Themis

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Themis is a right-wing voter database project spearheaded by Koch Industries in 2010.[1] This project was a right wing response to the highly successful voter database project Catalist, used in micro-targeting by the Democratic party in years prior.

Themis was compiled by collecting membership information from right wing organizations, which included "personal email addresses and phone numbers, as well as more general information useful to political campaign strategists such as occupation, income bracket and so on."[2]

In Greek mythology, Themis is "the Greek goddess who imposes divine order on human affairs."[3]

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 Koch Brothers

Themis' chief operating officer, Ben Pratt, is a former Koch Industries executive, and former Koch Industries senior vice president Paul W. Brooks is listed as the sole trustee on Themis' tax documents.[1] In 2012, Reuters reported that: "People with direct knowledge of the group as well as political technology industry veterans say it is backed by the Koch brothers, although their names do not appear on an annual regulatory filing and Koch Industries spokespeople did not respond to requests for comment."[4]

Development

The development of Themis was led by Washington-based lawyer and Koch brothers affiliate Karl Crow. In June of 2010, Crow spoke at a Koch network summit in Aspen, Colorado, about his mission to mobilize citizens. "Is there a chance to elect leaders who are more strongly committed to liberty and prosperity?" he asked, suggesting a solution through a "strategic plan to educate voters on the importance of economic freedom."[2]

Funding

The now inoperative non-profit organization TC4 Trust contributed $2.5 million directly to Themis Trust and an additional $2.5 million to STN LLC and $1.8 million to DAS MGR LLC, both Themis affiliated organizations.[5][6] This made up $6.8 million of the $7.7 million of Themis' 2010 revenue as listed on the group's tax documents.[1][7]

A report by The Guardian claims that the Kochs invested $2.5 million into the Themis project, which was "developed by a hand-picked team of the brothers' advisers."[2] Although the sources of TC4's funding are unclear, the similarities in timing and amount of the $2.5 million donation reportedly given by the Kochs and the $2.5 million contribution of TC4 may suggest that TC4 served as a conduit for Koch funding and that the contributions are one in the same.[1]

Implementation

The data collected in the Themis project were reportedly heavily used to support the recall campaign of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in 2012, with Koch strategists suggesting up to $20 million invested in the project.[8] The database was also used in the 2012 presidential elections by Koch groups including Americans for Prosperity, who used Themis to contact voters.[9]

Affiliated entities

According to its 990 filings, Themis Trust is the direct controlling entity for three disregarded entities: DAS MGR, LLC, STN, LLC, and WSSPONSOR, LLC.

Themis also lists two "related tax-exempt organizations" in its filings, The Institute for Faith, Work, & Economics and EVANGCHR4 Trust. The Washington Post describes Evangchr4 Trust as "a pastor outreach effort that gave nearly $1.2 million to CitizenLink, an advocacy arm of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family. CitizenLink spent more than $2.5 million on ads on behalf of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and other Republicans in 2012."[10]

Financials

As a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, the Themis Trust is not required to disclose its donors.

Core Financials

2012[11]

  • Total Revenue: $5,651,971
  • Total Expenses: $2,577,986
  • Net Assets: $10,888,511

2011[12]

  • Total Revenue: $10,167,871
  • Total Expenses: $3,738,777
  • Net Assets: $7,814,526

2010[13]

  • Total Revenue: $7,707,899
  • Total Expenses: $2,322,467
  • Net Assets: $5,385,432

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Viveca Novak, Robert Maguire and Russ Choma, Exclusive: Nonprofit Funneled Money to Kochs' Voter Database Effort, Other Conservative Groups, Center for Responsive Politics, December 21, 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ed Pilkington, Koch brothers: secretive billionaires to launch vast database with 2012 in mind, The Guardian, November 7, 2011.
  3. Ed Pilkington, "Koch brothers: secretive billionaires to launch vast database with 2012 in mind," The Guardian, November 7, 2011. Accessed June 4, 2014.
  4. Peter Henderson, "Kochs help Republicans catch up on technology," Reuters, May 17, 2012. Accessed June 4, 2014.
  5. TC4 Trust, Form 990, organizational tax document, 2010.
  6. TC4 Trust, Form 990, organizational tax document, 2011.
  7. Themis Trust, Form 990, organizational tax document, 2010.
  8. Kenneth P. Vogel, Inside Koch World, Politico, June 15, 2012.
  9. Kenneth P. Vogel and Maggie Haberman, Karl Rove, Koch brothers lead charge to control Republican data, Politico, April 22, 2013.
  10. Matea Gold, "The players in the Koch-backed $400 million political donor network," Washington Post, January 5, 2014. Accessed June 4, 2014.
  11. Themis Trust, 2012 Form 990, organizational IRS Filing, February 16, 2014.
  12. Themis Trust, 2011 Form 990, organizational IRS Filing, February 13, 2013.
  13. Themis Trust, 2011 Form 990, organizational IRS Filing, February 13, 2013.