Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Confronting Falsehoods about the Charles Koch Foundation’s support of The Heartland Institute

There has been a troubling pattern in the public discourse where left-leaning and, in particular, environmental activists have sought to connect Koch to whatever cause is agitating them — no matter how tenuous or even non-existent the connection to Koch actually is.

Documents and analysis about the Charles Koch Foundation’s support for The Heartland Institute, posted on February 14 by a partisan blog calling itself “DeSmogBlog” are demonstrably FALSE  in several key respects.

The documents presented by the blog indicate “[the Foundation] returned as a Heartland donor in 2011 with a contribution of $200,000.  We expect to push up their level of support in 2012…if our focus continues to align with their interests.”  But this is not so.  The Foundation gave just $25,000 to Heartland in 2011 (the only such donation to that organization in more than 10 years) and that funding was specifically directed to a healthcare research program, and not climate change research, as was erroneously reported.

Statistically speaking, the Foundation’s contribution represents approximately one-twentieth of one percent of Heartland’s total funding over that ten year period. The Foundation has made no further commitments of funding to Heartland.

In addition, The Heartland Institute has issued a statement declaring that the documents cited in the blog (and re-transmitted in subsequent news stories) were stolen from Heartland and that one document in circulation is a total fake. Heartland says it intends to seek criminal charges and damages against whoever stole the original documents.

We would urge readers to exercise high skepticism about reports from sources like the blog we’ve cited.

The Charles Koch Foundation’s statement about this issue can be found here .

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