Top Koch Documents This Week

1984 Institute for Humane Studies of Texas Articles of Incorporation – Institute for Energy Research (IER)

This document marks the creation of the organization that is now known as the Institute for Energy Research (IER). The Institute for Energy Research was originally co-founded by Charles Koch and former Enron executive Robert L. Bradley in 1984, under the name “Institute for Humane Studies of Texas.” The document was first reported by Lee Fang for Republic Report in 2014: “In October of 1984, Charles, then using a Menlo Park, California address founded a non-profit called the Institute for Humane Studies of Texas. That organization briefly lost its charter in 1989 for failure to pay the Texas state franchise tax. Four years later, incorporation documents reveal, the group rebranded as the Institute for Energy Research, or IER, which later formed a subsidiary called the American Energy Alliance.” 1984 Institute for Humane Studies of Texas Articles of Incorporation, Texas Secretary of State – Institute for Energy Research (IER) (PDF) 1984 Institute for Humane Studies of Texas Articles of Incorporation, Texas Secretary…

1999 Letter from Richard Fink to Dr. James Buchanan re Koch Leaders and Groups, including the Bill of Rights Institute

This letter from is from Richard Fink, writing as the Director of the Charles Koch Foundation (CKF), to Dr. James Buchanan, a professor at George Mason University with deep ties to Charles Koch’s agenda, as detailed in Nancy MacLean’s book, Democracy in Chains. Fink was one of the main lieutenants for Charles Koch. He was writing for the non-profit CKF at an address that was also used for Koch Industries, for both its in-house lobbying shop now known as Koch Companies Public Sector and its Political Action Committee, KochPAC, which has donated predominantly but not exclusively to GOP candidates. That is, the charity in Koch’s name was housed with his lobbyists and his electoral operations. In the letter, Fink informs Buchanan about moves of various Koch operatives, including the staffing of a new group to advance another part of Charles Koch’s agenda, to target children with his Libertarian worldview. In…

1995 ALEC State Factor: Charles Koch & David Koch Award Speeches; Rio climate treaty opposition

This document contains the transcripts of speeches by Charles Koch and David Koch of Koch Industries upon the receipt of the “Adam Smith Award” created by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is a non-profit group that calls itself the largest voluntary association of state legislators in the U.S., but which is largely funded by corporations and special interest groups that write legislation they want those legislators to make legally binding. At ALEC Task Force meetings, ALEC funders get an “equal voice and vote” with ALEC legislators on “model” bills to change the rights of people in the U.S. These speeches, from ALEC’s 1994 meeting, are included in a newsletter called the “State Factor” from September 8, 1995 (Volume 21, Number 6). The newsletter also features Patrick Michaels–then at the University of Virginia, before a long career at the Cato Institute–asserting that there is “unsettled science” involved in the…

1991 CATO Climate Denial Conference Flyer

This document is a flyer created by the Charles Koch-founded Cato Institute in 1991 to promote its conference on “Global Environmental Crisis: Science or Politics?” Cato’s conference featured twelve men, a number of whom are now considered key figures in climate denial, in denying that burning carbon is affecting the earth’s climate and in obstructing efforts by governments to address the changes–despite the overwhelming agreement within the scientific community on the causes of the dramatic climate changes underway. The Cato climate denial conference speakers include: Patrick J. Michaels, Richard S. Lindzen, Robert C. Balling, Jr., and S. Fred Singer, among others (links here are to profiles from DeSmog). As Jane Mayer noted in her review of Kochland by Chris Leonard, this document helps establish the early role played by the Charles Koch-founded and -funded CATO Institute in fueling climate change denial and obstruction of efforts to try to mitigate the…

1974 Charles Koch Speech: “Anti-Capitalism and Big Business” and How the Powell Memo Did Not Go Far Enough

In this 1974 speech, Charles Koch claimed that “business has consciously assisted the government in destroying the free market.” This speech was given during the second term of Republican President Richard M. Nixon, a few months before he resigned in disgrace. This address was part of a meeting on “The Anti-Capitalist Mentality,” which was organized by the Institute for Humane Studies. IHS was founded in 1961 by F.A. “Baldy” Harper to advance Libertarian ideas more radically than the Foundation for Economic Education by, for example, calling all taxes “theft,” despite the Constitutional provision authorizing taxes. Charles began supporting IHS in 1964, and took over IHS in 1973 after Harper died. So, this speech was an address to followers of a group he controlled; IHS continues to play a substantial role in the Koch empire and his efforts to change the law and legal policy to suit his agenda. At that…

2017 Koch Seminar Network Strategy Memo: “Advancing Comprehensive Tax Reform”

This strategy memo from Charles Koch’s network to its funders was first reported by Lee Fang and Nick Surgey at The Intercept. This memo preceded Koch’s successful effort to get Trump to sign into law massive tax cuts that substantially benefited the richest few in the U.S. This memo articulating Koch’s tax agenda was shared under the rubric of what was then called the “Seminar Network,” which previously operated under the name “Freedom Partners” and which now operates under the name “Stand Together.” Whatever the name, the concept is the same: this is the political agenda of the Koch empire in coordination with the CEOs and corporations that help fund Charles Koch’s agenda through a non-profit trade group that has operated under whatever brand name Koch approves. This kind of strategy memo is one of the organizing tools deployed by Koch to get his billionaire and millionaire funder allies, who…

2001 Department of Justice: “Koch Pleads Guilty to Covering Up Environmental Violations at Texas Oil Refinery” and Pays $10 Million Fine

In a press release in 2001, the U.S. Department of Justice describes how the George W. Bush Administration settled “a 97-count indictment against Koch Industries Inc., Koch Petroleum Group, L.P., and four corporate employees” brought by the Clinton Administration alleging environmental crimes, conspiracy, and making false statements about one of the company’s refineries in Texas. The company was facing more than $500 million in potential fines. According to Jane Mayer‘s breakout profile in the New Yorker, “During the 2000 election campaign, Koch Industries spent some nine hundred thousand dollars to support the candidacies of George W. Bush and other Republicans.” After Bush was sworn in, the federal government dropped 86 counts and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries agreed to pay $10 million in fines and spend $10 million on abatement, as noted in the press release from the Bush Administration below. As noted by Lisa Graves and Brendan Fischer,…