Those Libertarians are always thinking

by Pete Talbot

Since the Heritage Foundation isn’t conservative enough, Libertarians have established dozens of their own “think tanks.”

I discovered this after Googling the Independence Institute, Rob Natelson’s new home. The UM professor is leaving the law school, where he taught constitutional law, for this Libertarian think tank in Colorado.

Natelson ran for Montana Governor as a Republican twice. Although he had decent showings, he never made it past the primary. He’s also a contributor to the conservative blog, Electric City Weblog.

I met Natelson once when I crashed some Republican affair here in Missoula. He was a congenial fellow and we had a brief, non-political conversation. He obviously had no idea who I was.

His politics are very conservative although I didn’t think they were of the Ron Paul variety. I’ve never taken his law class (guess I’d have to pass the LSAT first) but from his writing I’ve gleaned that he leans more toward the Scalia/Alito/Roberts/Thomas philosophy than that of Stevens/Ginsberg/Beyer/Sotomayor.

But back to the Libertarian think tanks. There are at least two in Montana that I know of, both located in Bozeman. There’s PERC, “an environmental think tank seeking free market solutions to environmental problems” and the Montana Policy Institute. They’re joined at the hip and, along with the Independence Institute, Cato Institute and a bunch of other regional think tanks, they’re: anti-government, anti-health care reform, pro-deregulation, global warming skeptics and rabid about property rights.

It’s difficult to find out where the funding comes from for the Montana and other regional think tanks. I’ve tried. The Cato Institute in Washington, DC lists the Coors, Koch and Olin family foundations among its donors. To say that these foundations are conservative free-marketeers would be an understatement. Corporate donors include WalMart, R.J. Reynolds and the American Petroleum Institute. You can imagine the kind of policy that the funders of these organizations would like to see.

So good luck, Rob, in your new job of interpreting the U.S Constitution to meet the needs of the Libertarian think tanks.

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  1. His politics are very conservative although I didn’t think they were of the Ron Paul variety.

    Very few things are more humorous than reading Dr. Rob rant about that shameless liberal Marc Rocicot.

  2. problembear

    i hear natelson throws a mean party too!

  3. problembear

    iiiiiiknowwww!
    tried to find a video of ferguson saying it but no luck.

  4. problembear

    with bobby hauck, george dennison and natelson packing up and leaving perhaps some of those evil spirits in our sewers will quiet down in missoula now….




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