American Encore

American Encore, formerly known as the Center to Protect Patient Rights (CPPR), played a key role in the Koch network’s movement of funds during the 2012 election cycle. The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) noted that the organization’s previous name gave “the misleading impression that it is solely concerned about health care” and characterized the organization as “the linchpin in one of the most complex networks of dark money in the country.”[1][2]

American Encore claims that “[it] has primarily advanced its policy interests by investing in and conducting research, as well as providing financial support to other organizations in support of shared policy interests.”[3] However, per CRP, “the group’s investment in public policy research… has heretofore been invisible. [In 2013], the group was paying consultants, including Noble’s firms, to conduct opposition research and develop ads.”[4]

During the 2012 cycle, CPPR’s role in the Koch network led to unprecedented spending. CRP notes that “American Encore/CPPR gave out more than $112 million in grants to politically active nonprofits that reported more than $127 million in political spending in the 2012 elections. Recipients of American Encore/CPPR funds spent more to influence the 2012 elections than all liberal nonprofits, including unions, have spent starting with the Citizens United decision in 2010 and going to the end of February 2014.”[5]

Some of CPPR’s disbursements proved controversial. In 2012, Californians filed a complaint against associated group Americans for Responsible Leadership with California’s Fair Political Practices Commission. The commission then ordered ARL to disclose its donors in compliance with California law. After losing a legal challenge to the Commission’s order, ARL then “identified the true source of the contribution as Americans for Job Security, through a second intermediary, The Center to Protect Patient Rights. Under California law, the failure to disclose this initially was campaign money laundering. At $11 million, this is the largest contribution ever disclosed as campaign money laundering in California history.”[6] CPPR and ARL split a $1 million fine for this infraction.[7] In early 2014, the Center for Responsive Politics noted that CPPR had quietly  changed its name to American Encore.[8]

[1]Mystery health care group funneled millions to conservative nonprofits.” Viveca Novak and Robert Maguire, The Center for Responsive Politics, 05/18/12

[2]An encore for the Center to Protect Patient Rights.” Robert Maguire, The Center for Responsive Politics, 03/05/14

[3]Re: Comments on IRS NPRM Reg-134417-13.” Bobby Burchfield of McDermott Will & Emery on behalf of CFIF, American Commitment, and American Encore, Inc., accessed 10/05/15

[4]An encore for the Center to Protect Patient Rights.” Robert Maguire, The Center for Responsive Politics, 03/05/14

[5]An encore for the Center to Protect Patient Rights.” Robert Maguire, The Center for Responsive Politics, 03/05/14

[6]Americans for Responsible Leadership admits money laundering, discloses $11 million donor.” California Fair Political Practices Commission, 11/05/12

[7]California settles ‘dark money’ case: source.” Paul Blumenthal, The Huffington Post, 10/24/13

[8]An encore for the Center to Protect Patient Rights.” Robert Maguire, The Center for Responsive Politics, 03/05/14