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Thursday, Apr 17th

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New Tax Return Shows Karl Rove's Group Spent Even More On Politics Than It Said

Karl RoveOn its 2012 tax return, GOP strategist Karl Rove's dark money behemoth Crossroads GPS justified its status as a tax-exempt social welfare group in part by citing its grants of $35 million to other similarly aligned nonprofits. (Here's the tax return itself, which we detailed last week.)

The return, signed under penalty of perjury, specified that the grants would be used for social welfare purposes, "and not for political expenditures, consistent with the organization's tax-exempt mission."

But that's not what happened.

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Facebook and Microsoft help fund rightwing lobby network, report finds

facebook and MS support right wing groupsSome of America’s largest technology and telecoms companies, including Facebook, Microsoft and AT&T, are backing a network of self-styled “free-market thinktanks” promoting a radical rightwing agenda in states across the nation, according to a new report by a lobbying watchdog.

The Center for Media and Democracy asserts that the State Policy Network (SPN), an umbrella group of 64 thinktanks based in each of the 50 states, is acting as a largely beneath-the-radar lobbying machine for major corporations and rightwing donors.

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Report: Think tanks tied to Koch Brothers

koch brothersA network of think tanks across the country is quietly pushing the agenda of right-wing groups with funding from Koch brothers-affiliated organizations, a new report alleges.

The study, by the liberal Center for Media and Democracy, is aimed at the State Policy Network, which describes itself as “dedicated solely to improving the practical effectiveness of independent, nonprofit, market-oriented, state-focused think tanks,” which are operating in all 50 states. The tax-exempt group seeks to “enable these organizations to better educate local citizens, policy makers and opinion leaders about market-oriented alternatives to state and local policy challenges.”

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Koch group, unions battle over Colorado schools race

Koch BrothersIt isn’t often that the Koch brothers’ political advocacy group gets involved in a local school board race.

But this fall, Americans for Prosperity is spending big in the wealthy suburbs south of Denver to influence voters in the Douglas County School District, which has gone further than any district in the nation to reshape public education into a competitive, free-market enterprise.

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Fringe Factor: End Homosexuality With a Class Action Lawsuit

Fringe factor: Sue homosexualsEnough attempting to suppress homosexuality by banning gay marriage from state to state. Tea Party leader Rick Scarborough is focused on the bigger picture. At a Tea Party Unity gathering on Thursday, Scarborough chatted with Americans for Truth About Homosexuality President Peter LaBarbera about his grand scheme for taking on the homosexuality lobby with a class action lawsuit like the one pursued against the major tobacco companies.

“The whole issue of a class action lawsuit, you and I have talked about this a little bit,” Scarborough said. “Obviously, statistically now even the Centers for Disease Control verifies homosexuality more likely to lead to AIDS than smoking leads to cancer.

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Democrat upset in House special election carries warning for GOP

Amanda MurphyThe budget shutdown that wounded the Republican brand last week also inflicted pain on the GOP in Florida: The party lost a seat held for decades by Republicans, and Gov. Rick Scott was hit with a hurdle to his reelection strategy.

The governor has spent the last six months distancing himself from his February decision to embrace taking $51 billion from the federal government to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and the disastrous enrollment rollout appeared to help Republicans keep the issue from returning in the next legislative session.

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The Kochs Can't Control the Monster They Created

Koch Brothers' monster The government shutdown and looming threat of default have pitted House conservatives against the Republican Party's traditional allies in the business community. Populist Tea Partiers driven by ideology care little for the pleas for sanity from banking lobbyists and the Chamber of Commerce; indeed, they wear their disregard for Big Business as a badge of honor.

Where does that leave the Koch brothers? The billionaire industrialists have funded a sprawling empire of libertarian-conservative activism; they've been dubbed the bankrollers of the Tea Party. Liberals frequently accuse them of seeking deregulatory policies to further their company's financial interests. But what happens when the Tea Party's ideological warfare threatens to plunge the U.S. economy into chaos?

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