The Corner

New FEC Commissioner Accuses Koch Brothers without Evidence

Ann Ravel, who was recently confirmed to the Federal Election Commission, has been attacking the Koch brothers for their alleged involvement in a scheme to influence a pair of California ballot initiatives through anonymous donations funneled through non-profit groups based in Arizona.

Despite the media’s uncritical acceptance of her narrative, Ravel, who serves as chairwoman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, admits she has no proof linking the Koch brothers to the scheme, and the Kochs have consistently denied any involvement.

In a press briefing last Thursday, Ravel said that the Koch brothers’ network received funds from a California political organization, which they then funneled through a non-profit she claims they’re linked to — the Arizona-based Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR) — in order to illegally influence votes on two California propositions. Groups had “sen[t] the money to the Koch network with no strings attached, hoping that because the network has tentacles all over the country, some of the money would eventually find its way back to California campaigns,” Ravel said. Yet later in the same briefing, when asked about what part of the money was linked to the Koch network, she said, “I don’t believe we know what money was included in the $11 million, and I believe that was part of the purpose of the exchange.”

Though she can’t actually prove the Koch brothers were involved, Ravel nonetheless believes they were at the center of the scheme with their multifarious “tentacles.”

The Koch brothers have repeatedly denied any involvement in the California ballot initiatives in question, and furthermore have no control over the CPPR, despite Ravel’s claims that they are a conduit for Koch money.


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