Freedom Partners Action Fund
- Location: Arlington, VA
- Tax-Exempt Status: Super PAC
- Website: https://freedompartners.org/actionfund/
Freedom Partners Action Fund is an independent expenditure group created by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. Unlike the Koch’s many other “issue-specific” dark-money outfits, Freedom Partners Action Fund, as a super PAC, can directly campaign for and against candidates with the caveat that it must also disclose its donors to the Federal Election Commission. Marc Short, a Koch political functionary, told Politico that the group “will support candidates who share our vision of free markets and a free society and oppose candidates who support intrusive government policies that push the American Dream out of reach for the American people.”
The PAC, started in June 2014, and affiliated with Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a 501(c)(6) that spent $236 million in the 2012 election, intends to dole out at least $15 million in the 2014 midterms. All together, the Kochs are expected to spend upwards of $290 million this election cycle in an effort to elect politicians who will best serve their economic interests, including deregulation, and curbing environmental protections.
Related: FREEDOM PARTNERS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The group’s funders include New York hedge fund manager Bob Mercer, whose firm has used so-called “basket options” to avoid more than $6 billion in taxes, Diane Hendricks, a Wisconsin roofing magnate and major contributor to Gov. Scott Walker, Minnesota TV mogul Stanley Hubbard, who has called global warming “the biggest fraud in the history of America, private equity moneyman John Childs, who has been nicknamed “the Republican ATM,” and Arkansas poultry processor Ronnie Cameron, who seeded the group with an initial $500,000 in June 2014, and has now given a total of $1 million. Cameron told Politico that he contributed to the group, despite disclosure concerns, because he feared that his grandchildren “could be living under communism … with the type of leadership that we have right now.” According to paper, “roughly 650 donors combined to contribute the more than $15 million raised by the super PAC’s from its June creation through the end of September” and the group planned to raise another $10 million ahead of Election Day.
Despite its short history, Freedom Partners Action Fund has produced a long list of negative attack ads that prey on voter fears with outright lies and incessant negative messages. In May of 2016 Freedom Partners Action Fund was forced to revise an ad attacking Russ Feingold after Poltifact rated the ad as “False” and three Wisconsin television stations pulled the ad off the air.