One of the most powerful political and financial supporters of progressive politics and Barack Obama’s campaigns over the last decade has been the public sector union American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

On Thursday, AFSCME made a remarkable announcement — that it would will end its support for the United Negro College Fund after the group accepted $25 million from the conservative Koch Brothers.

In June, Charles and David Koch made a big $25 million donation to the College Fund (UNCF). The UNCF is the largest provider of scholarships to black college students in the U.S. and also supports historically black colleges and universities. The $25 million donation is one of the highest donations ever received by the UNCF.

In a letter made public Thursday, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said it will no longer partner with or raise funds for the fund, known for its iconic motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

AFSCME President Lee Saunders said the actions of the college fund’s president “are not only deeply hostile to the rights and dignity of public employees, but also a profound betrayal of the ideals of the civil rights movement.”

AFSCME’s President made no specific allegations against the Koch Brothers but instead adopted the broad attack and smear approach that Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has taken to attacking the Kochs.

The Koch Brothers are known to fund conservative and libertarian causes as well as significantly invest in communities across the nation. According to the Daily Caller, Charles Koch has given money to over 250 colleges and universities through his eponymous foundation, while David Koch has given over $200 million to support cancer research, including over $100 million to support the cancer research center at MIT that is named for him.

The donation, which is being made by Koch Industries Inc. as well as the Charles Koch Foundation, will be split between $18.5 million that will support a new Koch Scholars Program of nearly 3,000 individual scholarships and $6.5 million that will provide general support to the UNCF and historically black colleges. The Koch Scholars Program will run for seven years.

“Increasing well-being by helping people improve their lives has long been our focus. Our partnership with UNCF will provide promising students with new educational opportunities that will help them reach their full potential. We have tremendous respect for UNCF, and we are hopeful this investment will further its effectiveness in helping students pursue their dreams,” Charles Koch said in a statement published by UNCF.

The Koch Brothers caused another liberal hissy fit in March when they $100 million to New York Presbyterian Hospital:

But the new wing at New York-Presbyterian Hospital inspired a bizarre protest last weekend by activist groups including the NAACP New York State Conference, the New York State Nurses’ Association and the hospital-employee union SEIU Local 1199.
Surely there had to be a catch to the hospital wing. Why else would it be a source of such distress? Was there a provision that would cause all the nurses in the new wing to be replaced by voodoo priests?

It turned out that none of these factors was at play. The new structure will simply be an ordinary wing of a hospital doing regular hospital stuff like saving lives, charging $25 for a Tylenol and (equally important to the unions, you would think) employing lots of healthcare professionals. The $100 million gift was the largest in the hospital’s history.

No, the only thing the liberal interest groups didn’t like about the new hospital wing was its funding source: the philanthropist known as David H. Koch. The new wing was gratefully to be named after Koch, who along with his brother Charles stands as one of today’s great philanthropists.

So when people aren’t getting treatments they need at hospitals, or talented African-American students don’t get scholarships — you can’t blame the Koch Brothers. You may want to look at the groups screaming the loudest. They must have something to lose: the truth.


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