Freedom Partners

Freedom Partners

Background

Freedom Partners, or Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce (FCPP), describes itself as a major political operation spearheaded by billionaire Charles Koch to organize his billionaire allies and distribute funds to influence elections and public policy.

In May 2019, a superceding Koch organization, dubbed “Stand Together,” announced that Freedom Partners would cease to exist and that “all of our efforts to improve education, business, communities, and government policy,” which had been rebranded under the name the “Seminar Network,” would go forward using the Stand Together brand. The Washington Post also reported that as part of a re-organization of the Koch network in 2019, all of the political and policy advocacy activities of Freedom Partners would be shifted under the umbrella of Koch’s Americans for Prosperity. [31]

Pre-2019 Background

Freedom Partners described itself as a “a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(6) “chamber of commerce” located in Arlington, Virginia.” It holds a stated goal of “protecting freedom and expanding opportunity” for Americans. [1]

Freedom Partners was originally established in November 2011 under the name “Association for American Innovation,” however “was later renamed to better reflect the organization’s mission.” It was subsequently re-branded in part as the “Seminar Network.”  

According to an archived version of its website, Freedom Partners touted that “Only by getting the government out of the way will individuals be able to build a free and strong society.” Some of their key focus areas have included health care reform, federal spending, energy policy, and “cronyism.” [2]

Freedom Partners served as the parent group to a wide range of interconnected groups and corporate entities controlled by the Koch Family. It claimed to oppose “government policies that spend too much, tax too much, and deliver too little,” and to support “like-minded organizations that share our commitment to freedom.” [1]

Nearly all of Freedom Partners board members had direct relationships with Koch companies: [1]

  • Mark Holden is senior vice president of Koch Industries and COO of the Legal Division of Koch Companies Public Sector.
  • Kelly Bulloch had a 26-year career at Koch Industries and affiliates.
  • Kevin Gentry served as vice president for special projects, at Koch Companies Public Sector.
  • Dale Gibbens is vice president of human resources for Koch Industries.
  • Randy Lair is former director of operations for Koch Industries and president of Koch Agriculture.
  • Brian Hooks is president of the Charles Koch Foundation and Charles Koch Institute.
  • Nancy Pfotenhauer is director of the Washington office of Koch Industries and is the former president of the Independent Women’s Forum.

In 2013Politico described Freedom Partners as “The Koch Brothers’ secret bank,” a little-known group whose existence was largely unknown to many in the political community, raising and spending $250 million as of 2012 to influence politics and policy. [3]

2013 statement from Koch Industries claimed Freedom Partners “operates independently of Koch Industries, and educates the public about a broad range of issues.” At that time, Freedom Partners had more than 200 members. [4]

501(c)(6) Status

Freedom Partners/FCPP operates at a 501(c)(6) organization, something that the IRS defines as “business leagues, chambers of commerce, boards of trade, and similar organizations.” HuffPost noted in 2013 that Freedom Partners, then recently formed as the Association for American Innovation, “is expected to ultimately funnel millions of dollars to other dark money groups nationwide.” [5]

According to the Huffington Post, its status as a 501(c)(6) business league “[sets] it apart from many of the dark money groups into which the Kochs and allied donors have in recent years poured hundreds of millions,” noting that tax lawyers say “Adding a business league, which will have members, to the Koch-backed conservative orbit could boost corporate funding, while still allowing some political spending and letting donors remain anonymous.” [5]

“501(c)(4) groups are getting a lot of heat these days, but (c)(6)s are like mom-and-apple-pie organizations,” said Ken Gross, a political law expert at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Freedom Partners Action Fund

The Freedom Partners Action Fund (FPAFsupported political candidates “with a commitment to breaking down barriers that stand in the way of people realizing their full potential.” An archived, more descriptive “about us” page noted FPAF “will support candidates who promote free markets and a free society” and “will hold accountable candidates who push for intrusive government policies.” [7], [10]

The Kochs reportedly launched the super PAC during a closed-door meeting in 2014, with the group initially aiming to spend $15 million in the 2014 midterm elections — part of an overall spending effort totaling $290 million. [8]

“The Freedom Partners Action Fund will support candidates who share our vision of free markets and a free society and oppose candidates who support intrusive government policies that push the American Dream out of reach for the American people,” Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce President Mark Short told Politico[8]

Data on file at the Federal Election Commission suggests Freedom Partners has spent at least $52,939,469 supporting or opposing specific candidates in elections: [9]

Position and Name Total Spent (2014 – 2016)
Oppose $44,149,655
STRICKLAND, TED $9,981,604
MASTO, CATHERINE CORTEZ $8,392,962
MCGINTY, KATHLEEN ALANA $7,273,805
ORMAN, GREGORY JOHN $3,067,590
PRYOR, MARK LUNSFORD $2,652,420
FEINGOLD, RUSSELL DANA $1,971,388
HAGAN, KAY R $1,889,082
LANDRIEU, MARY L $1,617,192
UDALL, MARK E $1,423,987
KUSTER, ANN MCLANE $1,189,409
BAYH, EVAN $1,066,826
MERKLEY, JEFFREY ALAN $1,020,015
RAHALL, NICK J. II $963,843
BRALEY, BRUCE L $673,036
BEGICH, MARK $652,100
GARCIA, JOE $278,062
CLINTON, HILLARY RODHAM / TIMOTHY MICHAEL KAINE $36,332
Support $8,789,815
ERNST, JONI K $3,839,899
COTTON, THOMAS $1,238,040
GARDNER, CORY $1,213,053
JOHNSON, RONALD HAROLD $874,675
SOUTHERLAND, WILLIAM STEVE II $683,367
SULLIVAN, DAN $628,685
CASSIDY, WILLIAM $223,168
BROWN, SCOTT $50,877
TILLIS, THOM R $15,518
GARCIA, MARILINDA $15,098
ROBERTS, PAT $7,434
Grand Total $52,939,469

Freedom Partners Institute

Freedom Partners Institute Logo

The Freedom Partners Institute was a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group controlled by Freedom Partners. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) reported the Institute was initially incorporated in Delaware in March 2015 and was granted its tax-exempt status by the IRS in July 2015. [11]

The CREW report notes that, as it is set up as an educational charity, the Freedom Partners Institute cannot engage in electoral politics. “Instead, it appears the new group will fund, produce, and promote research that can subsequently be used by other organizations in the Koch network.” [11]

“Though Freedom Partners Institute describes itself as being ‘legally organized and operated separately’ from Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the Koch network’s central hub is ‘the sole member of the Institute’ and ‘has the power to elect and remove the Institute’s directors,’ who manage Freedom Partners Institute’s affairs. Elsewhere, the application refers to Freedom Partners Institute being ‘formed and controlled’ by another organization,” the CREW report adds. [11]

The Freedom Partners Institute’s website (FreedomPartnersInstitute.org) no longer appear to be in operation. An archived version of the website offered the following description: [12]

“Freedom Partners Institute is a 501 (c)(3) organization that provides the American public research and information about state and federal policies and how they affect every American. Our goal is to increase public awareness of issues that affect a free and open society so that every American understands the importance of creating opportunity for all, safeguarding our financial future, and protecting free speech.” [12]

According to WHOIS records via CentralOPS, the Freedom Partners Institute website was registered by In Pursuit Of, LLC. [13]

Image screenshot via CentralOPS.net.

The Center for Media and Democracy describes In Pursuit Of as the PR company for the Koch network: [14]

“In Pursuit Of provides public relations services, such as ad creation and ad buys, to the Koch political network. James Davis, the former vice president of Freedom Partners, runs the media agency.”

Freedom Partners Shared Services/Center for Shared Services

Center for Shared Services Logo

A 2014 story by The Washington Post described The Center for Shared Services, which became Freedom Partners Shared Services (FPSS), as “a human resources hub for the network.” The group’s original website, the-css.org, no longer appears to be in operation. [15]

According to an archived version of the CSS website: [16]

“The Center for Shared Services equips non-profit organizations with the best tools to achieve their missions by providing them with human resources, recruiting, operational, technology, and training services.

We offer advice and information on: compliance, communications, and leadership development training; best practices in management and policy; and recommendations for consultants and vendors to fulfill operational needs, particularly start-up organization needs.”

Politico describes FPSS as “a nonprofit recruiter and administrative support team for other Koch-backed groups, which provides assistance with everything from scouting office space to accounting to furniture and security.” [17]

The Seminar Network

The Seminar Network Logo

The Seminar Network describes itself as a “growing network of social entrepreneurs” founded by Charles Koch, but it basically took over key operations of Freedom Partners in organizing billionaires and millionaires to help accomplish Koch’s electoral and policy objectives. It became the public-facing name for Koch’s twice a year gathering of wealthy CEOs and heirs to raise millions to coordinate electoral strategies and policy goals spearheaded by Koch.  

In 2018, The Intercept and Documented obtained documents outlining some of the key objectives of the Seminar Network, which included withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, repealing the EPA Waters of the United States. [18], [19]

Freedom Partners was then listed as among the “network partners” on The Seminar Network website. Other partners include the Charles Koch Foundation, Charles Koch Institute, Americans for Prosperity, Stand Together, Cause of Action, and In Pursuit Of. [20]

i360

i360 Logo

i360, which has been described as “the Koch data mine,” is a group that advertises itself as a data science, analytics, technology, and advertising company. It maintains a “comprehensive data resource of all voting Americans” including a database of over 290 million consumers, 199 million of which are active voters. [21] The U.S. population, including children who cannot vote, was estimated to be nearly 330 million in 2018.

This data merging and deploying group was founded in 2009 by Michael Palmer, after Palmer worked as chief technology officer for Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, “to fill the innovation gap between campaigns and organizations that promote free market candidates and causes and their opponents.” i360 developed what it describes as a “closed-loop suite of grassroots technology” to help political and commercial customers target “target and segment their customers with predictive modeling,” and use customer data to build targeted online and TV advertising campaigns. [22] It was merged with the Koch voter data operation that had been called Themis, which was part of the Themis Trust and funded by TC4 Trust, another Koch operation, according to tax filings. Demeter Analytics Services, a fully owned subsidiary of FPCC, has also been located at the same address as i360. (Themis is the Goddess of divine law and Demeter is the Goddess of the harvest in Greek mythology.)

The Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch noted FPCC is most likely the “funding conduit” for i360, while FPCC in turn acts as a conduit for hundreds of millions of dollars from the Koch brothers and their network. i360 may also have been a replacement for an earlier FCPP group called Themis Trust. [6]

Stance on Climate Change

December 11, 2015

Discussing the U.S Commitments at negotiations for a climate agreement in Paris, Freedom Partners Senior Policy Advisor Andy Koenig issued the following statement in a press release: [23]

“Secretary Kerry’s knee-jerk concession to put Americans on the hook for millions more in foreign aid shows this administration cares more about politics than hardworking taxpayers. Lawmakers should reject the administration’s attempt to bypass Congress for a symbolic deal that would do nothing but increase our debt and commit us to mandates that destroy our economy.” [23]

The Freedom Partners press release also highlights an article from The Wall Street Journal editorial board, introducing it with the comment that “An Agreement In Paris Would Produce Nearly No Discernible Impact On Global Temperatures.” [23]

Funding

The following is based on archived data via the Conservative Transparency project combined with original 990 research by DeSmog. 

View the attached spreadsheet for additional information on Freedom Partners funding by year (.xlsx).

Recipient 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Grand Total
Americans for Prosperity $32,300,000 $11,465,000 $22,000,000 $23,250,000 $48,700,000 $47,500,000 $185,215,000
Center to Protect Patient Rights $114,678,000 $150,000         $114,828,000
Veterans for Economic Freedom Trust     $15,735,000 $14,000,000 $12,600,000   $42,335,000
Center for Shared Services Trust $2,738,000 $10,405,000 $9,750,000 $8,950,000     $31,843,000
Generation Opportunity $5,040,000 $6,000,000 $14,225,000       $25,265,000
Libre Initiative Trust $3,112,000 $6,200,000     $7,600,000   $16,912,000
60 Plus Association $15,660,000   $250,000 $160,000     $16,070,000
Themis Trust $5,781,000 $9,125,000         $14,906,000
Evangchr4 Trust $5,055,000 $505,000 $5,745,000 $2,050,000 $1,250,000   $14,605,000
Public Notice $5,466,250 $8,810,000         $14,276,250
American Future Fund $13,600,000           $13,600,000
The Libre Initiative     $6,500,000 $5,600,000     $12,100,000
YEM Trust       $5,100,000 $4,600,000 $75,000 $9,775,000
Concerned Women for America $8,150,000 $260,000         $8,410,000
American Energy Alliance $1,460,000 $40,000 $2,367,500 $2,935,000 $1,000,000   $7,802,500
American Commitment $6,260,000 $140,000 $400,000   $50,000   $6,850,000
US Chamber of Commerce $3,000,000 $500,000 $2,000,000       $5,500,000
Concerned Veterans for America   $5,245,000         $5,245,000
National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action     $4,895,000       $4,895,000
National Rifle Association $3,465,000           $3,465,000
Trees of Liberty     $400,000 $2,050,000     $2,450,000
National Federation of Independent Business $1,500,000 $600,000         $2,100,000
Club for Growth     $1,000,000 $850,000   $175,000 $2,025,000
Public Engagement Group Trust $1,500,000           $1,500,000
Susan B. Anthony List   $150,000 $225,000   $500,000 $500,000 $1,375,000
West Michigan Policy Forum $1,000,000 $250,000         $1,250,000
National Association of Manufacturers $1,170,000           $1,170,000
Heritage Action for America $500,000 $500,000 $150,000       $1,150,000
Citizenlink     $1,010,000       $1,010,000
National Right to Work Committee $1,000,000           $1,000,000
Republican Jewish Coalition $700,000       $150,000   $850,000
State Tea Party Express $600,000           $600,000
NFIB – The Voice of Free Enterprise $575,000           $575,000
Partnership for Ohio’s Future $500,000           $500,000
WMC Issues Mobilization Council         $500,000   $500,000
Coalition for a Stronger WV         $450,000   $450,000
Texans for Education Opportunity           $330,000 $330,000
Dr. Joseph Warren Institute     $309,400       $309,400
NFIB Research Foundation $300,000           $300,000
Tea Party Patriots $200,000     $100,000     $300,000
Freedom Network Benefits/Rion LLC       $250,000     $250,000
American Values Action $230,000           $230,000
Rule of Law Defense Fund     $175,000       $175,000
Coalition to Reduce Spending   $100,000     $50,000   $150,000
Main Street Growth Project     $100,000   $50,000   $150,000
NFIB Small Business Legal Center $125,000           $125,000
National Taxpayers Union   $105,000         $105,000
Illinois Chamber of Commerce     $100,000       $100,000
Americans for Limited Government       $100,000     $100,000
Defense Priorities Initiative           $100,000 $100,000
Americans for Tax Reform     $100,000       $100,000
IACE Action     $95,000       $95,000
A New Missouri           $50,000 $50,000
Ohio Freedom Project     $50,000       $50,000
Hoosiers for Quality Education       $50,000     $50,000
Institute to Reduce Spending         $50,000   $50,000
Colorado Women’s Alliance     $50,000       $50,000
Common Sense Issues $50,000           $50,000
Hispanic Leadership Fund       $25,000     $25,000
US Health Freedom Coalition   $25,000         $25,000
Let Freedom Ring   $25,000         $25,000
Grand Total $235,715,250 $60,600,000 $87,631,900 $65,470,000 $77,550,000 $48,730,000 $575,697,150

 

Freedom Partners Institute as Donor

Recipient 2015 2016 Grand Total
Americans for Prosperity Foundation $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $10,000,000
ESLR LLC   $2,500,000 $2,500,000
Institute for Faith Work & Economics $500,000 $300,000 $800,000
Generation Opportunity Institute   $200,000 $200,000
Government Accountability Institute $100,000   $100,000
Media Research Center $50,000   $50,000
Foundation for Government Accountability   $30,000 $30,000
Washington Legal Foundation   $25,000 $25,000
American Transpareny $25,000   $25,000
America’s Future Foundation $10,000   $10,000
Grand Total $5,685,000 $8,055,000 $13,740,000

Freedom Partners Institute as Recipient

Donor 2016
Buckeye Foundation $100,000
DonorsTrust $750,000
John William Pope Foundation $350,000
Thomas W Smith Foundation $500,000
Grand Total $1,700,000

Independent Contractors

According to 990 forms, Freedom Partners gave over $69 million to independent contractors for services from 2012 to 2017. 

  Year  
Service Type and Contractor Name 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Grand Total
Consulting $337,552 $1,672,787   $1,537,371 $2,188,489 $17,604,833 $23,341,032
Aegis Strategy LLC       $1,537,371 $1,197,633   $2,735,004
Georgia-Pacific Television         $990,856   $990,856
Prophet   $1,257,787         $1,257,787
Synthesis   $415,000         $415,000
The Herald Group Llc $215,375           $215,375
Veracruz Advisory, LLC $122,177           $122,177
ZMD LLC           $1,995,889 $1,995,889
I360           $15,608,944 $15,608,944
Direct Mail     $1,350,741       $1,350,741
Arena Communications LLC     $1,350,741       $1,350,741
Events   $250,000 $1,228,026       $1,478,026
ZMD LLC   $250,000 $1,228,026       $1,478,026
Legal Services $799,781 $916,529         $1,716,310
Pillsbury winthrop shaw Pittman LLP $680,502 $590,274         $1,270,776
Weinberg, jacobs & Tolani, LLP $119,279 $326,255         $445,534
Market Research     $1,496,879       $1,496,879
Luntz Global LLC     $1,496,879       $1,496,879
Professional     $11,000,000 $9,000,000 $9,449,732   $29,449,732
Demeter Analytics Services, Inc.     $11,000,000 $9,000,000 $9,449,732   $29,449,732
Media           $9,298,347 $9,298,347
Georgia-Pacific Television           $1,349,965 $1,349,965
In Pursuit Of           $7,948,382 $7,948,382
Conferences           $1,330,615 $1,330,615
The Broadmoor Hotel           $1,330,615 $1,330,615
Grand Total $1,137,333 $2,839,316 $15,075,646 $10,537,371 $11,638,221 $28,233,795 $69,461,682

Transactions with Related Organizations

Freedom Partners is required to disclose dollars it transfers to “related organizations” in its 990 tax forms. The following “transactions” were listed. Note that these totals do not always add up to compensation recorded in the “independent contractors” section of the related tax forms.

Transaction Key Description
B Gift, grant, or capital contribution to related organization(s)
L Performance of services or membership or fund-raising solicitations for related organization(s)
Q Reimbursement paid by related organization(s) for expenses
M Performance of services or membership or fundraising sol1c1tat1ons by related organizat1on(s)
P Reimbursement paid by related organization(s) for expenses
S Other transfer of cash or property from related organization(s)
Recipient & Transaction Type 2012 2014 2015 2016 2017 Grand Total
Cavhoco, Inc. $1,000,000 $17,502,228 $13,750,000 $8,250,000 $24,413,504 $64,915,732
B $1,000,000 $17,502,228 $13,750,000 $8,250,000 $3,114,564 $43,616,792
S         $21,298,940 $21,298,940
Demeter Analytics Services, Inc.   $11,000,000 $15,111,185 $9,752,910 $15,826,394 $51,690,489
L       $303,178 $217,451 $520,629
M   $11,000,000 $11,000,000 $9,449,732 $15,608,943 $47,058,675
P     $4,111,185     $4,111,185
Freedom Partners Action Fund     $89,026 $277,870   $366,896
B     $89,026     $89,026
L       $277,870   $277,870
Freedom Partners Institute, Inc.       $275,743   $275,743
Q       $275,743   $275,743
Capitol Leaders         $192,255 $192,255
Q         $192,255 $192,255
Grand Total $1,000,000 $28,502,228 $28,950,211 $18,556,523 $40,432,153 $117,441,115

Freedom Partners Action Fund – Money Raised

According to a search of data on file at the Federal Election Commission, The Freedom Partners Action Fund has raised at least $70,881,150 since 2014, according to FEC data. [9]

View some of the top contributors below or view a complete spreadsheet of Freedom Partners Action Fund funding data (.xlsx).

  2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Grand Total
Top Individual Contributors ($100K or More)            
HENDRICKS, DIANE MS. $1,000,000 $2,000,000 $2,000,000     $5,000,000
GILLIAM, RICHARD B. MR. $500,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000   $3,500,000
KOCH, CHARLES MR.     $3,000,000     $3,000,000
MERCER, ROBERT L. MR. $2,500,000         $2,500,000
DEVOS, RICHARD M. MR. $500,000 $250,000 $500,000   $1,000,000 $2,250,000
BERGAN, MARY ALICE MRS.         $2,000,000 $2,000,000
GRIFFIN, KENNETH C. MR.   $2,000,000       $2,000,000
FOSTER, PAUL L. MR. $1,000,000 $1,000,000       $2,000,000
LAUFER, WAYNE L. MR.   $500,000 $800,000 $400,000   $1,700,000
HAYDEN, JERRY MR. $300,000       $1,000,000 $1,300,000
SINGER, PAUL MR.     $1,000,000     $1,000,000
CHILDS, JOHN W. MR. $700,000     $125,000 $125,000 $950,000
DEVOS, HELEN MRS.   $250,000 $500,000     $750,000
BRYAN, JOHN D. MR. $575,000         $575,000
DEASON, DARWIN MR.   $200,000 $200,000 $150,000   $550,000
GILLIAM, LESLIE F. MRS.     $500,000     $500,000
FARMER, R. T. MR. $500,000         $500,000
CAMERON, RONALD M. MR.     $500,000     $500,000
MITCHELL, P. MRS. $500,000         $500,000
HUMPHREYS, DAVID C. MR. $500,000         $500,000
CURRY, RAVENEL B. MR. III $500,000         $500,000
WRIGHT, K. A. MRS. $500,000         $500,000
CHAZEN, STEPHEN I. MR. $125,000   $225,000   $125,000 $475,000
GIBBS, GEORGE W. MR. III $200,000   $100,000   $150,000 $450,000
WEEKLEY, RICHARD W. MR. $50,000   $200,000   $150,000 $400,000
CHAMBERS, TOM D. MR.   $383,890       $383,890
HUBBARD, STANLEY S. MR. $150,000 $150,000       $300,000
KLESSE, WILLIAM R. MR.     $100,000 $100,000 $100,000 $300,000
CORRIGAN, FREDRIC W. MR.       $150,000 $125,000 $275,000
STAI, DIAN GRAVES MRS. $250,000         $250,000
HALVORSON, ELLING MR.         $250,000 $250,000
WEISS, RICHARD T. MR. $50,000   $75,000   $110,000 $235,000
ROWLING, ROBERT B. MR. $200,000         $200,000
HAYDEN, MARILYN MRS. $100,000   $100,000     $200,000
PEFANIS, HARRY N. MR.     $100,000   $100,000 $200,000
LUDDY, ROBERT L. MR. $100,000   $100,000     $200,000
WEISS, M. ELIZABETH MRS. $67,000   $75,000   $10,000 $152,000
LAMP, DAVE L. MR.       $100,000 $50,000 $150,000
DIEFENTHAL, EDWARD L. MR. $150,000         $150,000
HUNT, WOODY L. MR.     $50,000   $100,000 $150,000
ROJ, WILLIAM H. MR. $25,000       $100,000 $125,000
RICE, PHOEBE R. MRS. $110,008         $110,008
BUNTROCK, DEAN L. MR. $100,000         $100,000
PEARSON, MARK         $100,000 $100,000
TROESH, DENNIS MR.     $100,000     $100,000
RECORDS, GEORGE J. MR. $100,000         $100,000
CHALLEY, ROBERT E. MR.         $100,000 $100,000
HOTCHKIS, JOHN F. MR. $100,000         $100,000
SUTTON, NICK MR.       $100,000   $100,000
ROBSON, ED MR.     $100,000     $100,000
BRESLOW, JOHN MR.     $100,000     $100,000
ELLEGARD, KENNETH E. MR.     $100,000     $100,000
MARKKULA, ARMAS C. JR. $100,000         $100,000
HOCK, STACY         $100,000 $100,000
HICKS, THOMAS O. MR. $100,000         $100,000
Top Contributor Organizations ($100K or More)            
CHARLES G. KOCH 1997 TRUST $5,000,000 $3,000,000   $3,000,000   $11,000,000
MOUNTAIRE CORPORATION $3,000,000   $3,000,000   $1,000,000 $7,000,000
DAVID H. KOCH 2003 TRUST $2,000,000         $2,000,000
ROGER W STONE REVOCABLE TRUST DTD 6/3/2009 $1,250,000         $1,250,000
CLARENCE L. WERNER REVOCABLE TRUST $1,000,000         $1,000,000
I360     $914,363     $914,363
FREEDOM PARTNERS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE INC. $693,289 $89,026 $23,870     $806,185
WAYNE LAUFER REVOCABLE TR $600,000         $600,000
VARIETY STORES INC. $400,000 $100,000       $500,000
DEAN L BUNTROCK TRUST UAD 11/13/15     $250,000 $250,000   $500,000
KAREN BUCHWALD WRIGHT REVOCABLE TST $500,000         $500,000
HUBBARD BROADCASTING INC. $300,000 $200,000       $500,000
DEAN L. BUNTROCK TRUST         $400,000 $400,000
ROGER & SUSAN STONE FAMILY FOUNDATION $250,000         $250,000
THE GINN FAMILY TRUST DTD 8/7/85 SAMUEL L. GINN TTEE       $100,000 $150,000 $250,000
KENT C MCCARTHY REVOCABLE TRUST       $250,000   $250,000
THE WILLIAM R JOHNSON JR REV TR     $100,000   $100,000 $200,000
THE FROST 1990 REVOCABLE TRUST         $200,000 $200,000
JAMES A. PATTERSON REV. TRUST ACCOUNT $200,000         $200,000
EDWARD J. ROBSON FAMILY TRUST       $100,000 $100,000 $200,000
HUNTERDOOLEY FAMILY TRUST       $125,000 $50,000 $175,000
BB&T SECURITIES LLC $156,926         $156,926
THE GEORGE W. GIBBS III LIVING TRUST       $150,000   $150,000
THE BRADBURY CO. INC. $25,000 $25,000 $25,000 $25,000 $25,000 $125,000
JOHN W CHILDS 2013 REVOCABLE   $125,000       $125,000
ALKIN CO         $100,000 $100,000
INTERNATIONAL BANK OF COMMERCE         $100,000 $100,000
PJ BRIX LLC         $100,000 $100,000
W.D.C. HOLDINGS LLC $100,000         $100,000
SHANNON 2006 REVOCABLE TRUST $100,000         $100,000

Freedom Partners Action Fund – Money Spent

  Year  
Entity Type & Recipient 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Grand Total
COM         $5,000,000 $5,000,000
AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY ACTION INC.         $5,000,000 $5,000,000
Individual $2,233         $2,233
LANGBORGH, BONNIE K. $1,030         $1,030
JOHNSTON, JIM $900         $900
KINCAID, CAROLYN $303         $303
Organization $2,360,292 $264,476 $1,472,899 $1,230,796 $2,825,525 $8,153,988
I360 $35,250   $644,865 $1,023,350 $1,808,269 $3,511,734
FREEDOM PARTNERS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE INC. $698,223 $89,026 $219,267 $39,000 $90,150 $1,135,667
MAXIMUM COMPLIANCE LLC $80,420 $80,000 $208,125 $56,833 $145,311 $570,689
KAREN BUCHWALD WRIGHT REVOCABLE TST $500,000         $500,000
PRESSTIGE PRINTING         $310,138 $310,138
ROGER & SUSAN STONE FAMILY FOUNDATION $250,000         $250,000
FP1 STRATEGIES LLC $78,500   $65,695   $32,000 $176,195
JONES DAY $132,498 $8,988 $16,241     $157,726
PEOPLE WHO THINK         $141,160 $141,160
MCCARTHY HENNINGS WHALEN INC. $132,000         $132,000
CMDI $23,514 $14,464 $44,673 $12,003 $29,753 $124,407
INNOVATIVE ADVERTISING LLC $106,248   $17,500     $123,748
INTERNATIONAL BANK OF COMMERCE         $100,000 $100,000
ACCELERATE WEST VIRGINIA     $100,000     $100,000
IN PURSUIT OF       $21,295 $61,726 $83,021
DIRECT MAIL MARKETING GROUP $77,442 $262 $2,069     $79,774
SANDLERINNOCENZI INC. $23,110     $22,040 $29,858 $75,009
POOLHOUSE $53,500         $53,500
USI INSURANCE SERVICES NAT‘L         $52,001 $52,001
LUNTZ GLOBAL PARTNERS LLC     $46,790     $46,790
WELLS FARGO INSURANCE SERVICES USA INC.     $29,531 $15,555   $45,086
BB&T MERCHANT SERVICES $24,513 $456 $3,273 $1,545 $7,647 $37,434
THINKFILM INC. $33,000         $33,000
ZMD LLC $6,629 $19,427       $26,056
POSTAGE FOR DIRECT MAIL FUNDRAISING LLC $24,554         $24,554
PLANET DIRECT       $20,329   $20,329
ENGAGE   $4,419 $15,256     $19,675
BIGEYE DIRECT   $16,377       $16,377
JAMESTOWN ASSOCIATES LLC $7,000   $9,280     $16,280
CONSERVATIVE CONNECTOR LLC $16,240         $16,240
CONRAD DIRECT   $6,855   $4,861 $600 $12,316
CLEAR WORD COMMUNICATIONS GROUP INC. $12,000         $12,000
APUS MEDIA INC.     $11,337     $11,337
SOUTHWEST PUBLISHING & MAILING CORPORATION $9,388         $9,388
BB&T $1,984 $4,787 $1,853     $8,625
ALEXANDER & MACGREGOR INC.     $3,000 $5,000 $0 $8,000
US POSTAL SERVICE $1,218 $925 $2,155 $2,150 $1,260 $7,708
USI INSURANCE SERVICES NATIONAL (WDC)         $7,144 $7,144
PRECISION LISTS LLC $6,092         $6,092
NOVA LIST COMPANY LLC $5,942         $5,942
GREENER AND HOOK LLC     $5,741     $5,741
PAGELY INC.     $5,187 $399   $5,586
HSP DIRECT LLC $5,000         $5,000
US POSTMASTER   $5,000       $5,000
NATIONAL CAPITAL TELESERVICES L.L.C.     $4,925     $4,925
TWITTER INC.     $3,900   $1,000 $4,900
MPM   $4,895       $4,895
BB&T BANK     $427 $2,962 $1,177 $4,566
ANEDOT $201   $2,052   $1,672 $3,925
MDI IMAGING & MAIL LLC $3,901         $3,901
ST. REGIS MONARCH BEACH   $3,596       $3,596
RED EDGE LLC $3,164         $3,164
2MAX MEDIA LLC $3,000         $3,000
GREGORY ALLEN MUNFORD INC.     $3,000     $3,000
FACEBOOK INC.     $2,899     $2,899
AUTHORIZE.NET $171 $660 $507 $659 $485 $2,481
CT CORPORATION $668 $284   $380 $805 $2,137
TRISTATE ENVELOPE CORPORATION   $2,048       $2,048
FP1 DIGITAL LLC         $2,000 $2,000
BKD LLP     $977 $978   $1,955
SPECIALTY DATA SOLUTIONS $1,540         $1,540
US DIGITAL $887         $887
PREFERRED COMMUNICATIONS     $850     $850
DUPESHOP.COM $804         $804
JUNTTILA STUDIOS INC.         $750 $750
SUNRISE DATA SERVICES $750         $750
PSAV       $653   $653
TUCOWS.COM     $641     $641
GODADDY.COM     $112 $333 $150 $595
WP ENGINE INC.       $290 $290 $580
MAILCHIMP     $210 $180 $180 $570
DONORBUREAU LLC $502         $502
ARCADIO LLC   $450       $450
SIR SPEEDY   $439       $439
HARLAND CLARKE CORP. $439         $439
TRAY   $395       $395
STAPLES   $388       $388
RENAISSANCE INDIAN WELLS     $344     $344
STAPLES (ARLINGTON)   $335       $335
OUTBRAIN INC.     $217     $217
PRIME MEDIA PARTNERS LLC     $0     $0
PAC $52,500         $52,500
WEST MAIN STREET VALUES PAC INC. $50,000         $50,000
MAVERICK PAC USA $2,500         $2,500
Grand Total $2,415,026 $264,476 $1,472,899 $1,230,796 $7,825,525 $13,208,721

Freedom Partners/Seminar Network Chamber of Commerce 990 Forms

Freedom Partners Institute / Capitol Leaders 990 Forms

Key People

The following is based on information presented in Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce’s 990 forms and the Freedom Partners website:

Name 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Title
Emily Seidel   Y Y Y Y Y     Director & Executive VP
Kevin Gentry   Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Director
Mark Holden   Y Y Y Y Y Y Y President, Chairman
Nestor Weigand Jr.   Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Director
Michael Lanzara     Y Y Y Y     VP Member Relations
Dale Gibbens       Y Y Y Y Y Director
Kelly Bulloch       Y Y Y Y Y Director
Brian Hooks         Y Y Y Y Director
Nicholas Dunn         Y Y     VP of Development
Randy Lair         Y Y Y Y Director
Robert Heaton         Y Y     CFO/Treasurer
Cy Nobles           Y Y Y Director
Daniel Sacks           Y     VP of Member Relations
Kimberly Wolff           Y     Sr VP of Strategic Development
Mark McConnell           Y     VP of Gift Planning
Nancy Pfotenhauer           Y Y Y Director
Wayne Gable Y Y Y Y Y       Director
Dustin Perry   Y Y Y Y       Treasurer
James Davis   Y Y Y Y       Sr. VP Communications
Josh Fisher   Y Y Y Y       VP-Financial Planning/Analysis
Marc Short   Y Y Y Y       President
Julie Strauss     Y Y Y       Secretary
Richard Ribbentrop Y Y Y   Y       Sr VP Policy
Paul Morrell         Y       VP Communications
Douglas Pileri     Y Y         Executive Vice President
David Silverman       Y         VP of Development
Daniel Jorjani   Y Y           Dep Gen Counsel/Vp Compliance
Heather Love   Y Y           Treasurer
Jonathan Black   Y Y           Director of Research
Richard Fink   Y Y           Director
Michael Roman     Y           Vice President of Research
Alan Cobb   Y             Vice President
Andrew Koenig   Y             Project Director
Angela Redding   Y             Project Manager

Staff in Trump Administration

ProPublica tracked appointees who were formerly employed by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce and who went on to work in the Trump Administration: [24]

  • Edward Ajaeb — Analyst. Went to Office of National Drug Control Policy.
  • Brittany Baldwin — Deputy Director of Writing. Went to White House Office.
  • Luke Alexander Beckmann — Analyst. Went to Homeland Security.
  • Samantha Dravis — Legal Counsel. Went to Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Stephen J. Ford — Director of Writing. Went to Office of the Vice President.
  • Andrew D. “Andy” Koenig— Vice President of Policy, Senior Policy Advisor. Went to White House Office.
  • Gary Michael Lawkowski — Legal Counsel. Went to Interior.
  • Michael P. McKeown — Went to Homeland Security.
  • Michael A. “Mike” Roman — Vice-President. Went to White House Office.
  • Bethany Scully — Deputy Director Member Relations. Went to White House Office.
  • Marc Short — President. Went to White House Office.
  • Cooper James Smith — Research Associate. Went to Housing and Urban Development.

Other People

  • Nathan Nascimento — Freedom Partners Vice President of Policy. [25]

Actions

March 24, 2017

Freedom Partners applauded the Trump administration for approving the Keystone XL pipeline: [[25]

“After years of needless delay and obstruction, we applaud the Trump administration for finally green-lighting the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline” Freedom Partners Vice President of Policy Nathan Nascimento said in a statement.

“The Obama administration’s senseless opposition to this pipeline was one of the starkest examples of putting partisan politics ahead of jobs and the economy. It’s encouraging to see the Trump administration is putting American jobs before politics.” [25]

November 2014

National Journal reported that Freedom Partners Action Fund teamed up with Americans for Prosperity to spend a com­bined $100 mil­lion during the 2014 election cycle. [26]

“The pair worked in tan­dem this year: AFP bom­barded the TV air­waves early in key Sen­ate races to co­in­cide with the botched im­ple­ment­a­tion of Obama­care, soften­ing up many Demo­crat­ic in­cum­bents be­fore many of their cam­paigns had even kicked in­to gear. The groups’ stag­ger­ing spend­ing fig­ures will be cred­ited with help­ing Re­pub­lic­ans cre­ate what is shap­ing up to be a wave elec­tion for the party,” National Journal wrote. [26]

The biggest de­cision stra­tegic­ally that we made was go­ing so early with our ad ef­fort,” said AFP Pres­id­ent Tim Phil­lips. “When we launched last year, it was prob­ably un­pre­ced­en­ted for an off-year cycle. I don’t re­call any­one spend­ing tens of mil­lions in early Septem­ber through Me­mori­al Day in an off-year.” [26]

June 2014

Freedom Partners reportedly spearheaded a new energy initiative that was introduced at a Koch Brothers summit in Laguna Beach, California. The Daily Beast obtained an email sent by Kevin Gentry, Vice President of the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, to Freedom Partners members: [27]

Members were invited to take part in a “significant new Freedom Partners initiative” to “drive the national narrative around energy and the tremendous benefits of reliable affordable energy for all Americans, especially for the less fortunate.”

“New multi million dollar campaign by environmentalists is arguably an effort to distract from the failures of Obamacare. But you and I know energy is a critically important issue for the United States,” Gentry wrote in the email. [27]

April 8, 2014

Freedom Partners launched a $1.1 million advertising campaign against Representative Bruce Braley (D-IA) and Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), The Daily Caller reported. [28]

Congressman Bruce Braley voted for Obamacare,” says a female narrator in the Iowa ad, as brooding piano music plays in the background. “The government spent millions of taxpayer dollars to promote it. Now, health insurance companies stand to make billions, and Bruce Braley, he takes tens of thousands from his friends in the health insurance industries. For Iowans, it’s cancelled policies and higher costs. That’s not right.” [28]

A campaign spokesman for Bruce Braley described the ad as “misleading.” [28]

The Koch brothers and their oil billionaire allies are once again attacking Bruce Braley with misleading ads because just like Bruce’s GOP opponents they support policies that would hurt Iowa’s economy, like blocking an increase in the minimum wage, undermining Medicare and Social Security, and sending us back to the days when insurance companies could kick people off their insurance when they got sick. Bruce Braley fights for Iowa’s working families because that’s where he comes from, and he’ll keep fighting for Iowa in the US Senate,” he said. [28]

February 5, 2014

Mother Jones reported that a confidential document was left behind at one of the Koch Brothers’ donor conferences. In addition to highlighting a number of previously unknown donors, “The document suggests a close collaboration between officials of Koch Industries, AFP, and Freedom Partners, whose staff and board are stacked with numerous current and former Koch Industries employees.” [29]

Freedom Partners spokesman James Davis said he was “uncertain” about the document and did not respond to further questions. [29]

The materials showed Michael Lanzara and Jeff Noble, who at the time had transitioned to work at Freedom Partners after working in Koch Companies Public Sector, were scheduled to meet with potential donors alongside staff from Americans for Prosperity (AFP). Those with ties to Freedom Partners involved in the meetings included: [29]

  • Michael Lanzara
  • Kevin Gentry
  • Jeff Noble
  • Brett Hinkey
  • Marc Short
  • Nathan Nascimento
  • James Davis 

Related Organizations

Controlled Entities

The below corporations have all at one time shared the address 2200 WILSON BLVD STE 102-533 ARLINGTON VA 22201, according to tax returns. Demeter Analytics Services Inc. has been listed at both 2300 CLARENDON BLVD SUITE 800 ARLINGTON VA 22201 and at the Wilson Blvd address, sometimes inside the same tax return (see “independent contractors” and “related organizations” in Freedom Partners 2016 990 form, for example). i360, a “comprehensive data resource” serving Koch, has an address of 2300 Clarendon Blvd, Suite 800.

The following hierarchy is based on “direct controlling entities” listed in Freedom Partners tax returns:

  • Freedom Partners
    • American Strategies Group LLC (ASG)*
      • Cavhoco, Inc.
        • KNSLT, Inc.
        • DBLDBL, Inc.
          • Thoco
            • Demeter Analytics

*Politico reports ASG is set up with a corporate structure known as a “disregarded entity,” which “exists only as a part of its parent group ― in this case Freedom Partners ― for the purposes of mitigating legal risk and separating revenue streams for accounting and tax compliance purposes.” [30]

Contact & Address

According to its most recent tax filing, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce was listed at the following address:

2200 Wilson Blvd Ste 102-533
Arlington, VA 22201-3324
(571) 898-2958

Social Media

Resources

  1. About,Freedom Partners. Archived May 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/hWcnz

  2. About Us,” Freedom Partners. Archived November 13, 2013. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/4o2TC

  3. Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei. “The Koch brothers’ secret bank,” Politico, September 11, 2013. Archived May 17 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/dZAR6

  4. Koch and Freedom Partners,” KochFacts.com, September 12, 2013. Archived March 22, 2016. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/LzXiN

  5. New Koch Brothers Group Revamps Billionaires’ Dark Money Operation,” HuffPost, April 26, 2013. Archived May 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/mHYK1

  6. Kochs’ Freedom Partners Spent $129M in 2014, Invested Massively in Voter Data Lists,” PR Watch, November 18, 2015.

  7. About Freedom Partners Action Fund,” Freedom Partners Action Fund. Archived May 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/5E6Py

  8. Darren Goode. “Kochs launch new super PAC,” Politico, June 16, 2014. Archived May 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/IDFcv

  9. Federal Election Commission search, performed May 18, 2019.

  10. Fighting for free markets and a free society,Freedom Partners Action Fund. Archived February 4, 2016. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/iCfPR

  11. Matt Corley. “INTRODUCING THE NEWEST KOCH NETWORK GROUP: FREEDOM PARTNERS INSTITUTE, INC.Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, January 21, 2016.

  12. About,Freedom Partners Institute. Archived October 27, 2016. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/Islyo

  13. Domain Dossier for freedompartnersinstitute.org via CentralOPS.net. Accessed May 18. 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  14. David Armiak. “The Koch Brothers’ Freedom Partners Group Spends $115.2 Million in 2017,” Exposed by CMD, November 26, 2018. Archived May 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/Z9Pg5

  15. Matea Gold. “The players in the Koch-backed $400 million political donor network,” The Washington Post, January 5, 2014. Archived May 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/ecOGq

  16. About,Center for Shared Services. Archived January 3, 2013. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/0WWBL

  17. Kenneth P. Vogel. “Koch World 2014,” Politico, January 24, 2014. Archived May 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/tQJQP

  18. The Seminar Network,” homepage, archived May 16, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/RTuIX

  19. Lee Fang and Nick Surgey. “KOCH DOCUMENT REVEALS LAUNDRY LIST OF POLICY VICTORIES EXTRACTED FROM THE TRUMPADMINISTRATION,” The Intercept, February 25, 2018. Archived May 16, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/pAN4K

  20. Our Network Partners,” The Seminar Network. Archived May 16, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/LGDTv

  21. Mike Allen and Kenneth P. Vogel. “Inside the Koch data mine,” Politico, December 8, 2014. Archived June 20, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/AvF5R

  22. About Us,” i360. Archived May 18, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/R6Reo

  23. Statement on U.S. Commitments at Paris Negotiations,” Freedom Partners, December 11, 2015. Archived May 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/CpqRC

  24. “Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce,” ProPublica “Trump Town.” Accessed May 18, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  25. Freedom Partners Applauds Trump Administration for Long-Overdue Permitting of Keystone XL Pipeline,” Freedom Partners, March 24, 2017. Archived May 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/qke58

  26. The Koch Network Spent $100 Million This Election Cycle,” National Journal, November 14, 2017. Archived May 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/ZNdIG

  27. Peter Stone. “Koch Brothers Make Climate Activists New Target,” Daily Beast, June 13, 2014. Archived May 19, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/AKZUb

  28. Alexis Levinson. “NEW ADS ATTACK BRALEY, UDALL ON OBAMACARE,” The Daily Caller, April 7, 2014. Archived May 18. 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/RUpJf

  29. Daniel Schulman and Andy Kroll. “The Koch Brothers Left a Confidential Document at Their Donor Conference,” Mother Jones, February 5, 2014. Archived May 18, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/PNpse

  30. The Koch intelligence agency,” Politico, November 18, 2015. Archived July 19, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.fo/EJvwY

  31. James Hohmann. “The Daily 202: The Koch network is reorganizing under a new name and with new priorities,The Washington Post, May 20, 2019. Archived June 12, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/3a2Ma

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