Taxpayers Protection Alliance
The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is an advocacy front group that is part of the Koch political network. It is largely funded by money funnelled through groups tied to Kochs, such as Americans for Job Security, Center to Protect Patient Rights (now called American Encore), and Freedom Partners.
TPA claims to advocate against "runaway deficits and debt" and "publish timely exposés of government waste, fraud, and abuse." Social media and blogs are the primary means of disseminating advocacy materials. TPA maintains linkages to similar international groups in other countries such as Australia, Canada, Poland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
News and Controversy
Attack on Senator Claire McCaskill
TPA launched several attacks on Senator Claire McCaskill as she faced a reelection campaign in 2018. In a blog post, TPA accuses McCaskill of being "out of touch" and taking advantage of federal tax breaks and subisidies that benefit the rich while voting against tax releif for average Missourians. The article states, "since she’s been a U.S. Senator, businesses affiliated with McCaskill’s developer husband, Joseph Shepard, have received more than $131 million in federal subsidies. To be clear, Shepard is a housing developer who has invested in affordable housing projects for many years." The blog post goes on to criticize McCaskill's personal wealth, her vacation homes and her use of private planes.
In an article by Ross Marchand, he attacks McCaskill for fostering mismanagement at government waste at the United States Postal Service. Marchand writes about the 2018 Postal Service Reform Act. He states, "the heft of the legislation would open the door to further taxpayer subsidization of USPS mismanagement."
In 2018, TPA formed International Governmental Organization (IGO) Watch. According to Ross Marchand, Director of Policy at TPA, IGO Watch is "an international coalition of taxpayer groups from around the world tasked with holding global bureaucracies accountable for misguided priorities and wasteful spending." IGO Watch attacks the agendas of leading international governmental organizations and calls for national governments to withdraw funding used for promoting social welfare and upholding international law. Organizations criticized by IGO Watch include the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, the International Labor Organization, the Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development, the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Health Organization. IGO Watch, along with TPA, supports President Trump's attacks on IGOs and international law. IGO Watch re-posted an article by Andrew F. Quinlan, the co-founder and president of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, arguing that President Trump's "drain the swamp" campaign needs to be applied to IGOs.
Attacks on Clean Energy
In 2014, TPA launched SolarSecrets.com to attack the solar energy industry. Articles posted on the website primarily attack any public funding that is used to promote solar infrastructure or development in solar technology. Articles include, "Latest Solar Jobs Report Shows ‘Green’ Sector On Life Support," "New Report Details Massive Taxpayer Subsidies to the Struggling Solar Industry," and "SunEdison Bankruptcy Three Times Bigger than Solyndra." The website cited studies and data created by fossil fuel-funded advocacy groups. The site was initially registered by Sean Paige, a political consultant and a former Americans for Prosperity staff member.
TPA also attacked solar energy through its own report in 2015 titled "A House of Cards: Solar Energy’s Subsidy-Based Business Model."
TPA participated in an advocacy effort against tax credits for electric vehicles with a variety of other Koch front groups. The Koch groups opposed the Electric Cars Act of 2018 by sending a letter to Congress. The letter was organized by the American Energy Alliance, the advocacy wing of the Institute for Energy Research, both of which are led by former Koch Industries lobbyist Tom Pyle. Other groups which signed the letter included:
- American Legislative Exchange Council
- Americans for Prosperity
- American Consumer Institute
- Less Government
- Consumer Action for a Strong Economy
- American Commitment
- The Competitive Enterprise Institute
- Americans for Tax Reform
- Frontiers of Freedom
Ties to Koch Network
In 2013, the Koch-funded Americans for Job Security donated $1.1 million to TPA.
The Koch's connection to TPA was clearly evident during their fight to stop municipalities from spending on installing fiber optic networks. TPA attempted to prevent the city of Louisville from upgrading its fiber optic network by connecting to a statewide system. TPA argued that the Louisville upgrade plan was devised by Google to trick taxpayers into subsidizing its Google Fiber product. The Koch's bankrolled TPA's attacks which backfired and caused Louisville City Council members to support the proposal.
The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.
- Total Revenue: $480,765
- Total Expenses: $379,430
- Net Assets: $232,892
- Total Revenue$375,161
- Total Expenses: $333,318
- Net Assets: $131,557
- Total Revenue $480,765
- Total Expenses: $379,430
- Net Assets: $89,714
- Total Revenue $1,600,056
- Total Expenses: $1,516,121
- Net Assets: $114,363
As of September 20, 2018:
- David Williams, President
- Grace Morgan, Director of External Relations
- Ross Marchand, Director of Policy
- Johnny Kampis, Investigative Reporter
- Drew Johnson, Senior Fellow
- Jeff Stier, Senior Fellow
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
1401 K Street NW, Suite 502
Washington, D.C. 20005
- Wired, "Koch Brothers are Cities New Obstacle to Building Broadband"
- Energy and Policy Institute, "Taxpayers Protection Alliance"
- Taxpayers Protection Alliance, About, accessed September 19, 2019.
- Taxpayers Protection Alliance, International, accessed September 19, 2019.
- Gregg Keller, Sen. McCaskill is out of Touch With Missourians, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, July 31, 2018.
- Ross Marcharnd, MISGUIDED POSTAL REFORM WOULD BILK TAXPAYERS FOR BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, Daily Caller, May 3, 2018.
- Ross Marchand, [https://dailycaller.com/2018/09/24/security-council-meeting-wasteful-spending/ OPINION: AT U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING, TRUMP MUST SOUND ALARM ON WASTEFUL SPENDING], Daily Caller, September 24, 2018.
- IGO Watch, Homepage, accessed October 6, 2018.
- Andrew F. Quinlan, Draining the international swamp, too, "IGO Watch", August 20, 2018.
- Energy and Policy Institute, The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), accessed September 22, 2018.
- Ben Jervey, Koch-Funded Groups—Yet Again—Speak Out Against Electric Vehicle Tax Credits], Desmog Blog, September 27, 2018.
- Libby Watson, Conservatives Are Owning the Dark Money Game, Splinter, September 13, 2018.
- Susan Crawford, KOCH BROTHERS ARE CITIES' NEW OBSTACLE TO BUILDING BROADBAND, Wired, December 16, 2017.
- ProPublica, Nonprofit Explorer: Taxpayer Protection Alliance, accessed September 20, 2018.
- Taxpayers Protection Alliance, About Us, accessed September 20, 2018.