Pop the corn and the cork! There's some celebrating to be done. The Koch Cabal failed to pull one over on the California Attorney General, Kamala D. Harris.
From the Washington Post:
The groups sent $11 million to campaigns opposing Proposition 30, which raised the California sales tax and income tax; and supporting Proposition 32, which would have limited political contributions by way of payroll deductions. Proposition 30, which had backing from Gov. Jerry Brown (D), passed. Proposition 32, which took aim at labor unions’ political power, failed.Cheers!
investigation found another $4 million contribution from CPPR to another California-based committee. Neither contribution was properly reported, and under state law, the receiving committees will have to turn that cash — more than $15 million in all — over to the California general fund.
In this Muckety Map you can see the 5 Koch Cabal non-profits that got nailed:
Will this peak any interest from the IRS?
Or perhaps the dismantling of the Koch Cabal's dark money will have to come from the states.
“This is a nationwide issue. These groups exploit loopholes in state law to undermine the clear purpose of the law,” Ann Ravel, the chairwoman of the FPPC and an incoming member of the Federal Election Commission, said at a Thursday press conference. “They hid the names of the true donors.”
A group of watchdog organizations will roll out a new multi-state effort to share information and best practices on campaign finance legislation Thursday, the first step in an effort to force organizations that spend millions on political activity to disclose their donors.Could they use any volunteers? Sign me up!
The group will also organize a database of nonprofit groups that spend money in state elections, in hopes of stitching together the state-by-state patchwork of campaign finance databases.
“This collaboration will enable us to make major inroads in improving the transparency of donors,” said Ann Ravel, chairwoman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
Well, Ann, the 990 tax returns are a well-stream of information. You can follow the money forward, not backwards. What I like the most about the 990s I link is the inclusion of the EIN for each entity receiving money. You can then just pop that EIN number into this 990 search engine (minus the dash) to see what they did with the money. Imagine what a team of 100 tax accountants could do to put a damper on the Koch Cabal's money funneling efforts to thwart the democratic process.
I've poured through quite a few of the Koch Cabal 990 tax returns and, even though I am not a highly trained tax expert, I found things that more than raised my eyebrows.
For instance, here is the 2011 990 tax return for The Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR).
Sean Noble is the former Chief of Staff for John Shadegg, U.S. Representative for Arizona's 3rd congressional district, serving from 1995 until 2011.
Sean Noble is now the President of CPPR as well as the Founder of Noble & Associates and co-founder of DC London, Inc. as shown on this Muckety Map.
According to the 2011 990 for CPPR which declares $5,370,031 of assets, Sean didn't collect a paycheck; however, CPPR paid Sean's businesses $6.3Million in 2011. No wonder Sean didn't draw a salary directly from CPPR.
And to think, all these years we have all worked really hard, even taking on huge debt, to get good jobs when all along, all we had to do was snuggle up the GOP, be a yes man and get our very own consulting firms that could be paid $Millions if we would agree to be President of a tax-exempt, non-profit 501(c)(3) or (4) devoted to thwarting the democratic process. Boy, did we get it wrong. Go Sean.
What is really mind-bogglingly disconcerting is, if this is all on the up and up with the IRS, that it is all on the up and up with the IRS. We can thank Congress for allowing this.
So what does the Center to Protect Patient Rights do? You would think it would be fighting on our behalf as patients.
Here is the CPPR Mission Statement stated in the 2011 990:
Building a coalition of like-minded organizations and individuals, and educating the public on issues related to limited government, free enterprise, and health care with an emphasis on patient rights. Engaging in issue advocacy and activities to influence legislation related to limited government, free enterprise, and health careAnd here is how CPPR spent the money it didn't give to Sean's businesses. You can double click pic for a larger view:
CPPR is a 501(c)(4) social welfare/advocacy organization so donations made to it are not tax deductible but that didn't stop over $60Million in 2010 (a big year for donations to most of the thwart the democratic process non-profits btw) and $26Million from flowing into CPPR's coffers in 2011 according to 990s.
But here's how clever the Koch Cabal is.
The huge foundations like Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund, Inc are 501(c)(3) corporations and donations to these are tax deductible. These large foundations then funnel money to 501(c)(3) and even (4)s in creative ways.
An example, Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund both gave Americans for Prosperity Foundation (APF) 501(c)(3) a lot of money in 2009. AFPF then gave a lot of money, over $12Million, to a related 501(c)(4) called Americans for Prosperity (AFP) in 2009 EIN 75-3148958.
AFPF and AFP share 5 well-paid officers and both 2009 990 tax returns were signed on the same day by the same officer and the same accountant. But the Americans for Prosperity story deserves it's own diary. I just thought another example of how the Koch Cabal plays would be interesting.
So the Ritchie Rich's get their tax deductions.
This is really what Reagan meant by Trickle Down. HUGE tax deductible donations would trickle down and be used to wind down the government. It's just taken us this long to figure that out.
But enough about Sean Noble the individual. Lots has been written about Sean. He's a GOP hero.
That didn't stop Calfornia from nailing Sean Nobel's CPPR and the Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party and co-founder Robert S Graham's Americans for Responsible Leadership for a $1,000,000 fine.
And another $15,000,000 from illegally donated funds (sort of like laundering) from people like Charles Schwab to go into the California general fund. Maybe this money can be used for some of CA's problems.
I hope these foundations keep it up so states desperate for revenue can go after them. Seems like shooting fish in a barrel if the 990s are any indication.
Sadly, Sean and Robert will probably both get great bonuses this year. Yes, these non-profits pay some really sweet bonuses to their executives. I strongly believe that risk taking is highly rewarded behavior within the GOP and Koch Cabal.
In the end, the best we can probably hope for is jail time for all those sycophants who were willing to be those executives and signed the 990 Tax Returns.
The Billionaires on top and their $Billions stashed in 501(c)(3) foundations will get away scott free.
Speaking of which, here they are:
Lastly, for those who want to dig into the 990s, you can find information here.
You can find a ton of EIN numbers for foundations on this searchable tax return.
Oh, that Center to Protect Patients Rights and the Koch Cabal connection?
This is an eye opening article
Sean Noble, a former congressional aide, had an account ready when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that corporations could join wealthy donors and spend freely in federal elections. In less than a year, he had $62 million at his disposal.RELEVANT RESEARCH:
These groups represent the super-secret money flowing through federal elections in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and other court rulings.
Noble’s personal finances also improved, as he went from being a Capitol Hill senior aide to the owner of four homes -- including an eight-bedroom, Utah property -- and a Washington, D.C, row house that combined are valued at more than $1 million.
Noble didn’t respond to phone calls, e-mails or a direct message via Twitter seeking comment. A visit to his Capitol Hill house went unanswered.
Thank you team DKos for recommending and helping to get this story out to people. You TWEETS are spreading far and wide.