According to Fox News, it’s not just the political Right that can be accused of having huge “dark-money” networks; the political Left has one of their own.
The network revealed in a report by conservative watchdog Capital Research Center operates under the aegis of a Washington-based philanthropy company called Arabella Advisors, which hosts four “sister” non-profits that collected $582 million in 2017 alone. Those nonprofits are the New Venture Fund, Sixteen Thirty Fund, Hopewell Fund and Windward Fund.
The report states, “Together, these groups form an interlocking network of 'dark money' pop-up groups and other fiscally sponsored projects, all afloat in a half-billion-dollar ocean of cash, The real puppeteer, though, is Arabella Advisors, which has managed to largely conceal its role in coordinating so much of the professional Left’s infrastructure under a mask of ‘philanthropy.’”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) who has railed against dark money, tweeting, “Dark money is used to manipulate electorates. It is the enemy to democracy,” but has had some alleged ties of her own to “dark money,” might want to examine the report, as it details the scope of what Arabella Advisors does to further the goals of the Left.
According to the report, Arabella Advisors collected $1.6 billion between 2013 and 2017. The report added, “The size and scope of the Arabella network of funds demonstrates far more ‘dark money’ exists on the left side of the political spectrum than has been previously admitted.” Although Arabella’s website insists its mission is to “provide strategic guidance for effective philanthropy” and is “dedicated to helping clients make a difference on the issues that matter most to them, from climate to women and girls, education, good food, and more,” the report points out that the financial arrangements and lack of donor disclosure make it “impossible to know which organization subsidizes the various campaigns and political movements spawned by Arabella’s funds.”
Democrats who sponsored legislation in order to prevent the use of “dark money” might want to do some investigating of their own side of the aisle; the report asserts that the network uses over 300 “pop up” groups to astroturf issues, concealing the fact that the purported grassroot campaigns are in fact simply websites. The report states, “At a glance, these groups — such as Save My Care and Protect Our Care — appeared to be impassioned examples of citizen activists defending ObamaCare. In reality, neither ‘not-for-profit’ advocacy group appears to have paid staff, held board meetings, or even owned so much as a pen.”
NBC News reported in February 2018:
Democrats love decrying ‘dark money’ — political contributions for which the source of funds is a mystery. But that isn't stopping them from accepting ‘dark money’ themselves or making it difficult to determine the original underwriter of a political donation, as a recent Southern contest vividly illustrates. Here's what happened: When it seemed as if Democrat Doug Jones could actually beat embattled Republican Roy Moore, a new super PAC supposedly based in Birmingham, Alabama, appeared just one month before Election Day.
The Capital Research Center report concluded, “Before left-of-center activists and politicians demand laws to increase transparency in the funding of campaigns and public policy advocacy, they may first wish to consider voluntarily disclosing their own funding sources.”