While pushing back critics, FSU gains a couple more GOP insidersby John Kennedy | May 18th, 2011
Even as Florida State University administrators work to stiff-arm critics over the school’s $1.5 million donation from conservative titan Charles Koch, Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday added a couple prominent Republican leaders to its board of trustees.
Scott named former House Speaker Allan Bense of Panama City and Joe Gruters, chairman of the Sarasota Republican Party, and a recent candidate for state GOP boss, to the school’s board. Bense served as the state party’s finance chairman last year.
Both also are Noles.
But FSU President Eric Barron has been pushing back hard against criticism that the school has compromising its values — and strayed into the world of right-wing politics — with the contribution from Koch. The part-time Palm Beach resident’s cash will help pay for positions in the university’s economics department.
Koch, a part-owner of Koch Industries, is a prominent libertarian who has helped finance such organizations as Americans for Prosperity which, in turn, have served as a touchstone for the tea party movement.