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Meet the People Behind the Koch Attacks

11:00 AM, Jun 2, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The left has been slamming the Koch brothers’ donations to education after the Charles G. Koch Foundation’s made an agreement with Florida State University to sponsor an academic position in the university’s economics department. The real controversy is not related to the academy at all, of course: It’s the extension of a well coordinated, long-time political attack against the Kochs.

In recent weeks, editorial boards and columnists have lambasted the Kochs. Apparently supporting education isn’t so noble after all when the one’s behind the support believe in free markets and conservative ideas. As St. Petersburg Times columnist Robyn Blumner wrote: 

Like some deranged game of Risk, the [Koch] brothers strategically deploy their riches to destroy, marginalize, subvert or infiltrate each of these constituent groups, with the result being that poorly funded progressives are overrun as easily as Poland.

Blumner goes on to attack the Tea Party, calling them “angry, gullible, know-nothings.”  

If you're reading "tea party" here, you've got that right — call them the Kochs' boots on the ground. But the Koch brothers know that they can't rely solely on America's angry, gullible, know-nothings to change the national direction. Their ultra-conservatism needs a veneer of intellectual credibility, which is why for decades the brothers have lavished resources on a host of think tanks and academic institutions that are willing to make a case for anything a billionaire without a conscience would want.

In Blumner, one sees an exemplar of the kinds of deep thinkers who devote their time to bashing the Koch brothers. Here’s a person who never misses a chance to criticize conservatives and their beliefs every chance she gets.  

For example, a column she wrote in 2004 called famed liberal George Soros her “hero,” fawning over Soros by saying that he “is like no other really rich guy I know. Soros has used his fortune to seed democracy around the world.” 

Why it’s fine for that rich guy (Soros) to donate to political causes and not the Koch brothers is no mystery. Soros is a liberal!

One can imagine what Blumner’s column would have read like had Soros been the one to donate money to Florida State University.

When Republicans took back control of the House in 2010, Blumner wrote that “with the resurgent Republicans retaking the House, the people who brought you the Great Recession, massive deficits, the deregulation of Wall Street and torture-lite are back in control of one of the key levers of Washington power.”

Then, in April of this year, Blumner made a bold assertion when she wrote that “Republicans are willing to abandon every other principle they claim to espouse in their zeal to erode abortion rights.” To take her point an unnecessary step further, Blumner said the following:

It all points to one thing: Republicans view women as incubators first, autonomous beings second. And they're on the cusp of making this the law of the land wherever they hold sway.

Really, “incubators”?   

Blumner was once director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Utah and later in Florida. This may explain her hostility toward anyone who is not a liberal.

The fact is, claims by the left against the Koch Foundation and Florida State University are largely bogus. With liberals like Blumner as an example, it’s pretty clear that there is indeed no controversy, unless of course being a conservative is evil.

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