After their crushing defeat in 2012, Charles and David Koch are more determined, not less. They're kicking off the re-launch of Koch Politics, Inc with a big donor meeting this Sunday and Monday, and a brand-spanking new arm of the Kochtopus.
The new organization, called the Association for American Innovation, is expected to ultimately funnel millions of dollars to other dark money groups nationwide. It's being staffed with Koch stalwarts, including Marc Short, who currently oversees other Koch-funded projects, according to a few GOP operatives familiar with the overhaul.
In a twist, the association has been established under Internal Revenue Service rules as a 501(c)(6) business league, setting it apart from many of the dark money groups into which the Kochs and allied donors have in recent years poured hundreds of millions. 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, tax lawyers say.
By contrast, Americans for Prosperity, which was founded by the Koch brothers and spent close to $140 million last year on electoral and advocacy drives with little to show for it, has two arms: It is a 501(c)(4) social welfare group -- which can engage in some political activity and keep its donors secret -- and a 501(c)(3) charity.
Yes, they're going full-tilt US Chamber of Commerce. Not content to funnel money to just about anyone who breathes and can pronounce the world "liberty," they're now going to adopt the Chamber model where everyone pays megamillions in "dues."
You've gotta love this:
"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. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and many other business groups in Washington have 501(c)(6) status.
As if somehow the US Chamber of Commerce is a paragon of a "mom-and-pop" shop?
One might expect the rollout of this new organization to dovetail with their donor meeting this weekend, where they will be discussing "short term policy threats in 2013 while building toward free-market gains in 2014 and beyond," effective engagement of "growing demographic groups such as Hispanic and Latino voters," as well as brainstorming ways "to encourage principled and effective advocates of free enterprise to run for office." They also will discuss ways to engage women. Here's a hint, boys: Stop discussing rape, birth control, and abortion. Just sayin'.
And a bonus! "Governors, Senators, members of the US House leadership, top political analysts and commentators!" I wonder if Glenn Beck has a spot this year. I'll have to see who is missing from the Fox lineup on Monday. Will derpy Ben Shapiro from Breitbart be there?
All that money, so little time to buy the government. I hear through the grapevine that there will be more efforts to stir up town hall meetings again this summer, and more mischief coming from organizations fueled by Koch money even though we can't prove it right now.
Let the games begin!