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Koch-Founded Super-PAC Draws $500,000 Donor in First Days

Koch Brothers Worth $100 Billion Buying Political Ads
David H. Koch, executive vice president and a board member of Koch Industries Inc., at an NBA game in New York on Jan. 9, 2013. Koch is one of the wealthiest people in the United States. Photographer: Justin Lane/EPA

By Annie Linskey

July 15 (Bloomberg) -- A new super-political action committee connected to David and Charles Koch reported one donation -- of $500,000 -- in its first two weeks of operation.

Ronald Cameron, chief executive officer of Mountaire Corp., gave the money to Freedom Partners Action Fund Inc., helping the new super-PAC begin its operations, according to James Davis, a spokesman for the committee. Mountaire is a closely held poultry company based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The Koch brothers, billionaire oil industry executives, started a network of nonprofits that promote small government and aren’t required to disclose their donors. The new super-PAC is mandated to report donations quarterly, the first Koch entity subject to this requirement.

The Freedom Partners super-PAC was formed on June 13 and will have more flexibility to criticize political candidates by name in commercials than do nonprofit groups.

It will put money toward supporting “candidates who share our vision of free markets and a free society and oppose candidates who support intrusive government policies,” said Davis in an e-mailed statement.

Cameron said he’s concerned that the country’s freedoms are threatened and is particularly opposed to the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s 2010 health-insurance law.

“Obamacare is a disaster for the country and is the present administration’s effort to try to take over all of the private health-care services,” he said in a telephone interview.

It’s the largest single political donation Cameron has made to a federal candidate or committee, according to Federal Election Commission data. “This is a big contribution,” he said.

Fundraising Target

Other donors have made commitments to the new super-PAC, though the money wasn’t collected in the first few days of operations, Davis said. The group expects to raise more than $15 million to run commercials, and pay for mailers and some online ads before the November midterm elections, he said.

Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit business association based in Arlington, Virginia tied to the super-PAC, aired 3,500 commercials in five Senate races from January 1 through July 7, according to Kantar Media’s CMAG data. They highlight negative aspects of the Affordable Care Act.

The business association is one of several Koch-founded groups active in this year’s election cycle. Another, Americans for Prosperity, has aired about 26,000 commercials through July 7, according to CMAG data. It’s a nonprofit and doesn’t have an associated super-PAC.

The $500,000 donation will be reported on the super-PAC’s Federal Election Commission filing, which is due today and covers all activity from March through the end of June.

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