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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 02:07 PM

2. More on the Coalition for Our Children's Future

I don't know whether Palast is right that the similarity of names means the recent group is also a Koch brothers operation, but the events of 1996 are very relevant to what's going on today. In particular, the bits I've highlighted below suggest that what the phony "IRS scandal" is really about is setting up front groups to use the anonymity afforded to non-profit organizations as a basis for stealth operations.


November 2, 1997

Senate investigators have pieced together evidence of a web of nonprofit groups, political consultants and wealthy conservatives who secretly intervened to help dozens of Republicans in last year's elections. ... The GOP action was carried out in extreme secrecy, using the anonymity afforded nonprofit organizations. The law allows such groups to engage in issue advertising so long as they don't advocate election or defeat of a particular candidate. The law also allows them to collect unlimited amounts of money without disclosing who gave it or how it is spent. ...

Five people familiar with the Coalition for Our Children's Future, speaking on condition of anonymity, gave a picture of how the nonprofit network operated. The coalition was formed May 30, 1995, at the behest of Haley Barbour, then chairman of the Republican National Committee. ... After airing almost $4 million in television ads promoting the Balanced Budget Amendment, the coalition fell dormant in early 1996, after Republicans had been battered by the shutdown of the government.

But that summer the group was revived by Robert Odell Jr., a Republican political consultant. He had been approached by Denis Calabrese, a Houston GOP consultant, who brought a client with money to contribute to political causes. Calabrese's client was the Economic Education Trust, which at about the same time was giving $2.8 million to two other politically active nonprofits, Citizens for Reform and the Citizens for the Republic Education Fund.

Senate investigators believe the trust is linked to Koch Industries, a Kansas-based oil company owned by David and Charles Koch. The two men have been generous to conservative and libertarian politicians and causes. A Koch spokesman refused comment. The trust contributed an estimated $700,000 to the Coalition for Our Children's Future, used to buy issue ads attacking 11 Democrats seeking U.S. and state House seats. Secrecy was extraordinary. In August, Odell asked coalition director Barry Bennett to sign an oath promising not to reveal the donor's name.

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WillyT Jan 2014 OP
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starroute Jan 2014 #2
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