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The dark money mothership connecting many of the Left’s most powerful groups is distancing itself from the left-wing judicial activism group Demand Justice, claiming that it “does not work for Demand Justice in any capacity.”
Arabella Advisors, an influential left-wing consulting organization dubbed by The Atlantic “The Massive Progressive Dark-Money Group You’ve Never Heard Of,” appears to have quietly issued a memo in February distancing itself from Demand Justice.
That memo followed accusations from Judicial Crisis Network that Arabella is the mastermind behind dark money trails to the Supreme Court as well as smear campaigns against justices who will not cooperate with leftist agendas.
“Arabella Advisors does not work with Demand Justice, which has been an independent organization since May 2021,” spokesman Steve Samson told The Daily Wire on Wednesday evening. “We updated the page you referenced on our website in February of this year to help clear up misconceptions.”
In the February statement, Arabella pushed back on “the implication that Arabella is responsible for” Demand Justice’s work, accusing both Judicial Crisis Network and the consulting business CRC Advisors of spreading false claims.
Demand Justice is a “completely independent nonprofit organization,” Arabella said, quoting a Washington Post column suggesting Demand Justice is the “liberal dark-money equivalent of the Judicial Crisis Network.”
Arabella Advisers described itself as a “consulting business that supports philanthropy,” promising that it does not “pursue a particular ideology.”
“While some of our clients’ interests are more visible than others, taken together they span the range of issues facing our country and the world,” the statement said. “We are often unaware of our clients’ political perspectives, as politics often has no bearing on the work we do to support their philanthropy.”
When a February New York Times article examined the massive dark money contributions opposing former President Donald Trump’s election, it found that Arabella’s network of progressive nonprofits spent almost $1.2 billion in 2020.
That includes paying Arabella $46.6 million in management fees, the Times reported.
But Arabella’s spokesman Sampson downplayed the group’s role in all this to the Times, suggesting that rather than acting as a strategizing powerhouse, Arabella was providing administrative services.
“We work for the nonprofit, not the other way around,” he told the Times.
“Despite frequent claims to the contrary by JCN and others, Arabella Advisors works for our fiscal sponsor clients, not the other way around,” the organization insisted in its February statement. “The nonprofits we work for make their own decisions on their strategies, programmatic work, and fundraising.”
In a statement to The Daily Wire, Judicial Crisis Network President Carrie Severino again accused the “radical dark money groups in Arabella’s network” of undermining the Supreme Court and the rule of law.
“We do agree with them that it is important to protect the free speech rights of citizens who give anonymously to the causes they believe in,” she added.
Caitlin Sutherland, executive director of Americans for Public Trust, told The Daily Wire in a statement Wednesday that it’s no surprise Arabella is “on the defensive” regarding Demand Justice, accusing Arabella of directing “over a billion dollars to liberal causes and propped up Demand Justice.”
“With alums in key White House positions and a shortlist handed to President Biden, they’ve been executing their agenda since day one,” Sutherland said. “Anyone suggesting there isn’t any linkage isn’t being serious.”
.@SenWhitehouse can try to deny it all he wants, but the facts are clear:
— Americans for Public Trust (@apublictrust) March 16, 2022
Demand Justice, which has not responded to many requests for comment from The Daily Wire, was initially established as a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, described by The Atlantic as the “indisputable heavyweight of Democratic dark money” and administered by Arabella Advisors.
Demand Justice broke off from Sixteen Thirty Fund and registered as nonprofit corporations in May 2021.
Axios reported March 6 that Demand Justice will be leading the fight to nominate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, noting that Demand Justice had already announced a $1 million ad campaign supporting the prospective justice and reportedly plans to dump much more money into her nomination.
Demand Justice has a projected budget of $7.5 million for 2022, Axios reported, and the affiliated charity Demand Justice Initiative reported to the IRS that it will bring in $4.2 million in 2022.
All of those funds will be directed to allied organizations including Demand Justice’s advocacy arm, according to Axios.
Filings examined by the publication show that The Nation justice correspondent Elie Mystal sits on Demand Justice’s board of directors. Mystal recently sparked a backlash by calling the Constitution “kind of trash” on The View.
Neither Demand Justice nor Mystal have responded to many requests for comment from The Daily Wire on these remarks, and Demand Justice has not publicly condemned them.
The organization’s silence on the matter has prompted sharp criticism from both Judicial Crisis Network and its president.
Elie "The Constitution is Trash" Mystal is a board member of the radical Arabella Advisors-linked group that has aggressively pushed for Court packing and smeared Justice Kavanaugh.
Why is liberal dark money all in on Ketanji Brown Jackson for SCOTUS?https://t.co/kNUa6KJJgU
— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) March 12, 2022
“You serve on the board of the dark money group that has pushed for Ketanji Brown Jackson for SCOTUS for years,” Severino said in a Twitter retort to Mystal.
Mystal has repeatedly criticized Republicans and conservatives for linking his comments to Jackson’s nomination.
“Just… like, if you’re a Republican Senator and the best thing you have on Ketanji Brown Jackson is *me*… you might want to give up and vote for her and save yourself the embarrassment,” he tweeted Monday. “Because ‘liked by a black guy’ is not the winning argument y’all apparently think.”