This report from Charles Koch’s Seminar Network was originally reported on by Lee Fang and Nick Surgey as a collaboration between the Intercept and Documented Investigations. It details spending to secure changes to the federal tax code to secure once-in-a-generation tax cuts for the wealthiest that were signed into law by Trump. (To see the Koch network memo about that agenda, read this.)
The report was shared under the rubric of what was then called the “Seminar Network,” which previously operated under the name “Freedom Partners” and which now operates under the name “Stand Together.” Whatever the name, the concept is the same: this is the political agenda of the Koch empire in coordination with the CEOs and corporations that help fund Charles Koch’s agenda through a non-profit trade group–organized under 501(c)(5) of the IRS Code–that has operated under different brands.
This summary is a report-back from Koch’s team to his billionaire and millionaire funder allies, who are part of what is also sometimes called the “Koch Network.” It identifies the core group of non-profit groups controlled by Koch that spent more than $20 million to secure the Koch Seminar Network’s once-in-a-generation tax cut agenda as “Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Farmers Chamber of Commerce, the LIBRE Initiative, and Generation Opportunity.”
The following are excerpts from the story by the Intercept and Documented about this memo:
- “To win support for the Republican tax legislation, the Koch network claims that it organized over 100 rallies in 36 states, contacted over 1.8 million activists, and knocked on over 33,000 doors. The group also spent freely on digital and television advertisements, with $1.6 million in TV spots to support the legislation in Wisconsin alone.”
- “As The Intercept previously reported, the Koch network told its surrogates to downplay concern over the deficit, a major issue they raised during the Obama administration, in order to convince lawmakers to support the package.”
- “Days after the tax bill passed, Charles Koch and his wife donated $500,000 to Speaker Paul Ryan’s joint fundraising leadership PAC, which has a heightened threshold for donations.”