Conservative billionaires David Koch and Charles "Chazzdawg"* Koch run a variety of political activism funds that don't have to disclose the names of their donors because they don't explicitly advocate for the election of specific candidates. But they've now launched a super PAC called the Freedom Partners Action Fund that does back individual candidates, and as such the identities of the group's donors are public. Politico takes the opportunity to examine the kinds of donors motivated to join the Kochs' money network, which is expected to spend more during this election cycle than either party's national committee spent in 2010. The answer seems to be, generally, "heartland industrialists"—no surprise given the Kochs' backgrounds as Kansas oil and engineering tycoons:
The group received $1 million apiece from Arkansas poultry producer Ronnie Cameron, Wisconsin roofing billionaire Diane Hendricks and Nebraska trucking magnate Clarence Werner...
“I just felt like it’s time to stand up and put my money where my mouth is,” said Cameron, who made his donation in two equal checks through Mountaire Corp., the Arkansas-based poultry company he owns...
“I just kind of decided that it was more important to support it than it was to maintain my privacy,” Cameron said. “I’m 69 years old. I’m much more concerned that my grandkids could be living under communism, or something like it, with the type of leadership that we have right now.”
Other ID'd donors:
- Stanley Hubbard, Minnesota media mogul
- Jack Biltis, founder of Arizona founder of a human-resources company
- John W. Childs, founder of Massachusetts private equity firm
- Ned Diefenthal, Louisiana chemical and manufacturing CEO
- George W. Gibbs, founder of a Florida shipbuilding company
- Robert Rowling, Texas investor
- Dian Graves Stai, founder of a Texas health care company
- Bob Mercer, New York hedge funder
Bob Mercer once sued a model railroad company for charging $2 million to install a model train system—which Mercer said was worth "only" $700,000—in his mansion.
*Not his real nickname. His real nickname is "Chazz Fresh."