Charles Koch's long history of education funding
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Charles Koch's long history of education funding

Conservative billionaire's massive grant to United Negro College Fund nothing new

Conservative billionaire Charles Koch's eponymous charitable foundation announced last week it's giving the United Negro College Fund $25 million to primarily fund thousands of merit-based scholarships.

While the development may come as a shock to some Democrats and liberals, particularly those like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who've sought to vilify Charles Koch and brother David as self-centered industrialists bent on buying elections, it's status quo for the elder Koch sibling.

As the Center for Public Integrity reported in March:

In all, two of the six private charitable foundations the Koch brothers control and personally fund combined in 2012 to infuse colleges and universities with more than $12.7 million, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of Internal Revenue Service tax filings.

The vast majority of this cash was spread among 163 U.S. colleges and universities — many with reputations for liberal faculty and left-leaning patrons — throughout 41 states and the District of Columbia. It came on top of tens of millions of dollars more Koch foundations have given colleges and universities during the past decade, tax filings show.  

Various Koch-backed charitable foundations have also made massive contributions to medicine and the arts as well as sizable grants to a variety of politics- and government-focused outfits.

The Kochs separate network of nonprofit trade associations and "social welfare" nonprofits have pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into issue advertisements and direct advocacy for and against political candidates — activity that continues today at a torrid pace as the nation heads toward congressional elections in November.

Reprinted by permission of The Center for Public Integrity.

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