The Main Street Growth Project was a dark-money 501(c)(4) group formed in 2013 to fight against “those advocating for evermore power in DC and burdensome regulations.” The group claims that its focus “is to empower Main Street, and not to benefit DC or Wall Street.” But while the group claims to advocate for the little guy, its bankrolled by major conservative donors including the Koch brothersFreedom Partners, and its board of directors is a who’s who of Wall Street executives.

MSGP was formed on May 1, 2013 and in its first tax year received $400,000 in income. Of that, $100,000 came from the Koch Brothers’ Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, identified by Politico as the “Koch brothers’ secret bank.” The other $300,000 came in a grant from the Judicial Crisis Network, which made the grant almost immediately after MSGP’s formation. JCN has significant ties to the Koch brothers via the Wellspring Committee, which provides a significant amount of JCN’s funding. Wellspring was “founded… with the help of conservative donors in the network led by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.” And while those ties have “frayed” over the years, according to the Daily Beast, Wellspring still counts Koch- and Wall Street-connected megadonors like Paul Singer among its benefactors.

And while MSGP frames its attacks on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act as protecting small businesses and community banks, its staff would not be unfamiliar on Wall Street:

  • Executive Director Kyle Hauptman,  a senior development manager at the Koch-backed American Enterprise Institute, traded at Lehman Brothers and Jefferies & Company.
  • Board member Peter Wallison, another American Enterprise Institute employee, practiced corporate and financial law at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, after previously developing President Ronald Reagan’s financial deregulation policies.
  • William F. Dunbar, another board member, co-founded a venture capital firm, Core Capital Partners; founded Pebble Hill Capital; and served as a senior executive at Allied Capital, a private equity firm.
  • Board member Paul Atkins was the CEO of financial services consulting firm Patomak Global Partners, a Chairman of the Board at BATS Global Markets, and a fomer SEC Commissioner under President George W. Bush.

Two other board members, John Arnold and J. Mark McWatters, were not profiled on the MSGP website, and were only listed on the organization’s tax documents. Arnold is most likely the founder of hedge fund Centaurus Advisors, who retired at age 38 to focus on philanthropy and who helped found the Koch-backed Coalition for Public Safety. McWatters was most likely a counsel to Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), a Koch favorite, who also served as a member of the Troubled Asset Relief Program’s Congressional Oversight panel and on the National Credit Union Administration board.

MSGP’s chairman was Chauncey Goss, a consultant and government relations professional who previously worked for Rep. Paul Ryan on the House Budget Committee. According to a bio of Goss, “Chairman Ryan credits Goss with much of the quantitative analysis and calculations needed to ensure that Ryan’s budget blueprints achieved the desired deficit reduction and economic objectives.”

 

 

View Financial Record
YearAssetsRevenueGrants InGrants OutTotal ExpensesLink
2014$42,258$400,088$400,000$0$357,830View 990

2 transactions on record as a recipient.

Ordered By: Year (Newer to Older)

#
Donor
Recipient
Amount
Year
Link
1Freedom PartnersMain Street Growth Project$100,0002014+
2Judicial Crisis NetworkMain Street Growth Project$300,0002013+
The transactions in Conservative Transparency are based on information reported by the donors and exclude 'dark money' raised by the recipients from unknown donors that are not in the database. For more information about our methodology, visit our about page.