David Koch’s ‘dark money’ was misunderstood


Here’s a shocker: people are more complicated than the caricatures disseminated by their enemies suggest.  Witness the stupefyingly rich David Koch, who together with his brother Charles, presided over a business empire worth some $115 billion. David, who died on Friday at 79 after a long battle with prostate cancer, was at one with his brother in embracing a staunch libertarian philosophy of government and also in his belief in the power of philanthropic investment.  When you control a personal fortune of $50 billion, you are in a position to distribute philos to many anthropoi.

This the Koch brothers did, on a breathtaking scale. A lot of their money, and a lot of money they leveraged from other conservative donors, was siphoned to political candidates of whom they approved. Many, many millions more went to various cultural, medical, and educational causes.

Yet the Kochs’ money was often taken…



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