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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Freedom Partners

At Politico, Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei report on a forthcoming IRS filing by Freedom Partners, a Koch-backed 501(c)(6) that raised and spent $250 million in 2012.
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.
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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.