For people who guard their privacy closely, Ann and Neil Corkery are key players in some very public enterprises.
The many groups they are or have been involved with — as board members or officers — include the Catholic League, an aggressive defender of the church against what it sees as “slanderous assaults;” the National Organization for Marriage, which has fiercely fought official recognition of gay marriage; and the Judicial Crisis Network, which opposes what it sees as “activist” judges and has waded into the abortion battle.
Less publicly, Ann, 52, has run a politically active dark money group, the Wellspring Committee — a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that isn’t required to disclose its donors. Neil, 54, is connected to another, much smaller dark money group, The Annual Fund, which received all of its start-up funding from Wellspring. Neither group conducts any activities on its own, but together they have helped fund many more visible, highly political nonprofits that spent tens of millions of dollars on ads benefiting Republican causes and candidates in the 2010 and 2012 elections.