The Black Lives Matter movement is getting the opportunity next week to massively expand its operations and influence, its leaders meeting “behind closed doors” in Washington to make their pitch to some of the Left’s biggest donors through the Democracy Alliance, a group founded by George Soros.
The meetings are taking place at the annual winter gathering of the Democracy Alliance major liberal donor club, which runs from Tuesday evening through Saturday morning and is expected to draw Democratic financial heavyweights, including Tom Steyer and Paul Egerman.
The DA, as the club is known in Democratic circles, is recommending its donors step up check writing to a handful of endorsed groups that have supported the Black Lives Matter movement. And the club and some of its members also are considering ways to funnel support directly to scrappier local groups that have utilized confrontational tactics to inject their grievances into the political debate.
While the meeting with the Soros-founded donor club could result in a potentially game-changing infusion of cash into the racial activist group, Politico notes that its sources indicated that the meeting is also “fraught with tension on both sides.” Many of the Black Lives Matter groups “prize their independence,” while some of the high-dollar liberal donors might be “leery about funding a movement known for aggressive tactics ― particularly one that has shown a willingness to train its fire on Democrats, including presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.”
Despite the potential rifts, the more radical donors will likely jump at the opportunity to co-opt the minority movement to use it for their larger de-stabilizing agenda, and those financially struggling BLM groups might feel differently about their “independence” when they see the number on those checks. Steve Phillips, one of the key DA members and Democratic donor, suggested as much in his comments to Politico. “Major donors are usually not as radical or confrontational as activists most in touch with the pain of oppression,” Phillips told Politico, explaining that BLM needs more cash to be self-sustaining, adding, “the progressive donor world should be adding zeroes to their contributions that support this transformative movement.” As for BLM’s “disruptive” radical tactics, Phillips, worried that some donors would have a hard time endorsing it.
As Politico notes, the DA is the brainchild of Soros, who has funded a wide-range of radical leftist causes, and Taco Bell heir Rob McKay. Established in 2005, the group is designed to further the leftist agenda by helping provide money to groups promote their pet causes.
Donors are required to donate at least $200,000a year to recommended groups, and their combined donations to those groups now total more than $500 million. Endorsed beneficiaries include the Center for American Progress think tank, the liberal attack dog Media Matters and the Democratic data firm Catalist, though members also give heavily to Democratic politicians and super PACs that are not part of the DA’s core portfolio. While the Democracy Alliance last year voted to endorse a handful of groups focused on engaging African-Americans in politics ― some of which have helped facilitate the Black Lives movement ― the invitation to movement leaders is a first for the DA, and seems likely to test some members’ comfort zones.