Paper trail shows ties between newly registered ‘Super PAC,’ other groups


Earlier this month, Partnership for America's Future filed a letter with the Federal Election Commission declaring that it will take contributions of unlimited amounts and spend them on independent expenditures. According to its website, the organization is "dedicated to supporting efforts designed to elect Republican candidates to office during the 2010 election cycle." In the process, the recently-minted Super PAC is supporting and supported by a web of Republican operatives and institutions that have played an outsized role in the 2010 elections.

Even before it registered as a Super PAC, Partnership for America's Future was active in the election. FEC disclosure documents from May 2010 show that the group hired Crossroads Media LLC, a favorite ad firm for conservative candidates and outside groups, to run ads that mentioned Sue Lowden, who lost to Sharon Angle in Nevada's Republican Senate primary. Crossroads Media was a natural choice: one of its partners was also running Partnership for America's Future.


In a May filing with the FEC, Partnership for America’s Future disclosed that one of the people exercising control of the group was Michael Dubke, who is also a partner at Crossroads Media. Dubke is a long-time Republican operative; he also founded Americans for Job Security, a group that runs ads without disclosing its donors.


Partnership for America's Future's May filing also lists Mary Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Richard Cheney, as exercising control over the group. Like Dubke, Cheney is also connected to another organization with connections to the Partnership. Cheney runs the Alliance for American’s Future, which, among other things, donated $81,000 to the Partnership for America's Future. Partnership is a 527 group, and discloses its donors and expenditures to the Internal Revenue Service. Alliance for America's Future paid Crossroads Media $360,000 to run television advertising supporting Randy Altschuler, the Republican candidate in New York's First congressional district.


Other connections exist between the Partnership and the Alliance. Barry Bennet is an officeholder with both these groups – he is the treasurer of Partnership for American's Future and a director of Alliance for America's Future. And Kara Ahern, who was Dick Cheney's political director in 2005, submitted Partnership for America's Future's filing to the IRS and is listed as the custodian of records and assistant treasurer on its newly filed statement of organization with the FEC. She was also the person filing the forms where for America's Future reported its expenditures. The websites for Alliance for America's Future and Partnership for America's Future are also are nearly identical.