makes the papers and gets on TV.

People presume that the information in such a study is unbiased and purely academic, sort of the way universities are supposed to operate.

But they don’t.

kochtopus2

The truth is, this particular study comes from what could be called the Goldwater Institute annex of the Koch brothers campus of ASU.

As state contributions to universities continue to get slashed, ASU, like schools all over the country, needs to go begging for grants from foundations.

Enter the Koch brothers, Charles and David, owners of Koch Industries, America’s second-largest privately held company, and the dark money political giants who reportedly plan to spend $900 million getting a Republican candidate elected president in 2016 by way of a complex network of nonprofit groups that channel hundreds of millions of dollars into political campaigns.

But that’s just politics. If you really want to change the country, you have to change education. And the Koch brothers are trying. They have figured out how to spread their particular version of economics and public policy without emphasizing their own name.

Too much baggage.

They’d rather their influence be less obvious.

Take the income tax study. It comes out of ASU’s new Center for the Study of Economic Liberty, which wouldn’t exist without $3.5 million from the Charles Koch Foundation.

This also perhaps explains why the study was done by senior research fellow Stephen Slivinski, a former senior economist at the Goldwater Institute, which also benefits from the Koch brothers.

But then, who doesn’t?

* * *

Hundreds of universities, big and small, have taken money from the Koch brothers.

ASU also accepted more than $1 million in Koch money for a history professor’s position in the Center for Political Thought and Leadership, in which the job description read like propaganda position meant to service the agenda of a couple of unnamed billionaires.

If Arizona State wants to become Koch Brothers University, fine.

Just be upfront about it. The university might have to change the school colors from maroon and gold to green but the devil mascot still would be appropriate. Although, as Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik once asked in a column that prominently featured ASU: “When universities sell their souls, why do they have to sell so cheaply?”

College kids have caught on. There is an organization called UnKoch My Campus that tries to shed light on what’s happening.

On its website the group writes in part: “This isn’t just philanthropy, we support and understand the critical role charitable donations play in higher education: there is mounting evidence to suggest that the Kochs are giving this money with strings attached. Their donations influence college research, the professors hired, and the coursework being taught, all in service of advancing their ideologies, building their reputation, and increasing their profits.”

The state of Maricopa is the hub of the “Kochtopus” operations. It needs to be torn out by its roots and the ground salted so that it can never grow back again.

3 responses to ““Kochtopus” cash and Koch Brothers U. (ASU)

  1. Frances Perkins

    Where is the Doug Ducey wing of the Kochtopus on the diagram?