This should come as a surprise to absolutely no one. For months the California Republican Party has been paying professional petition gatherers to get enough signatures to put up a ballot initiative to repeal AB 32, California's climate change legislation passed in 2006. At the eleventh hour, they succeeded.
Now that they've succeeded, huge contributions are flowing into California to make sure the measure passes. In the name of "corporate speech", Tesoro has contributed $500,000, Occidental Petroleum $300,000 and Valero Energy has contributed $1,000,000.
Those are the ones we know about. Then there's the "Adam Smith Foundation."
The Adam Smith Foundation is a Missouri 501(c)(4) organization. It was organized in 2007. The Board of Directors is a fairly unknown bunch: Kurt Killen, William Clark Hardin IV, and John Elliott.
John Elliott is a mid-level player and associate of former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt. Matt Blunt is the son of Rep. Roy Blunt, who is closely linked to Jack Abramoff, Tom Delay, and the rest of the Republican graft gang. Were it not for the Abramoff connection, Roy Blunt would be sitting in John Boehner's minority leader seat today.
William Clark Hardin IV is another director. You can read more about him here.
And then there's Kurt Killen. He's the one who is most interesting to me. Kurt Killen served in 2003-2004 as an officer of the Missouri Republican Party. Mainstream, straight up Republican who loves Boy Scouts, libraries and...Rep. Sam Graves, at least enough to donate to him. In fact, Graves is the only candidate I see any donations going to from Killen in 2008-2010. Sam Graves is an interesting fellow. He also has ties back to Abramoff and his Gang of College Republicans. Major donors include the Busch family, Tony Rudy (the convicted Abramoff crony), and Sheldon Adelson. Oh, and Kurt Killen has been a member of the Citizens Club for Growth since 2004.
In 2010, Sam Graves has received four times as much in campaign contributions from corporate PACs as he has from individual donors. But the donor who caught my eye is KochPAC.
To review, we have a 501(c)(4) organization incorporated in Missouri. Its stated purpose is to "promote conservative principles and individual liberties in Missouri." (2008 990 filing) On December 31, 2008, its net assets were $5,300 and 2008 contributions were $30,000. In April, 2010 this same organization cut a check for $498,000.00 to fight a California Ballot Initiative.
One of the directors is a member of the Club for Growth and other directors have ties back to the Missouri Blunt machine, Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, and KochPAC.
Who do YOU think wrote the check? Here are your choices:
- Club for Growth
- Koch Industries
- Citizens United
- All of the above
And even more ties that bind...here.