Late yesterday, Dave Kochel issued a press release announcing the formation of Iowa Progress Project, a 501(c)(4) which will replace Iowa Future Fund. Iowa Future Fund is the mysterious organization running anti-Chet Culver ads. Iowa Progress Project is so new, it was only registered with the Iowa Secretary of State on 4/10/08.
Why Iowa Progress Project? Because it is similar to Iowa Policy Project, a respectable undertaking. Iowa Future Fund was the name of a lapsed Iowa Democratic PAC. In 2006, Republican operative Roger Stone sent out pro-Rick Santorum campaign mailers to Pennsylvania voters using Progressive Policy Council which was very similar to the left-leaning Progressive Policy Institute.
Replacing Iowa Future Fund with Iowa Progress Project might be a direct response to recent questions here in Bleeding Heartland and elsewhere in the blogospehere as to whether wealthy Iowan businessman, Bruce Rastetter, funded IFF.
Bruce Rastetter is president of Hawkeye Renewables which owns and operates four ethanol plants in Iowa. He also is invested in the wind energy industry. From what I have learned so far, Rastetter is partners with some very wealthy private investors on the East Coast through AltEnergy LLC, located in Royaton, Connecticut. Russell Stidolph, head of AltEnergy, has been operating in Iowa since at least 2003 and probably provided the financial backing for Hawkeye Renewables.
Nicholas T. "Nick" Ryan, Jim Nussle's long time campaign manager, now works for Bruce Rastetter. Ryan is somehow connected to AltEnergy LLC and uses the email address, nryan-at-altenergyllc.com. Ryan's p.o. box was listed on an American Future Fund ad buy in Minnesota.
From the IPP website:
"Des Moines, IA -- Iowa Progress Project announced today its formal organization and outlined its goals and objectives in the near and long-term.
President David Kochel said, "Iowa Progress Project is the direct result of the response thousands of Iowans have had to ads and issues highlighted by the Iowa Future Fund. While the Iowa Future Fund has been very effective at highlighting important issues in our state, what was also abundantly clear is that a grassroots-centered conservative issues organization is also needed in this state. IPP will provide citizens from all corners of Iowa a voice in their community and state."
IPP announced the following Board of Directors for the organization:
President: David Kochel
Director: Kathy Pearson
Director: Gary Grant
Gary Grant is possibly the vice-president of Public Affairs Co.
Kathy Pearson is possibly the former president of the Iowa Federation of Republican Women and the president and sole employee of Kaas Employment Services in Cedar Rapids.
I'm not an Iowan but I am interested in IFF and IPP because they are linked to a well-organized national Republican program to misuse 501(c)(4)s during the upcoming election. 501(c)(4)s do not have to disclose their donors and can accept unlimited contributions.
American Future Fund and Iowa Future Fund were registered on 8/7/07 by top Republican operatives at Holtzman Vogel, a Virgnia law firm. AFF has been running pro-Norm Coleman ads in Minnesota and the Dems there have already filed an FEC complaint.
In the comments section of a TPM Cafe post about another Republican 501(c)(4), we are working out who, besides Bruce Rastetter, is behind American Future Fund.
I'll keep you posted!
Dave Kochel, Nicole Schlinger & Mission Control Partners
Sounds like Kochel and Schlinger looked forward to a good time screwing the Democrats when they named this company:
MISSION CONTROL PARTNERS, INC.
Filing date: 2/29/2008
700 E Pleasant St, Brooklyn, IA
Filing #: 359618
700 E PLEASANT ST
BROOKLYN, IA 52211
MARK V HANSON
317 6TH AVE STE 1200
DES MOINES, IA 50309-4195
319 7TH ST STE 404
DES MOINES, IA 50309
Nicole Schlinger, a Repubican fundraiser, is the president of American Future Fund and president of Capitol Resources Inc.
Kochel owns JDK Marketing and Public Affairs.
Mark V Hanson
Whitfield & Eddy attorney.
Kochel interviewed by Dubuque Telegraph-Herald today
In an interview published online, Kochel doesn't bother to tell Telegraph-Herald reporter Mary Rae Bragg why he replaced Iowa Future Fund with Iowa Progress Policy Project. But I clicked on Mary Rae Bragg's name and used the contact form to update her on the latest developments and linked to this post and my TPM Cafe one.
Posted at Daily Kos
I posted about Iowa Future Fund and Iowa Progress Project at the Daily Kos.
TPM Cafe giving me problems
I just tried posting about Brian Kennedy - twice - at TPM Cafe and the darn site appears to have totally chewed up the first comment, which had quotes I dug out of Nexis and links (worked on it for a half hour), and I can't see the second post (the nutshell version, from memory, sans quotes and links).
Where is former IA-01 candidate, DCI's attempt to own a Congressman by getting him elected, Brian Kennedy, today?
Found out that he went to work for Bill Frist's VOLPAC after his failed primary election.
In April 2007, he signed on as a county member of Mitt Romney's Iowa campaign team (can't recall the county's name).
Also in 2007, he was reported as advising for fairtax.org.
Still looking for solid, more recent sightings.
There is a Brian Kennedy who used to be a spokesman for Richard Pombo who is now involved with an energy-advocacy group, Responsible Resources/Insitute for Energy Research, but I'm pretty darn sure that's not the same BK.