Center for Individual Freedom

The Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit. According to its website, “the Center engages in three distinct but complementary activities: Legal activities, legislative activities, and education.”[1] The group has received significant funding from both Koch and Crossroads nonprofits as part of their ‘non-political’ spending. For instance, according to Andy Kroll of Mother Jones, “there was another recipient of Crossroads cash that stood out: The Center for Individual Freedom, which snagged $2.75 million [in 2010-11]. Among political money experts, CFIF is known for its aggressive legal strategy aimed at toppling disclosure laws at the state level. In other words, Crossroads GPS, which doesn’t name its donors, gave millions to another dark-money group whose goals include fighting to keep dark money in the dark.”[2] CFIF used those funds to challenge campaign finance laws across the nation. As Kroll explains, “CFIF has launched a broad legal campaign to roll back disclosure rules. It has filed lawsuits in Illinois, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, arguing that those states’ disclosure and reporting laws “chill” the free-speech rights of groups like CFIF.”[3]

While CFIF’s legal activities are prominent, it is also active in the political sphere. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, “In 2010, CFIF told the IRS it spent more than $2 million on politics, none of which was reported to the FEC.”[4] These expenditures, made against ten Democratic Members of Congress, thus violated FEC reporting requirements.[5]

[1]About CFIF – Our Mission.” The Center for Individual Freedom, accessed 10/05/15

[2]It takes dark money to make dark money.” Andy Kroll, Mother Jones, 04/20/12

[3]It takes dark money to make dark money.” Andy Kroll, Mother Jones, 04/20/12

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

[5]Center for Individual Freedom – 2010 Election Cycle – Independent Expenditures.” The Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 10/05/15