Mar 12, 2014
Meet the Secret $256 Million Bank for Right Wing Causes
Posted on Sep 13, 2013
Everybody knows that wealthy conservatives, led by the infamous Koch brothers, have been funneling oceans of cash into the political process. Now, Politico reports, we have a sense of how much, and how it works.
The political news site got its hands on an IRS filing by the shadowy Freedom Partners group that reveals the nonprofit organization—until now known only to a few Washington insiders—doled out $236 million last year “to shape political and policy debate nationwide.”
Charles and David Koch, the billionaire industrialists who have been spending their pocket change trying to steer the nation to the political right, are the glue of the organization, but it’s clearly more than them. Look at it as a MoveOn.org for the 1/100th percent crowd.
And the money does matter. The group dropped $130 million on two organizations trying to shut down the Affordable Care Act; $32.3 million on the politically active Americans for Prosperity group; $13.6 million on Iowa’s American Future Fund, which flooded airwaves there with Mitt Romney ads; and far down the list, grants of less than $1 million each to a series of state-level tea party groups.
Of course, the wealth that is flowing into these groups begins mostly with consumer spending. Koch Industries, for instance, owns such diverse entities as Georgia-Pacific (think Brawny paper towels), INVISTA (Stainmaster carpet) and Koch Fertilizer, which helps grow some of the veggies you eat every day.
The pervasiveness of the corporations in both daily life and American politics is unsettling, as is the knowledge that dollars people spend on consumer items help fuel political agendas they oppose. One sliver of good news: There’s an app for that.
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