Mother Jones is reporting on the complex network of non-profits the Koch bros used to funnel $15 million illegally into California elections. The monies were aimed at two ballot measures - one raising taxes on the wealthiest Californians and the other crippling unions in the state.
As part of the deal, two Arizona-based nonprofits, the Koch-linked Center to Protect Patients Rights and Americans for Responsible Leadership, admitted violating state election law. The settlement mandates that the two nonprofits pay a $1 million fine to California's general fund, and the committees who received the secret donations at the heart of the case must also cut a check to the state for the amount of those donations, which totaled $15.08 million.
Here's the bottom line: A California fundraiser raised a boatload of money. He shuffled it through a network of secretly funded nonprofit groups to hide the donors' identities. And when the money finally arrived in California in time to influence the 2012 elections, the fingerprints on the money had been thoroughly scrubbed off—and in the process, the operatives masterminding this scheme had broken the law.
The scheme involved two Koch political operatives - Sean Noble, who runs the "Center for Patient Rights", and Tony Russo, a California based consultant and fundraiser. Our own Art Pope and Sean Noble have attended Koch-funded strategy and fundraising confabs.
This case is only a small peek inside the Koch political machine. We have to wonder how often Pope has used these same tactics here in NC.