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Nonprofit profile: Patriot Majority USA

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Type of organization: 501(c)(4)

Employer Identification Number: 26-2495846

Supports: Democratic candidates

Location: Washington, D.C.

Founded: 2010

Web site: patriotmajority.org

Social media: YouTube channel, Twitter profile, Facebook page

Finances:

For the group's activities during calendar year 2010:

  • Total Revenue: $5.2 million
  • Total Expenses: $5.3 million
  • Net assets: $25,800

IRS Form 990 filing: 2010

Principals:

  • Craig Varoga (president/treasurer): Varoga, who is head of the Patriot Majority network, is a longtime Democratic political strategist who has worked on the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry and others. He has also been a strategist or consultant in numerous successful gubernatorial campaigns, including those of Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.
  • Joe Householder (secretary): Householder is a strategist in the Texas office of the public relations firm Purple Strategies. He specializes in crisis communications. Householder worked with Varoga on the campaign of former Iowa governor and current Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and was previously a spokesman for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
  • Bill Burke (director): Burke is the executive director of the Foundation for the Future, a nonprofit working to represent the interests of Democrats during the redistricting process. Burke has worked on campaigns in more than 30 states and in the communications department of the Democratic National Committee.

Profile:

Patriot Majority USA is a liberal nonprofit whose multifaceted agenda includes support for workers’ rights, preserving social safety nets and reforming tax laws. It is the most active branch of a family of organizations that includes a 527, a super PAC and a political action committee, all launched before Patriot Majority USA.

The nonprofit and its sister groups can all be traced back to one person: Democratic strategist Craig Varoga.

Patriot Majority USA is not required to disclose its contributors, but its sister organizations historically have been backed by a handful of well-known Democratic political donors and labor unions, especially the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

AFSCME is both the largest donor to Patriot Majority’s 527 committee and a co-founder of Foundation for the Future, a nonprofit whose executive director is Bill Burke, the secretary of Patriot Majority USA.

The Center for Responsive Politics reported about the often confusing, circular movements of the Patriot Majority network’s funding. For example: In 2010, AFSCME sent Patriot Majority’s 527 a total of $500,000. Another $350,000 came from a group called Patriot Majority West, another Varoga 527 funded almost entirely by AFSCME.

During the 2012 election cycle, the nonprofit targeted U.S. Senate candidates including Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev. and Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont.

In August, Patriot Majority USA launched “Stop the Greed Agenda,” a multi-year campaign aimed at shining a light on the political activities of the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch and related special interests. These entities, the group says, are pursuing a “greed agenda.”

The day after announcing its campaign, Patriot Majority USA released two ads costing $500,000: “Greed Agenda” and “Tycoons.” The ads, which the Center for Public Integrity wrote about about the time, accused the Koch brothers of “buying this year’s election” with their promise to spend more than $400 million to elect their preferred candidates.

Advertisements:

  • Greed Agenda” and “Tycoons,” two ads that attacked the Koch brothers.
  • Means” opposed Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont.
  • Minimum Wage” attacked Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., for voting against raising the minimum wage.

Last updated: Jan. 22, 2013