Joni Ernst and the Kochs want to dismantle the Clean Water Act

Joni Ernst is preparing for a big debate, but before she takes the stage, let’s take a look at who she would really represent in the Senate.

According to audio released from the Kochs’ secretive donor summit, Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst gushed that the Koch brothers’ donor network is to thank for her political “trajectory.” Ernst went on to attribute the Kochs’ backing to her support for “rolling back… rules and regulations.” It’s an apt observation from Koch Crony Joni, who has gone so far as to oppose the Clean Water Act, a critical environmental protection that Koch Industries and its subsidiaries have run afoul of no less than 18 times in the Hawkeye State alone.

Earlier this year, while campaigning for the Republican party nomination for Iowa’s open Senate seat, Ernst said that she considers the Clean Water Act to be “damaging” to business and that she supports replacing it with “voluntary measures.” The extreme remark even rankled members of her own party, with Republican operatives citing her opposition to the longstanding, successful environmental protection as proof positive that she had tacked too hard to the far right. Despite the push back it received from some establishment Republicans, Ernst’s rant against the Clean Water Act is a perfect example of the type of anti-regulation rhetoric that, as she herself speculated, likely piqued the Kochs’ attention.

Indeed, the Koch brothers’ political arm, Americans for Prosperity, has also criticized the Clean Water Act. AFP cites, among other arguments, what the group considers to be the act’s interference with “activities that productively contribute to our economy,” a claim that Joni Ernst echoed when she alleged that the CWA was “damaging” business. What economic activities and businesses are AFP and Ernst referring to, exactly? Like any other aspect of the Koch agenda, it leads back to Koch Industries’ business interests. The company doesn’t merely take ideological issue with the Clean Water Act; Koch Industries and its subsidiaries have committed 18 violations of or instances of noncompliance with federal clean water regulations in Iowa.

Joni may have baited the billionaire Koch brothers and their allies by railing against environmental protections, but in return, the Kochs have hooked themselves a Senate candidate they hope will put them on a trajectory that allows them to release toxic chemicals into Iowa’s waterways without fear of recourse.

View the full research here:

Ernst, The Kochs, And The Clean Water Act

At Secret Koch Conference Ernst Thanked The Koch Network With Helping Launch Her Political Career – Credited It To Her Support Of Removing Regulations

At Secret Koch Conference Ernst Said Koch Network Started Her Career “Trajectory,” Helping Her Rise From Being “A Little Known State Senator.”  According to a transcript of Ernst’s statements at the 2014 Koch conference, Ernst said “Well, first, I want to take a quick time out. And you’re absolutely correct, that um, as Tom mentioned earlier, the, the first time I was introduced to this group was a year ago, August, in New Mexico, and I was not known at that time. A little known state senator from a very rural part of Iowa, uh, known through my National Guard service and some circles in Iowa. But the exposure to this group and to this network and the opportunity to meet so many of you, that really started my trajectory. And it started a very strong victory that we’ve progressive, progressively built upon throughout the campaign cycle.  So really, the folks in this room that got my start, so having folks that, that backed me in this election cycle and primary” [Koch Conference Panel Transcript, Posted 8/26/14]

At Secret Koch Conference Ernst Said “The Folks In This Room That Got My Start” As A Reason For Koch Donor Support, And Her Primary Victory. According to a transcript of Ernst’s statements at the 2014 Koch conference, Ernst said “So really, the folks in this room that got my start, so having folks that, that backed me in this election cycle and primary . It was a five-way primary, a very tough cycle. I was (inaudible) initially and was outspent uh, by millions of dollars in the primary. But we were able to capitalize on my strong record in the state senate, um, rolling back taxes in the State of Iowa, removing, uh, burdensome rules and regulations, and doing the right thing for the Iowa people.”  [Koch Conference Panel Transcript, Posted 8/26/14]

At Secret Koch Conference Ernst Framed Her Victory As Essential To The 2016 Presidential Election. According to a transcript of Ernst’s statements at the 2014 Koch conference, Ernst said “And in a state like Iowa, if I can use Iowa as a specific example of the long term, right now we have a Republican senator and a Democratic senator. And with the Democratic senator retiring, the opportunity to replace him with, with another Republican senator. We are setting the stage for Iowa as the first in the Nation’s caucus that all of our presidential hopefuls come, come to. We’re setting the stage in 2014 with a Republican victory, so that likelihood is in 2016 we can, uh, go red as a state and assist any Republican nominee from Iowa.So we’re setting the stage for the presidency.” [Koch Conference Panel Transcript, Posted 8/26/14]

Ernst Noted This Was Her Second Koch Conference.  According to The Huffington Post:  “During their speeches, both Cotton and Ernst noted that this was actually the second Koch brothers’ retreat they had attended. Last year, the two had gone to the New Mexico event as politicians of less stature. The Koch network has since helped usher them to the doorsteps of the United States Senate.”  [The Huffington Post, 8/27/14]

Ernst Opposed The Clean Water Act

May, 2014: At Debate, Ernst Said The Clean Water Act Was Damaging And Suggested It Be Replaced With “Voluntary Measures.” During a debate on KCCI, Ernst was asked to name the three laws or regulations most damaging to business, to which she replied “I think Dodd-Frank is obviously one, that was an expansion of regulations within the financial industry. 250 new rules and regulations out there. The EPA has many many regulations out there that inhibit our businesses from expanding[…]One in particular? The Clean Water Act I think is one that especially impacts us here in Iowa and we are trying to put in place voluntary measures to counteract that. So that’s another one.” [KCCI, 5/28/14]

Ernst Said The Clean Water Act Was One Of The Most Damaging Laws For Business. According to Politico, “Joni Ernst is the strong front-runner in next week’s Iowa Republican Senate primary, but neither that nor a looming general election stopped her from staking out positions to the right of her main rival on a host of hot-button issues in their final debate Thursday night. The state senator said she would have voted against the farm bill, named the Clean Water Act as one of the most damaging laws for business and embraced private accounts for young workers paying into Social Security.” [Politico, 5/29/14]

Reactions

Republican Operatives And Activists Worried That Ernst Would Fare Poorly During A General Election Campaign As A Result Of Her Comments About “Getting Rid Of The Clean Water Act.” According to Washington Post, “Still, both Deace and the Republican operative expressed doubts about how Ernst would fair under the scrutiny of the general election, particularly in light of her comments during a recent debate about getting rid of the Clean Water Act, her lack of knowledge about immigration reform, and other comments that they criticized as a sign of political naivety/inexperience. ‘My fear is that the general election race may be over as soon as we have a nominee,’ the operative said. ‘ Most other Republicans haven’t even contemplated what the general will look like.’” [Washington Post, 6/2/14]

Iowa Republican: Ernst Would Be Targeted By Liberal Groups For Supporting Eliminating The EPA And Opposing The Clean Water Act. According to Iowa Republican, “Liberal Super PACS also seem ready to pounce on the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate. Just like you can sometimes smell a rainstorm coming in, you can sense that liberal billionaires like Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer are about to open the floodgates in an effort to paint the likely Republican nominee for U.S. Senate as extreme on gun and environmental issues. […] Likewise, Ernst’s repeated calls to eliminate the EPA and her recent remarks in opposition to the Clean Water Act, give environmentalist like Steyer ammunition to paint Ernst as out-of-step when it comes to the environment. While most Republicans will not have any issues with Ernst’s position, these groups will aim to hurt Ernst with independent voters who don’t closely follow politics.” [Iowa Republican, 6/2/14]

Daily Beast: Ernst’s Conservative Positions On Clean Water Act Could Hurt Her In The General Election. According to Daily Beast, “Yet, despite being a compromise candidate, it’s possible Ernst may have deeply hurt her chances to win the open Senate seat in this swing state before the general election even starts thanks to her attempts to prop up her standing with conservatives. The state senator, who repeatedly described herself on the trail as a ‘mother, soldier, and a conservative’ zigged to the right in order to appeal to primary voters, pledging to abolish the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency. While Ernst received attention for calling the shootings in Santa Barbara, California an ‘unfortunate accident’ in a recent debate, she may have done more damage by opposing the Farm Bill and attacking the Clean Water Act in an agricultural state.” [Daily Beast, 6/3/14]

David Firestone Op-Ed: Ernst’s Opposition To The Clean Water Act Showed How Extreme She Was, Opposing A Law That Had Obvious Value For The Environment. According to David Firestone – New York Times, “But one of her positions, expressed at a recent debate, demonstrates a particularly pernicious and little-known crusade of the modern Republican Party: she opposes the Clean Water Act. She called it one of the most damaging laws for business. That a Senate nominee could take this position, even more than the others, shows how far Republican candidates have drifted from the party’s old moorings. In 1972, the Clean Water Act passed with full bipartisan support, and is widely regarded as one of the most successful environmental acts ever passed. It doubled the number of rivers, streams and lakes suitable for fishing and swimming. It drastically reduced the amount of chemicals in drinking water, and substantially increased the size of protected wetlands. Rivers no longer catch fire. The law’s value is so obvious that it shouldn’t even be necessary to defend it.” [David Firestone – New York Times, 6/4/14]

Koch Industries and Subsidiaries Committed 18 Violations or Instances of Non-Compliance Of Federal Clean Water Regulations

Between 2009 And 2014, Koch Industries’ Subsidiaries Committed 18 Distinct Violation Or Instances of Non-Compliance Of Federal Clean Water Regulations In Iowa. Between 2009 and 2014, facilities owned and operated by subsidiaries of Koch Industries in the state of Iowa committed 18 distinct violations of federal clean water regulations, including the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. The information is detailed in the table below. [Environmental Protection Agency, Enforcement And Compliance History Online (ECHO), Viewed 8/26/14]

Name of Facility Address Date of Initial Violation Duration (Full Date) Applicable Statute Type of Violation Current Status
Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC 1277 102ND ST, Fairbank, IA 50629 4/30/2010 4/30/2010-3/31/2014 Clean Water Act Schedule Event unachieved and not reported: Achieve Final Compliance With Emission or Discharge Limits In Violation
Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC 1278 102ND ST, Fairbank, IA 50629 3/29/2012 3/29/2012-3/31/2014 Clean Water Act Schedule Event unachieved and not reported: Achieve Final Compliance With Emission or Discharge Limits In Violation
Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC 1279 102ND ST, Fairbank, IA 50629 4/29/2010 4/29/2010-3/31/2014 Clean Water Act Schedule Event unachieved and not reported: Plan, Report, or Scope of Work In Violation
Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC 1280 102ND ST, Fairbank, IA 50629 7/29/2011 7/29/2011-3/31/2014 Clean Water Act Schedule Event unachieved and not reported: Status/Progress Report In Violation
Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC 1280 102ND ST, Fairbank, IA 50629 10/1/2012 10/1-3/31 2012, 4/1-9/30 2013 Clean Water Act Chlorine, total residual In Violation
Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC 1281 102ND ST, Fairbank, IA 50629 1/1/2014 1/1/2014-Current Clean Water Act Iron, total [as Fe] In Violation
Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC 1282 102ND ST, Fairbank, IA 50629 1/2/2014 1/1/2014-Current Clean Water Act Iron, total [as Fe] In Violation
Flint Hills Resources Shell Rock Hwy 3, Shell Rock, IA 4/1-6/30/11 Clean Water Act Chlorine Noncompliance
Flint Hills Resources Shell Rock Hwy 3, Shell Rock, IA 1/1-3/31/13 Clean Water Act Chlorine Noncompliance
Flint Hills Resources Shell Rock Hwy 3, Shell Rock, IA 1/1-6/30/14 Clean Water Act Oxygen, Dissolved Noncompliance
Flint Hill Resources Menlo 2869 335TH STREET, MENLO, IA 7/1-12/31/11 Clean Water Act Chlorine Noncompliance
Flint Hill Resources Menlo 2869 335TH STREET, MENLO, IA 7/-9/30-11 Clean Water Act Chlorine Noncompliance
Flint Hill Resources Menlo 2869 335TH STREET, MENLO, IA 7/1-12/31/13 Clean Water Act Chlorine Noncompliance
Flint Hill Resources Menlo 2869 335TH STREET, MENLO, IA 4/1-6/30/14 Clean Water Act Oxygen, Dissolved Noncompliance
Koch Nitrogen Co LLC 3162 200TH ST, Duncombe, IA 50532 4/1/2013 01/01-03/31 2013 Clean Water Act The facility has effluent, compliance schedule, permit schedule, or single-event violations In Violation
Flint Hills Resources Iowa Falls, LLC 21050 140th St 9/22/09 9/22/09 Clean Water Act No Description of Violation ($10,000 Fine) No Violation
Flint Hills Flint Hills Resources Fairbank 7/1/13 – 9/30/13 Safe Drinking Water Act 211813 No Violation
Flint Hills Flint Hills Resources Fairbank 1/1/13- 3/31/13 Safe Drinking Water Act 123113 No Violation

[Environmental Protection Agency, Enforcement And Compliance History Online (ECHO), Viewed 8/26/14]

Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC: “Significant Violation”

Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC Was In Non-Compliance For 12 Consecutive Quarters And Was Designated To Be In “Significant Violation” Of The Clean Water Act. According to the Environmental Protection Agency enforcement and compliance history database, Flint Hills Resources Fairbanks LLC, as of August 26th, 2014 had a compliance status of being in “significant violation” of the Clean Water Act for twelve quarters out of the twelve listed. This information is further detailed in the following table:

Statute Current Compliance Status Quarters in Non Compliance (of 12) Quarters in Significant Violation Informal Enforcement Actions (5 years)
Clean Air Act No Violation 0 0 1
Clean Water Act Significant Violation 12 12 N/A

[Environmental Protection Agency, Enforcement And Compliance History Online (ECHO), “Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC,” Viewed 8/26/14]

In 2012, Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC Exceeded Emissions Levels For Chlorine By 336% At The Highest Levels. According to the Environmental Protection Agency enforcement and compliance history database, during the period of October 1st to December 31st of 2012, Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC was found to be exceeding emissions levels of chlorine by 336% at highest levels. Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC was cited for a “significant violation” of the Clean Water Act during this period. [Environmental Protection Agency, Enforcement And Compliance History Online (ECHO), “Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC,” Viewed 8/26/14]

In 2013, Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC Exceeded Emissions Levels For Chlorine By 209% At The Highest Levels. According to the Environmental Protection Agency enforcement and compliance history database, during the period of April 1st to June 30th of 2013, Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC was found to be exceeding emissions levels of chlorine by 209% at highest levels. Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC was cited for a “significant violation” of the Clean Water Act during this period. [Environmental Protection Agency, Enforcement And Compliance History Online (ECHO), “Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC,” Viewed 8/26/14]

In 2014, Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC Exceeded Emissions Levels For Iron By 42% At The Highest Levels. According to the Environmental Protection Agency enforcement and compliance history database, during the period of January 1st to March 31st of 2014, Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC was found to be exceeding emissions levels of Iron by 42% at highest levels. Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC was cited for a “significant violation” of the Clean Water Act during this period. [Environmental Protection Agency, Enforcement And Compliance History Online (ECHO), “Flint Hills Resources Fairbank LLC,” Viewed 8/26/14]

Ernst Had Deep Ties To Koch Brothers

Thanked Koch-Backed Americans For Prosperity

Ernst Thanked Americans For Prosperity For Running Anti-Braley Ads. According to a Facebook post by state Sen. Joni Ernst, Ernst said, “Thankful AFP – Iowa is highlighting Bruce #BraleysObamacare with a new television ad! Time for Braley to own up to the broken promises he made to Iowans. #IASEN” [Joni Ernst – Facebook, 1/15/14]

Attended Koch Seminar

August, 2013: Ernst Attended A Koch Brothers Seminar In Albuquerque, N.M. According to Politico, “Many of the right’s most generous benefactors – folks like Minnesota media mogul Stan Hubbard, Wall Street investor Ken Langone and Wyoming mutual fund guru Foster Friess – are regulars. The gatherings, which attendees call ‘seminars’ and are typically held at tony resorts, routinely attract some of the top operatives and biggest names in Republican politics, as well as rising stars tapped by the Kochs’ operatives. The last seminar, held in August outside Albuquerque, N.M., drew Rep. Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Iowa state legislator Joni Ernst, who is running in a crowded GOP Senate primary.” [Politico, 1/24/14]

Ernst Received Over $15,000 From Members Of The Koch Family And Koch Industries In 2014

2014: Ernst Received $15,400 From The Koch Brothers And Their Associates. According to reports from the Federal Election Committee, in 2014, state Sen. Joni Ernst received $15,400 from the Koch Brothers and their associates, including $2,600 from Charles Koch and $5,000 from Koch Industries Inc. Political Action Committee, or KochPAC. Below is a detailed table of the contributions:

Name Date Amount
Koch Industries Inc. Political Action Committee (KochPAC) 6/30/14 $5,000
Charles Koch 6/27/14 $2,600
Anna Koch 6/27/14 $2,600
Elizabeth Koch 6/27/14 $2,600
Chase Koch 6/30/14 $2,600
Total $15,400

[Federal Elections Committee, 7/17/14]

2012: Ernst Received $500 From Koch Industries, Inc. PAC. According to campaign finance records accessed via Iowa Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board, Ernst received $500 in contributions from Koch Industries, Inc. PAC on October 12, 2012. [Iowa Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board, Accessed 7/31/14]

Ernst Received Over $40,000 From Donors Affiliated With the Koch Brothers

2013-2014: Ernst Received $41,800 From Donors Allegedly Associated With The Koch Brothers. According to reports from the Federal Elections Commission and reporting from Mother Jones magazine between 2013 and 2014, state Sen. Joni Ernst received $41,800 from donors allegedly associated with the Koch brothers. Below is a detailed table of the contributions:

Name Date Amount
Nina Cameron 6/30/14 $2,600
Ronald Cameron 5/27/14 $2,600
Leslie Gilliam 6/30/14 $2,600
Ethelyn L. Haworth 10/15/13 $1,000
Richard G. Haworth 10/15/13 $1,000
Richard Kayne 6/18/14 $2,600
Suzanne Kayne 6/18/14 $2,600
Dan Kirby 9/10/13 $1,000
Dan Kirby 6/27/14 $1,000
Maria Luddy 5/27/14 $2,600
Robert Luddy 9/25/13 $2,600
Thomas Rastin 9/18/13 $2,600
Thomas Rastin 9/18/13 $2,600
John Schnatter 4/15/14 $1,000
John Schnatter 10/15/13 $1,000
Dian Stai 9/18/13 $2,600
Dian Stai 9/18/13 $2,600
Dian Stai 5/7/14 $500
James R. Von Her 11/12/13 $500
Lew O. Ward 9/18/13 $1,000
Karen A. Wright 9/18/13 $2,600
Karen A. Wright 9/18/13 $2,600
Total $41,800

[Federal Elections Commission, 7/17/14; Mother Jones, 2/5/14]

  • Mother Jones Identified Koch Brothers’ Donor Network From A Sensitive Document Left Behind After A Koch Donor Summit, Which Listed Donors Who Were Scheduled For One-On-One Meetings With Top Koch Operatives. According to Mother Jones, “But last week, following the Kochs’ first donor gathering of 2014, one attendee left behind a sensitive document at the Renaissance Esmeralda resort outside of Palm Springs, California, where the Kochs and their comrades had spent three days focused on winning the 2014 midterm elections and more. The document lists VIP donors—including John Schnatter, the founder of the Papa John’s pizza chain—who were scheduled for one-on-one meetings with representatives of the political, corporate, and philanthropic wings of Kochworld. The one-page document, provided to Mother Jones by a hotel guest who discovered it, offers a fascinating glimpse into the Kochs’ political machine and shows how closely intertwined it is with Koch Industries, their $115 billion conglomerate.” [Mother Jones, 2/5/14]
  • Mother Jones Provided A Brief Profile Of Each Koch Donor, Including The Koch Donors Who Donated To Ernst. According to Mother Jones, the following is an excerpted list of identified Koch network donors who also donated to Ernst: “Ronnie Cameron: He runs agribusiness giant Mountaire Corporation. During a meeting of the Kochs’ donor network in 2011, Charles Koch recognized Cameron (and other donors) for donating at least $1 million to their cause. […] Richard and Leslie Gilliam: Richard founded Virginia-based coal mining company Cumberland Resources Corporation, which he sold to Massey Energy for nearly a billion dollars in 2010. […] Dick Haworth: He’s the chairman emeritus of Holland, Michigan-based office furniture company Haworth. Richard ‘Ric’ Kayne: He’s the founder and chairman of Los Angeles-based investment firm Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors. Dan Kirby: He’s president of Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based Kirby Financial. […] Robert ‘Bob’ Luddy: He’s president of CaptiveAire Systems Inc. in Raleigh, North Carolina. […] Tom Rastin: He’s a director and vice chairman of the Mount Vernon, Ohio-based Ariel Foundation, started by his wife, Karen Buchwald Wright, the CEO of Ariel Corporation. Rastin is the company’s vice president of engineering, sales, and marketing. […] John Schnatter: He’s the founder and CEO of Papa John’s International. […] Dian Stai: Based in Texas, Stai cofounded Owen Healthcare Inc. with her late husband. She’s a top conservative donor who gave $125,000 to the pro-Mitt Romney super-PAC Restore Our Future during the 2012 election cycle. […] Jim Von Ehr: He’s the CEO and founder of Richardson, Texas-based Zyvex Labs. […] Lew Ward: He’s the founder of Oklahoma-based Ward Petroleum Corporation. […] Karen Wright: She’s the founder and CEO of the Ariel Foundation, a private philanthropy group based in Mount Vernon, Ohio. She’s also CEO of the Ariel Corporation, a natural gas compression company.” [Mother Jones, 2/5/14]

February, 2014: Ernst Was The Only Republican Senate Candidate Who Received Donations From The Koch Brothers’ Network. According to the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, “While Ernst is the only candidate attracting donors affiliated with the Koch brothers, she is not alone in getting large donations from out-of-state donors.” [Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, 2/23/14]

February, 2014: Ernst Received More Than $20,000 From Koch Brothers’ Network Of Donors. According to the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, “But within the out-of-state donors, Ernst has attracted attention from some high-profile activists. Following Ernst’s attendance at a seminar put on by Charles and David Koch last year, she has attracted donors affiliated with the Koch brothers’ network of political connections. Ernst received a scant $4,500 — out of $202,744 raised — from donors with affiliations with the right-leaning libertarian Koch brothers during the most recent filing. But she has previously gotten more than $20,000 from influential figures with ties to a meeting put on by the brothers.” [Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, 2/23/14]

Hired Koch Consultant As Spokeswoman

Hamel Was Joni Ernst’s Campaign Spokeswoman. According to Joni For Iowa campaign website, “Congressman Bruce Braley this week continued his long-standing practice of attacking anyone who isn’t a liberal trial lawyer like himself. First Braley insulted Iowa farmers and Senator Chuck Grassley. Now, Braley is degrading women by comparing Joni Ernst to a ‘chick’ in his latest campaign ad. ‘First Bruce Braley insults Senator Grassley and every single Iowa farmer,’ said Ernst spokesperson, Gretchen Hamel. ‘Now he degrades and insults Iowa women by comparing Joni Ernst to a ‘chick.’ Braley previously told the trial lawyers that if they gave him money he would be their voice in the senate, and it’s now clear that it comes at the expense of everyone else.” [Joni For Iowa Campaign Website, 6/5/13]

Ernst Hired Beltway Conservative Consultant Gretchen Hamel. According to Politico, “Public Notice’s Gretchen Hamel is striking out of her own, launching the consulting firm Highline Strategies. Hamel has been with Public Notice for the past four years, most recently as executive director. She’s already signed on as adviser to three campaigns: Joni Ernst for Senate, Francisco Canseco for Congress and Doug Ducey for Governor. Later this spring she will be launching a right-of-center site for women.” [Politico, 1/6/14]

Led Koch-Backed TC4 Trust And Public Notice
TC4 Trust

Hamel Was Listed As Program Leader For Koch Brothers Group TC4 Trust. According to the Washington Post, “The Washington Post and the Center for Responsive Politics identified a coalition of allied conservative groups active in the 2012 elections that together raised at least $407 million, backed by a donor network organized by the industrialists Charles and David Koch. Most of the funds originated with two groups, the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce and TC4 Trust, both of which routed some of the money through a Phoenix-based nonprofit group called the Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR). The makeup of the coalition may change going forward, but in 2012 the network consisted of: […] Public Notice, a policy nonprofit that highlights the impacts of government spending. Its executive director, Gretchen Hamel, was listed as a program leader for TC4 on the group’s first tax filing.” [Washington Post, 1/5/14]

  • Charles And David Koch’s Political Network Received More Funding Than Other Independent Groups On The Right As Well As Labor, Channeled Through A Number Of Politically Active Nonprofit Groups And A “Maze” Of Groups That Hid Its Donors. According to the Washington Post, “The political network spearheaded by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch has expanded into a far-reaching operation of unrivaled complexity, built around a maze of groups that cloaks its donors, according to an analysis of new tax returns and other documents. The filings show that the network of politically active nonprofit groups backed by the Kochs and fellow donors in the 2012 elections financially outpaced other independent groups on the right and, on its own, matched the long-established national coalition of labor unions that serves as one of the biggest sources of support for Democrats.” [Washington Post, 1/5/14]
  • Koch Brothers’ Seventeen Group-Network Received At Least $407 Million During The 2012 Campaign. According to the Washington Post, “But they have substantial firepower. Together, the 17 conservative groups that made up the network raised at least $407 million during the 2012 campaign, according to the analysis of tax returns by The Washington Post and the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics.” [Washington Post, 1/5/14]

Public Notice

Gretchen Hamel Was Executive Director Of Public Notice. According to Public Notice, “Gretchen Hamel is the Executive Director of Public Notice. At Public Notice, Hamel leads a team of communications and policy experts in their effort to explain complex economic, regulatory, and budget issues to Americans.” [Public Notice, Accessed 1/9/14]

  • Gretchen Hamel’s LinkedIn Profile Stated That Hamel Was With Public Notice For Four Years, From January 2010 To December 2013. According to Gretchen Hamel’s LinkedIn profile page, “Public Notice January 2010 – December 2013 (4 years) Our goal is to provide Americans with clear, unbiased, and useful information about key economic and fiscal issues. Because America’s future should rest in the capable hands of a knowledgeable people. Public Notice is an independent non-profit dedicated to providing facts and insight on the economy and how government policy affects Americans’ financial well-being.” [Gretchen Hamel – LinkedIn Profile, Accessed 1/9/14]

Public Notice Received Contributions From Three Koch Brothers Groups, Freedom Partners, TC4 Trust And The Center To Protect Patient Rights. According to a graphic published by the Washington Post, Public Notice received contributions from three Koch brothers-affiliated groups, Freedom Partners, TC4 Trust and the Center to Protect Patient Rights. [Washington Post, 1/5/14]

Public Notice’s Fundraising Affiliate, Listed As POFN LLC, Received Funding From Koch Brother Group, TC4 Trust, Which Raised Over $66 Million. According to the Washington Post, “According to people familiar with the network, Freedom Partners took the place of a now-defunct group based in Alexandria called TC4 Trust, which raised more than $66 million in three years before it was shuttered in June 2012, according to tax filings. […] In its final tax return, TC4 reported doling out nearly $28 million to 10 organizations with names such as POFN LLC, PRDIST LLC and TRGN LLC. Those are the affiliates of the groups Public Notice, Americans for Prosperity and Generation Opportunity, in that order.” [Washington Post, 1/5/14]

Hired Former Koch Staffer As Consultant

Ernst Hired Albrecht’s Consulting Firm, Who Previously Worked For American Future Fund

Albrecht Consulted For Ernst

Tim Albrecht Worked With Redwave Digital, A Firm Which Worked On Ernst’s Campaign. According to Redwave Digital’s Facebook, “Bruce Braley is doing something Republicans have known and have been screaming about at the top of our lungs for years. He is a deeply flawed candidate and a bad campaigner,’ said Tim Albrecht, a former aide to Gov. Terry Branstad (R) whose firm has done work for state Sen. Joni Ernst (R), one of Braley’s opponents.” [Redwave Digital Facebook, 4/4/14]

2014: Albrecht Was Redwave’s Director. According to Redwave Digital’s Facebook, “Redwave Digital Director Tim Albrecht pulls up a crate for the video shoot today!” [Redwave Digital Facebook, 2/26/14]

Albrecht Recently Began Working For The Republican Party Of Iowa

July, 2014: Albrecht Was Hired As RPI’s Digital Director And Assisted With Running The Party Website And Social Media Strategy. According to KCRG, “Tim Albrecht will serve as digital director helping the party run its website and social media strategy. He runs his own public relations firm and has worked for former presidential nominee Mitt Romney and candidate Steve Forbes. He also worked as communications director for Gov. Terry Branstad after helping run his campaign’s communications.” [KCRG, 7/21/14]

2008-2009: Albrecht Was National Communications Director For American Future Fund

May 2008 – October 2009: Albrecht Was The Former National Director Of Communications At The American Future Fund. According to Tim Albrecht’s LinkedIn account, “National Director of Communications American Future Fund May 2008 – October 2009 (1 year 6 months) The American Future Fund operates as a 501(c) (4) and was formed to provide Americans with a conservative and free market viewpoint to have a mechanism to communicate and advocate on the issues that most interest and concern them. Conservative and free market principles will be under direct attack in America. In light of that, it is imperative there be a voice for conservative principles that sustains free market ideals focused on bolstering America’s global competitiveness across the country. The American Future Fund is established as a multi- state issues advocacy group designed to effectively communicate conservative and free market ideals. The American Future Fund will continue to educate citizens across the country on common conservative principles.” [Tim Albrecht LinkedIn Account, Accessed 7/23/14]

American Future Fund Was Funded By Koch-Backed Group

AFF’s Largest Known Funder Is The “Center To Protect Patient Rights,” Which Is Reportedly Linked To The Koch Brothers And Run By Sean Noble, A Former “Koch Operative”

Center To Protect Patient Rights (CPPR) Donated Over $44 Million To Conservative Groups In 2010, Including $11.7 Million To The American Future Fund. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, “A secretive, well-funded group whose name gives the misleading impression that it is solely concerned about health care gave more than $44 million in 2010 to other tax-exempt groups, many of which spent millions on TV ads attacking Democrats running for the House and Senate and have begun spending for the same purpose this year. None of the groups — including eight of the most politically active nonprofits in 2010 — disclose their donors, and the role of the Center to Protect Patients’ Rights (CPPR) in funding them has not previously been reported. Based in Arizona, CPPR provided large grants to a cluster of well-known conservative organizations that operate under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, which classifies them as ‘social welfare’ groups and allows them to keep their funding sources from public view. Politics is not supposed to be their primary purpose, although critics say many of the organizations have stretched the rules too far. American Future Fund received the largest grant from CPPR, a total of $11.7 million for ‘general support.’” [OpenSecrets.org, 5/18/12]

  • Grant From CPPR Accounted For Half Of American Future Fund’s Fundraising Revenue In 2010. American Future Fund received $23,266,075 in grants and contributions in 2010. It received $11,685,000 from the Center to Protect Patient Rights, which represents 50.2 percent of AFF’s total fundraising revenue for the year. [Center to Protect Patient Rights IRS Form 990, 2010]
  • AFF Also Received Off-Year Contributions From CPPR Of $1.28 Million In 2009 And $1.1 Million In 2011. [Center to Protect Patient Rights IRS Form 990, 2009; OpenSecrets.org, 12/17/12]

LAT: “The Kochs Have Several Ties To” CPPR. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Exactly how the Kochs and their allies are directing their sizable resources is unknown. But an examination of the Center to Protect Patient Rights provides some important clues. The Kochs have several ties to the center. It is run by Sean Noble, a Phoenix-based GOP consultant who is a key operative in the Kochs’ political activities, as first noted by the investigative blog Republic Report. One of the center’s original directors, Heather Higgins, is chairwoman of the Independent Women’s Forum, which has received funding from a Koch-controlled foundation. And Cheryl Hillen, a Connecticut-based consultant who raised $2.6 million for the center, was director of fundraising for the Koch-backed Citizens for a Sound Economy. Koch spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia directed questions to the center, declining to say whether the Kochs were involved. ‘Koch respects the lawful right of this organization, and others like it, to protect their privacy,’ she said in an emailed statement.” [Los Angeles Times, 5/28/12]

Sean Noble Was President Of CPPR. According to OpenSecrets.org: “And if its donors are unknown, so is much else about CPPR. According to its own 2010 tax return, which was filed last November, it is run by Sean Noble, who is listed as its director, president and executive director. Noble describes himself on his Twitter account as a ‘PR/Political consultant, conservative strategist/operative, former GOP Hill chief of staff, blogger, proud father, fighting for liberty.’ Noble was chief-of-staff to former Republican Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona, for whom he worked for 13 years, and since then has worked as a political consultant and in public relations. Noble took no salary from CPPR, but his firm, Noble Associates, was paid $340,000 by the group for ‘management services.’ Noble was also paid $10,000 to lobby for the group. He is currently managing partner of DC London Inc., a political consulting firm that offers robo-calling and other services. CPPR’s other director and secretary is Courtney Koshar, an anesthesiologist in the Phoenix area.” [OpenSecrets.org, 5/18/12]

Koch Industries and Koch Brothers’ Americans For Prosperity Have Worked Against The Clean Water Act

Americans for Prosperity:  “EPA Is Abusing The Clean Water Act Section 404 To Attack Property Rights.”  [Americans for Prosperity, Accessed 5/30/14]

Americans for Prosperity Said That EPA’s Efforts to Expand Clean Water Act Were Attack On Judicial Deference, “That Basic Tenant of American Law Is Under Threat.”  According to AFP: EPA’s action withdrawing the stalled guidance and circulating a proposed rule for interagency review could also signal the agency’s renewed confidence that the Supreme Court will give it more deference over jurisdictional disputes than it has in the past.  This agency confidence likely stems from the recently decided Arlington v. FCC case.  In Arlington, the Court ruled that agencies get coveted Chevron deference when deciding the scope of their own jurisdiction.  This level of deference from courts to agencies is rarely violated by agencies.  So long as the agency makes a reasonable interpretation of the statute, the court is likely to defer.  This deference has led to an ever-expanding administrative state.  In his dissent, Chief Justice Roberts reminded that “Agencies are creatures of Congress; an agency literally has no power to act … unless and until Congress confers power upon it.”  That basic tenant of American law is under threat and EPA is pushing hard to expand its authority under Clean Water Act section 404.

Between 2009 and 2014, Koch Companies Public Sector Has LobbIed On Multiple Clean Water Bills and Issue Areas

2009-2010

2009-2010 Bills Include: S. 787, Clean Water Restoration Act, H.R. 2454 The Clean Water Act Reauthorization, H.R. 5088, Clean Water Reauthorization, Entire Bill, H.R. 5088, America’s Commitment To Clean Water Act, Entire Bill.  [Senate Lobbying Database, Koch Companies Public Sector, Accessed 8/27/14]

2009-2010 Issues Include:“Clean Water” “Highway Reauthorization and Clean Water Act,” “Clean Water Legislation”  [Senate Lobbying Database, Koch Companies Public Sector, Accessed 8/27/14]

2011-2012

2011-2012 Bills Include:: .HR. 2018, Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act Of 2011, To Amend The Federal Water Pollution Control Act To Preserve The Authority Of Each State To Make Determinations Relating To The State’s Water Quality Standards, And For Other Purposes, Entire Bill; S. 711, Secure Water Facilities Act, To Amend The Safe Drinking Water Act And The Federal Water Pollution Control Act To Authorize The Administrator Of The Environmental Protection Agency To Reduce Or Eliminate The Risk Of Release Of Hazardous Chemicals From Public Water Systems And Wastewater Treatment Works, And For Other Purposes, Entire Bill; H.R. 2354, Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012.  [Senate Lobbying Database, Koch Companies Public Sector, Accessed8/27/14]

2011-2012 Issues Include: “Clean Water Act Reauthorization,” “Forestry Bill and Clean Water Act.”  [Senate Lobbying Database, Koch Companies Public Sector, Accessed 8/27/14]

2013-14

2013-2014 Bills Include::: S. 601 Water Resources Development Act of 2013; Entire Bill, H.R. 3080 Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013; Entire Bill, S. 1961 Chemical Safety and Drinking Water Protection Act of 2014, H.R. 2609 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014; Entire Bill.  [Senate Lobbying Database, Koch Companies Public Sector, Accessed8/27/14]