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Sean Noble

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Follow the money in the Koch wiki.

Sean Noble

Sean Noble is the Executive Director/President of American Encore, formerly known as the Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR), a 501(c)4 conduit for the Koch donors network. The New York Times has described the CPPR as "one of the largest political nonprofits in the country, serving as a conduit for tens of millions of dollars in political spending, much of it raised by the Kochs and their political operation."[1]

The CPPR funneled more than $182 million in undisclosed donations to right-wing advocacy groups from 2009 to 2012, including Americans for Prosperity and the American Future Fund.[2] The Washington Post described it as a "major cash turnstile for groups on the right during the past two election cycles," because it received large amounts of money from Freedom Partners and TC4 Trust as part of the $400 million Koch political network.[3]

Under Noble's presidency, the CPPR was involved in an $11 million campaign finance money laundering scheme during the 2012 elections in California,[4] eventually reaching a settlement with the California Attorney General's Office in which it agreed to pay a $500,000 fine.[5]

According to a 2014 ProPublica report, the scandal damaged Noble: "Noble appears to have lost his central position in the Koch empire, undone by poor election results and a California investigation that shined an unwelcome light on some of the Center’s inner workings."[6]

Prior to 2009, Noble was a Congressional aide and then GOP consultant who served as the Chief of Staff for Congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ) for over a decade.[7]

Noble also maintains a personal blog, Noble Thinking, where he writes mainly about politics.

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 the Koch Brothers

Noble has been cited as a "Koch operative," who has participated in annual Koch donor meetings, speaking on issues such as voter attitudes and electoral mapping of upcoming elections.[8] Koch Industries spokesman Rob Tappan told ProPublica in 2014 that Noble "was a consultant for Koch in the past and attended Koch seminars."[6]

Some have suggested that Noble may have come into contact with the Koch brothers through consulting work for Shadegg donor Randy Kendrick, who sits on the board of the Goldwater Institute and is reportedly "close to the Koch brothers."[6] While Noble has declined to say who hired him as the executive director for the CPPR when it was founded in 2009, by 2010 he was deeply involved in the Koch network, ProPublica reported:

One national conservative operative said he heard about Noble and the Center in conversations in early 2010 about who was doing what that year. “They were going to be the primary vehicle for the Koch money, for the Koch network,” the operative told ProPublica.[6]

Role in 2012 California Campaign Spending Scandal

The Center to Protect Patient Rights and its affiliated organizations played important roles in the Koch network's 2012 election spending, and according to ProPublica "Noble was a key player in expanding the network’s complicated web of nonprofits and limited liability companies."[6] Writing about the California "dark money" campaign finance scheme, The Washington Post noted Noble's central role in helping Republican strategist Tony Russo pay for issue ads without disclosing donor names:

"[Russo] turned for help to Sean Noble, a GOP operative plugged into a national network of conservative groups. The two agreed to a money swap: Russo sent money to an Arizona group that Noble ran, in the hopes that Noble would get other organizations to send similar amounts back into California, masking the original donors.
“I said, ‘Sean, you know, I have a big hiccup in California,’ ” Russo later recounted for state investigators. “ ‘Can we support some of your national efforts and, in turn, do you have groups that can help us in California?’ That was pretty much as simple as it was.”"[9]

The CPPR was investigated along with Americans for Responsible Leadership for violating the California Political Reform Act. The two groups reached a record $1 million settlement in the case.[5]

The CPPR is now known as American Encore.

Participation in Koch summits

Noble has participated in a number of the Koch network's semiannual summit meetings. In 2010, Noble sat on a panel with Americans for Prosperity director Art Pope, a former right-wing legislator and founder of right-wing John Locke Foundation; GOP operative Jim Ellis, who was indicted in 2005 for an alleged scheme to use corporate political donations illegally to support candidates; and Ed Gillespie who co-founded Crossroads GPS with Karl Rove.[8] Also in 2010, Noble presented a panel entitled "Mobilizing Citizens for November" with fellow panelists: Karl Crow of Themis, a Koch Industries-backed voter database; Mark Mix of the [National Right to Work Committee], an anti-union legal and policy shop; and Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity which was founded by David Koch and Richard Fink[10] The topic of their panel was summarized as a "strategic plan" to back leaders and voters for a new administration that is committed to liberty and prosperity.

In addition, Noble was listed as a speaker for the 2011 Koch Summit in Rancho Mirage, California.

Background

Noble has described himself as having been interested in politics at an early age.

"I was involved in politics at a very young age. As a 10 yr-old in 1980, my mom sat me down with a phone list and told me to “call these people and tell them to vote for Ronald Reagan.” It was all the Republicans in Navajo County in Arizona - and it took me less than an hour because there were so few Republicans."[11]

Since his youth in small-town Arizona, Noble has favored far-right ideas, according to ProPublica, and he joined conservative circles once he went to DC:

"In 1994, when he was 24, Noble attended Rush Limbaugh’s freshman orientation in Baltimore for the 73 Republican members of Congress who had gained office in the so-called Republican Revolution. When he was 37, Noble was among the 2,200 mourners at William F. Buckley’s funeral at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan."[6]

In addition to his role with CPPR and Presidency of Noble & Associates, Noble owns and serves as the President for DC London, Inc., a political consulting group based out of Arizona and D.C. which shares its address in DC with American Commitment and its address in Phoenix with Free Enterprise America.[12] Noble has also been identified as a member of the board for American Commitment, another dark money 501(c)4 organization.[12]

According to his online profile on LinkedIn, Noble worked as a Consultant for the National Republican Congressional Committee from 1999-2000, as a consultant for Tom Coburn for U.S. Senate from September 2004 to November 2004, as the Victory Chairman for the Arizona Republican Party from September 2006 to November 2006, the Chief of Staff for Congressman Shadegg from January 1995-June 2008, as Consultant/Campaign Manager for John Shadegg's Friends from June 2008-November 2008, and as the President of Noble & Associates from June 2008-December 2010. [13]

High Pay for Nonprofit Work

According to a ProPublica report, "One of the biggest beneficiaries of the Koch network’s money was Sean Noble himself...The Center paid three firms owned by Noble almost $24 million for consulting and other services in 2012—or more than $1 of every $6 it spent."[6]

In his position as Chief of Staff to Congressman Shadegg in 2008, Noble earned $87,000 a year. But when he transitioned into his role in the nonprofit arena in 2009, Noble bought a rowhouse on Capitol Hill and an eight-bedroom home in Utah, amounting to a value of over one million dollars.[14] Court records show that he made over $2.3 million in 2011.[15]

As the President and Executive Director of CPPR in 2009[16] , 2010[17] and 2011[18], despite working a reported 40 hours a week, Noble apparently received $0 in compensation from CPPR, according to the organization's tax filings. Instead, CPPR paid out $190,000 to Noble & Associates, listing Sean Noble as the interested person receiving those funds in 2009 for Management and Fundraising services[16]. It also paid $340,000 to Noble & Associates for Management Services in 2010[17], and in 2011 paid $477,531 to Noble & Associates for consulting and an additional $2,645,000 to D.C. London, Inc., the consulting firm Noble founded.[18]

Campaign Contributions

According to FEC reports, Noble has spent over $21,350 in political contributions, naming himself with a variety of titles on disclosure forms. [19] In 2006, from his position as Arizona Republican Party "Victory Chairman," he contributed $250 to Graf for Congress. [20] In 2008, Noble made contributions to Political Committee "David Schweikert (R-AZ) for Congress" in the amount of $2000 in his position as Chief of Staff for Congressman Shadegg. [21]. Also in 2008:

  • $500 to "Allen West for Congress" as Sean Noble, self employed consultant[22]
  • another $500 to "Allen West for Congress" (recorded on the next consecutive day) as Sean Noble, self-employed consultant [23]

Noble's contributions in 2009 to PACs for conservative candidates include:

  • $1000 to PAC "John Shadeggs Friends," as Consultant for Noble & Associates [24]
  • another $250 to "John Shadeggs Friends," as consultant for Noble & Associates [25]
  • $1200 to "Coburn for Senate 2010," as consultant for Noble Associates LLC[26]
  • $500 to "Robert Hurt for Congress," as self-employed consultant[27]

Contributions for 2010 include:

  • $250 to "Johnathan Paton for Congress," as consultant for Nobel Associates LLC[28]
  • $2400 to "Jim Ward for Congress," as consultant for Noble Associates, LLC[29]
  • $500 to "Bernier for Congress," as consultant for Noble Associates[30]
  • $500 to "Mark Rubio for US Senate," as consultant for Noble Associates, LLC[31]

Contributions for the 2011 election cycle include:

  • $2000 to "National Republican Senatorial Committee," as Partner of DC-London, Inc [32]
  • $2000 to "Adam Hasner for US Senate," as partner for DC-London, Inc.[33]
  • $2500 to "Kirk Adams for Congress," as President of Noble Associates[34]
  • $2500 to "Citizens for Josh Mandel," as Managing Partner for DC-London, Inc[35]
  • $2500 to "David McIntosh for Indiana," as Executive for DC-London, Inc.[36]

References

  1. Nicholas Confessore, "Group Linked to Kochs Admits to Campaign Finance Violations," New York Times, October 24, 2013. Accessed June 11, 2014.
  2. Patrick O'Connor, "Sen. Franken Draws Attack Ad From American Encore," Wall Street Journal, March 25, 2014.
  3. Matea Gold, "Koch-backed political coalition, designed to shield donors, raised $400 million in 2012," Washington Post, January 5, 2014.
  4. Andy Kroll, Campaign Money Laundering Scheme revealed, kind of, Mother Jones, November 5, 2012.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Office of the Attorney General, State of California Department of Justice, "Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces $1 Million Civil Settlement for Campaign Finance Violations, Calls for Legislative Reform," press release, October 24, 2013. Accessed June 11, 2014.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Kim Barker and Theodoric Meyer, "The Dark Money Man: How Sean Noble Moved the Kochs’ Cash into Politics and Made Millions," ProPublica, February 14, 2014.
  7. DC London homepage, accessed June 3, 2013.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Kenneth Vogel and Ben Smith, "Koch Brothers' plan for 2012: raise $88 million," Politico, Accessed June 4, 2013.
  9. Matea Gold and Tom Hamburger, "California donor disclosure case exposes how nonprofits can play in politics," Washington Post, November 4, 2013. Accessed June 11, 2014.
  10. Agenda and Invitation to Koch Summit, Accessed June 4, 2013
  11. Lisa De Pasquale, "De Pasquale's Dozen With Sean Noble Of American Encore," TownHall.com, May 30, 2014. Accessed June 11, 2014.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Viveca Novak, Center to Protect Patients' Rights Gives Millions to outside Spenders in Elections, OpenSecrets.org, December 17, 2012.
  13. Sean Noble LinkedIn Profile, Online Social Media Profile, accessed June 6, 2013.
  14. Alison Fitzgerald and Jonathan D. Salant, Secret Political Cash Moves Through Nonprofit Daisy Chain, BloombergBusinesweek, October 15, 2012.
  15. Kim Barker and Theodoric Meyer, "The Dark Money Man: How Sean Noble Moved the Kochs’ Cash into Politics and Made Millions," ProPublica, February 14, 2014.
  16. 16.0 16.1 IRS reported compensation to Noble in 2009, 2009 IRS 990 for CPPR, accessed June 6, 2013.
  17. 17.0 17.1 IRS reported compensation to Noble in 2010, 2010 IRS 990 for CPPR, accessed June 6, 2013.
  18. 18.0 18.1 IRS reported compensation to Noble in 2011, 2011 IRS 990 for CPPR, accessed June 6, 2013.
  19. FEC Political Committee Contributions from Sean Noble
  20. FEC filing for Graf for Congress 2006
  21. Contribution to PAC for David Schweikert
  22. Contribution to PAC for Allen West
  23. 2nd Contribution to PAC for Allen West 2008
  24. 2009 PAC contribution to Shadeggs Friends
  25. 2009 Contribution to PAC for Shadegg
  26. 2009 Contribution to PAC for Coburn
  27. 2009 Contribution to PAC for Robert Hurt
  28. Contribution to Johnathan Paton PAC 2010
  29. Contribution to Jim Ward PAC 2010
  30. 2010 Contribution to Bernier PAC
  31. 2010 contribution to Rubio PAC
  32. 2011 Contribution to National Republican Senatorial Committee PAC
  33. 2011 contribution to Adam Hasner PAC
  34. 2011 Contribution to Kirk Adams PAC
  35. 2011 Contribution to Josh Mandel PAC
  36. 2011 Contribution to David McIntosh PAC