Archive for Thursday, May 3, 2012

Koch gives Smithsonian $35M for new dinosaur hall

May 3, 2012


— An energy businessman is donating a record $35 million to the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History to build a new dinosaur hall on the National Mall, the museum complex announced Thursday.

The donation by David H. Koch, the executive vice president of Koch Industries Inc. of Wichita, Kan., is the single largest gift in the museum's 102-year history. The Smithsonian Board of Regents voted Monday to name the new dinosaur hall in Koch's honor.

Koch, an engineer trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a billionaire who lives in New York City. He was the Libertarian Party's vice presidential candidate in 1980 and has been a major donor to conservative political causes, as well as to educational, medical and cultural groups.

Koch previously gave the Smithsonian $15 million in 2009 to build a new exhibit hall exploring human evolution over 6 million years. The museum's Hall of Human Origins also was named in his honor.

This undated handout photo provided by the Smithsonian Institutions shows the current Dinosaur Hall at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History. Energy businessman David H. Koch is donating a record $35 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History to build a new dinosaur hall on the National Mall. The Smithsonian is announcing the gift Thursday from the executive vice president of Koch Industries Inc. of Wichita, Kan. It is the single largest gift in the museum’s 102-year history.

This undated handout photo provided by the Smithsonian Institutions shows the current Dinosaur Hall at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History. Energy businessman David H. Koch is donating a record $35 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History to build a new dinosaur hall on the National Mall. The Smithsonian is announcing the gift Thursday from the executive vice president of Koch Industries Inc. of Wichita, Kan. It is the single largest gift in the museum’s 102-year history.

In 2006, he gave $20 million to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City to create the David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing. And in 2008, he gave a record $100 million to New York's Lincoln Center to renovate the former New York State Theater.

The Smithsonian's dinosaur hall has remained unchanged for more than 30 years and has grown outdated with advances in paleontology. The current exhibit gallery began as the "Hall of Extinct Monsters" when the museum opened in 1910. Still, the museum has amassed one of the most comprehensive collections of fossils and a well-regarded staff of paleobiologists conducting research.

Museum officials said the renovation will be the largest and most complex overhaul in its history and will showcase its collection of 46 million fossils and current research. Dinosaurs have long been one of the most popular exhibits, said Cristian Samper, the museum's director.

Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough thanked Koch for helping to update the museum.

"Millions of Americans and visitors from all over the world will learn and be inspired for years to come," Clough said in announcing the gift.

It will take about seven years to overhaul the dinosaur exhibit, museum spokesman Randall Kremer said. The existing dinosaur hall will remain open to visitors until spring 2014. Then more than 10,000 bones and fragile specimens will have to be removed from the current exhibition before construction begins. The project is expected to cost $45 million. The renovation follows major updates to all of the public spaces in the museum, which attracts about 7 million visitors annually. The museum's halls devoted to mammals and oceans also have been overhauled in the past decade.

During construction, select dinosaur specimens will remain on view in other public areas of the museum.


1029 6 years, 1 month ago

David Koch believes in dinosaurs? I thought true conservatives didn't buy into that liberal propaganda.

JackMcKee 6 years, 1 month ago

I would have a lot more respect for the Smithsonian if they refused the Koch's money. Those are as close to evil human beings as exist in the modern world.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps you should offer to pony up the same amount.

JackMcKee 6 years, 1 month ago

I, Jack McKee, hereby pledge $50m million to the Smithsonian. Done. Happy?

jhawkinsf 6 years, 1 month ago

I would appreciate it if you fixed your profession before you embark on criticizing others. A Doctor of Laws, you said, correct? Any problems need fixing in your profession?

JackMcKee 6 years, 1 month ago

Here all this time I thought it was just a degree.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

I'm sure the Smithsonian people will be getting you check in the mail soon.

Liberty275 6 years, 1 month ago

The left prefers to see people in the dole queue.

tomatogrower 6 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps the Smithsonian has agreed to put in the radical Christian stance, that the dinosaur bones were put there by the devil to make people question the Bible.

Liberty275 6 years, 1 month ago

I think the compromise was that kids could climb on some of the dinos and act like they are riding it like Jesus did.

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

Your guesses are about as good as your arguments. Fairy tales.

tomatogrower 6 years, 1 month ago

In that study they counted contributions to churches. Church expenses are taken from these, not given to the poor. In fact, I know some churches who have pressured people on welfare to tithe their welfare money. Eliminate the amount given to churches to build new buildings, pay the utilities, pay the preacher and any other staff, and I'll bet that the contributions are the same.

tomatogrower 6 years, 1 month ago

This liberal gives plenty to charity, but I don't often take the deduction. So my tax forms would not reflect what I actually give to charity.

As to Biden and Romney, a percent of their income would be better than a dollar amount. Biden doesn't have near as much money as Romney.

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

Almost no one has as much money as Romney.
I donate money, time and goods. I don't get it on the tax return. They don't count time and work.

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

You are again confused and wrong. You are thinking of persons taking care and caring for community must be incorporated so as to make hay with tax dodges. The teanuts love the tax dodges and using corporations to hide behind when they actually do do something. Only a teanut would confuse a person with a incorporation.

somedude20 6 years, 1 month ago

Giving money to rich Mormons and their church is hardly giving. For your viewing pleasure, enjoy the facts: "Part of the reason for the high rate of giving is Romney’s contributions to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church. According to the church, members are expected to tithe 10 percent of their income. In Romney’s case, in 2010 he gave $1.5 million, closer to 7 percent of his adjusted gross income. In 2011, he gave $2.6 million, or 12.4 percent of his income.

But Romney and his wife also gave a considerable amount of money – some $1.5 million in 2010 and $500,000 in 2011 – to other charities, mainly through the Tyler Charitable Foundation, apparently named for a street Romney and his wife lived on in Belmont, Mass. In 2010, the foundation had more than $10 million in assets.

In 2010, the largest beneficiaries of the Tyler Charitable Foundation included the Mormon Church ($145,000), the Friends of George W. Bush Library ($100,000), and the Center for Treatment of Pediatric MS ($75,000). However, the foundation also made contributions to organizations including the US Equestrian Team Foundation ($10,000), Harvard Business School ($10,000), and Homes for Our Troops ($20,000)."

saraj 6 years, 1 month ago

Better check that comment again.....Mitt Romney gives to his church....A fine thing to do...but not 'charitable causes'....

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

"Over the past 25 years, America's economy has more than doubled in dollar value, an expansion that all of us helped produce. Yet in that period, the bottom 90 % of Americans saw their income fall by an average of $4,000 - while the richest 0.01% saw their income jump 384%." --Jim Hightower

Liberty275 6 years, 1 month ago

They are voting for thieves to tax us harder so they can better distribute the wealth in their pursuit of social justice.

The left doesn't give, they stick an M16 in your back and make you give.

Corey Williams 6 years, 1 month ago

Where do I go to get my M16 to participate? How much to upgrade to the M4?

Liberty275 6 years, 1 month ago

Did you look in the weapons room? You can use an M4 if you want. I don't know if they are using M4s instead of 16s these days. I just give them the money so they leave me alone.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 1 month ago

We should welcome their contribution. Some don't like their Libertarian streak, but that's not the point. They will get a tax break and some publicity. Given their recent problems with ALEC it might help them, but I suspect this has been in the works for a long time. The Koch's influence can be countered if enough Sheeple stand up and pay attention somewhere besides Internet blogs. Besides, I like dinosaurs. Some of them are distant relatives; others get elected to office.

blindrabbit 6 years, 1 month ago

1029: Your overdue for a visit to The Creation Museum in Olde Kentucky where you can see early Christians walking and cavorting with dinosaurs. Or better yet, wait until the Noah's Ark recreation is completed, also in the the progressive minded Kentucky. Tours will be available from the old blowhard Mitch McConnell and while there you can pay homage to the Wildcats in Lexington!

somedude20 6 years, 1 month ago

You mean like the $100 million to the Newark public school system he gave the other year or him boosting the number of potential organ donors? 5/3/12 was not your day

Liberty275 6 years, 1 month ago

"boosting the number of potential organ donors"

You'd think we'd have laws against that. ;-)

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

Why would you be against people donating organs?

Orwell 6 years, 1 month ago

This is equivalent to Michael Corleone buying a papal knighthood. It's a PR investment, just like his campaign cash is used to buy favorable tax/regulatory treatment worth a lot more to him than what it costs.

Or maybe it's just one present-day dinosaur honoring his predecessors. Ultimately things won't end any better for him than for the other big scaly beasts.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 1 month ago

When you balance the good he's done (charity, job creation) with the bad (environmental damage, unfair influence), this Koch fellow sounds like a fairly normal person. Some good and some bad. Maybe that old saying is more true than we'd like to admit, "The rich are just like everyone else. They just have more money".

gudpoynt 6 years, 1 month ago

yeah, that's probably true. But like Stan Lee said, with great power comes great responsibility, yes?

Is "being good" a zero sum game? Can you make up for "bad things" by doing some "good things"? And are the aimless, misinformed Internet droolings of "FalseHopeNoChange" worth more, or less, than a "used prophylactic" filled with "rancid smegma"?

These are some of the challenging questions we must ask ourselves fellow members of the same society.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 1 month ago

As I said, some good and some bad. You raise some interesting issues, but then you go off on that diatribe about FalseHope, which ruins any possibility for an intelligent conversation. Too bad.

gudpoynt 6 years, 1 month ago

don't let my berating of someone else stop you from expounding on the idea of good actions and bad actions being a zero sum game (or not).

I think most people like to believe it's not. That doing something good doesn't justify bad behavior.

However, I think in practice, most people do exactly that, regardless of political leanings.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 1 month ago

Not only did you berate FalseHope above, you did it again to Liberty275 below. But then you invite me have a pleasant conversation with you. No Thanks.

Liberty275 6 years, 1 month ago

"But like Stan Lee said"

I don't form my opinions based on what some ultra left wing apologist comic book writer says. Sorry.

gudpoynt 6 years, 1 month ago

"With great power comes great responsibility" -- yeah, that's pretty heady. My apologies it I taxed your synapses.

Liberty275 6 years, 1 month ago

Do you have less responsibility because you have less power than anyone (not including those in government)? I don't think you do.

"nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. " From a source.

We are all equally RESPONSIBLE for our actions.

How much is the tax on that?

Anyway, I wouldn't listen to stan lee if he was reading my fire extinguisher's instructions and my house was on fire. I'd probably spray him with the water hose instead and tell him to get off my lawn.

blindrabbit 6 years, 1 month ago

This kind of backhanded generosity is typical of Koch's, the ability to contribute these vast sums comes on the backs of those they have shafted. I watch KCPT and listen to NPR but bristle when I hear the the David Koch Foundation has contributed to my pleasure. David is a bon vivant and a Arts gadfly who cavorts with the NYC crowd. This kind of philanthropy is a form of control, "Look what I have, and you don't, but I'm willing to share", "Look how decent I am, forget about all that negative publicity", "Ego, you have to be kidding", "Daddy only loaned me the silver spoon"!

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 1 month ago

Maybe George Soros can donate 35 million to build a nuthouse for many of the Koch haters on here.

Liberty275 6 years, 1 month ago

He needs to destroy another economy to come up with the dough.

Mike Ford 6 years, 1 month ago

The Koch Brothers need to build a rest home for all of their archie bunker trolls. I suppose the Koch Brothers tell the Smithsonian to allow Sam Brownback when visiting ALEC conferences or going to a "C" street lobbying oops I mean prayer meeting that he can have pictures taken of him' riding the dinosaur to make his creationlicans happy. Fairy tales for all....

blindrabbit 6 years, 1 month ago

Too bad the Koch's did not bless KU with part of this largess. Dr. Larry Martin, Professor of Paleontology has had a desire to open a large dinosaur display (maybe in a new building) as part of The Natural History Museum; Kansas has quite a history in this arena, and one of the few quality college housed museums in the U.S.

SinoHawk 6 years, 1 month ago

With the comments on this topic, it isn't too hard to see why he wouldn't give the money to KU.

blindrabbit 6 years, 1 month ago

rockchalk1977: Are you sure Rockchalk1977 and not KSUWildcat1977; much too conservative for the Oread Campus. Of course the 1977 vintage was a return to conservative ideologs after the open minded 1960's early 70's. Rockchalk1966/1971.

gudpoynt 6 years, 1 month ago

You bet!

And you can claim your time spent as a deduction on your 1188-DG under the section titled "Delusions of Grandeur".

gudpoynt 6 years, 1 month ago

hehe, you bet! Good work. I'm changing my registration to the Libertarian party today! Thanks for saving me, man :)

gudpoynt 6 years, 1 month ago

Come on you anti-koch fiends, the guy doesn't have horns. Disagree w/ his politics and industry practices all you want, but why bash on the guy for giving $35 million to a Smithsonian Dinosaur exhibit?!

I mean come on! Dinosaurs!

Now, if he would only stop spending millions to continue blocking environmental regulation just to keep his non-renewable, fossil fuel industry going... he would be totally cool in my book.

OrestessonofAgamemnon 6 years, 1 month ago

okay why? does a stupid man who does not accept evolution as truth pay for an exhibit on evolution, because he is dumb and has what is basically blood money to spend.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 1 month ago

This donation is nothing more than a tool to divert the public eye from the Koch attack on USA wages, public schools and the Koch effort to take over state governments. Koch disdains taxes BUT wants OUR tax dollars in the bank accounts of theirs,Brownback, Wal-Mart familiy and others.

Yes they contribute to PBS for the same damn reason - to divert from their facist philosophy so let's not get duped again!

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

Glad to see you are still repeating the current regime's talking points.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

" ... same damn reason ... " Such inflamed language! Children could be reading this award-winning website!

Fossick 6 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Always wanted to say that.

Mike Ford 6 years, 1 month ago

nothing like trolls looking in the mirror and projecting their behavior on others....

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 1 month ago

Good for David H. Koch.

The Kochs, David in particular, have clearly established themselves as philanthropists willing to donate large sums of money for publically important projects, a la Rockefeller, Carnegie, etc.

I applaud David for the cancer center at MIT, the human evolution display at Smithsonian, and their other donations to the AMNH.

All worthy, noble causes to further education and science in America.

patkindle 6 years, 1 month ago

did you ever notice most liberals dont have any money at least any to donate

"Socialism only works in two places:

Heaven where they don't

need it and hell where they already have it."

JackMcKee 6 years, 1 month ago

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have made massive donations. There are many others that aren't far right radicals that donate in addition to them. Note I'm not calling them liberals. But to people like you, everyone to the left of Dick Cheney is a liberal.

blindrabbit 6 years, 1 month ago

As the Andrews Sisters sang so many times "Rum and Koch A Colas"

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

YDP are still inflamed over someone donating money to a museum while the violence and vandalism committed by the occupy dudes this week is going unremarked? What a world we live in!

Richard Heckler 6 years, 1 month ago

More on ALEC from the 4/12/12 morning news:

Amidst a movement to overturn "Stand Your Ground" gun laws after the Trayvon Martin shooting, we look at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate-funded group that worked with the National Rifle Association to pass the measures across the country.

On Wednesday, the fast-food giant Wendy’s became the sixth corporation to publicly cut ties with the secretive right-wing group for backing the laws.

Over the past week McDonald’s, Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Intuit have all announced that they have decided to not renew their membership with ALEC.

We speak with Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, which runs "ALEC Exposed," a website that published more than 800 "model" bills and resolutions secretly voted on by corporations and politicians. "We’ve seen ALEC, which is really a corporate bill mill, push legislation on all sorts of issues to make it harder for Americans to get justice, to make it harder for Americans to vote, to make it harder for Americans to have their day in court if they or their loved one is killed or injured by a corporation, by corporate greed, by a bad drug, by a product," Graves says.

She notes many of the draft bills outline the privatization of Social Security, schools and prisons

Richard Heckler 6 years, 1 month ago

Publicopoly Exposed

How ALEC, the Koch brothers and their corporate allies plan to privatize government.

ALEC nuts and bolts

ALEC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that in recent years has reported about $6.5 million in annual revenue. ALEC’s members include corporations, trade associations, think tanks and nearly a third (about 2,000) of the nation’s state legislators (virtually all Republican). According to the group’s promotional material, ALEC’s mission is to “advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty, through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector, the federal government, and general public.”

ALEC currently claims more than 250 corporations and special interest groups as private sector members. While the organization refuses to make a complete list of these private members available to the public, some known members include:

  • Wal-Mart
  • Exxon Mobil
  • the Corrections Corporation of America
  • AT&T
  • Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
  • Time Warner Cable
  • Comcast
  • Verizon
  • Phillip Morris International
  • Koch Industries
  • along with a host of right-wing think tanks and foundations.

ALEC is composed of nine task forces–(1) Public Safety and Elections, (2) Civil Justice, (3) Education, (4) Energy, Environment and Agriculture, (5) Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development, (6) Telecommunications and Information Technology, (7) Health and Human Services, (8) Tax and Fiscal Policy and (9) International Relations–each comprised of “Public Sector” members (legislators) and “Private Sector” members (corporations and interest groups).

Each of these task forces, which serve as the core of ALEC’s operations, generate model legislation that is then passed on to member lawmakers for introduction in their home assemblies. According to ALEC promotional material, each year member lawmakers introduce an average of 1,000 of these pieces of legislation nationwide, 17 percent of which are enacted. For 2009, ALEC claimed a total of 826 pieces of introduced legislation nationwide, 115 of which were passed into law–slightly below the average at 14 percent.

ALEC does not offer its model legislation for public inspection.

ALEC refused to comment on any aspect of the material covered here.

More and more:

juma 6 years, 1 month ago

This so-called intellectual by the name Bill Ayers; God has granted him the blessed fact that he was born in America and can live here freely spouting off BS. What if he was in China. Love to see your mouth-spout there.

Corey Williams 6 years, 1 month ago

Or Canada, try saying what you want there. Or Australia, Germany, France, Ireland, Denmark, etc, etc. Did god grant those people the "blessed fact" that they were born there and can live there? Are they even christian countries? Do you even know what you're talking about?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.