The Federal Election Commission (FEC) just agreed to a massive fine for three Koch network-funded groups for illegally hiding the source of the funding for their political ads, as originally alleged by a 2014 Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) complaint.
The 60 Plus Association (which agreed to pay $50,000 in a conciliation agreement with the FEC), the American Future Fund ($140,000) and Americans for Job Security ($43,000) spent millions of dollars in 2010 from the Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR, now known as American Encore), the Koch brothers’ main funding group at the time, on ads targeted by CPPR without disclosing the source of the money.
The groups claimed the money was for general expenses and not specific ads, so they were not required to disclose their donors. However, Sean Noble, who was the central figure in distributing Koch money in 2010 and 2012, told the National Review in 2014 that he was deeply involved with producing the ads and selecting their targets—meaning the groups were required to disclose the source of the funds. The FEC’s investigation found that Noble’s consulting firm even helped produce and place the ads for the groups.
While the fines are important, they hardly seem “massive” to billionaires like the Kochs. More like pocket change.