The financial firepower that fueled the rise of a network of conservative advocacy groups now pummeling Democrats with television ads can be traced, in part, to Box 72465 in the Boulder Hills post office, on a desert road on the northern outskirts of Phoenix. That’s the address for the Center to Protect Patient Rights, an organization with ties to Charles and David H. Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankroll a number of conservative organizations. During the 2010 midterm election, the center sent more than $55 million to 26 GOP-allied groups, tax filings show, funding opaque outfits such as American Future Fund, 60 Plus and Americans for Job Security that were behind a coordinated campaign against Democratic congressional candidates. The money from the center provided a sizable share of the war chest for those attacks, which included mailers in California, robo-calls in Florida and TV ads that inundated a pocket of northeastern Iowa. The organizations it financed poured at least $46 million into election-related communications in the 2010 cycle, among other expenditures.
In that campaign, outside groups — the vast majority backing Republicans — reported spending a record $304 million, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Democratic-allied groups are still trying to match their success. With such spending set to reach unprecedented levels in the 2012 election, the activities of the Center to Protect Patient Rights — whose existence was first reported this month by the Center for Responsive Politics — provide a glimpse into the network of deep-pocketed conservative advocacy groups that have already begun an air war against President Obama. Because these nonprofit groups are under no obligation to reveal their donors, the sources of their funding has remained a mystery.