Themis Trust

The Themis Trust is a nonprofit organization that “was seeded with an initial $2.5 million investment orchestrated by the [Koch] brothers,” and it serves as the data arm of the Koch political network.[1] Themis received over $15 million from Koch-linked organizations between 2009 and 2012.[2] The group’s officials also have close ties to the Koch brothers. As the Center for Responsive Politics reported in 2012, “Themis’ tax documents list a Paul W. Brooks as the sole trustee, which is the same name as that of a former Koch Industries senior vice president. Messages left for him were not returned. The group’s chief operating officer, Ben Pratt, is a former Koch Industries executive, as well.”[3]

Themis is partnered with i360 LLC (also known as Intell360), a company that works with Republican campaigns.[4] According to Reuters, “Intell360’s website describes services ranging from finding email and phone numbers for voters to ‘data mining’ for voters likely to respond to tailored messages to targeting ads ‘down to the zip code, census block or individual level.’”[5]

In August 2014 and again in July 2015, the i360-Themis group agreed to share voter data with the Republican National Committee’s data vendor, Data Trust.[6][7] The move allows both groups – and, by extension, the RNC and Koch organizations – to benefit from each other’s data and thus more accurately target voters. The American Democracy Legal Fund asserts that such a level of coordination between the RNC and purportedly independent organizations violates federal law, and filed a FEC complaint against the pertinent organizations on this basis.[8]

[1]Rove vs. the Koch brothers.” Kenneth Vogel, Politico, 10/10/11

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

[3]Exclusive: Nonprofit funneled money to Kochs’ voter database effort, other conservative groups.” Viveca Novak, Robert Maguire and Russ Choma, The Center for Responsive Politics, 12/21/12

[4]The GOP’s data dogfight.” Kenneth Vogel and Maggie Haberman, Politico, 4/22/13

[5]Kochs help Republicans catch up on technology.” Peter Henderson, Reuters, 5/17/12

[6]Koch central bank Freedom Partners distributed millions in dark money in 2013.” Paul Blumenthal, The Huffington Post, 9/18/14

[7]Koch network strikes new deal to share voter data with RNC-aligned firm.” Matea Gold, The Washington Post, 7/29/15

[8]Before the Federal Election Commission: American Democracy Legal Fund v. Republican National Committee, American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS, Americans for Prosperity, GOP Data Trust LLC, and i360, LLC.” 10/14/14