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Network of LLCs that gave thousands to Ada GOP appears linked to single homebuilder

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A network of LLCs that gave $70,000 to local Republican causes in the past year and a half appears connected to a single Meridian homebuilder.

The LLCs shield the name of the ultimate donor, but an interview and filings reviewed by BoiseDev indicate the entities are linked to Blackrock Homes of Meridian.

Through public campaign finance records, BoiseDev identified seven interconnected entities that made thousands of dollars in donations since the 2020 election. All of the LLCs list the same registered agent, Chris Nolan, but link back to P.O. Boxes in Eagle, empty fields throughout Ada County or, in one case, a permanent Middleton address that doesn’t exist. 

Nolan’s professional affiliation or any other information about him remains unknown. But a review of the records and an interview with a person who sold property to Blackrock link Nolan and the builder. This is not a violation of Idaho law, but the spirit of Idaho’s sunshine laws are written with the intent that the identity of political donors are public.

Questions not answered

A field owned by Blackrock Homes that serves as the permanent address for Cherry1 LLC, one of Chris Nolan’s entities that have been making political donations in Ada County. Photo: Margaret Carmel/BoiseDev

Blackrock, formerly known as Tahoe Homes, did not respond to a list of questions about the network of LLCs and their political giving. BoiseDev received no response to letters mailed to the P.O. Boxes associated with the organizations asking questions. Neither the Ada County GOP nor the homebuilder-powered Conservative Citizens for Thoughtful Growth PAC responded to questions about receiving donations from the LLCs and the potential identity of the donor. 

The Idaho GOP, which pulled in a $9,800 donations from one of Nolan’s entities in August 2020, told BoiseDev they “do not follow or track all of the business dealings of our donors” and could not answer any questions about the identity of Nolan or who he is affiliated with. 

“However, regarding the donations, there are many conservative businesses that donate money to Idaho Republicans,” Idaho GOP spokesperson Jacob Miller wrote in an email. “Conservative policies have built Idaho into the gem that it is today, and we appreciate their support to keep Idaho red.”

Returned donations during 2020 race

Questions about Nolan and his LLCs first burbled up in the 2020 Ada County municipal election. 

Three LLCs linked to Nolan and a fourth associated with Blackrock Homes with the same address all made donations to Republican candidates leading up to the November election, including ACHD candidates Rebecca Arnold and Kara Veit. Both told BoiseDev they returned the donations at the time when they realized they came from the same individual using separate legal entities to contribute to campaigns over the legal limit. Neither candidate was familiar with Nolan or his professional affiliations. 

Arnold received $750 from G20 LLC and $1,000 from Eagle1 LLC. Eagle1 is associated with Chris Nolan and G20 LLC lists had the same mailing address in 2020, but has Amy Kelley, with Blackrock Homes, listed as the registered agent. The LLCs had the same address up until September 2020 when Eagle1 changed its mailing address to a different Eagle P.O. Box. 

Veit received $1,000 donations on the same day in August, 2020 from Ustick1 LLC and Hubbard1 LLC. Both entities had the same P.O. Box as Eagle1 and listed Nolan as a registered agent.

Ustick1 was dissolved in the summer of 2021, according to filings with the Idaho Secretary of State. Before it closed down, it was associated with the same P.O. Box in Eagle linked to Blackrock Homes and Kelley’s G20 LLC. Hubbard1, also associated with Nolan, is registered to a farm on Lake Hazel Road owned by Donald Willeman, who goes by Allen.  

He and his wife Robin told BoiseDev that they sold Blackrock Homes 24 acres of their farm in early 2020 and the company uses a variety of LLCs, including Hubbard1, when purchasing property it plans to develop into subdivisions. The Willemans were not aware their address was associated with an organization making political donations until BoiseDev knocked on their door. 

“I know it keeps them anonymous in terms of knowing who is doing what,” Robin Willeman said. “I did find out it is (Blackrock Homes Principal) Jake Centers with Hubbard1 LLC. They have different names they use so when they buy a property, they create a new LLC.”

Big bucks from Lansing Farms

The highest dollar donations from Nolan’s organizations came from a Middleton-based LLC named Lansing Farms. 

But, unlike the other seven LLCs BoiseDev found associated with Nolan, this one doesn’t have a valid permanent address. Secretary of State filings list Lansing Farms’ mailing address as another P.O. Box in Eagle, but its permanent address is 1000 Lansing Lane in Middleton. The Canyon County Assessor’s website does not show this address corresponding to a parcel in the area and instead links you to a point in the middle of the street. 

Lansing Farms made a $30,000 donation to the Ada County GOP in April of 2021. There is no legal limit for individuals or organizations donating to political parties, like the Ada County GOP. Lansing Farms also donated $7,500 to the Conservative Citizens for Thoughtful Growth PAC on April 26, 2022. Three days later, the PAC spent $7,056 in support of Republican Idaho House of Representatives District 14 A Candidate Ted Hill. He handily won his primary over Tracey Koellisch, Mike Olsen and Caleb Hoobery and will go on to challenge Democrat Crystal Ivie in November. 

Conservative Citizens for Thoughtful Growth and Building Industry Group of Treasure Valley, its primary donor in 2021, is currently under investigation by the Idaho Secretary of State and the Idaho Attorney General’s Office for campaign finance reporting violations. 

This LLC also gave $850 to Sen. C. Scott Grow, R-Eagle for his successful primary challenge against Sen. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett in January and $1,000 to Garden City Mayor John Evans to fuel his race for a fifth term in 2021. Secretary of State-elect Phil McGrane also took in $750 from Lansing Farms in 2021. 

Three more LLCs in the mix 

Nolan’s three other LLCs that have been making political donations in recent years are linked to properties scattered throughout the county. 

Cherry1 LLC, which is associated with the permanent address 5579 Cherry Lane, is listed in the Ada County Assessor’s database as being owned by Blackrock Homes and with Nolan as a registered agent. This organization made a $10,000 donation to the Ada County GOP on November 7, 2020. This is the same day Eagle1 also made a donation of the same amount to the central committee. 

Through Cherry1, Nolan donated $1,000 to Hill’s 2022 Republican primary campaign for the Idaho House of Representatives. 

Mace1 LLC links back to 1522 Mace Road in Eagle. The parcel is largely set off of Mace Road, but it has a largely overgrown dirt road leading back into the property. It is marked with no trespassing signs and a warning that the property is under 24/7 video surveillance. Google Maps shows two homes on the property, but they were not visible to BoiseDev from the road due to the overgrown foliage on the parcel. There was no mailbox at the driveway entrance and it is unknown if the property is occupied. 

The entrance to the property owned by Mace1 LLC in Eagle. Photo: Margaret Carmel/BoiseDev

The Mace Road property is listed as being owned by Mace1 LLC, so the property owner does not give any hints as to who Nolan is associated with. Mace1 donated $700 to Secretary of Public Instruction-elect Debbie Critchfield’s campaign in December and $1,000 to LaVerne Sessions’ campaign to unseat Rep. Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley, in 2020. The donation was returned by the candidate, along with $1,000 from Cherry1 LLC. 

Nolan’s seventh LLC is called Columbia1, which has a permanent address at 2410 E Columbia Road in Meridian. It is a farm listed with the owner as Columbia1 LLC, again leaving no hints as to who the LLC is associated with aside from its links to Nolan and associations with Blackrock Homes elsewhere. There are no political donations logged for this LLC with the Idaho Secretary of State. 

Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
Margaret Carmel is a BoiseDev reporter focused on the City of Boise, housing, homelessness and growth. Contact her at [email protected] or by phone at (757)705-8066.

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