Politico recently reported on revelations about what they called the "Koch's Secret Bank," a group called Freedom Partners which is the funding "sugar daddy" for the conservative causes pushed by the Koch brothers in the 2012 election. The group is behind funding for everything from efforts to kill Obamacare to adding fuel to the anti-choice movement, and then some.
According to Politico, the group's President, Marc Short, revealed the information because "Short, like most in the Koch empire, feels wealthy conservative activists such as Charles and David Koch get a bum rap from the media."
Yes, those poor victimized billionaires whose only wish is to defeat not only everything that President Obama does, but all that he, the majority that elected him, and the country stand for. Pardon me if I don't break out the tissues.
As they peeled back the layers of the Koch funding onion, Politico listed numerous groups who fund the "Koch Bank" and among them was one that caught my eye and had a familiar ring to it: The Center to Protect Patient Rights, a group that vehemently opposes Obamacare: a total of $115 million, from three grants.
While the CPPR has largely worked towards the effort to defeat the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, that isn't the only cause they're known for backing.
Back in 2011, before Florida Governor Rick Scott conducted his first voter purge, the man who worked with him to organize the entire operation was Scott's then Secretary of State Kurt Browning. Browning and Scott also filed a petition in federal court to throw out parts of the Voting Rights Act. Scott, as you'll recall, also ignored hearings in Washington over Florida's election laws that the legislature changed (and have since been partially restored) because he said "he didn't write the laws." Browning later resigned in 2012, claiming at the time that it was really Rick Scott who was directing the purge, not Browning. But there was more to Browning's role in the voter suppression efforts.
When Scott hired him, Browning was already busy on another voting "project." He was working towards an effort to fight against fair district laws, a fight that was playing out in Florida long before the suppression plans were hatched:
Just before Browning was selected in 2011 by Scott as Secretary of State, Browning led a group called “Protect Your Vote Inc,” which was set up to oppose fair redistricting. One of the biggest checks to Browning’s organization came from the Center to Protect Patients’ Rights, which gave $100,000 in 2010. At the time of the donation, the source of the money was shrouded in secrecy. [...]
But as Republic Report exclusively reported last month, the Center to Protect Patients’ Rights is part of a universe of front groups financed by David and Charles Koch, the petrochemical billionaires, as well as several other billionaires, as part of an election-influencing effort. New reports this week about the brothers’ strategy indicate that they will now use this constellation of front groups to finance $400 million of a $1 billion campaign in outside money to defeat President Obama and congressional Democrats. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Mitt Romney’s Super PAC, and several nonprofits controlled by Karl Rove, will furnish the other $600 million.
The Center to Protect Patients’ Rights is not to be confused with Conservatives for Patients Rights, the front group organized by Rick Scott to oppose health care reform before he ran for governor, though they shared similar objectives.
It's no secret that Scott has ties to the Koch brothers, though their connections weren't widely known until recent years. It's also no secret that the Koch's have tried to stay in the shadows until ALEC Exposed and The Center For Media and Democracy, and others forced their operations into the sunlight.
Last month during the height of the Stand Your Ground controversy and protest in Tallahassee, Scott was the keynote speaker for the "Defending the American Dream Summit" put on by Americans For Prosperity, the Koch group responsible for "manufacturing" the so-called grassroots Tea Party led effort against health care reform. AFP is also tied to ALEC, who wrote the SYG laws in Florida, and across the country, and passed thanks to the efforts of Republican legislators. In the past Scott tried to keep his visits to similar Koch summits quiet.
Now that the Koch funded groups are coming out of the shadows to make their case as so-called "victims" for Politico, those people who donate to them still remain a secret. As anyone can see from this story, the tentacles of Koch funding are complex, and they extend to the far reaches of policies-for-profit not supported by a majority of voters. The Koch's fund efforts fighting against Floridans in everything from environmental concerns, and pollution, to blocking affordable health care, and more.
So naturally, it only makes sense that they're more than willing to fund any efforts to keep Floridans from voting in their own best interests, but rather in the interest of what brings profits for the Koch's. Or as Politico puts it, the real victims "who get a bum wrap" from the media."
And now Rick Scott's voter purge 2.0 is just about to begin.