Americans for Job Security
Americans for Job Security is one of the top 15 dark money groups examined by Issue One’s new “Dark Money Illuminated” report that has been spending millions of dollars in our elections since Citizens United without publicly disclosing their donors. Dark money groups frequently operate as attack dogs during campaigns, criticizing candidates from the shadows. Dark money groups also often push the envelope in terms of how much political spending they can engage in without running afoul of rules that prohibit them from existing primarily to influence elections. By masquerading as a trade association or “social welfare” nonprofit, dark money groups avoid the mandatory donor disclosure rules that would come with registering as a political committee whose primary purpose is to influence elections.
Here’s what Issue One’s year-long “Dark Money Illuminated” investigation revealed:
Americans for Job Security
between November 2009 and October 2014.
Issue One identified
donors to this dark money group.
These donors collectively accounted for
of its funding.
Issue One found 10 donors that gave at least $1 million since November 2009:
Charles Schwab: $6.7 million
John Fisher: $5 million
American Encore (formerly Center to Protect Patient Rights): $4.9 million
Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (Crossroads GPS): $2 million
Doris Fisher: $2 million
William Fisher: $2 million
Retail Industry Leaders Association: $1.5 million
Involve America: $1.4 million
Eli Broad: $1 million
Robert Fisher: $1 million
Note: These numbers have been rounded to two significant figures. Click here to see more details about these contributions — and all identified donors to this group — in Issue One’s exclusive database of dark money donors, and click here to learn more about how these contributors were identified.
About Americans for Job Security
Formed in November 1997 as a 501(c)(6) trade association, Americans for Job Security ranks among the earliest political dark money groups. In recent years, however, the group has all but vanished. Stephen DeMaura, a former executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party, served as Americans for Job Security’s president for nearly a decade, beginning in 2008. The group was founded by political operatives David Carney and Michael Dubke, who briefly served as communications director for President Donald Trump in the White House last year.
In addition to its own political spending, which has typically aided Republican candidates, Americans for Job Security also played a prominent role in funneling tens of millions of dollars to two ballot measure fights in California during the 2012 election. The California Fair Political Practices Commission later concluded this effort was designed to hide the identities of the actual donors supporting the ballot measures. As part of its investigation, the commission released a poorly redacted list of Americans for Job Security’s donors in 2012, which led media organizations and others to identify many of the group’s donors that year.
In June 2014, the Federal Election Commission deadlocked 3-3 in response to a complaint about whether Americans for Job Security should have registered as a political committee, which would have required the group to disclose its donors.
In July 2016, the FEC fined Americans for Job Security $43,000 after the agency concluded that the group should have disclosed a nonprofit known as the Center to Protect Patient Rights — a group associated with the political network of billionaires Charles and David Koch — as a donor behind some of its political expenditures in 2010.
In March 2018, the Internal Revenue Service revoked the tax-exempt status of Americans for Job Security after the group failed to file mandatory tax returns for three consecutive years. According to its most recent tax return, Americans for Job Security had about $620,000 in the bank as of October 2014. Beyond paying the FEC fine in 2016, it’s unclear how that money has been spent.
- 60 Plus Association
- American Action Network
- Americans for Prosperity
- Americans for Tax Reform
- American Future Fund
- Crossroads GPS
- League of Conservation Voters
- National Association of Realtors
- National Rifle Association
- Patriot Majority USA
- Planned Parenthood Action Fund
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- VoteVets Action Fund