RGF: The propaganda arm of Charles and David Koch?

I love being attacked. It means we’re being effective in our work to study and promote the ideas of individual liberty and free markets. In today’s Albuquerque Journal business outlook section, reader Chuck McCoy, based on one 2006 donation from the Washington, DC-based Cato Institute, called the Rio Grande Foundation “the propaganda arm of David and Charles Koch.”

Anyone who knows the Cato Institute knows that the organization is indeed respected nationally by elected officials of both parties as is the Rio Grande Foundation here in New Mexico. The fact that McCoy doesn’t actually attack our research or ideas is telling, in fact. It is much easier to repeat the meme that the Koch Brothers are evil than to engage in an intellectual battle.

Notably, liberal Sen. Ron Wyden recently spoke to the Cato Institute. The Rio Grande Foundation’s top education policy (school choice tax credits for low-income as well as special needs kids) was last sponsored by four Democrats, most of whom would self-identify as “liberal.” This is just one instance for both organizations. Ultimately, both are respected even if philosophical disagreements exist.

And, of course, that is the heart of the matter. McCoy (and too many on the left) just doesn’t agree with us, but they are too intellectually-lazy to make a coherent argument based on economic principles and analysis. Those who make a big stink about the Koch Brothers don’t attack the ACLU for taking $20 million from the Koch’s. They also don’t seem to care that the major left-wing think tank in this state, Voices for Children, recently accepted a $900,000 grant from the out-of-state Kellogg Foundation. This would support the Rio Grande Foundation’s entire budget for a several years, by the way.

I don’t begrudge Voices for Children for leaning on wealthy out-of-state funding sources. My biggest issue is that it is the very left-wing policies that Kellogg and others have enacted in New Mexico that has chased businesses and wealth out of New Mexico, thus forcing our entire state to be reliant on financial support from other, more economically-free states.

If you DO support free markets and limited government in New Mexico, don’t hesitate to make a tax-deductible donation here.