Incorporation documents reveal new details about a ‘dark money’ group pouring millions into Midterms 2022 • OpenSecrets
Documents obtained by OpenSecrets shed new light on mysterious “dark money” group Defending America Together, which poured millions of dollars from unnamed donors into recent midterm elections in Pennsylvania and Alabama.
Defending America Together was recorded January 10, 2022, a 501(c)(4) exempt organization organized and operated solely for the “promotion of social welfare.” These groups are generally not required to disclose their donors, and their “primary” purpose is not said to be political activity.
Defending America Together hasn’t posted any social activity, but a company of the same name has donated $5 million to Super PACs, who spent big in the Alabama and Pennsylvania primary elections. Three itemized receipts submitted to the FEC list Defending America Together’s address as a PO Box address at a UPS store in Phoenix, Ariz.
According to its articles of incorporation, Defending America Together has no members, common stock, or shareholders, but it does have a board of directors that “[t]All voting rights for all purposes.” In Delaware, individuals can incorporate a corporation without disclosing the names of members, officers, or in this case, the board of directors.
Todd listed an address in Miramar Plaza in San Juan to incorporate Defending America Together. The document states that Todd “can work from his residence in Puerto Rico,” but the nature of his work or position within the group is unclear.
After Todd founded Defending America Together, Harvard Business Services Inc. became the registered agent for the new company. Harvard Business Services has been “founding Delaware companies for more than 40 years,” she says website. They also advertise the lowest registered agency fee in the industry, just $50.
Harvard Business Services President Michael Bell confirmed that the company is the registered agent of Defending America Together, but told OpenSecrets he has “no knowledge of this company’s business and we have no other connection with it other than that.” we are only the registered agent in Delaware.”
Dark money spending in Alabama and Pennsylvania
Defending America Together made a total of three contributions 5 million dollars since January.
On January 20th, 10 days after Todd founded the group, Defending America Together made its first contribution. The group donated $1 million and one more to America’s Promise 1 million dollars to the Super PAC on March 9th. America’s Promise donated over $3.1 million to the Alabama Patriots PAC, another Super PAC support Michael Durant in the Alabama Senate GOP primary on Tuesday.
Defending America Together is the best America’s Promise contribution that also used a UPS Letter box, this one in Arlington, Virginia, to register and contribute to the FEC. America’s Promise treasurer Jacob Harriman is also the founder and CEO of More Perfect Union, a group dedicated to doing just that Vote for moderate senators from both sides. According to the Virginia State Corporation Commission, More Perfect Union also listed the Arlington UPS Store as its primary office address Entity Registration.
Three-fourths of the $4.2 million total that America’s Promise has paid out so far during the 2022 election cycle has gone to the Alabama Patriots PAC.
Durant lost the primary, but not until the Alabama Patriots PAC invested nearly $4.3 million in media production and placement to support him and another $363,000 against Republican primary opponents Rep. Mo Brooks (R -Ala.) and Katie Britt. Brooks and Britt will compete in a flow away at 21th of June.
On March 15, Defending America Together contributed 3 million dollars to the Pennsylvania Conservative Fund, which spent $3 million against famed doctor Mehmet Oz in the controversial Pennsylvania Senate GOP primary.
The Pennsylvania Conservative Fund raised $3.5 million ahead of the primary. The other $500,000 came from billionaire investor Thomas Tull.
The Senate primary in Pennsylvania went to an automatic tell on Wednesday, with fewer than 1,000 votes separating Oz and former hedge fund manager Dave McCormick, a slim margin that may have affected a few additional million dollars in media and direct mail funded by the outside spending group.
Defending America Together provided a PO Box address at a UPS store in Phoenix, Arizona when making these donations in Alabama and Pennsylvania. “If you are a business owner”, explained the UPS Store website, “Having a real address as a PO Box can give your business a professional image.”
A representative of the listed UPS business could not provide the name of the person who registered the Arizona mailbox, citing US postal regulations.
“About half or more of our box owners are in business, we just sort their mail,” the store rep told OpenSecrets.
Editor-in-Chief Anna Massoglia contributed to this report.