Archive for follow the money

New list of dark money shell game groups connected to Koch brothers


 Photo by Gus Ruelas/Greenpeace

As much as we think we know about the infamous Koch brothers, there is a lot we don't know. But thanks to the Center for Media and Democracy's PR Watch, we are now more informed about how they've been spending their billions.

For example, money went to the NRA, NFIB, the Chamber of Commerce, Koch cut-outs, Generation Opportunity (youth propaganda machine), the tea party, the Heritage Foundation, and the California (and probably more) ballot initiative subverter, CPPR, along with old stand-bys like 60+.


Via PR Watch:

Today, the Koch-funded "Freedom Partners," which secretly distributed $250 million during the 2012 election season, posted its first federal tax report which uncloaked several Koch-related entities that were previously unknown. [...]

The new-ish organization, formally known as "Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce," lists five entities which it owned 100% of:

  • The "American Entrepreneur Fund LLC," which had assets of $885,316 and whose activities are listed as simply as "projects"

  • The "American Enterprise Group LLC," which had assets of $424,975 and whose activities are listed as "management"

  • The "American Strategies Group LLC," which had assets of $97,714 and whose activities are listed as "public outreach"

  • The "MIC LLC," with assets of $25,000 and whose job was "research"

  • And, "American Strategic Innovations LLC," with assets of $4,976, whose job was also research

Here are a few revelations, with more details at the link:

  • The Koch-fueled "Center to Protect Patient Rights" (CPPR) got more than $100 million last year.
  • The not-so-independent National Federation of Independent Businesses claims to represent small business owners. It is the antithesis of being funded by the family fortune of one of biggest billionaire corporations in the world, Koch Industries.
  • The Kochs have claimed no role on gun policy; the NRA got millions. As controversy has grown over the role of the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in pushing so-called "Stand Your Ground" legislation, Koch Industries has repeatedly issued denouncements that it has any role in gun policies.

In addition to these, the Freedom Fund 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.

Again, among those groups are  the "Tea Party Patriots" operating out of Woodstock, Georgia; "The Republican Jewish Coalition"; the "Heritage Action for America, Inc.," connected to the Heritage Foundation, which has deep Koch connections; and "The National Right to Work Committee," who received $1,000,000 for pushing anti-worker, union-busting measures.

Money talks. We need to talk back, only louder.

More here.


GOP Rep. Aaron "hottest congressman" Schock accused of using campaign funds on workout DVDs


Via Gawker

The “hottest freshman in Congress” is about to get hotter, because he may be in hot water.

Via The Hill:

Republican Rep. Aaron Schock (Ill.), whose "musculature" and "body politic" garnered praise from Men's Health in 2011, is being accused of using campaign funds to buy home workout DVDs.

Schock, 30, purchased the P90X "Extreme Home Fitness" DVDs during the 2010 election cycle and classified them as a "healthcare" expense.

The purchase was identified as campaign-related by mistake, and a later report was amended to reflect the error, Schock Chief of Staff Steve Shearer told The Associated Press. 

To put it in workout terms, using campaign money for fitness DVDs is a bit of a stretch.


How The Koch Brothers Spent At Least $3.9 Million In Unreported Partisan Attack Efforts During 2010 Election


Photo by Gus Ruelas/Greenpeace

The wonderful Lee Fang has an exclusive. I'll tease it just to make you go over and read his whole post. The Koch brothers and their scads of money strike again:

Republic Report has obtained financial audits showing that the billionaire Koch brothers supported at least $3.9 million in unreported election-related activity in 2010. The documents, reported here for the first time, provide a window into an otherwise secret campaign infrastructure that will likely be reactivated this year.

But the petrochemical plutocrats spent way more than what has been previously disclosed. Documents obtained by Republic Report shed light on the 2010 midterm election strategies of the Koch political machine, including secret money used to harness Tea Party activists into defeating Democrats. [...]

[T]he brothers prefer nonprofit 501(c) organizations to hide their donations and their political spending. By evading the spirit of campaign disclosure laws, the attacks go on with little accountability from the public.

They influenced the elections then, and they'll influence them now, all without disclosure, all to defeat President Obama, all right under our noses, and all hardly noticed by the press.

When I warn Obama supporters against being too complacent, this is what I mean. We're up against this kind of thing, right along with voter suppression and the intense hatred of the president that will drive right wing voters to the polls, even to cast a ballot for someone as unpopular as Willard M. Romney.


Once again, TPC's DeepwaterThroat helps us follow the money


Yesterday I posted a video that includes a chart that maps out the BP money trail (hat tip to Hugh Kaufman).  Also in that post is a link to an article that delves into the financial  maze in more detail.

With those in mind, let's continue to follow the money.... all the way to Afghanistan? This is from a report called Fluor Reports Record New Awards of $9.3 Billion, Boosting Backlog to $30.2 Billion (hat tip to Barkway):

Revenue for the Government segment was $777 million for the second quarter of 2010, up 62 percent from $479 million a year ago. Segment profit was $35 million, up from last year’s results which included $15 million from a favorable project settlement. Improved results in the quarter were primarily due to increased contributions from LOGCAP IV task orders in Afghanistan. Second quarter new awards totaled $638 million, including $542 million for LOGCAP IV task orders. Segment backlog at the end of the quarter was $635 million, which is down from $974 million a year ago due to project execution activities related to American Recovery and Reinvestment Act work at the Savannah River site.

Indeed, Fluor did receive $777 million in government contracts for the second quarter of 2010.

Who is this Fluor I speak of?  My own DeepwaterThroat, Barkway, introduced us to Fluor here.

Barkway also pointed me to a piece called Fluor subsidiary P2S selected to support BP'S Gulf Coast cleanup. If you follow the link above the image, you'll see that I included some information about P2S there, too.

Barkway asks if we seeing the big picture, and notes that this is a similar kickback to what we saw in the video I linked to at the top of the post. Here's Barkway from that earlier "follow the money" post:

And they have the BP contract for oil cleanup.…ergo BP is essentially paying an industry colleague the contract money (and I bet dimes to donuts BP gets some of that money BACK from Fluor in some sort of in-kind arrangement). The unemployed they hire from state unemployment agencies are just the pawns in this money shuffle, and hey make for good PR. [...]

This cleanup employment situation gets stinkier with every passing week. There are layers of players here and money exchanging hands we have yet to discover and that I’m sure the public is never meant to know about.

For all of the very revealing news Barkway has shared with us, please go here.