Coalition to Protect Seniors
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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.
The Coalition to Protect Seniors is a front group, most likely for health insurance companies, that serves as a conduit for funding attack ads against Democrats. The arrangement allows the ads' funders to remain anonymous to the public. As of October 3, 2010, the Coalition to Protect Senior had spent just over $428,208 on attack ads.
The Web site of the Coalition to Protect Seniors shows a photo of two sad-looking elderly people. The site claims that the elderly are at risk from "Obamacare." The Web site contains no phone number or names of anyone involved with the "group." An address listed on the site turned out to belong to a Mail Boxes Etc. store in Wilmington, Delaware.According to the New York Times, "The address on the coalition's filings was a suite in a large office building in Wilmington that seemed to be shared by an array of other businesses involved in the health care, financial services and energy industries...One last clue emerged from the filings. They showed that much of its money had gone to a Florida consulting firm, the Fenwick Group, a two-person outfit whose Web site listed other clients that included health care and technology companies." The reporter attempted to phone the Fenwick Group, but the telephone was answered by "K&M Insurance." The contact for the Fenwick Group turned out to be Jay Handline, who also serves as the chief marketing officer of Convergence Health, a health care technology company.
From the Sunlight Foundation for 2010:
|AR-Senate||Blanche Lincoln (D)||Oppose||$28,473||Lost|
|CO-Senate||Michael F. Bennet (D)||Oppose||$8,854||Won|
|IN-9||Baron Hill (D)||Oppose||$14,482||Lost|
|IN-Senate||Brad Ellsworth (D)||Oppose||$23,215||Lost|
|MO-Senate||Claire McCaskill (D)||Oppose||$27,867||Lost|
|NV-3||Dina Titus (D)||Oppose||$39,325||Lost|
|NV-Senate||Harry Reid (D)||Oppose||$218,526||Won|
|TX-23||Ciro D. Rodriguez (D)||Oppose||$30,966||Lost|
|WA-Senate||Patty Murray (D)||Oppose||$36,499||Won|
Not disclosing funders
Coalition to Protect Seniors, as well as other groups such as New Prosperity Foundation and Vets for Freedom, attempt to hide their funders. In their reporting to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), they put down a zero on their reporting forms. The Washington Independent writes, "The groups provided no information about their funding sources and few clues about why they are spending thousands of dollars in Senate and House races from California and Nevada to Michigan and Wisconsin."
Email: info AT coalitiontoprotectseniors.org
Resources and articles
Related SourceWatch articles
- Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group Follow the Unlimited Money - Coalition to Protect Seniors, accesed October 3, 2010
- Mike McIntire The Secret Sponsors, New York Times, October 3, 2010
- Jessie Zwick, "New 'Independent Expenditure Committees' Disclose Little to FEC", The Washington Independent, August 12, 2010.
- Richard L. Hasen, "Show Me the Donors", Slate/ReclaimDemocry.org, October 14, 2010.