Marc Short became a senior advisor for Sen. Marco Rubio's 2016 Presidential campaign in February 2016, potentially signaling that the Koch network was backing Rubio. Until that time, Short, was the president of Freedom Partners. In that role, he oversaw the spending of grants from that Koch donor organization, which amounted to over $250 million in 2012.
During the 2012 election cycle, Freedom Partners served as a "de facto bank" for much of the money spent by the Koch network in that election, according to the Washington Post. It played a key role in "the network of politically active nonprofit groups backed by the Kochs and fellow donors in the 2012 elections [which] financially outpaced other independent groups on the right and, on its own, matched the long-established national coalition of labor unions that serves as one of the biggest sources of support for Democrats."
See also: Freedom Partners.
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.
Prior to working for Freedom Partners, Short served in a number of positions, including chief of staff for the House Republican Conference, chaired by then-Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN), and for former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX). He was also a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security, executive director of the Reagan Ranch, the executive director of the Freedom Alliance, and the director of the Virginia Finance Committee for Oliver North’s senatorial campaign.
Ties to the Koch Brothers
Short has been heavily involved with the Koch brothers and their network of right-wing donors. Along with Freedom Partners’ Kevin Gentry and Americans for Prosperity’s Tim Phillips, Short came up through GOP politics in Virginia, and together, the three so-called Koch operatives have been characterized as “the Koch’s liaisons to Washington’s professional conservative class.”
Short has been described as the newest member of that particular inner circle, having been hired in 2011 to work for the Kochs, though not officially joining Freedom Partners until 2013. In his role, Short oversees the spending of Koch and Koch-tied money by affiliated organizations, some of which, in turn, is spent against Democrats in elections. He was also the Kochs’ representative to the Karl Rove-led Weaver Terrace Group, a coalition of right wing organizations that coordinated ad spending in the 2012 election cycle. Short took over after the departure of another Koch operative, Sean Noble.
- PRWatch Editors, Did the Kochs Just Anoint Marco Rubio?, PR Watch, February 23, 2016.
- Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei, Exclusive: The Koch brothers' secret bank, Politico, September 11, 2013.
- Matea Gold, "Koch-backed political coalition, designed to shield donors, raised $400 million in 2012," Washington Post, January 5, 2014.
- Freedom Partners, Board Members page, FreedomPartners.org, accessed June 11, 2014.
- Kenneth P. Vogel and Tarini Parti, Inside Koch world, Politico, June 15, 2012.
- Eric Lach, Meet The man Who Runs The Koch Brothers’ Secret Bank, Talking Points Memo, September 16, 2013.