Joe and Mary Moeller Foundation

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Learn more about how the State Policy Network aids ALEC and spins disinformation in the states.

Joe Moeller

The Joe and Mary Moeller Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation based in Scottsdale, Arizona. The foundation's interests overlap with those of the Koch brothers. Both fund DonorsTrust, Americans for Prosperity, and Youth Entrepreneurs of Kansas. Moeller currently serves as the Vice Chairman and Director of Koch Industries, and says Charles Koch has been one of "four great mentors" in his life,[1] in addition to former Koch Industries COOs.

The foundation also has given contributions to various Catholic churches and schools, in addition to various community organizations, like the Boys & Girls Club of Scottsdale, and universities such as Notre Dame, and University of Tulsa, Moeller's alma mater.

In 2013, the foundation reported $267,981 in revenue, $478,863 in expenses and disbursements, and $9,028,000 in assets.[2]

Ties to the Koch Brothers

Moeller also served as Chief Operating Officer for Koch Industries from 1999 to December 2005, after holding various positions within the company from 1980 to 1992, including President of Koch Ventures, based in Scottsdale. His role in the company helped launch their ventures into international operations, including the Canadian market, according to BusinessWeek.[3] Moeller previously served as the CEO and president of ALEC private sector member Georgia-Pacific, which Koch Industries acquired in 2005.[4]

Koch Wiki

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.

Ties to DonorsTrust, a Koch Conduit

DonorsTrust is considered a "donor-advised fund," which means that it divides its funds into separate accounts for individual donors, who then recommend disbursements from the accounts to different non-profits. Funds like DonorsTrust are not uncommon in the non-profit sector, but they do cloak the identity of the original donors because the funds are typically distributed in the name of DonorsTrust rather than the original donors.[5] Very little was known about DonorsTrust until late 2012 and early 2013, when the Guardian and others published extensive reports on what Mother Jones called "the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement."[6][7]

Americans for Prosperity, an organization founded and funded by the Koch brothers, received nearly $9.5 million from DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund from 2010 to 2012.[8]

DonorsTrust Funding

The Joe and Mary Moeller Foundation contributed $$800,000 to DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund between 2009 and 2013 (see links to the foundation's IRS forms 990 below).

A report by the Center for Public Integrity exposes a number of DonorsTrust funders, many of which have ties to the Koch brothers. One of the most prominent funders is the Knowledge and Progress Fund, a Charles Koch-run organization and one of the group's largest known contributors, having donated nearly $9 million from 2005 to 2012. Other contributors known to have donated at least $1 million to DonorsTrust include the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, Donald & Paula Smith Family Foundation, Searle Freedom Trust, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the John M. Olin Foundation.[9]

Since its inception in 1999, DonorsTrust has been used by conservative foundations and individuals to discretely funnel nearly $400 million to like-minded think tanks and media outlets.[9] According to the organization's tax documents, in 2011, DonorsTrust contributed a total of $86 million to conservative organizations. Many recipients had ties to the State Policy Network (SPN), a wide collection of conservative state-based think tanks and media organizations that focus on shaping public policy and opinion. In 2013, the Center for Media and Democracy released a special report on SPN. Those who received DonorsTrust funding included media outlets such as the Franklin Center and the Lucy Burns Institute, as well as think tanks such as SPN itself, the Heartland Institute, Illinois Policy Institute, Independence Institute, Mackinac Center for Public Policy, South Carolina Policy Council, American Legislative Exchange Council, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, and the Cascade Policy Institute.[10]

The Joe and Mary Moeller Foundation contributed $350,000 from 2009 to 2012 to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a conservative group that is an associate member of the State Policy Network (it also contributed $50,000 to the university foundation's general operating fund in 2009 and 2010).[11][12][13][14] It also contributed $1,000 to the SPN member Goldwater Institute in 2009 and $150,000 to the Koch-founded and -funded Americans for Prosperity Foundation from 2009 to 2011.[11][12][13]

Other Contributions and Grants

The foundation's contributions from 2009 to 2011 (over $30,000) include:

Forms 990

  • Joe and Mary Moeller Foundation, 2013 Form 990, foundation's annual IRS filing, May 14, 2014.
  • Joe and Mary Moeller Foundation, 2012 Form 990, foundation's annual IRS filing, August 13, 2013.
  • Joe and Mary Moeller Foundation, 2011 Form 990, foundation's annual IRS filing, November 15, 2012.
  • Joe and Mary Moeller Foundation, 2010 Form 990, foundation's annual IRS filing, September 1, 2011.
  • Joe and Mary Moeller Foundation, 2009 Form 990, foundation's annual IRS filing, September 24, 2010.

Staff Members

Their 2011 Form 990 listed three unpaid staff members: [13]

  • Joseph Moeller, President/Treasurer
  • Mary Moeller, Secretary
  • Margaret Sharon Walker, Director

Contact Details

Joe and Mary Moeller Foundation
27437 No. 9th Place
Scottsdale, Arizona 85262
(316) 828-8199[13]

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

References

  1. University of Tulsa Alumni Association, TU Alumni: Joseph Moeller, organizational website, accessed July 2013.
  2. Joe and Mary Moeller Foundation, 2013 Form 990, foundation's annual IRS filing, May 14, 2014.
  3. Joseph Moeller: Executive Profile, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, accessed December 2014.
  4. Andrew Sorkin, Private firm to pay $13.2 billion to acquire Georgia-Pacific, New York Times, November 14, 2005.
  5. Rebekah Wilce, A Reporters' Guide to the "State Policy Network" -- the Right-Wing Think Tanks Spinning Disinformation and Pushing the ALEC Agenda in the States, PRWatch.org, April 4, 2013.
  6. Andy Kroll, Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement, Mother Jones, February 5, 2013.
  7. Suzanne Goldenberg, "Secret funding helped build vast network of climate denial thinktanks," The Guardian, February 14, 2013.
  8. Center for Media and Democracy, DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund Grant Recipients, SourceWatch.org, accessed December 2014.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Paul Abowd, Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states, Center for Public Integrity, February 14, 2013.
  10. Donors Trust, GuideStar.org, IRS form 990, 2011.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Joe and Mary Moeller Foundation, 2009 Form 990, foundation's annual IRS filing, September 24, 2010.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Joe and Mary Moeller Foundation, 2010 Form 990, foundation's annual IRS filing, September 1, 2011.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Joe and Mary Moeller Foundation, 2011 Form 990, foundation's annual IRS tax filing, November 15, 2012.
  14. Joe and Mary Moeller Foundation, 2012 Form 990, foundation's annual IRS filing, August 13, 2013.