Independent Women's Voice
The Independent Women's Voice (IWV) is a nonprofit organization advocating conservative policy established in 2003. IWV is the self proclaimed sister organization of Independent Women's Forum. According to it's website, "Like IWF, IWV is dedicated to promoting limited government, free markets, and personal responsibility. ... IWV seeks to ensure that our mainstream voices are heard in the media and before state and national policymakers, in order to educate the public about how our conservative principles benefit women, men, and families, and are critical to the future of our country."
Ties to Koch Brothers
Although the Independent Women's Voice calls itself "nonpartisan", the group has numerous ties to the billionaires Charles Koch and David Koch, arguably two of the most influential financiers of anti-regulation and right-wing ideology in the United States.
IWV reportedly received $250,000 from the Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR), another Koch affiliated organization. This conservative advocacy group is run by Sean Noble, who Politico has described as a "Koch Operative". Nobel was hired by the Kochs to coordinate with other conservative Super PACs to target Democratic representatives in 2010.  Other individuals associated with the group also have Koch ties. Consultant Cheryl Hillen has raised at least $2.6 million for the organization and was formerly director of fundraising for the Koch Brothers-backed Citizens for a Sound Economy (which later split into Americans for Prosperity and Freedomworks). One of CPPR's original directors, Heather Higgins, is chairwoman of the Independent Women's Forum, a climate change denialist group that has received Koch money and was previously run by a Koch lobbyist.
In 2004, the Independent Women's Voice listed Nancy Pfotenhauer as its president. Pfotenhauer is a former Koch Industries lobbyist, and has rotated between various leadership roles at Kochs' flagship special interest groups including Americans for Prosperity and Citizens for a Sound Economy.
2013 Mark Sanford Campaign
Years after former South Carolina Republican Governor Mark Sanford's political popularity plummeted after a public confession of infidelity in 2009, Sanford ran and won against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in a special election for a position in Congress. The Independent Women's Voice reported spending $250,000 in support of Sanford in just the last week of the election.
- Heather R. Higgins, President and CEO
- Carrie L. Lukas, Vice President of Policy and Economics
- Sabrina L. Schaeffer, Executive Director
- Charlotte Hays, Senior Policy Analyst
- Hadley Heath, Policy Analyst
Independent Women’s Voice
1875 I Street, NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 857-3293
Fax: (202) 429-9574
- Independent Women's Voice, About, organizational website, accessed May 17, 2013.
- Andy Kroll, Koch-Linked Women's Group Takes Credit for Mark Sanford's Win, Mother Jones, May 8, 2013.
- Bridge Project, Conservative Transparency, organizational website, accessed May 20, 2013.
- Ken Vogel, Kochs brothers' plan for 2012: raise $88 million, Politico, Feb. 11, 2011.
- Lee Fang: Koch Operative Steered $55 Million To Front Groups Airing Ads Against Democrats; Ads Assailed Candidates Over Abortion, 9/11, Medicare, Republic Report, May 19th, 2012.
- Brendan Fischer, Americans for Job Security Targets WI GOP Senate Race, From the Shadows, PRwatch, Aug. 10, 2012.
- Americans for Prosperity, About, organizational website, accessed May 20, 2013.
- SourceWatch, Contributions of the Claude R. Lambe Foundation, organizational website, May 17, 2013.
- Kim Severson, Looking Past Sex Scandal, South Carolina Returns Ex-Governor to Congress, New York Times, May 7, 2013.
- Independent Women's Voice, IWV's Unique and Critical Role in Mark Sanford's Victory, organizational website, accessed May 17, 2013.