Thursday, September 19, 2013

Kochs’ vast dark money network exposed

New tax filings by a Koch-funded front group reveal the staggering scope of the political machine that wants to destroy workers' rights and turn us into feudal serfs. Exposed secret political spending by “Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce,” which included $250 million during the 2012 election cycle, shines a light on the vast shadowy network of organizations, LLCs and business groups promoting anti-worker causes.

Our friends at the Center for Media and Democracy have the story:
The Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce's tax filing also lists the names and amounts of all of the entities it funded between late 2011 and the eve of the 2012 elections. Here is the list of the top five groups to which the Kochs' Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce funneled millions:
  • "Corner Table LLC," known as the "Center to Protect Patient Rights" (CPPR): three infusions of cash totaling $114,678,000. CPPR is at the center of a probe by the California Elections Board on "dark money" spent through shell groups to influence two ballot initiatives, among other concerns that have been raised about it.    
  • "PR Dist LLC," described as "Americans for Prosperity," which is directed by David Koch: two infusions totaling $31,600,000.  
  • "The 60 Plus Association Inc.," $15,660,000  
  • "Concerned Women for American Legislative Action Committee," $8,150,000
Freedom Partners’ tax report also shows it owns five other shell game groups that all share the same Washington DC street address: “American Entrepreneur Fund LLC,” “American Enterprise Group LLC,” “American Strategies Group LLC,” “MIC LLC,” and “American Strategic Innovations LLC."


CMD reports that the “National Federation of Independent Business” received $2.5 from the Koch-funded “Freedom Partners” group. The NFIB claims to represent the interests of small business owners, yet it’s getting millions from the Kochs’ big corporation ... which would just as soon crush the small businesses that try to compete with it.
And in case you needed a reminder of how intricate and well-funded the right-wing anti-worker arsenal is, there’s more:
Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce spent another $50 million on other groups, cumulatively, some of which are well known and some of which have flown below the public's radar:
  • "Partnership for Ohio's Future," $500,000  
  • "West Michigan Policy Forum," $1,000,000  
  • "American Values Action," $230,000 (spent $14 million on "independent expenditures" including phone calls against Obama during the 2012 election; donors unknown/not registered as a PAC)  
  • "Common Sense Issues, Inc.," $50,000 
  • "Heritage Action for America, Inc.," $500,000 (connected to the Heritage Foundation, which has deep Koch connections)  
  • "ORRA LLC (EVANGCH4 Trust)," $5,055,000 
  • "RION LLC (Center for Shared Service Trust), $2,738,000 (closely connected to the Charles Koch Foundation)
  • "SLAH LLC (Public Engagement Trust)," $1,500,000 (Arlington)
  • "State Tea Party Express," $600,000 (operates out of Willows, California)
  • "STN LLC (Themis Trust)," $5,781,000
  • "TONA LLC (Libre Initiative Trust)," $3,112,000
  • "TRGN LLC (Generation Opportunity), $5,040,000 (a group aimed at Gen X that tries to pin the economic crash that began under President George W. Bush on Democrats)
The next time you hear about a “grassroots” organization of concerned citizens whining about “big government” and “big labor” while calling for things like “right to work” for less laws and financial deregulation, odds are that those ordinary folks are in fact right-wing billionaire goons – or at least they’re getting paid by right-wing billionaire goons.