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Forum Post: Billionaire Koch brothers fund technology-driven GOP political ploys

Posted 6 years ago on May 17, 2012, 1:08 p.m. EST by GirlFriday (17435)
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Called Themis, the independent group is the most ambitious of the many conservative political technology projects now in development. People with direct knowledge of the group as well as political technology industry veterans say it is backed by the Koch brothers, although their names do not appear on an annual regulatory filing and Koch Industries spokespeople did not respond to requests for comment.

The Kochs own Koch Industries, the Wichita, Kansas-based natural resources conglomerate that refines oil, produces chemicals and owns the paper products company Georgia-Pacific. Chief Executive Officer Charles Koch and his brother David are worth $25 billion each, according to Forbes.

Themis staffers in their twenties and thirties, clad in jeans and checked shirts, work out of a suite in a nondescript office building in Alexandria, Virginia. City records indicate that the company expanded recently, and a federal filing shows millions of dollars in the bank.

Themis operates like many other Koch projects – in secrecy. A reporter retrieving a federal filing from the company was not allowed inside the unmarked front door, and Themis executives declined or did not respond to requests for comment.

Themis raised $7.7 million in its first year, according to its 2010 return to the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt 501 c(4) organization, which it released this year after successfully petitioning for the maximum possible delay. As a 501 c(4), Themis can work with advocacy groups but cannot coordinate with candidates.

The federal filing does not list financial backers, but people with direct knowledge of the group say it is backed by the Kochs. Ben Pratt, the chief operating officer, describes himself on LinkedIn as a former Koch Industries executive who is now a management consultant and executive coach teaching the business theories developed by Charles Koch.

Themis’s ambition to become an analytical powerhouse for the right is clear from its list of business partners, including several heavy hitters in the computer analytics world. Its top contractor in 2010, paid $1.1 million, was voter database company Intell360, which employed former Republican National Committee Network and Online Services Director Steve Ellis at the time, according to LinkedIn.

Intell360′s website describes services ranging from finding email and phone numbers for voters to “data mining” for voters likely to respond to tailored messages to targeting ads “down to the zip code, census block or individual level.” Neither the company nor Koch Industries responded to requests for comment. Pratt declined to speak when reached by phone. http://www.capitolhillblue.com/node/43814



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[-] 3 points by factsrfun (8359) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

So I guess the bot budget is just a small part of the overall, not to worry ideals beat tech....I think...

[-] -1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 6 years ago

This is great fun.

[-] 2 points by nelsum (6) 5 years ago

A propaganda war in the comments sections of news outlets, yahoo, etc. Koch paid posters and party faithful posting conservative posts, purposely seeking out any liberal leaning, pro union posts. They give thumbs downs in mass to make the comment "not displayed due to low rating" in yahoo. All in an effort to make the "illusion" of support for conservative issues by the public. All to sway the undecided. It's getting pretty bad. We can use some support especially on Yahoo comments. Thank you for your service...OWS.

[-] 2 points by BillOfRights101 (2) 6 years ago

'GOP-aganda' {right-wing 1%-er propaganda less the prop[s]} lives!!! Rupert Murdoch/Koch Bros billion dollar anti-working class machine.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33641) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

You always share such interesting information.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 6 years ago

Thanks, DKA.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33641) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 years ago

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me Happy....Information for my brain can make me smmiiillle...............


[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 6 years ago

Will the bots allow us to comment on a thread that speaks ill of the GOP and the Kochs.

This is apparently an acceptable co-option to the bot god.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 6 years ago