American Commitment

American Commitment is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit and a member of the Koch network. The group was founded by Sean Noble, a Koch-linked political operative who later became controversial due to his role in a campaign finance scandal.[1][2] In 2014, the Center for Public Integrity reported that “American Commitment received 87 percent of its $13 million in funding between 2011 and 2013 from three Koch-connected nonprofits: The Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the Center to Protect Patient Rights and Free Enterprise America.”[3]

American Commitment has played a considerable role in recent elections. “Ahead of the 2014 midterms, American Commitment promoted Republican U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis of North Carolina in radio ads. In 2013, it backed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Steve Lonegan in his race against Democrat Cory Booker. And Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., was among politicians American Commitment supported in 2012.”[4] It spent an estimated $3.1 million on five Senate races in 2012.[5]

The group has also sought to preserve the donor anonymity that benefits the Kochs and their associates. Per CPI, “It has derided liberal politicians for what it calls ‘shameful efforts to amend the Constitution to empower politicians to regulate political speech’ and ‘backdoor regulatory efforts to limit the First Amendment at federal agencies.’”[6] Part of its other policy efforts included an email campaign criticizing the FCC’s net neutrality decision; after “American Commitment boasted that it helped direct more than 1.6 million messages from more than half a million voters to members of the House and Senate,” members of Congress discovered that “a number of messages to lawmakers purporting to be from average constituents… don’t appear to have come from people within their districts, according to the company that manages the technology.”[7] When contacted, some ‘senders’ said they had not sent the messages.[8]

[1]Koch group’s IRS report unlocks a few mysteries.” Robert Maguire and Viveca Novak, The Center for Responsive Politics, 9/18/13

[2]The dark money man: How Sean Noble moved the Kochs’ cash into politics and made millions.” Kim Barker and Theodoric Meyer, ProPublica, 2/14/14

[3]Koch-linked organization uses ‘dark money’ to fight political disclosure.” Michael Beckel, The Center for Public Integrity, 11/20/14

[4]Koch-linked organization uses ‘dark money’ to fight political disclosure.” Michael Beckel, The Center for Public Integrity, 11/20/14

[5]The latest GOP player: American Commitment.” Rachel Weiner, The Washington Post, 7/10/12

[6]Koch-linked organization uses ‘dark money’ to fight political disclosure.” Michael Beckel, The Center for Public Integrity, 11/20/14

[7]Net neutrality emails raise suspicions.” Tony Romm, Politico, 3/31/15

[8]Net neutrality emails raise suspicions.” Tony Romm, Politico, 3/31/15