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Concerned Taxpayers of America Represents Exactly Two Taxpayers

A few weeks ago, a group called Concerned Taxpayers of America emerged out of nowhere and started to spend large sums of money attacking Rep. Peter DeFazio (D) in his re-election bid in Oregon. At the time, both DeFazio and his opponent, Tea Party favorite Art Robinson, claimed complete ignorance of the group, and DeFazio even tracked it to a townhouse in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington to demand that the group identify itself — but to no avail.

Friday’s FEC filings, however, finally reveal that the Concerned Taxpayers of America consists of exactly two concerned taxpayers:

Daniel G. Schuster Inc., an Owings Mills, Md., concrete firm, gave two donations to the group totaling $300,000, new disclosure records show. New York hedge fund executive Robert Mercer gave the group $200,000.

And that’s the extent of the financial support reported by Concerned Taxpayers, which says it was formed in September “to engage citizens from every walk of life and political affiliation” in the fight against “runaway spending.”

The group has since expanded its advertising attacks to include Rep. Frank Kratovil, Jr. (D-Md.), but its motives remain as opaque as ever. With as many donors as political targets, however, the group serves as an excellent example of how wealthy donors and corporations can now single-handedly fund a political group with an anodyne name that can attack a candidate under the guise of a broad public — rather than private — interest.

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