A new Koch Brothers Super PAC has raised millions in recent weeks and is spending it to boost GOP candidates in key Senate battlegrounds.
Freedom Partners Action Fund raised $5 million in the first two weeks of October, USA Today reported Wednesday evening. That’s on top of over $15 million raised in July, August and September, according to a report filed by the group with the Federal Election Commission.
All told, the group has spent nearly $15 million in this year’s campaign. On Wednesday, it announced a $6.5 million ad buy in six key Senate states—Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, and North Carolina. The ads aim to tie the Democratic candidates in each race to President Obama, and they urge voters to send the president a message by voting Republican.
USA Today reported that the October haul was driven by $1 million donations from Texas oilman Paul Foster, an Arkansas poultry company, and Roger Stone, who runs an Illinois packaging company.
The 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling allowed corporations to give unlimited amounts to independent expenditure campaigns like Freedom Partners Action Fund.
The group was launched at a private meeting of major conservative donors organized by the Koch network in southern California in June.
Up until now, the Kochs have focused on creating organizations that have non-profit status, meaning they can’t directly urge people to vote a certain way, but don’t have to disclose their donors—a feature that may appeal to contributors who would rather not receive negative attention. By creating a Super PAC, the Kochs are demonstrating that they can still raise large sums even without the promise of anonymity.
The last-minute spending comes as Republicans appear to have opened up a clear lead in the race for control of the Senate. Nate Silver’s 538 on Thursday gave the GOP a 66% chance of winning a majority.