In 2010, Common Sense Principles, a dark-money “social welfare” group in New York, sprang seemingly out of nowhere and started spending big against Democrats in the state senate. The mysterious group earned the scrutiny of the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption, who described it as “daisy chain of out-of-state corporations and ‘ghost companies.'” That is to say, the shadowy group went to great lengths to avoid disclosing their donors and their connections.
Well Crain’s New York Business is now reporting that the mysterious Common Sense Principles has ties to The Koch brothers’ ever-growing political network. Surprise, surprise. During the 2012 cycle, Common Sense funneled $900,000 to American Future Fund, $500,000 to the American Justice Partnership, and $10,000 to the Hispanic Leadership Fund, all three of which operate within the Koch sphere.
Shockingly, nobody from any of those three groups returned phone calls looking for comment on the new Crain’s story. And when the Albany Times Union did some digging into Common Sense Principles in 2012, they found further evidence of shadiness, in the form of possible illegal coordination:
But tax records filed in 2011 show its directors are Chris LaCivita and Kevin Wright, both of whom have ties to Senate Republicans. Wright is an officer in Old Dominion Research Group, an opposition research firm that has been employed by the Senate Republican Campaign Committee this year, paid by its “housekeeping” account. The tax records further show that Common Sense paid money to Old Dominion.
Nothing to see here, nothing to see here. Just one more Koch-tied group dancing around campaign finance laws to try to buy elections…