Money alone doesn’t buy elections, but combine vastly superior spending power with total media dominance, a smart campaign to rig elections in key states that went back years, and a whole bunch of operatives and organizations tasked with coming up with new tricks, and it can seal the deal.
How much did the Dem dark money machine buy in 2020? We’re just beginning to get a sense. But a lot of money was pumped into 2020.
The analysis shows that 15 of the most politically active nonprofit organizations that generally align with the Democratic Party spent more than $1.5 billion in 2020 — compared to roughly $900 million spent by a comparable sample of 15 of the most politically active groups aligned with the G.O.P.
And, let’s face it, they almost certainly got a lot more for their dollar. Campaign spending on the R side in 2020 was neither smart nor effective. One side was playing chess and the other could barely manage to figure out the rules of checkers.
“A single, cryptically named entity that has served as a clearinghouse of undisclosed cash for the left, the Sixteen Thirty Fund, received mystery donations as large as $50 million and disseminated grants to more than 200 groups, while spending a total of $410 million in 2020 — more than the Democratic National Committee itself.”
Come on. The New York Times is pretending that it doesn’t know what the Sixteen Thirty Fund is. We’ve been writing about it forever.
The groups in the network, which also included Hopewell Fund, New Venture Fund, North Fund and Windward Fund, were administered by a for-profit consulting firm called Arabella Advisors. Taken together, the Arabella network spent a total of nearly $1.2 billion in 2020, including paying Arabella a combined $46.6 million in 2020 in management fees, according to the funds’ tax filings.
The real “threat to democracy”.
While the Arabella-managed groups do not disclose their donors, foundations backed by some of the biggest donors on the left have disclosed major donations to the network. Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire eBay founder, disclosed personal and foundation gifts of $45 million to Sixteen Thirty and $1.6 million to Hopewell. A foundation backed by George Soros disclosed gifts of $17 million to Sixteen Thirty and $5 million to Hopewell.
So the usual suspects plus a big chunk of Big Tech.
A Biden-backing nonprofit, Future Forward USA Action, with ties to Silicon Valley billionaires, raised $150 million in 2020 and transferred more than $60 million to an affiliated super PAC, while directly spending nearly $25 million on TV ads, almost $2.6 million on polling and analytics and $639,000 on focus groups, federal records show.
And of course the usual voter outreach routine.
Two other groups, the Voter Participation Center and the Center for Voter Information, spent a combined $147.5 million in 2020 to register and mobilize voters. They described their targets as “young people, people of color and unmarried women” — demographics that tend to lean Democratic — and said they registered 1.5 million voters in 2020.
Tom Lopach, a former Democratic strategist who now runs both groups, said their work was apolitical and “an extension of civil rights efforts.”
Civil rights these days just means lefty activism and power.
Kevin McLaughlin, who oversaw the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm in 2020, marveled at how Democrats had “built an elaborate, multibillion-dollar dark-money network, while simultaneously railing against the scourge of dark money.”
Is that really anything to marvel at? To understand what the Left is doing, listen to what they’re accusing you of doing.
Mr. McLaughlin said, “Republicans are bringing spitballs to a gunfight.”
So what else is new?
In North Carolina, for instance, a group called Piedmont Rising received $7 million from the Sixteen Thirty Fund and spent $9 million, much of it attacking Senator Thom Tillis, a Republican up for re-election. Some of the group’s ads were designed to look like local news reports from an outlet calling itself the “North Carolina Examiner.”
This comes from the same folks railing against “misinformation”.