Phi Beta Cons

Ripple Effects

The Koch brothers’ gift of $25 million to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) for scholarships has had some ripple effects. As the Huffington Post reports, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), one of the country’s biggest unions, has withdrawn its scholarship funding. The union’s donation had been on the order of $50,000 to $60,000 a year plus contributions by local union affiliates.

It appears that Michael Lomax’s crime (Lomax is president of the UNCF) was not so much accepting the gift but actually speaking before the “summit” that the Koch brothers hold annually to bring sympathetic donors, grant recipients, and grant seekers together. And even worse was the fact that Charles Murray (coauthor of The Bell Curve, but the author of many other books as well) spoke at the meeting, too. The taint was overwhelming. “Your appearance at the summit can only be interpreted as a sign of your personal support and the UNCF’s organizational support of the Koch brothers’ ideological program.”

A rather strong inference to draw from a single appearance that was probably designed to raise money from other donors as well.

Jane S. ShawJane S. Shaw retired as president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in 2015. Before joining the Pope Center in 2006, Shaw spent 22 years in ...


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