Kochs Deny Ed Crane's Account of Moscow Speaking Snub


Last week I mentioned in this space a long Washingtonian article about the Koch/Cato legal feud that, among other things, depicted Cato President Ed Crane's musings that a September 1990 speaking snub to Charles Koch at a historic Cato conference in Moscow might have been the source of the think tank co-founders' fallout. Now the Kochs have responded to the article, on their ForABetterCato.com website. Here's a selection on the Moscow anecdote:

The truth: Charles Koch had no desire to speak, never asked to, and did not leave as a result of any disagreement.

In reality, Charles Koch's concern with the conference agenda was that it never addressed the difficulty of transforming a Communist economy to a free-market economy. Without a focus on these transition issues, Charles Koch believed the recommendations would backfire and lead to anything but a free economy (which is, indeed, what happened). When Charles Koch advised Crane of this, Crane discounted the problem and refused to make changes.

Equal time: The Save Cato page on Facebook.

David Koch sits on The Reason Foundation's Board of Trustees, and Reason collaborates constantly with The Cato Institute. Disclosures and other information can be found in my prior blog posts (in chronological order): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported earlier this week that several other think tanks are facing succession issues. Excerpt:

In the past 18 months, many of the leaders associated with institutions such as the Rand Corp., the Center for New American Security, the Asia Society, the Urban Institute and several other think tanks have stepped down or announced plans to do so.

Even Edwin Feulner — a founding trustee when the Heritage Foundation opened its doors in 1973 and president since 1977 — will be exiting.