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Nonprofit tied to insurance, drug giants behind healthcare overhaul ads

The group has close ties to House Republicans. It was founded in 2010 by former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota and major GOP donor Fred Malek. The current board includes both men, as well as former Republican Reps. Vin Weber of Minnesota and Tom Reynolds of New York, among others.

American Action Network is affiliated with a super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund. Both groups share the same leader: Corry Bliss, a former Republican political operative who most recently ran the re-election campaign of Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and began his job with American Action Network and the Congressional Leadership Fund earlier this month.

Money in

American Action Network is a nonprofit organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the federal tax code, which means its primary mission must be the promotion of social welfare, not politics. Such nonprofits don’t have to reveal their donors.

Nonetheless, some information about American Action Network’s donors has trickled out over the years. Several of the publicly identified donors have to do with health care, including the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a trade group; insurance company Aetna; and the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care. A longer list is available via the Center for Responsive Politics.

According to the group’s most recent tax filing, it took in $26.4 million total between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015 — a period that includes the 2014 midterm elections.

Money out

According to an American Action Network press release, the group is spending at least $1.4 million on this latest TV and digital ad campaign. The group said it is running some national ads, but also targeting a series of House districts held by Republican incumbents.

The Spanish-language ads are running on Univision and Telemundo, targeting “six key congressional districts with significant Hispanic populations,” American Action Network said.

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