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The many funding paths of Freedom Partners

By Laurie Bennett

September 14, 2013 at 8:23am

Politico published a jolting story this week about the political spending of a relatively unknown group called Freedom Partners.

The story had two hooks:

1. That Freedom Partners raised and spent $250 million in 2012.

2. That the group operated as the “Koch brothers’ secret bank.”

The first point was backed up by a 38-page document being prepared for filing with the IRS, provided by Freedom Partners President Marc Short.

The second is more difficult to nail down.

Freedom Partners doesn’t release the names of its donors, although it did tell Politico that “Koch-linked entities provided a ‘minority’ of the funds and that the largest single donor gave about $25 million.”

Like nearly all the Kochs’ political activities, their involvement with Freedom Partners is obscured and indirect.

Koch political contributions often pass through several organizations before reaching their intended targets.

The interactive map above shows many of the routes that Koch money can take before being received by organizations such as Tea Party Patriots. (The map is more easily manipulated in a larger view.)

Two individuals, both board members of Freedom Partners, are key Koch links.

Richard H. Fink is an official with several Koch foundations and is executive vice president of Koch Industries.

Kevin Gentry is vice president of the Koch lobbying arm, Koch Companies Public Sector.

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