Kevin Gentry

Kevin Gentry

Credentials

  • B.A., Economics, College of William and Mary (1986). [1], [22]

Background

Kevin Gentry is director of strategic development for Koch Industries, vice president of the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, and a top aide to Charles Koch and David Koch. He has also served as vice president for special projects at Koch Companies Public Sector (KCPS). [2], [3]

According to research and documents obtained by Politico, Gentry’s key task is to raise money for the Koch network and he “also leads a sort of informal network of fundraisers for top conservative think tanks and advocacy groups around the country, including The Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity and the Texas Public Policy Foundation.” [4]

One of Gentry’s key roles, working for the Kochs, is organizing the Koch network’s secretive biannual free enterprise donor events. [5]

Gentry has worked with other Koch-affiliated groups. From 1997 to 2003 he served as vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University[2]

Cato Institute Placement & Removal

Kevin Gentry was placed on the board of the Cato Institute by Charles Koch and David Koch in December 2010.  At the time, Cato Institute chairman Robert Levy and its president Edward Crane were concerned with the placement, describing Gentry as a “Republican activist” and “social conservative”: [6]

“Nancy Pfotenhauer – they’d put her and Kevin Gentry on our board. Both of them were Republican activists, and social conservatives. Never been to a Cato event, never given a dime to Cato. Nice people, but didn’t have the stature to be on our board,” Crane said in an interview with Slate. [6]

At a dinner on March 31, 2011, a frustrated Crane spoke about Gentry: [7]

I just want to say something about these Koch people,” Crane said. “Kevin Gentry sitting over there has never once—never once!—invited me to one of the Koch donor events that he organizes for Charles! Nor has he invited anyone from Cato!” [7]

Crane reportedly ignored Pfotenhauer and Gentry during a board meeting, even though they were the only other directors physically in the room (others participated by phone).  Koch told Levy that Crane’s treatment of Gentry and Pfotenhauer was unacceptable and called for Crane to be fired. [7]

Gentry later wrote an article at CNN backing the Kochs in the dispute over Cato: [8]

“It is Crane and Levy’s concern about their control of Cato, rather than concern for the good of the organization, that is driving the dispute,” Gentry wrote. “Cato is losing its voice and focus, at a time when the debate over the role of the government in our society is more needed than ever.” [8]

Gentry was eventually removed from the Cato board as part of a settlement barring any Koch employees from serving there. [9]

Political Contributions

The following is pulled from data at the Federal Election Commission for contributions made by Kevin Gentry from 1996 to 2018: [23]

 Year
Recipient19961998199920012002200320042005200620082009201020112012201320142015201620172018Grand Total
KOCH INDUSTRIES INC POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (KOCHPAC)     $2,000$2,000$500$1,500$5,000$5,000$5,000$5,000$5,000$5,000$5,000$5,000$5,000  $61,000
REPUBLICAN PARTY OF VIRGINIA INC      $3,259   $770 $379 $615$220$3,000$1,050$1,424 $10,717
FAIRFAX COUNTY REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE (FEDERAL)         $100$250    $1,300$500$360$500 $3,010
FRIENDS OF GEORGE ALLEN       $1,330$827           $2,157
BUSHCHENEY ’04 INC     $2,000              $2,000
GEORGE ALLEN FOR US SENATE             $1,972      $1,972
STEELE FOR MARYLAND INC        $1,100           $1,100
FRIENDS OF CHAUNCEY GOSS             $1,000      $1,000
ED GILLESPIE FOR SENATE               $750    $750
GEORGE LANDRITH FOR US CONGRESS$747                   $747
BOB GOODLATTE FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE $672                  $672
FIMIAN FOR CONGRESS 2010 (FIMIAN 2010)           $500        $500
KIRK COX FOR CONGRESS   $500                $500
ARMSTRONG FOR CONGRESS         $500          $500
GARY HOFMEISTER FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE $500                  $500
JON KYL FOR U S SENATE        $500           $500
11TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA REPUBLICAN COMMITTEEFEDERAL                $250   $250
MIKE PENCE COMMITTEE           $250        $250
KALOOGIAN FOR CONGRESS        $250           $250
FRIENDS OF KATHERINE HARRIS    $250               $250
PAT HERRITY FOR CONGRESS           $250        $250
BUSH FOR PRESIDENT INC  $250                 $250
SUZANNE SCHOLTE FOR CONGRESS               $250    $250
8TH DISTRICT REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE (VA)       $250            $250
LEGACY POLITICAL FUND          $250         $250
GOOD GOVERNMENT FOR AMERICA PAC      $50             $50
Grand Total$747$1,172$250$500$250$4,000$5,309$2,080$4,177$5,600$6,270$6,000$5,379$7,972$5,615$7,520$8,750$6,410$6,924$5,000$89,925

Stance on Climate Change

Gentry does not appear to have made any public statements about his views on climate change.

Key Quotes

March 5, 2013

Below is an email Kevin Gentry sent to attendees of an upcoming GOP donor retreat, obtained by Mother Jones. In the email, Gentry promises a “rigorous post-election assessment” that “must be geared toward productive next steps:” [10], [11]

“In eight weeks, on April 28–29, several hundred of America’s top business owners and CEOs will come together at an exclusive ‘Principals-only’ event hosted by Charles Koch in California. We Look forward to having you join us.

“In Palm Springs, you’ll have the opportunity to join the most strategic market-oriented minds in the business world to advance a plan to defend our free-enterprise system.

“Together, we’ll discuss how to effectively address short-term policy threats in 2013 while building toward free-market gains in 2014 and beyond. 

“As a new participant, you will offer a valuable perspective on this group’s rigorous post-election assessment as well as the strategies presented at the meeting.

“We have developed a program that we believe will not only maximize the value of your two days with us, but also your ability to effectively achieve what we believe to be your policy, political and philanthropic goals. Among other topics, in April, we’ll discuss how to more effectively engage growing demographic groups, such as Hispanic and Latino voters, and how to encourage principled and effective advocates of free enterprise to run for office.

“You’ve likely heard many different takes on the 2012 election. And, as you may know from your experience, this type of analysis is not an end in and of itself. As we would within Koch companies, the post-election analysis must be geared toward productive next seps, particularly focusing on where and how we must innovate to achieve our challenging objectives.

“We’ll be joined by a strong line-up of speakers, including several U.S. governors, senators, members of the U.S. House leadership and top political analysts and commentators. We all look forward d to hearing these leaders’ thoughts on the important issues facing our country, and invite your participation through question and answer sessions.

“You’ll also hear strategies that will be central to these efforts going forward scuh as:

” – Reaching the right people with the right message. Understanding key customer segments – and more importantly the issues that matter to them – will be crucial to educating and mobilization key constituencies in future educational and political battles.

” – Hispanic, women and youth engagement. Allies will present an approach to more effectively communicate to these growing demographics, all of which will play a critical role in advancing free enterprise.

” – Candidate recruitment and training. A plan will be shared to help recruit more principled and effective advocates of free-enterprise ot run for office.

“Of course, these only cover a few of the many topics we’ll discuss in April.

“Your efforts will not only effect positive change today, but for years and decades to come. After all, as you’ll see in April, it’s this group’s long-term focus that keeps us fighting for freedom, prosperity and opportunity – even when times are tough. 

I look forward to seeing you at April’s meeting. […]”

Key Deeds

August 6, 2017

In an article at HuffPost, The Undercurrent’s journalist Lauren Windsor wrote she and a friend had been “manhandled” by Kevin Gentry at a Koch donor retreat at St. Regis Monarch Bay Resort. [12]

“Kevin Gentry walked over, positioning himself in such a way as to block my ability to approach the private dining room door. He faux-congenially asked my name, and then pretended not to be Kevin Gentry, although I identified him immediately. As I saw Charles Koch exit into the bar area surrounded by a phalanx of security, I walked towards him, and Gentry grabbed my arm, forcibly detaining me,” Lauren Windsor wrote. [12]

Windsor also described the experience of her friend, Tara Margolin: [12]

“They had been shaking hands, when this whole scene went into motion. He crushed her hand and twisted her wrist, also forcibly detaining her. Tara’s hand and wrist were hurt and incredibly sore. Gentry and Davis laughed off her injury.

“We decided to file a police report for her assault after speaking with two lawyers. An officer with the Orange County Sheriffs Department came to take Tara’s complaint, and paramedics came to ice her hand.”

“In a statement for this article Tara said, ‘I was very surprised and disappointed that after the charming and polite conversation I’d had earlier with Mr. Koch in the resort gym that he would have his representative treat me in such a thuggish and frightening manner.’” [12]

The Action Network, sponsored by American Family Voices, launched a petition, with over 7,000 signatures, for Kevin Gentry to be fired in response to the incident. [13]

April 2014

In a 2014 email sent by Kevin Gentry and obtained by The Daily Beast, Gentry invited members of Freedom Partners to join a conference where they would announce a new energy initiative. In the email, Gentry called the Palm Springs event “highly successful recruitment reception.” [14]

In April 1 correspondence, Gentry invited members to join an upcoming conference call about a “significant new Freedom Partners initiative” which he claimed would “drive the national narrative around energy and the tremendous benefits of reliable affordable energy for all Americans, especially for the less fortunate.”  [14]

Gentry claimed a “new multi million dollar campaign by environmentalists is arguably an effort to distract from the failures of Obamacare. But you and I know energy is a critically important issue for the United States.”  [14]

2007

Gentry received the 2007 “Roe Award” from the State Policy Network. The award “was established to recognize individuals who exhibit leadership, innovation and achievement in promoting free markets and less intrusive government at the state and local level.” [15]

“Kevin assists SPN‘s members through consistently solid, topical programs and presentations,” said SPN president Tracie Sharp. “He personifies the values and vision of Tom Roe, the Award’s namesake.” [15]

Gentry accepted the award on behalf of the Koch Foundation “noting the Koch family’s long-term dedication to building the institutions that most effectively advance the free society.” The article at SPN notes some of the roles that Gentry has played for SPN[15]

“Gentry has contributed much to the bottom lines of state-focused think tanks. For nearly four years he has organized the Koch Foundation’s Development Exchange, a monthly Washington, D.C.-based luncheon featuring experts in fundraising and marketing. SPN members attend the Exchanges in-person or by telephone.

“He has also led numerous – always well-attended – fundraising workshops at SPN Annual Meetings. [SPN board member Gisèle] Huff highlighted, ‘A mark of how well Kevin listens, one of the pillars of successful fundraising, is that prior to the Annual Meeting he sent out a letter to all attendees requesting their input as to what topics were of most interest to them.’” [15]

Affiliations

Other Groups

Data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) lists additional groups with relation to Kevin Gentry: [23]

  • Sorrel Enterprises LLC — Listed as Owner
  • CRH — Relationship not listed

Social Media

  • Kevin Gentry does not appear to be active on social media.

Publications

According to the World Taxpayers Associations: “Kevin Gentry writes a weekly summary of advice on fundraising and building relationships with your donors.” [21]

Resources

  1. Board Members,” Freedom Partners. Archived June 30, 2015. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/Y6DBC
  2. Annual Meeting Bios A – L,” Philanthropy Roundtable. Archived July 26, 2011. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/xmdHM
  3. Romney, GOP high-rollers to meet,” Politico, July 31, 2012. Archived May 19, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/pqm07
  4. Kenneth P. Vogel and Tarini Parti. “Inside Koch World,” Politico, June 15, 2012. Archived May 22, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/AjNp3
  5. Brad Friedman. “Exclusive Audio: Inside the Koch Brothers’ Secret Seminar,” Mother Jones, September 6, 2011. Archived May 22, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/P3JPh
  6. David Weigel. “’Who the Hell is Going to Take a Think Tank Seriously If It’s Controlled by Billionaire Oil Guys?‘ Cato’s President Speaks,” Slate, March 22, 2012. Archived May 22, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/ipBRP
  7. Luke Mullins. “The Battle for the Cato Institute,” Washingtonian, May 30, 2012. Archived May 22, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/XemXC
  8. Koch believes in an independent Cato,CNN, April 5, 2012. Archived May 22, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/p2nWh
  9. Cato, Kochs settle ownership fight,” Politico, June 25, 2012. Archived May 22, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/CFnWZ
  10. Subject: 8 weeks,” March 5, 2013. Contributed to DocumentCloud by Andy Kroll, Mother Jones. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  11. EXCLUSIVE: Read the Koch Brothers’ Plans for Their Upcoming GOP Donor Retreat,” Mother Jones, April 23, 2013. Archived May 22, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/JMnzH
  12. I Was Manhandled by a Koch Capo,” HuffPost, August 6, 2015. Archived May 22, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/VhoqB
  13. Fire Kevin Gentry,” The Action Network. Archived May 22, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/EqyYM
  14. Peter Stone. “Koch Brothers Make Climate Activists New Target,” The Daily Beast, June 13, 2014. Archived May 22, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/AKZUb
  15. “Gentry Receives 2007 Roe Award,” State Policy Network. Archived December 31, 2013. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/faUvd
  16. Kevin Gentry –  Volunteer Faculty at the Leadership Institute,” Leadership Institute. Archived May 22, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/eLs6k
  17. Staffing Up,” Philanthropy Roundtable, November/December 2003. Archived September 24, 2015. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/4MU0a
  18. Claude R Lambe Charitable Foundation 2005 form 990. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  19. State Central Committee,” Republican Party of Virginia. Archived July 4, 2010. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/CrBJ4
  20. Kevin Gentry,” Institute for First Amendment Studies, 1998. Retrieved from Political Research Associates. Archived May 23, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/F43pR
  21. Marketing Tips,” World Taxpayers Associations. Archived May 22, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/NM7TB
  22. Kevin L. Gentry,” NNDB profile. Archived May 22, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/NK0SE
  23. Campaign finance data search for Individual Donor Kevin Gentry, FECperformed May 22, 2019.

Other Resources

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