An analysis by The Washington Post and the Center for Responsive Politics published Sunday revealed that Koch Industries-backed entities operating in the opaque world of political dark money raised more than $400 million during the 2012 election cycle largely from anonymous donors.
The Post and CRP examined 17 conservative groups that made up the Koch network of loosely-affiliated organizations and found that they had raised at least $407 million during the 2012 campaign. The amount is comparable to the combined spending of all unions in state, federal and local races, and dwarfs all other sources of political spending in 2012 other than, perhaps, the Karl Rove-associated Crossroads super PAC and nonprofit group which brought in $325 million in the last cycle.
It isn’t clear, despite the Post analysis, how much the Koch brothers themselves contributed to the affiliated groups, in part because they used complicated and sophisticated financial processes to shield the identities of donors.
The Post nailed down two nodes through which much of the money passed, though. The Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, with a board of current and former Koch Industries officials, brought in nearly $256 million in 2011. The second node, TC4 Trust, raised more than $66 million in three years before it was shuttered in June 2012, according to tax filings.
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