www.washingtonpost.com -- On Sunday, before I gave my speech to the American Medical Student Association, I popped into one of the ballrooms, where Cato Institute health-care wonk Michael Cannon was debating a representative from the pro-single payer organization Physicians for a National Health Program. “Whatever,” muttered a guy standing to my right. “Wasn’t Cato founded by the Koch brothers anyway?”I’d thought the Koch brothers had merely funded Cato, but it turns out the libertarian think tank was in fact co-founded by Charles Koch in 1977 (for a pretty exhaustive list of Koch family connections, head here). But so what? The Koch brothers are major donors to an array of conservative causes, and for various reasons, they’ve become more celebrated than, say, the Coors family or the National Federation of Independent Business. But in much the way that conservatives became unusually and incorrectly obsessed with George Soros between 2004 and 2008, I worry that a lot of liberals have become overly fixated on the influence and power of the Koch brothers.
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