In case you missed it . . . last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid described the regressive budget from the GOP’s alleged boy genius, Ayn Rand fanboy and “zombie eyed granny starver from Wisconsin” Rep. Paul Ryan: “It’s a blueprint for a modern… how would we say this? Koch-topia. Yes, that’s it,” Reid said. “Call it whatever you want. We might as well call it the Koch budget because that’s what they’re doing, protecting the Koch brothers.” Harry Reid: Paul Ryan budget creates ‘Koch-topia’:
Reid’s remarks mark the latest volley in Democrats’ mid-term election year strategy of attacking the Kochs repeatedly, hoping to fire up their liberal base and associate Republicans with the brothers in the minds of voters. And while a poll last week showed that most Americans don’t know who the Koch brothers are, 45 percent of self-identified liberals said they have a negative opinion of them.
Speaking after the group American Encore spent $30,000 on Monday airing ads in Nevada dinging Reid for “attacking free speech,” the Senate majority leader launched a rebuttal aimed at Charles and David Koch, harshly criticizing their role in politics and influence among Republicans.
Reid called American Encore one of the Kochs’ “puppet organizations,” likening it to Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-backed group that’s poured millions in attack ads onto vulnerable Senate Democrats for their support of Obamacare and climate change stances.
And while Reid criticized outside groups for having the “staggering” gall to criticize Democrats’ seemingly endless attacks on the brothers, he also dared American Encore to aim more spending at him. Reid isn’t up for reelection until 2016.
Yeah, about that American Encore. It is the successor organization to Sean Noble’s Center to Protect Patient Rights that has had so much bad publicity since its “campaign money laundering” scheme in California in 2012. It has simply been renamed to throw off reporters who do not pay close enough attention. American Encore – SourceWatch:
American Encore is a secretive nonprofit group (formerly known as the Center to Protect Patient Rights) organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the tax code that funneled more than $182 million in undisclosed donations to right-wing advocacy groups from 2009 to 2012, including Americans for Prosperity and the American Future Fund.
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In March 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that American Encore was founded by political operative Sean Noble and financed in part by the Koch brothers.
American Encore, a group founded by Sean Noble, who presided over a vast network of issue-advocacy groups financed in part by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, debuts its first ad this Wednesday in Minnesota, criticizing Mr. Franken for supporting additional restrictions on tax-exempt issue-advocacy groups.
American Encore is putting roughly $250,000 behind the 60-second spot in Minnesota, Mr. Noble said. The group was formerly the Center to Protect Patient Rights, which distributed more than $182 million in undisclosed donations to other advocacy groups, including Americans for Prosperity, 60-Plus and the American Future Fund from 2009 to 2012, according to a tally by the Center for Responsive Politics.
The ad criticizes Mr. Franken for calling on the Internal Revenue Service to impose new rules that could limit certain political activity by “social welfare” groups, nonprofits that account for an ever-greater share of political spending.
The ad features clips of a Civil Rights-era march, Suffragettes and an antiwar protest. It derides efforts by the IRS and Senate Democrats to impose new rules on these nonprofits, citing complaints by the American Civil Liberties Union. “Tell Sen. Franken to stop attacking free speech,” the narrator says.
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American Encore plans to spend about $10 million influencing congressional races this year, Mr. Noble said. He said the group will highlight any issue it views as “a threat to free enterprise and the free enterprise system,” including the proposed IRS rules and the 2010 health law.
The proposed IRS rules strike a particular nerve with Mr. Noble, given his tenure presiding over an organization that many viewed as the linchpin of the vast network of advocacy organizations financed in part by the Koch brothers and their network of conservative donors.
“We have been under attack because of the nature of the kind of work we have done,” Mr. Noble said. “There have been a lot of misconceptions and falsehoods said about the kind of activity we engage in. We felt it was important to take this debate to the people.”
Money laundering is a crime, asshole. You really gotta hand it to him for his chutzpah. As Dave Weigel writes, If You Criticize Wealthy Donors, You’re Basically Hitler:
Donors have a First Amendment right to give money, but their opponents flout that right when they criticize them. Why? That’s an excellent question.
American Encore, formerly the Center to Protect Patient Rights, and still a conduit of donations from the Koch network, has been running ads against Democrats who want campaign finance limits to shame them for working against “free speech.”
Senator Reid has a “Koch Facts” The Koch Brothers’ Radical Agenda at his Senate web site. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The “Honey Badger” Gold Gloves boxer ain’t afraid of no billionaire bastard Koch brothers, or their punk bag man for money laundering, Sean Noble.