As the Internal Revenue Service contemplates new rules to illuminate “dark money” in politics, a little-known nonprofit group is fighting back using money traceable to billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, drug makers and the cable television industry.
The group, American Commitment, received 87 percent of its $13 million in funding between 2011 and 2013 from three Koch-connected nonprofits: the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the Center to Protect Patient Rights and Free Enterprise America, according to tax filings reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity.
The Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce — which has been called “the Koch brothers’ secret bank” by Politico — has given $6.4 million to American Commitment, including $140,000 in 2013, according to tax records.
The Center to Protect Patient Rights — headed by Koch-connected political consultant Sean Noble — contributed about $4.8 million to American Commitment in 2012.
And another Koch network group headed by Noble, Free Enterprise America, contributed $103,000 to American Commitment in 2011 — nearly half of the $216,500 American Commitment reported raising that year.
Meanwhile, additional tax records show two major trade associations are also among American Commitment’s donors: the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, both of which share policy positions with American Commitment.
In 2013, PhRMA contributed $50,000 to American Commitment. That’s up from the $25,000 the drug lobby group gave in 2012. And the National Cable and Telecommunications Association has contributed $20,000 to American Commitment — $10,000 in both 2012 and 2013.