09 May 2018

What the Koch Brothers’ Money Buys

Internal emails from George Mason University show how cash turns into special favors.

It might seem beyond debate that when a person gives you a substantial chunk of cash, he’s going to expect something substantial in return. In recent years, however, a growing number of lawyers and judges have contested this basic fact of human nature and have enshrined into law their willful naivety about the corrupting influence of money. This week, two major players in the movement to deny this reality, Charles Koch and Leonard Leo, got caught up in scandals that reveal their efforts to buy influence over governmental matters. These embarrassing flaps neatly illustrate that the very same people who argue that money doesn’t buy special favors have secretly been using their money to buy special favors.

Mark Joseph Stern