Koch Donors Revealed: The Old Rich White Guys Fightin' Socialism That You Expected

One of the Koch Brothers' newest political venture is a Super PAC called Freedom Partners Action Fund — which just sounds like the same jingoistic words they always use thrown into a game of Boggle. Rather than creating issue-oriented ads that allowed donors to remain in the shadows of anonymity, Freedom Partners Action Fund would explicitly support Republican candidates. That slight twist on all of Charles and David Koch's previous endeavors means that the group's donors would have to become public information for the first time.

POLITICO got an early look at the list of donors to an organization promising to spend $25 million on right-wing campaign ads this year, and they are mostly the type of people you would expect to proudly support a shadowy political organization: Old, rich, white guys.

New York hedge fund billionaire Bob Mercer wrote the largest check — $2.5 million — followed by Charles and David Koch, who each stroked $2 million checks from trusts in their names. The group received $1 million apiece from Arkansas poultry producer Ronnie Cameron, Wisconsin roofing billionaire Diane Hendricks and Nebraska trucking magnate Clarence Werner.

There's certainly a theme of midwestern industrialists among the big check writers, slightly offset by the blue ribbon big giver from Wall Street. Slate rounded up a few more donors:

Other ID'd donors:
    •    Stanley Hubbard, Minnesota media mogul
    •    Jack Biltis, founder of Arizona founder of a human-resources company
    •    John W. Childs, founder of Massachusetts private equity firm
    •    Ned Diefenthal, Louisiana chemical and manufacturing CEO
    •    George W. Gibbs, founder of a Florida shipbuilding company
    •    Robert Rowling, Texas investor
    •    Dian Graves Stai, founder of a Texas health care company
    •    Bob Mercer, New York hedge funder

POLITICO also reports that the jump to Super PAC is probably two fold: (1) Fills the need to directly support Republican candidates and (2) Is part of a greater effort by Koch Industries to appear less "shadowy and secretive."

Many donors — it's not just the Koch Brothers funding their madness — may choose to remain anonymous by contributing to other parts of the machine. So it takes a special brand of regulation-hating rich guy to want to be identified alongside the liberty-loving fossil fuel magnates. A man like Ronnie Cameron, whose Mountaire Corp. poultry company donated two equal (and hefty) checks to Freedom Partners.

“I just kind of decided that it was more important to support it than it was to maintain my privacy,” Cameron said. “I’m 69 years old. I’m much more concerned that my grandkids could be living under communism, or something like it, with the type of leadership that we have right now.”

Sounds like everyone's uncle at this year's upcoming holiday meal.

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Brandon Perkins
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