RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Israel writes: "A secretive data and technology company linked to conservative oil billionaires Charles and David Koch has reached an agreement to share its information with the “voter file and data management company” that holds an exclusive agreement with the Republican National Committee."

Charles and David Koch. (illustration: Hello VO)
Charles and David Koch. (illustration: Hello VO)


The Koch Brothers and Republican Party Have Just Joined Forces to Track Voters

By Josh Israel, ThinkProgress

01 September 14

 

secretive data and technology company linked to conservative oil billionaires Charles and David Koch has reached an agreement to share its information with the “voter file and data management company” that holds an exclusive agreement with the Republican National Committee. This will allow the Republican Party full access to voter data collected by the Koch’s Freedom Partners entities and clients — and entrenches the Kochs’ network even deeper into the GOP.

Because political parties are not allowed to accept corporate contributions, it would be illegal for the Kochs to simply give their massive databases to the Republican National Committee directly. But the Republican National Committee has outsourced its database management to a company called GOP Data Trust. And that company joined forces Thursday with i360 (aka Themis), a firm reportedly backed by the Koch Brothers’ Freedom Partners and serving as repository for the data amassed by the Kochs’ political empire.

In a press release, the two companies claimed that the “historic data sharing partnership” will “allow Republican and Conservative campaign resources to be spent more efficiently than ever before.” They noted that “voter contact information gathered by clients of either The Data Trust or i360? will be now used by both to “improve the data shared with all clients,” meaning “conservative groups and campaigns will have more information about voters at their disposal for their own activities than ever before.”

Paul S. Ryan, senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, told ThinkProgress that as long as the Republican National Committee pays fair-market value to its data vendor, it does not matter who that vendor coordinates with. “Campaign finance laws only regulate the committees themselves, not other freestanding entities,” he explained.

Ryan noted that this sort of coordination is not necessarily exclusive to GOP entities — and that it can be a real challenge in determining what is a “fair” value for voter data. He pointed out that the super PAC ‘Ready for Hillary’ is collecting a great deal of information on pro-Clinton donors. That information “would be immensely valuable to Hillary Clinton, if she decides to run for president,” he explained, but probably “less valuable to another candidate.” And, in the end, it would up to the Federal Election Commission to determine whether the RNC or a theoretical Hillary Clinton campaign is paying a fair amount for that information.

But in a time when the lines between the Republican Party and the Kochs were already blurred, this deal is another indication that the anti-government billionaire activists are leading the party.


e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+13 # Regina 2014-09-01 23:40
Hell (snark!), we gotta keep them Democrat voters away from the polls. How else can we take over this gummint and run it our way?
 
 
+18 # dannysherwood 2014-09-02 00:05
What's next? The Koch Brothers running their own CIA and following our every move?
 
 
+13 # ericlipps 2014-09-02 05:03
The problem isn't the collection of data on your side's donors, but rather data collection on potential donors to opposition candidates. That opens the door to voter suppression efforts of the sort Republicans have employed at least since 2000. (Not that it's any more legitimate for Democrats to do it.)
 
 
+8 # Jingze 2014-09-02 07:46
This tells you why the republicans will take over all branches of the government in November. Then you can all kiss Social Security, minimum wage, health insurance, pensions,food stamps, workman's compensation and the like goodbye.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN