Exclusive: A look at the ATM for the country’s most conservative groups

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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You may not have heard of the Center to Protect Patient Rights, but the organization doled out millions to some of the country’s most active conservative groups in 2012, according to new tax documents provided to The Daily Caller.

Tax forms indicate that the Arizona-based group — one of the largest nonprofit conservative grant makers of its kind — spent almost $137 million on its activities in 2012. Most of that money went to grants to nearly 50 conservative organizations, many of which are dedicated to getting rid of President Barack Obama’s unpopular health-care law.

Among the groups that received the most money from the Center to Protect Patient Rights in 2012:

— American Future Fund – $49.2 million

— Americans for Responsible Leadership – $24.7 million

— Americans for Prosperity – $11.5 million

— American Commitment – $4.8 million

— Citizen Link – $4.2 million

— National Rifle Association for Legislative Action – $3.2 million

— 60 Plus Association – $2.6 million

— Americans for Limited Government – $1.6 million

— Citizens Awareness Project – $1 million

Other conservative groups that received grants: Americans for Tax Reform ($350,000); Americans United for Life Action ($65,000); Club for Growth ($450,000); Concerned Women for America ($173,573); Emergency Committee for Israel ($200,000); Hispanic Leadership Fund ($645,000); Susan B. Anthony List ($385,000); Heritage Action Fund ($8,000); Generation Opportunity ($29, 211) and the National Federation of Independent Business ($135,783).

The nonprofit is not required to disclose its donors, but tax documents from the organization Freedom Partners indicate it has given the Center to Protect Patient Rights at least $115 million. Freedom Partners has spent millions in opposition to Obamacare, and has ties to billionaire libertarian donors Charles and David Koch.

The Center to Protect Patient Rights was founded in 2009 and is led by Sean Noble, a former congressional chief of staff, who lives in Arizona.

The grant-making group ran into some legal issues over its role in the state referendum battles in California in 2012.

Last month, the Center to Protect Patient Rights and Americans for Responsible Leadership — which got about $25 million from the group in 2012 — were fined about $1 million by the Golden State’s attorney general after being accused of not sufficiently disclosing what groups originally donated the money used in the effort, The New York Times reported.

Funds that started with the Center to Protect Patient Rights ended up being funneled to the Small Business Action Committee and the California Future Fund for Free Markets.

A lawyer for the Center to Protect Patient Rights told the newspaper that the group “acted in ‘good faith’ and that there was absolutely no intent to violate campaign reporting rules.”

According to the Form 990, the Center to Protect Patient Rights describes its mission as “Building a coalition of like-minded organizations and individuals, and educating the public on issues related to limited government, free enterprise, and health care with an emphasis on patient rights.”

It also engages in “issue advocacy and activities to influence legislation related to limited government, free enterprise, and health care.”

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