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Network of Liberal ‘Dark Money’ Democrat Groups to ‘Carpet-Bomb’ 2020 Election, Report Claims

© REUTERS / ELIZABETH FRANTZA sign is displayed during a projection of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) at a drive-in watch party in Derry, New Hampshire, U.S., August 20, 2020.
A sign is displayed during a projection of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) at a drive-in watch party in Derry, New Hampshire, U.S., August 20, 2020. - Sputnik International
The term “dark money” is used in US politics to refer to political spending by nonprofit organizations allied with both the Dems and the GOP that are allowed by federal law to receive unlimited donations from individuals and corporations without being required to disclose their donors.

A network of left-wing non-profit organisations is assisting US Democrats to “carpet bomb” the 2020 US presidential election with “buckets of anonymous cash”, a Friday report from conservative watchdog, Capital Research Center (CRC), claimed.

The report claimed that the shadowy network is operated by a “$600 million empire” called Arabella Advisors, a Washington-based for-profit firm that acts to consult with left-leaning nonprofits and donors on best practices for progressive donations. The CRC report claimed that Arabella “centered on four nonprofit ‘sisters’—the Sixteen Thirty Fund, New Venture Fund, Windward Fund, and Hopewell Fund” has for years legally used “dark money” to meddle in US elections, including the 2018 midterm elections.

“If 2018 is any indicator, we should expect to see the Left carpet-bomb the 2020 presidential election with buckets of anonymous cash, while complaining about the evils of ‘dark money’ the entire time,” the report said.

The CRC said that the so-called left-wing network reported revenues of $2.4 billion and nearly $1.9 billion in expenditures in the period between 2006 and 2018. The report highlighted that the Arabella network’s revenue in 2018 alone, the year of the midterm elections, was $635 million, and $582 million in 2017.

The CRC report compared Arabella Advisors revenue to some prominent conservative foundations, such as The Heritage Foundation and Americans for Prosperity, which brought, respectively, $82 million and $58 million in revenue during the midterm election year, asserting that the liberal “dark money” group’s revenue was “almost eight times more than Heritage and 11 times more than Americans for Prosperity”.

The report also claimed that Arabella Advisors “created and actively manages” the four dark money organisations, which, as with the conservative foundations, are not required by federal law to disclose their donors.

“Each plays a slightly different role in the network, but all share the same basic functions—sponsoring pop-up groups (also called “projects”) and paying out grants to other left-wing nonprofits,” the report claimed, referring to limited-time activist websites that are allegedly used for campaigning for political causes.

In a statement to Fox News, Steve Sampson, a spokesman for Arabella Advisors, rejected the CRC allegations, describing the report as a “gross mischaracterization” of the consultancy's work and of its client organizations.

“Arabella Advisors is a consulting business that supports effective philanthropy and impact investing,” Sampson stated. “Our clients include a variety of nonprofit organizations that hire Arabella for shared administrative services, including the New Venture Fund, the Sixteen Thirty Fund, the Hopewell Fund, and the Windward Fund.”

Sampson added that Arabella’s client organizations “make grants to a range of projects across the ideological spectrum, most of which have nothing to do with politics”.

“Arabella Advisors is not the source of funding for any of these organizations, and we do not exert control over the spending decisions of our clients,” Sampson detailed.

Amy Kurtz, executive director of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a non-profit described in the CRC report as a “lobbying shop for the Arabella network”, described the allegations as “completely false”, noting that the fund is “committed to following the current laws”, like many other 501c4 organizations on both sides fo the political aisle that are exempt from some federal income taxes.

“The Sixteen Thirty Fund is confronting the biggest social challenges in our country through fiscal sponsorship, advocacy and electoral action like many other 501c4 organizations, and we are committed to following the current laws to level the playing field for progressives in this election,” Kurtz said in a statement quoted by Fox News.

On 3 November, the United States is set to hold a presidential election in which incumbent Republican President Donald Trump will vie with Democratic nominee and former US vice president, Joe Biden, for the top executive position in the nation.

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