Freedom Partners creates more tentacles for the Kochtopus

September 24, 2014

Known as the Koch brothers’ “secret bank,” Freedom Partners is notoriously covert in its dealings and purposefully opaque about the flow of money in and out of the organization. Freedom Partners’ opacity is a hallmark of the many groups comprising the Koch network, known not-so-affectionately to some as the “Kochtopus.” Through what details are available, Freedom Partners seems to be quite central to the Kochtopus, if not the head. The Koch network and Freedom Partners continue to grow tentacles upon tentacles — way more than just eight — in a deliberate attempt to obscure their political spending activities.

Recently, our friends at CREW dug into Freedom Partners’ most recent tax return, covering November 1, 2012 to October 31, 2013. CREW finds several notable, if not troubling, details in the returns.

Freedom Partners bills itself as a trade organization, yet its revenue and spending dropped off during this off-election year period — a financial trend much more common to a political committee, whose activities naturally ramp up election years. Despite the overall drop in expenditures, CREW notes that the group’s legal bills rose significantly from its previous tax return. One likely reason — or rather three — is that Freedom Partners required outside legal assistance in its latest quest to further muddy the waters the Kochtopus inhabits. Although many Koch groups already create “disregarded entities” to help hide their dealings, CREW found in the Freedom Partners filing that yet another three organizations have been created. According to CREW, the entities are “C corporations: Cavhoco, Inc., described as a holding company,¬†and Dbldbl, Inc., and Knslt, Inc., which are described as consulting companies.”

Why the Koch network has such disdain for the use of vowels in its nomenclature is unclear, but given their self-serving political agenda, it wouldn’t be outlandish to suggest the Dbldbl, Inc. is a reference to their desire to defend the [Koch Industries] bottom line. Regardless of what specific activities the creation of these mysterious entities is meant to obscure, what matters is the mere fact that the organizations are meant to obscure some aspect of the billionaire Koch brothers’ spending activities.

While Freedom Partners has reached a new extreme with the creation of these C corporations, the clandestine shifting of millions of dollars is hardly a new development for the Koch network. Bridge Project’s Conservative Transparency¬†database is an interactive tool that allows you to search transactions between the many tentacles of the Kochtopus and among the broader conservative network of donors, organizations and candidates.

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation