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New Super-PAC Takes Midterm Lead for Kochs

The billionaire oil executives are now relying on Freedom Partners Action Fund to run political commercials, while their nonprofit, Americans for Prosperity, has gone dark.
A man holds a television remote control unit for a Virgin Media set top box in this arranged photograph at the company's store on Oxford Street in London, U.K., on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. Billionaire John Malone's Liberty Global Inc. agreed to acquire Virgin Media, Britain's second-largest pay-TV provider, in a $16 billion cash-and-stock transaction announced in the U.S. yesterday.

A man holds a television remote control unit for a Virgin Media set top box in this arranged photograph at the company's store on Oxford Street in London, U.K., on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. Billionaire John Malone's Liberty Global Inc. agreed to acquire Virgin Media, Britain's second-largest pay-TV provider, in a $16 billion cash-and-stock transaction announced in the U.S. yesterday.

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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The IRS letters that went out to politically-active nonprofit groups in 2010 and kicked up a House investigation two years later have fallen out of the headlines but they just might be having an impact on this year's midterms. 

Billionaire oil executives David and Charles Koch are now relying on Freedom Partners Action Fund, a new super-PAC, to run political commercials, while their nonprofit, Americans for Prosperity, has gone dark.

The shift in television ad buying occurred on Sept. 5, which was precisely 60 days from the general election and a date that triggers additional disclosure rules for nonprofits such as AFP.  The group did air political advertisements within that 60-day window in 2012, funding 950 network and national cable spots in House and Senate races and 2,208 spots in the presidential, according to Kantar Media's CMAG data. Of course, that was before the Internal Revenue Service letters scrutinizing the political activity of so-called charitable groups and ensuing scandal became public.