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William Koch gives another $1 million to pro-Romney 'super PAC'

April 20, 2012|By Matea Gold

WASHINGTON -- Billionaire energy businessman William Koch, whose brothers finance an array of conservative political causes, directed another $1 million into a "super PAC" backing GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to new campaign finance records filed Friday.

The donation to Restore Our Future was made through Huron Carbon, a subsidiary of Oxbow Carbon, a privately held coal and petroleum supplier that Koch founded and runs.

The contribution means that William Koch has steered at least $2 million to the super PAC: last year, Oxbow Carbon gave $750,000 to Restore Our Future, while Koch personally gave the group $250,000.

The donations represent stepped-up political activity by the Palm Beach, Fla., resident, whose twin brother, David, and older brother, Charles, are famous for their lavish support for conservative causes.

"Bill Koch is becoming more engaged because he wants to see entrepreneurship in this country improve," spokesman Brad Goldstein said Friday. "He has known Mitt Romney for more than three decades and believes Mitt Romney possesses the business skills needed to turn our economy around."

The $1 million contribution by Huron Carbon was the largest of the 135 donations received last month by Restore Our Future, which raised $8.7 million in March.

The Los Angeles Times' Washington bureau reported last month that Oxbow Carbon was one of at least five companies with federal contracts that have given money to the pro-Romney super PAC, despite a 36-year-old ban against such companies making federal political expenditures.

Oxbow Carbon sold more than $10 million worth of coal over the last 13 years to the Tennessee Valley Authority, a federally owned corporation created by Congress.

Some legal experts believe the federal contracting ban will be struck down by the courts in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United case

But a draft advisory opinion issued Thursday by the Federal Election Commission on another matter indicated that the agency still views political expenditures by federal contractors as prohibited.

Huron Carbon does not have any government contracts, Goldstein said. The company runs facilities that purify petroleum coke, creating a product known as calcined coke that is critical in the production of high impact plastics and aluminum.

matea.gold@latimes.com

Original source: William Koch gives another $1 million to pro-Romney 'super PAC'

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