The Kochs Respond to Our Story on the Cato Institute

On a new website, the billionaire brothers react to our feature on the think tank published in the June issue.

By: Luke Mullins

Charles and David Koch have launched a new website to articulate their positions as they continue their effort to take control of the Cato Institute—the nation’s most prestigious libertarian think tank.

The website,, includes a lengthy response to Washingtonian Magazine’s feature article on the controversy, which appeared in the June issue. 

Unlike most nonprofits, Cato was established as a stock institution that gave its shareholders the power to appoint its board of directors. After one of Cato’s four shareholders—William Niskanen—died in October of 2011, the billionaire Koch brothers filed a lawsuit staking claim to his shares. If successful, the maneuver could allow the Koch brothers to amass two-thirds of Cato’s outstanding stock and gain firm control of the think tank.

Cato’s management, which has pledged to aggressively fight the Kochs’ efforts, has argued that the shares should go to Niskanen’s widow, not the Kochs.