Some of the nation’s biggest corporations donated more than a million dollars to launch a Republican nonprofit that went on to play a key role in recent political fights.
Like the nonprofit groups that poured money into last year’s elections, the decade-old State Government Leadership Foundation has been able to keep the identities of its funders secret. Until now.
A records request by ProPublica to the IRS turned up a list of the original funders of the group: Exxon, Pfizer, Time Warner, and other corporations put up at least 85 percent of the $1.3 million the foundation raised in the first year and a half of its existence, starting in 2003.
The donor list is stamped “not for public disclosure,” and was submitted to the IRS as part of the foundation’s application for recognition of tax-exempt status. If approved, such applications are public records.