Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Koch Brothers' Secret Bank

Politico is out with a story exposing what it calls a secret Koch brother's "bank." It shows that funding via this bank not only supported some anti-Obamacare groups, but provided funding to an organization that spent money for Mitt Romney ads.

According to Politico:
An Arlington, Va.-based conservative group, whose existence until now was unknown to almost everyone in politics, raised and spent $250 million in 2012 to shape political and policy debate nationwide.

The group, Freedom Partners, and its president, Marc Short, serve as an outlet for the ideas and funds of the mysterious Koch brothers, cutting checks as large as $63 million to groups promoting conservative causes, according to an IRS document to be filed shortly[...]

Freedom Partners is organized under the same section of the tax code as a trade association, a 501(c)6, allowing the group to conceal its donors from public release, although the amounts and recipients of its major grants are public.

The filing offers a rare tour of the conservative movement and how it gets its funds:

• Center to Protect Patient Rights, a group that vehemently opposed Obamacare: a total of $115 million, from three grants.
• Americans for Prosperity, an organizing and advocacy group that is courted by Republican presidential candidates: $32.3 million.
• The 60 Plus Association, a free-market seniors group that also opposes Obamacare, $15.7 million.
• American Future Fund, an Iowa group that spent a lot of money on ads in 2012, many for Mitt Romney, $13.6 million.
• Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, which gets involved in a number of social policy debates, $8.2 million.
• Themis Trust, a Koch-based voter database that is made available to other conservative organizations, $5.8 million.
• Public Notice, a fiscal policy think tank, $5.5 million.
• Generation Opportunity, a group for “liberty-loving” young people, $5 million.
• The LIBRE Initiative, which targets a free-market message to Hispanic immigrants, $3.1 million.
• The NRA, $3.5 million.
• The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, $2 million.
• American Energy Alliance, $1.5 million.
• And several groups — including the State Tea Party Express, the Tea Party Patriots and Heritage Action for America — got less than $1 million.[...]

Freedom Partners now has 48 employees. The executive director is Richard Ribbentrop, a former head of the New York Stock Exchange’s Washington office, who was chief of staff to former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), and longtime legislative director to Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.). At Hutchison’s office, Ribbentrop hired Short, who succeeded him as chief of staff. Short later was chief of staff to then-Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.), who was chairman of the House Republican Conference, and is now governor of Indiana. The Freedom Partners vice president of strategic communications is James Davis, who was communications director of the 2012 Republican National Convention
The group has five directors: Short; Wayne Gable, a longtime Koch Industries employee who was the new group’s first director, and has a Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University; Richard Fink, a Ph.D. in economics who is president of the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation; Kevin Gentry, a Koch official and vice chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia; and Nestor Weigand, a board member of Regal Entertainment Group, and former president of the National Association of Realtors.

1 comment:

  1. 'Libertarians' sell their soul to the corporate crony capitalists. They are used as an arm of propaganda and apologetics for the so-called free market economy which does not exist. What they mean is the statist capitalism which exists for them. Libertarians are fools. Take a look at Cato a giant glass fronted lobby in the circus. Murray Rothbard was not a libertarian. He was an anarchist belonging to no one and standing for freedom and human autonomy and interdependence against these power sociopaths in perfect symbiosis with state central power.