Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Freedom Partners, Funding Dirty Tricks - 2013, Politico Exposé

And then there's the money, more tales of intrigue and secrecy:

The Koch brothers' secret bank, Freedom Partners

By MIKE ALLEN and JIM VANDEHEI  |  09/11/2013

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.

The 38-page IRS filing amounts to the Rosetta Stone of the vast web of conservative groups — some prominent, some obscure — that spend time, money and resources to influence public debate, especially over Obamacare.

The group has about 200 donors, each paying at least $100,000 in annual dues. It raised $256 million in the year after its creation in November 2011, the document shows. …

Freedom Partners is organized under the same section of the Tax Code as a trade association, a 501(c)6, which allows 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 opposes 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 National Rifle Association: $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 each.

… Freedom Partners now (2013) 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 and longtime legislative director to Sen. Phil Gramm, both Texas Republicans. …

… “Our members are committed to the long term,” Short said, “not to one individual cycle.”   


The Koch ATM
In 2014, the main group in the brothers' network raised $126 million and gave out $88 million in grants.

By KENNETH P. VOGEL  -  11/17/2015

The Koch network stepped up funding for its own groups in 2014, but also served as something of an ATM for some of the most powerful groups on the right ― doling out millions in grants to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Club for Growth and National Rifle Association, among major backers of Republicans ― according to a tax filing publicly released Tuesday morning. …

The tax filings show that Freedom Partners, which was created in late 2011 to increase coordination within the Koch network, raised $162 million over the past two years ($36 million in 2013 and $126 million in 2014). The 2014 haul was almost entirely from six-figure membership dues of wealthy donors whom the Kochs convene twice a year for summits that highlight the virtues of fiscally conservative, small government policies ― and who raise money for groups and candidates who support those policies. …

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