Libre Initiative

The Libre Initiative is a member of the Koch organization of networks that targets Latinos for persuasion.[1] Koch-funded groups have given the Initiative over $10 million.[2] The group is headed by Daniel Garza, who previously served as a staffer under President George W. Bush.[3] Garza has said that “by increasing awareness of economic freedom, people will vote accordingly. Our effort is to expand the conversation from just immigration.”[4]

In 2014, ProPublica noted that “each [Koch brothers-linked organization] trust agreement gives an LLC — not a disregarded entity, but a different one with a similarly nonsensical string of four letters for a name — power to remove the trustee for any reason. For instance, Daniel Garza, the trustee for the LIBRE Initiative Trust, can be removed by an LLC called THGI.”[5] The Libre Initiative also receives money from other Koch-backed groups through its disregarded entity, TDNA LLC.[6]

In 2014 (the most recent year on record), the Libre Initiative had a budget of $9 million and employed approximately 125 people.[7] Garza has stated that the group’s goal is to knock on 2 million doors and make 5 million phone calls during the 2016 election.[8]

In late May 2016, Garza stated that Republican nominee Donald Trump would have to handle his own Hispanic outreach and that Libre was “going to be involved in the Senate races, some of the important 50-50 congressional races, [and] mobilizing thousands of Latinos in those campaigns.”[9] Huffington Post reporter Michelle Fields opined that the group’s efforts “now lie in ruins.”[10]

In September 2016, the group announced that it would spend $700,000 on ads supporting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who has been praised by several Koch groups.[11]

[1]Koch donors give Rubio early nod.” Kenneth Vogel and Tarini Parti, Politico, 01/28/15

[2]The Libre Initiative: A Koch-funded group being passed off as empowering Hispanics.” Eric Hananoki, Media Matters for America, 03/02/15

[3]Daniel Garza – Executive Director.” The Libre Initiative, accessed 09/28/15

[4]New GOP campaign is aimed at Hispanics.” Peter Stone, The Center for Public Integrity, 09/22/11

[5]Who controls the Kochs’ political network? ASMI, SLAH and TOHE.” Kim Barker and Theodoric Meyer, ProPublica, 03/17/14

[6]Koch group’s IRS report unlocks a few mysteries.” Robert Maguire and Viveca Novak, The Center for Responsive Politics, 09/18/13

[7]Koch brothers nurture rise of Hispanic Republicans.” Tim Higgins, Bloomberg, 03/17/16

[8]Koch brothers nurture rise of Hispanic Republicans.” Tim Higgins, Bloomberg, 03/17/16

[9]Koch-funded efforts to win Hispanics crashing, burning.” Michelle Fields, The Huffington Post, 05/24/16

[10]Koch-funded efforts to win Hispanics crashing, burning.” Michelle Fields, The Huffington Post, 05/24/16

[11]Koch brothers’ Hispanic group airs TV ads for Rubio.” Theodore Schleifer, CNN, 09/07/16