Dark Money: Bombshell Report Exposes the Koch Brothers’ “Secret Bank”

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Americans for Prosperity Foundation Chairman David Koch addresses attendees of the Defending the American Dream Summit in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Aug. 30, 2013.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Thought you knew all about the many tentacles the Koch brothers’ have around American politics? Politico’s Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen have the story of a heretofore unknown pot of cash that they and other deep-pocketed donors spread around in 2012…

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. And it made grants of $236 million — meaning a totally unknown group was the largest sugar daddy for conservative groups in the last election, second in total spending only to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, which together spent about $300 million.

Read the whole thing at Politico.

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  • Anonymous

    Well, that was undoubtedly a good investment for political favors.

  • medcannabis1

    RICO ACT ANYONE???

  • daveinboca

    Bill will get another DUI before he can get his slime ball buddy George
    Soros to reveal his secret tunnels of funding for leftist causes—-like this blog, for example.

  • Anonymous

    uptil I saw the bank draft which said $8059, I accept …that…my neighbours mother was like realy bringing in money in there spare time on there computar.. there aunts neighbour has done this for only ten months and recently cleard the dept on their cottage and bourt a gorgeous Infiniti. we looked here, ►►♥♡♥►► JOBS75.­COM ◄◄♥♡♥◄◄

  • Lianne Schneider

    George Soros’ contributions for 2012 are public record – he gave to no groups that could keep their donations secret and he spent or contributed less than 1/100 of what the Koch brothers acknowledge – never mind what is hidden through groups like this.

  • James Spragens

    You’re as classy as you are handsome. How did it become “leftist” to decry the influence– especially under the table– of money in politics?

  • Timothy Dolan

    Exactly how a plutocrat apologist thinks. You’ve expressed more venom than actual truth in order to obscure how the Koch Bros operate in sharp contrast to Soros.

  • Anonymous

    To people like Dave in Boca (happily for them the most racist state in the nation at this point) any contributions to progressive causes should be outlawed. He only wants reactionary, right wing corporatist (neo-Fascist) views to be heard in America.

  • Rasmichael

    I don’t like the Koch Brothers or the causes they support. Still they got money and want to spend it promoting their causes, that’s not against the law. Somehow America will just have to choose. My bet is they will take the money and run. I always wondered who THEY were. Koch Brothers fit that profile. Think the NSA listens to the Koch Brothers electronic phone calls?

  • dagobarbz

    I think the Kochs are traitors to America and should be treated accordingly.

  • Mike Murphy

    Ditto

  • Anonymous

    What would Jesus say?

  • Mike Murphy

    They are the John Birch Society. Their Father was a major player of the society before it was pushed by the people into obscurity for their racist, elitist views of how society should be controlled by the wealthy for the wealthy.

  • Michael Hill

    You be one ugly Koch sucking bastard.

  • Anonymous

    Three of five board members of Freedom Partners are currrent or past employees of Koch Industries. Surprise, surprise…http://freedompartners.org/board-members/

  • Anonymous

    HA, ha, ha.

  • Anonymous

    There has to be some balance to the left’s money, what’s the problem?

  • BeachBaggins

    Oh, this is about balance? Ya right. The right side of the political spectrum are the kings of dark money, corporate shill-dom, and election rigging, and this is just more of the same.

  • Rick

    Huh?

  • Anonymous

    What planet do you live on?

  • Anonymous

    I said balance, may exist here, I didn’t say it was right on either side but if the one exists then the other must also exist. learn how to read and think and understand and it won’t be so hard for you!?!?!

  • Anonymous

    see response below.

  • Anonymous

    See response below.

  • Anonymous

    see response below plus the planet is reality!

  • Anonymous

    PS if election rigging was true and being accomplished, then why is the right so poorly represented in Congress, even the ones who are there are “cooperating” with the communists, excuse me, the the Democrats!

  • Anonymous

    PSS, I would name all the communists sympathizers who are financing the present compliation of nincompoops in office but it isn’t necessary, you all know who you are and what you are!

  • DavidW

    So, what do we do about this financing of lobbying. These groups whether they are registered or not, certainly are actively lobbying our elected representatives. Do we send our pennies to groups we support or do we figure out a way to counter their organizations with our own organizations?

  • Anonymous

    The Left does not begin to compare with this. Not remotely as much money donated and almost zero organization. A fight between folks with bazookas and another group with butter knives.

  • Kevin J. O’Brien

    Amazing how the Koch’s have their own judge on the Supreme Court.

  • Bradley J. Timm

    Why would multi-billionaires support the left party when they represent the bulk of liberals that are against corporate greed?

  • MD

    I cannot understand the mentality of billionaires (BILLIONAIRES) who have everything (except maybe ethics, empathy or a conscious) objecting to providing their fellow citizens a healthcare safety net or an increase in the minimum wage. Why do they care? They can’t possibly spend their money in their lifetimes so why do they want to suppress their fellow Americans? It seems extremely unpatriotic and un-American. Why aren’t they embarrassed by their behavior?

  • Anonymous

    Why did Obama out spend McCain by over 2 to 1 in the election.. Because he had George Soros; the American Bar Assoc; the unions; Bill Gates; & Warren Buffet to name a few. I’d say you compare very favorably when it comes to money for elections. & lobbying …

  • Anonymous

    Ask Al Franken how he won his senate side.. counting illegal felony votes.. to t he tune of 1000// Over 200 cases of election voter fraud cases were prosecuted in Minnesota after the election…A liberal Sec of State vailidated a win by 200 plus votes. Coleman lead by over 200 votes after the election.. Franken called for a recount & the rest is election fraud history..With his win he was the key vote for Obamacare. Please don’t talk election rigging with folks in your party like Dick Daley of Chicago & LBJ who bragged about vote getting from the cemeteries. …WOW. Name me one conservative rigged election.

  • Anonymous

    Do you really believe he gave to no group that made his donations secret??? If so how can you make that a statement of FACT when you are talking about secret funds. If you believe that I’ve got some ocean side property in So Dakota I’d like to offer you at more than reasonable price.

  • Chris Seekins

    I my opinion we all find comfort in balance and with the extreme lack of connection with the rest of society due to the different world in which they live a psychosis develops. Their comfort is found in what they have that others do not though it is also their vice breaking them away from self security. As the extremes escalate, in many cases, they find solace in telling them selves they are better as they are held to different standards. When one finds that they have lost their grip on self contentment, unable to justify actions based on what others are pampered or punished for, they hold on only to getting away with things others can not and in this find the only perverted form of self peace they can easily hold on to. With the position of a billionaire one can do so much though very few can sustain the gravities of the situation.

  • Lisa Cutler

    Republican or Democrat It’s just a distraction from the real issues that need to be addressed. Lets get rid of America’s two party manipulation and stop talking in generalizations that nobody is sure of anymore. I don’t know one person who is all democrat on so many issues, same goes for republican. The two parties don’t mean anything anymore. From what I can tell, republicans are bought and paid for by the wealthy few and the democratic people are the poor.

  • MD

    Bill Gates and Warren Buffet seemed to have escaped the psychosis plague of the 1%. What do you think Nirvana is for the ultra wealthy in relation to the 99%(employees as slaves, feudalization?)?

  • http://www.billmoyers.com Theresa Riley

    Just to respond to this. I’m not sure where you’re getting your information. I’d love to see some links to news articles bearing this claim out. I googled “voter fraud” and “minnesota” and dug up this investigation that found only 10 cases of voter fraud in Minnesota since 2000:

    http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2012/08/cases-voter-id-election-fraud-found-virtually-non-existent

    And then there’s this: One of those 10 cases of voter fraud? An 86-year-old woman with dementia who forgot she had voted by absentee ballot and tried to vote again.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/03/07/1192362/-Voter-fraud-mastermind-nabbed-in-St-Peter-Minnesota#

    /Theresa @ BillMoyers.com

  • Chris Seekins

    I think with balance comes peace of mind and spirit. Regarding Nirvana I view this much as like karmatic gravity. We attract what we put out. Regarding Nirvana I am not much of a believer in the main stream heaven. I see energy that gets recycled. The concentrations of good and bad can evolve with time though to reach nirvana with this everlasting energy we need to invest in what limits stress. I think worship and slavery only limits the foundation in which our society grows upon. The most magical of structures start from the ground up.

  • medcannabis1

    This is why the people of the nation will change the current corrupt
    practices of the corporate-citizen and their extensions in Congress. We
    have allowed the legislative class of citizen to enrich themselves off
    of their”public service” in Congress and the Senate instead of caring
    for the health and welfare of the people of this nation. To ignore the
    real damage being done by the “tea-party” Manchurian Candidates of the
    Koch Brothers will only lead to further harm to our fellow citizens
    .From the founding of the Koch Industries with Stalin one can only
    wonder if their fathers involvement with the John Birch Society was
    nothing more than a smoke screen to hide their real intention of
    promoting the end of the middle class of American life.

  • Angela Fisher

    Bradley, multi-billionaires do support the democratic party. Liberal and democrat are not the same thing anymore. The same corporate donors fund both of the major parties and the lobbyists pick up any remaining slack.

    Rod, they are the same thing. Both sides are bankers supporting elitists that can’t in any way relate to the rest of us – only provide an illusion that they do.

    The amount of money spent during the last election should be the biggest red flag we have witnessed. I found it sickening on both sides of the fence. Banks and big oil own our politicians. And they own “competing sides” of most of the media outlets trying to make us believe there is a difference. When democrats are in power, you hear the exact same rhetoric against the republicans that you hear from the republicans when the democrats are in power.

  • Anonymous

    Are these one of the tax exempt 501c4s that spend 50.009% on education & the rest on overt poltical activities. The education being political as well but less overt.

  • Anonymous

    They feel entitled to do what they please. The concept that great power or talent carries a great obligation to contribute is something these people really don’t grasp.

  • Anonymous

    We have a GOP controlled House but not Senate. My political giving is oriented to increasing the Senate majority & altering the House to a Democratic control.

    Dems are not perfect but the mistakes they make are less damaging to society.

  • W. John Young

    The most naive comment I’ve seen in a while. Add up the non-reported money. Add up the 24/7 support of Fox. Unions spent peanuts. Soros? Give us a break. The Fat Pockets are 99% right-wing Republicans. The corporate right-wing controls 90% of the media. Kochs may not have all the coins but they do have, with their friends, most of the money.

  • Gene Conway

    Watch out! They will be trying to do away with the IRS next.

  • Anne G. Arsenault

    WE must remember how many rich men in this country are trying to destroy democracy. The fact that they are doing it in secrecy shows that they know it is wrong.

  • Helivet

    A bombshell report about two of the biggest duds around. The problem with duds is that they can explode at any time for almost any reason or no reason at all.

  • http://badrecovery.blogspot.com/ Persephone

    They lost the executive branch. Have you seen the legislative branch? The statehouses controlled by Koch backed representatives? It’s getting bad in some Koch controlled states, and now talk is increasingly of states’ rights and “federal encroachment”. Why? Because they, and their tea partier followers, lost the executive branch but not the war.

  • Harvey Redgrandad Smith

    no Surprise as the koh Brothers daddy was a founder of the John birch Society, real fascist scum

  • Wolf Braun

    Yup, totally agree Tandy Bickman. I think it’s time that “we the people” began discussing what we want as the PURPOSE and PRINCIPLES of Government. By purpose, I mean what is the reason that government exists. In my opinion it’s to protect and enhance the lives of ALL citizens. If “we the people” demand that our elected officials and bureaucrats stick to a clear, concise, easily understood and agreed upon we should see better government for all. Not just the one percent.

  • Anonymous

    One word: psychopathy. It’s a complex sickness. In a world ruled by these kinds of men, it’s time we got them to see how their behavior is going to kill us all — including them! I envision a project where we bombard them with images and stories of the harm they’re doing. Let’s try to get them to reclaim their humanity by showing that all life is sacred, while what they do is profane. They have enough now, so they can stop their rapacious grasping.

  • Anonymous

    Dig deeper. You’re reading the propaganda pages.

  • Douglas Baker

    Daddy was a founding member of Robert Welch’s John Birch Society. Little apples don’t fall far from the tree they once clung to.

  • Jo Hargis

    “And it made grants of $236 million — meaning a totally unknown group was the largest sugar daddy for conservative groups in the last election, second in total spending only to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, which together spent about $300 million.” == And they still got their arses kicked in November. Americans do not LIKE you, GOP, and the sentiment only grows stronger every year as this country becomes more progressive and less religious.

  • Jo Hargis

    It really wasn’t about how much money was spent in either 08 or 12, it was all about HOW it was spent. Obama’s ground game was just stunningly accurate and effective.

  • Anonymous

    I did not Nam 68 Phu Bai Mel

  • imapayne

    100K in dues?? So they can write it off their taxes even though it’s a donation to a political group which should be illegal

  • Anonymous

    Yes, but psychopaths /sociopaths like Kochs & other rightwing oligarchs are incapable of empathy; they’re unmoved by others’ suffering. They have 0 sense of social responsibility and believe the poor deserve to have nothing, especially not “handouts”. They have contempt for “the little people” (as BP Oil’s CEO described residents of the Gulf states) and see us all as fools, losers, “takers”. Their idol, Ayn Rand (Ron Paul named his son after her) wrote that the proper moral purpose of life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness, and the only social system consistent with this “morality” is absolute respect for individual rights as embodied in regulation-free capitalism.

  • Anonymous

    Psychopaths /sociopaths like Kochs & other rightwing oligarchs are incapable of empathy; they’re unmoved by others’ suffering. The see wealth and power as the only measure of one’s worth; they have 0 sense of social responsibility and believe the poor deserve to have nothing, especially not “handouts”. They have contempt for “the little people” (as BP Oil’s CEO described residents of the Gulf states) and see us all as fools, losers, “takers”. Their idol, Ayn Rand (Ron Paul named his son after her) wrote that the proper moral purpose of life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness, and the only social system consistent with this “morality” is absolute respect for individual rights as embodied in regulation-free capitalism.

  • TJGGBW

    People…. This is just another example of “trickle down”, greed, elitism, egoism, etc. God Ronnie in the 80′s explained how little people benefit from money dispersed by the greatest. This is an example… $200m dispersed has to go some where. Likely many little people got some of this. AND they did not have to perform domestic duties.. How good is that!!

  • Steve Scott

    “Bombshell Report” and yet it is not being reported by any other news outlet, there are no actionable steps to take and it is already yesterday’s news. When are stories like this going to be pursued by the media as something that requires ACTION. We the people can only call our congressmen and sign petitions and that’s like telling the Fox that someone stole a Hen overnight. We need specific direction from folks like Bill. Where are real solutions like attorneys willing to file charges on behalf of the American people. We need to levy a punishment that fits the crime – and this IS criminal. What actions are required by the State Department, do they just get to look the other way. If they won’t prosecute the Bush administration for war crimes then why should we expect this to be any different.

  • Anonymous

    It is not “over the top,” hyperbolic, rhetoric to call the Koch Brothers “fascists.” It is a simple statement of fact.

  • Innocent Jogger

    They are traitors to all living things, including the planet we share.

  • dagobarbz

    Agreed. But we have to fight them at the lower levels of community before we can organize the entire planet against them, and destructive horrors like Monsanto.

  • dagobarbz

    I have been doing what you’re doing here on Facebook. People who just post reports of crises and shenanigans and never offer a solution should be shamed and finger-wagged. You want people to know about a problem, but if you’re that involved, you should offer something by way of solution. Otherwise it is simply meaningless fearmongering and something to give our kids another reason for depression. Wup, there goes the next generation!

  • dagobarbz

    I do count them. ;)

  • Rasmichael

    Corporations have ‘packed the court, even President Obama’s choices have worked for big corporations. Koch Brothers are ‘john birchers,’ still, they got the money and want to spend it to influence politics. That has never been against the law. Citizen United makes matters worse, but the Supreme Court’s not going to change it’s opinion any time soon. I don’t like it; it just the way it is. All you can do is deal with it. Koch Brothers are not the first Americans who ever tried to buy an election, or the last.

  • Rasmichael

    That’s America, the rich have always dictated their terms. How do you think 3/5 human slaves were allowed in the U.S. for 150 years. America was established by rich white men who main goal was wealth creation and preserving their private property. Things have changed, but not that much. “Money still talks” and the Koch Brothers got that.

  • Jon

    Full Cost Accounting economic policies that take into account externalities, local food, power, resources that create and keep money locally. Close loop systems of resource extraction to product. Shame consumerism. Policy change of some sort – to decrease/eliminate industrial complexes that put profit above social good (prison, military, pharmaceutical)

    Pobably a million other things.

  • emily6346

    Because now, 2013, everybody knows about the lies, simple fact and unremovable one ! And many people in action might be slow, yes, but inexerable…

  • emily6346

    You can start with your family, your neighborhood, share, exchange, plant organic, instead of complaining ( I am not saying anything against you, particularly, you ask, I give some ideas, that some communities are doing actually around the world) called a sustainable living; some don’t want to wait anymore that these ridiculously stupid greedy people gonna do something good for the people, so, people just DO the things themselves…not an easy way, but a better way that doesn’t destroy our world for our children….

  • Pamela Zuppo

    What can we do? Keep exposing the perverted and decrepit Koch brothers, as they work best in the dark shadows. Each time more is exposed about them, one of them writes an op-ed, obviously because they are worried. Never stop exposing these two old fascists and they will get tripped up legally, sooner or later. Don’t forget, they’re not spring chickens by anyone’s imagination, so their fanatically perverted plans cannot go on forever.

  • DReview

    Everyone including Republicans should distance themselves from the KOCH brothers.

    THERS GOING TO BE A ROAR OF PUBLIC AWARENESS ABOUT THEM THE NEXT ELECTION!!!

    Lets start now. DONT VOTE FOR ANYONE THAT IS FUNDED BY THEM!

  • dwight william

    These Men are doing satans work in America and the Low Wage Nations that exploit Children by forcing them to work for peanuts in unsafe work places

  • John Carter

    Depends on definitions, doesn’t it? If you want to appeal only to those who are already radicalized in the debate, demonizing the Kochs may get you some traction. I’d suggest you need to develop your ideas of what you believe is good and what is bad in ways besides just name-calling. Rest assured that the Kochs are sophisticated people and will make you look like a clown if that is all you got.

  • John Carter

    Hardly got their asses kicked. They got a good percentage of the vote for a total clown (Romney) and those elections swept many moderate GOP out of office in red states. On the local level, they kicked liberal rear until it was bloody. Probably because they have a lot of money, a lot of organization, and a plan. Organizing liberals has always been like herding cats. GOP make better little green army men. They do what they are told and allow you to tell them what they think.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RPManke.solar RevPhil Manke

    You think so? Another way to see it- Every dime they spend stays within the right wing conservative commerce circle of wealth building that strips democratic representation from the great majority of unrepresented people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RPManke.solar RevPhil Manke

    Here’s a simple solution; Vote the Green Green party and its platform. Check them out and Dr. Jill Stein. If a woman is to be a US President, and it must happen, she is miles above and centuries beyond Hilarious Clinton or any Dem offering, Obama included.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RPManke.solar RevPhil Manke

    Here’s a few more suggestions; Second choice voting, fair taxation as was used in the 50′s, a carbon tax on all carbon fuels linked to solar energy production incentives, not products, as in SRECs, single payer medical, same percs for all people as are provided senators and representatives, a $15 or $20 minimum wage, federal revolving door hiring limits of five or ten years, and stock trade taxation for all trading, no exceptions. The idea that retail commerce must support sales tax while the margin heavy, low productivity trade of wall street has none is Fascism in gold leaf, jewel encrusted idolitry. There you have some ideas. Now get cracking to petition, petition, petition! AND vote smart!

  • Rachael N. Jacobs

    How about exposing the perverted George Soros for doing the same darn thing?