Friday, March 2, 2012

Was Niskanen's Dog More Important to Him Than the Cato Institute?

Skip Oliva provides an excellent overview of the legal battle between Koch and Cato.

But what I find most curious is the fact that Niskanen gave more thought in his will to his dog, than he did his Cato shares.

Oliva notes:
.. as the Koch lawsuit correctly observes, Niskanen made no express gift of Cato shares in his will.
Indeed, Niskanen does not mention his Cato shares in his will at all. In fact, he hardly mentions any specific assets. The will, a copy of which is filed in the court suit, appears generally boilerplate and discusses assets in broad sweeps.

The only thing the will seems to go out of the way to mention is that $2,000 be set aside to care and find a proper new home for Niskanen's dog, Winston. Which, I'm guessing, was named after Winston Churchill, who has been exposed by Ralph Raico as a total warmongering  loon.

The more disclosed about these Catoites, the crazier it gets.


  1. I vote for Winston to be the new chairman of Cato

    1. It could only be an improvement!

  2. Charles Koch's response that their goal was to “ensure that Cato stays true to its fundamental principles of individual liberty, free markets, and peace into the future, and that it not be subject to the personal preferences of individual officers or directors” is absolutely so patently obsurd and ridiculous that I did, if fact, spit out my lunch reading it.

    One more time for the world is David Gordon's masterful recap of the history of the Kochtopus:

    Part I:

    Part II:

    Recent Comments:

    And Bob's neat organization of these:

    We miss you, Murray, even us too young to have known you and we thank you for the strings you seem to be pulling, wherever you are.

  3. Could be! Niskanen's dog may have done more for liberty than CATO and the Koch Brothers since 1977, or in all events, since c.1980, when Murray Rothbard and REAL libertarians were purged!

    In all events, Niskanen's dog didn't ally itself with the horrid GOP (and against Ron Paul) since 9/11!


  4. I cannot agree with Oliva's conclusion that this is a simple exercise in shareholder rights by the Kochs -- namely, that they are entitled, along with Crane, to buy the Niskanen shares, giving them a 2/3 control of the corporation and getting the right to pick a majority of the directors.

    In fact, the peculiar language in the shareholder agreement states that [should the Corporation — Cato — decline to exercise its option to buy the shares AND] “Should the rights granted hereunto to the Corporation be deemed inconsistent with its corporate purpose, then the rights granted hereby shall be deemed to be granted to the shareholders of the Corporation,…” Not exactly standard buy-sell language.

    Paragraph 24 of the petition misstates and misrepresents this language and should be subject to a motion to dismiss or for a more definite statement — at the least.

  5. to be fair, mr. wenzel, his dog could've been named after the protaganist in my favorite novel 1984.