Trees of Liberty
Trees of Liberty (TOL) is a 501(c)4 dark money non-profit financed and operated by the Koch brothers network. TOL was established in 2014 by the longtime Koch operative Karl Crow to promote "principles of limited government, fiscal solvency, and economic freedom through advertising campaigns on television, radio, and online." At the time, Crow was also working as a strategist for Aegis Strategic, a Koch-backed political consulting firm that shares the same address. Shortly after its founding, TOL began running ads in Iowa against Mark Jacobs, the primary challenger to Joni Ernst in the 2014 U.S. Senate race.
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.
2014 Election Activity Draws IRS Complaint
In April 2014, Trees of Liberty purchased television airtime in Iowa for an ad attacking Republican Mark Jacobs, Joni Ernst’s main competitor in the GOP U.S. Senate primary. The advertisement was shown on broadcast television in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, and Sioux City, Iowa, and on cable television in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, Omaha, Ottumwa, and Sioux City, Iowa. The TV spot attacked Jacobs for his previous support of a proposal to cap carbon emissions. TOL also set up the website http://www.realmarkjacobs.com to further bash Jacobs and a fake Twitter account, https://twitter.com/real_markjacobs.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the Center for Media and Democracy filed an official complaint with the IRS against Trees of Liberty for violating the tax code and possibly criminal law by spending most of its cash on political purposes, while claiming otherwise in its tax filings. The complaint can be viewed here.
- Pam Pryor, Chairman
- Karl Crow, President
- Gentry Collins, Director
- Chris Marston, Secretary/Treasurer
Trees of Liberty, Inc.
2000 14th Street, N Suite 710
Arlington, VA 22201