The story is chilling. Trees of Liberty pretended to be a social welfare organization, but it spent most of its funds on advertising. It avoided being called out as a political organization by pulling "down the television ads just before the calendar reached the one-month election countdown."
The only good news is that Trees of Liberty is a 501c(4) organization, so those secret donors weren't able to deduct their contributions. That's not much consolation when a few fabulously rich people can flood our political system with money, and 'liberty' means their liberty to do so.
When the Tree of Liberty was a tree, not a slush fund.