The new year—and the new administration—has analysts at Capital Research Center ready to start digging into new areas of funding and philanthropy to shine some much-needed sunlight on influencers in politics. The goal is, of course, to examine the agendas behind how policies are made and promoted and, as we begin a four-year Joe Biden term, that exposure will be critical.
January’s media hits are setting the tone for some of the topics we’ll be focused on in the coming year, including Big Tech, conservative versus liberal dark money giving, how the parties are realigning (Democrats go corporate!), election integrity and “reform,” and the continuing saga of Arabella Advisors and their massive lefty funding network.
This is just the beginning. Much more to come in 2021.
“Busting the Myth of Conservative ‘Dark Money’”
The Daily Signal, Scott Walter (Op-ed), January 15, 2021
Here’s a popular myth: Rich people are all conservative, so conservatives have more money to affect politics than liberals, because the left, which cares about the poor, doesn’t have the same kind of resources. A new report from the Capital Research Center, where I work, busts this myth and showcases the disparity between “dark money” giving on the left and the right following the Supreme Court’s consequential Citizens United v. FEC decision in 2010. Spoiler alert: According to the report’s data, liberals beat conservatives in philanthropic giving that supports public policy fights by almost 4 to 1, despite the constant, histrionic rhetoric about dark money corruption on the right.
Why, beyond driving a nail in the hypocrisy of the leftist dark money narrative, does this matter?
“What a War with Big Tech Might Look Like”
The Bill Meyer Show, Oregon’s KMED 1440, Bill Hartmann (Guest), January 19, 2021
Join Bill Meyer each weekday for LIVE Local Talk on southern Oregon’s FM 106.7 and AM-1440 KMED and 99.3 KCMD in Grants Pass. Streamed on KMED.com.
Michael Hartmann, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Strategic Giving, Capital Research Center. We discuss What Might a War With Big Tech Look Like
“Party Realignment: Radical Republicans, Corporate Democrats”
American Consequences, Shane Devine (Op-Ed), January 2020
Historically, white-collar business professionals were usually Republican, and the blue-collar working classes were Democrats. But this has been gradually changing… Working folks who used to be the staunchest Democrats voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020. And many Republicans have been voting blue.
So is the Democratic Party becoming the party of Big Business, while the GOP will now be a workers’ party? Republican Senators like Josh Hawley, Marco Rubio, and even Ted Cruz have used the phrase “working class” to describe their party’s future base.
The idea of a party realignment might not be arising out of anything the GOP is accomplishing (even their own constituents are unhappy with them), but out of what the Democrats are in large part no longer doing—namely, looking out for workers. What is certain is that the Democratic Party is becoming the party of corporate, tech, and financial power.
“Leftist Dark Money Funds ‘Conservatives’ to Stab Trump Voters in the Back”
The Federalist, Hayden Ludwig (Op-ed), January 29, 2021
What do you call someone who only works to elect Democrats, opposes conservatives, and donated to the Biden campaign? The answer is obvious: A Democrat.
That’s the platform of Defending Democracy Together, a top “dark money” group that bills itself as an “advocacy organization created by lifelong conservatives and Republicans”—really Washington establishment hacks opposed to former President Donald Trump.
The unfortunately named DDT publishes The Bulwark, a refuge for indignant NeverTrumpers, through its 501(c)(3) arm. Both groups are led by Bill Kristol, once a leading conservative thinker who’s since sought refuge among leftists, declaring himself a Democrat last February.
Scott Walter Discusses DC Shut Down
Sandy Rios in the Morning, January 20, 2021
Inauguration Day For Joe Biden, Scott Walter Discusses Atmosphere and Shutdown Of D.C., and Trump Supporter Wanted Capitol Police To Ask For Backup
“Pinkerton: Georgia and the Arts of War and Politics”
Breitbart, James Pinkerton, January 2, 2021
Two recent reports suggest more ways by which big money is shaping the political battlefield, in the Peach State and elsewhere.
The first report, dated November 27 and titled, “Georgia Election Officials, a Billionaire, and the ‘Nonpartisan’ Center for Tech and Civic Life,” comes from the Capital Research Center (CRC), a well-known right-of-center investigative organization. CRC president Scott Walter takes note of a $350 million donation from Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, to the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL); Walter speculates that the money may have been used to improperly affect the voting in Georgia.
“Elon Musk’s Foundation Donates $5 Million to Khan Academy”
Business Today, Staff, January 13, 2021
The organisation was founded by Elon along with his brother Kimbel Musk in 2002. Besides education, the foundation makes grants in areas such as renewable energy research, human space exploration, pediatric research, science and engineering, and safe artificial intelligence development. Other NGOs that have received support from Musk Foundation are Doctors Without Borders, World Spine Care and Mirman School for gifted kids.
Overall, the organisation founder Elon Musk has donated $257 million to the foundation, as per Influence Watch. With a total net worth of $188 billion and rising, Elon Musk became the world’s richest man by replacing Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos on January 8.
“Arabella Advisors Network Infiltrating North Carolina to Flip It Blue Permanently”
Chatham Journal Newspaper, January 28, 2021
Meet Arabella Advisors, a consulting company that controls a $731 million nonprofit nexus from its plush headquarters in Washington, D.C. Through its four in-house nonprofits—the vaguely named New Venture Fund, Sixteen Thirty Fund, Hopewell Fund, and Windward Fund—Arabella has quietly funneled nearly $2.5 billion since its creation in 2005 from major foundations and mega-donors to left-wing activists, voter registration groups, litigation nonprofits, and think tanks.
These groups push an extreme agenda that includes no parental choice in education, divisive identity politics issues, gun control, government-controlled health care, climate alarmism, higher taxes, energy poverty, and more. They try to discredit Republican candidates and popular causes like school choice, affordable health care, and energy independence. They do it for one singular purpose—to get Democrats elected and secure key states for the professional left.
“Sniffen Resigned as Past Came Back to Haunt”
Must Read Alaska, Suzanne Downing, January 31, 2021
This is a tricky story for the Anchorage Daily News to tell, since the newspaper has had a widely understood anti-Dunleavy reporting stance, and stories like this reinforce the bias the newspaper is known for. The reporter, Kyle Hopkins, is underwritten by ProPublica, a leftist news organization. But it’s also a story that cannot be ignored, as there is a possible victim who deserves justice.
According to Influence Watch, ProPublica is a left-leaning news organization, whose donors include George Soros, the Sandler Foundation, the Emerson Collective of Laurene Powell Jobs (Steve Jobs) Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Donald Sussman, and other left-leaning organizations, such as Solidarity Giving.