John Jay College for Criminal Justice in New York says it will not solicit donations from the Koch brothers and their affiliated groups because of campus opposition from the left, according to a report last Saturday in the New York Post.
The John Jay protest against the Koch brothers “is ironic, since their organizations have supported the argument that the US is engaged in ‘mass incarceration’ and that policing is too aggressive,” said Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute. But a long campaign against billionaires Charles and David Koch by journalist Jane Mayer and the New Yorker magazine has convinced much of the left that the brothers are a unique threat to American democracy and that liberals should not cooperate with them, even when the Kochs and the left agree on issues such as over-incarceration and decriminalization.
A John Jay spokeswoman declined to give an accounting of the Koch money that has come in during the last five years but a pamphlet thanking the college’s 2016 donors included the Charles Koch Foundation, listed as giving between $50,000 and $100,000, and the nonprofit Charles Koch Institute, which contributed between $10,000 and $25,000.
And at least one John Jay professor has received a Koch-funded research grant. Psychology professor Deryn Strange got $49,000 from the Charles Koch Foundation for a study involving police body cameras. President Mason said she would not stand in in the way of individual faculty members seeking Koch grants.
John Jay sponsored a recent and controversial art show by former prisoners at Guantanamo, and a teacher at the school was quoted anonymously as saying he thinks having more dead cops is a good idea.