- - Thursday, September 15, 2022

The following is an adapted excerpt from the newly released “The Myth of Voter Suppression: The Left’s Assault on Clean Elections” (Bombardier Books).

Arabella Advisor’s network has assuredly done its part to perpetuate voter suppression hysteria, but the dark money network’s structure makes it difficult to say how many fiscally sponsored groups it has or how many are focused on voting issues.

Arabella Advisors is a private, for-profit public relations firm that runs four key nonprofits. The Sixteen Thirty Fund is a lobbying organization, or 501(c) (4) under the tax code. The New Venture Fund is the education arm, or 501(c)(3). The Hopewell Fund and the Windward Fund are also 501(c)(3) education and research groups under Arabella.

The Arabella network raised $1.7 billion in 2020 alone to spend toward the defeat of President Donald Trump, easily the largest amount in any year for the organization that has raised $4.7 billion since it began the dark money network in 2006.

The Capital Research Center first reported on a memo it obtained that described Arabella’s 2020 election agenda that included front groups that quickly closed once the election passed. The memo to megadonors purported to try to combat “political fearmongering,” “attacks on voter registration,” “viral misinformation,” “disputes regarding election results,” and “post-Election Day violence.”

It seems absurd for a powerful branch of the suppression hysteria industry to raise a red flag about “political fearmongering” and “viral misinformation.” Arabella has a significant network of groups that push fearmongering to get Democrats elected.

The Center for Secure and Modern Elections is a project of the New Venture Fund and advocates for automatic voter registration, more mail-in voting, and even weaker penalties for lying on voter registration forms. It also has a “sister” lobbying organization, CSME Action, which is part of the Sixteen Thirty Fund.

The CSME has close ties with non-Arabella linked Center for Tech and Civic Life, the organization that got $350 million from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to fund election administration to drive up the Democrat vote in 2020.

As a pass-through organization, the Center for Secure and Modern Elections doesn’t have to set up status with the IRS or disclose donors, however, several organizations have publicly announced donations aimed at boosting the CSME.

The Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, a network of grantmaking organizations, gave $1 million to the New Venture Fund to expand mail-in voting, some of which likely went to the CSME, but was perhaps spread across the other New Venture voting groups.

While short of the Zuckerberg fortune dumped into running elections, the Arabella network also gave $25 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life. In April 2021, the Center for Tech and Civil Life launched the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, a coalition of groups that includes Arabella’s Center for Secure and Modern Elections. 

Voting Rights Lab is a project of the New Venture Fund. The lobbying arm, Voting Rights Action, is fiscally sponsored by Arabella Advisor’s Sixteen Thirty Fund. 

Democracy Funders Collaborative Census Subgroup, better known simply as the Democracy Funders Collaborative, is a group of left-of-center grantmakers that came together in 2015 to plan a strategy for the 2020 Census count and how to gear it toward helping Democrats. It is a project of the New Venture Fund. Its donors included the Democracy Fund, a separate group founded by eBay co-founder and left-wing billionaire Pierre Omidyar, and the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, a network of grantmakers.

The Democracy Fund and the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund teamed with the Spitzer Trust—the family foundation of the disgraced former New York governor—to establish the Trusted Elections Fund in 2020. The Trusted Elections Fund, a project of the New Venture Fund, supposedly had the goal to address “election crises.” or contested election results.

In June 2020, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, a nonprofit established in 1966 by Hewlett-Packard co-founder William Hewlett, gave the New Venture Fund a $1 million grant earmarked to boost the Trusted Elections Fund, according to the Capital Research Center. 

Democracy for All 2021 Action is a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund that lobbies for automatic and Election Day voter registration while opposing ID laws. The organization is officially a coalition of 20 groups. Deirdre Schifeling is the founder and campaign director of Democracy for All 2021 Action. Schifeling was also the leader of the Fight Back Table, which was a group preparing for “mass public unrest” in 2020 if Trump was re-elected.

The Fair Elections Center was founded as a New Venture Fund fiscally sponsored group in 2006, the organization spun off into an individual organization in 2018. The Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund gave $1.2 million in 2018 and 2019 to the Fair Elections Center, according to data from the Capital Research Center.

The New Venture Fund also launched Voter Rights Action, with Democrat political veteran Laura Packard as the founder and seemingly the only person involved in the organization. In 2016, when working for MoveOn, Packard delivered about 500,000 signatures on a petition to the Justice Department demanding an investigation of what she said were voter suppression cases in Arizona and Alabama.

• Fred Lucas is the manager of investigative projects at The Daily Signal and author of newly released “The Myth of Voter Suppression: The Left’s Assault on Clean Elections.”

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