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Washington, DC- FreedomWorks released the following statement today regarding the Koch-Cato Institute lawsuit:
As representatives of FreedomWorks, a grassroots organization that fights for constitutionally-limited government and individual freedom, we have grave concerns regarding the potential damage to the cause of liberty that will result from the dispute that has erupted between the Board of Directors of the Cato Institute and various parties at Koch Industries.
While we do not pretend to know all of the particulars of the dispute over ownership shares, it is clear that this hostile takeover bid, if successful, will do irreparable harm to the credibility of Cato, and equally important, will undermine our community’s intellectual defenses at a time when the progressive left seems more committed than ever in their aggressive pursuit of government control of the American economy and the most personal decisions of its individual citizens.
One example was the willingness of Cato scholars to join with us in opposition of the bipartisan efforts of the Bush Administration and the Pelosi Congress to rush through a massive bailout of certain Wall Street banks -- the Troubled Asset Relief Program – in October of 2008. It seemed obvious to us that this was bad public policy utterly contrary to the principles of freedom, free enterprise and individual responsibility. It was a constitutional breech of federal authority that very few so-called “free market” organizations stood up to oppose. But Cato was there, standing up at the very moment it was most difficult to stand on principle.
The work of the Cato Institute – producing top quality intellectual ammunition unyielding in its defense of economic freedom and the unalienable rights of the individual over the encroachments of big government – is clearly threatened by the decision of Charles and David Koch to file a lawsuit against the Institute and Bill Niskanen’s widow, Kathryn Washburn. These actions put an internal governance dispute into the light of day, and the enemies of liberty are having a field day exploiting the distraction. We don’t always agree with individual Cato scholars, but that is precisely the point. They are independent, and their independence is their most valuable asset in the push and pull of the public debate.
It is our hope that the parties at Koch Industries will reconsider their ill-conceived actions so that Cato is there in the future, intact, aggressively holding both Democrats and Republicans to account for any and all efforts to grow the size and reach of government."
Dick Armey, Chairman
C. Boyden Gray, Co-Chairman
Matt Kibbe, President