Today, United Republic and Republic Report were joined by a passionate group of activists outside Koch Industries’ downtown Washington lobbying headquarters to criticize the petrochemical billionaire Koch brothers’ attempt to take over the Cato Institute.

Cato has a long history of fierce libertarian beliefs, widening the debate in Washington on everything from civil liberties to the drug war to the economy. But Charles and David Koch have recently sought to, in the words of Cato president Ed Crane, “transform Cato from an independent, nonpartisan research organization into a political entity that might better support [Charles Koch’s] partisan agenda.”

Most protesters cited their concerns over corporate control of Washington as a primary reason for attending. “Washington, D.C.’s think tanks are increasingly becoming ‘do tanks’ — meaning they are becoming advocates on behalf of their corporate and political donors rather than avenues for independent analysis and research,” said protest organizer and my Republic Report colleague Zaid Jilani. “Whether or not you agree with Cato’s views, people should be concerned about big money buying organizations and dominating public debate.”

Charles Koch, worth $22 billion dollars, is attempting to a hostile takeover of the Cato Institute by appointing a small army of Koch Industries lobbyists to the Cato board, while also filing a lawsuit to seize control of the Institute’s shares. That’s why we protested at the Koch Industries lobbying office. As we’ve reported, Koch has an agenda that is anything but libertarian: the petrochemical-political empire has supported anti-gay, pro-war, and crony capitalist politicians, and the company takes advantage of special government carve-outs, everything from military contracts to eminent domain.

The fight to #SaveCato is garnering some bipartisan support. Anti-tax, anti-war, and pro-civil liberties Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) tweeted yesterday with the SaveCato hashtag.

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Filed under: Grassroots, Plutocrats

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  • Alan Hewett

    F-ing Koch Suckers

  • Justin Raimondo

    Commies for Cato: I see Ed Crane has finally found his true political home.

  • Pingback: Energy Roundup » Occupiers and Libertarians Protest Outside Koch Industries’ Washington Headquarters()

  • Matthew Swaringen

    “long history of fierce libertarian beliefs” – that would be the Mises Institute, a real libertarian organization. Cato doesn’t deserve the rep.

    • -Richard Simpson-

      Ya, Cato’s rep is more like “long history of politically expedient libertarian beliefs”, as they seem to have relinquished any and all ferocity to the political powers that be.

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  • The Anti Al Gore

    Bwaaahahahaha: Pathetic.

  • -Richard Simpson-

    Next… Save the Dodo!

    Cato has already been corrupted into an arm of the political interests that control the state. There is little, if anything, left to save.

  • Pingback: Liberal Demonstrators Attempt to Save Cato from Koch Brothers | Daily Agenda()

  • Roy Baker

    Egad! Can life go on without faux, beltway libertarians?

  • Etienne De La Boetie

    I worked at Cato in the late 1990s. I had full access to a T1 and the Institute’s Lexis-Nexis account and I quickly figured out that Waco was a massacre, the OKC Bombing was an inside job, and other government crimes. Where was Cato? Where is Cato on 9-11 Truth? Every year the Cato Institute holds a monetary conference and legitimizes the Federal Reserve with the majority of speakers on the Feb payroll, working for the Fed as consultants, and/or working for media companies ultimately owned by the Fed’s monopoly companies. Better to give your money to, Architects & Engineers for 9-11 Truth, the Fluoride Action Network, or EFF than Cato.

  • anon

    “The fight to #SaveCato is garnering some bipartisan support.”
    This is probably the funniest thing written on the tempest in a tea pot yet.

  • Markdsmith52

    A pox on both their houses.

  • Chris Breaux

    Is it possible to have Crane AND Koch lose this legal battle? Maybe have Rothbard’s heir take over…?

  • Moremarcom

    I already thought they controlled the Cato Institute

  • OldStabby

    Cato been dead for a long time.

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