A network of liberal nonprofits dumped tens of millions of dollars into groups involved in voter registration and engagement activities in 2022, according to recently released tax documents.
The Sixteen Thirty Fund, the New Venture Fund, the Windward Fund, the Hopewell Fund and the North Fund make up a network of left-wing nonprofits managed by Arabella Advisors, a for-profit venture run by Eric Kessler, a veteran of the Clinton administration. The network, which includes several “dark money” groups that are not required to disclose their donors, poured more than $62 million into groups focused on registering, engaging and mobilizing voters during 2022, a midterm election year.
“The Arabella Advisors Network is not in the business of charity, and the tens of millions they have sent to ‘charitable’ get-out-the-vote and voter registration groups is just more proof that they aren’t either,” Parker Thayer, an Investigative Researcher at Capital Research Center, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Voter registration nonprofits are nothing more than a cost effective way to achieve partisan electioneering results for democrats while keeping the donors totally anonymous and giving them a tax write-off for their troubles.”
America Votes was the biggest single recipient of these funds among voter engagement groups, raking in $42.5 million in 2022.
Politico described America Votes as “the liberal umbrella group that works on voter registration and turnout and collaborates with other political groups across the left.”
“America Votes coordinates more than 400 state and national partner organizations to create a fairer, more representative democracy by increasing voter participation across the country,” the group’s website states. “Our coalition carries out non-partisan, education-focused programs to engage voters particularly newly eligible and infrequent voters through mail, phones, and texts to make sure they feel confident and informed about the voting process in person or via mail.”
While America Votes bills itself as a nonpartisan organization, it has collaborated extensively with the Democratic Party.
America Votes paid for phone calls urging voters to support then-President Barack Obama and Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey in 2012. The group also poured $800,000 into supporting the Democratic-endorsed candidate for the 2023 Wisconsin Supreme Court election between February and March.
America Votes also gave hundreds of millions to Family Friendly Action PAC, a group that focused on electing a Democrat to the Senate in Wisconsin during the 2022 midterm elections. As a tactic to increase voter turnout in Nevada during the midterms, America Votes sent out mailers saying they would “be reviewing public records after the election to determine whether or not you joined your neighbors in voting.”
The Open Society Foundations, which Soros founded and funds, gave America Votes $40.4 million between 2017 and 2021.
America Votes takes credit for getting things like no-reason absentee voting and automatic voter registration passed into law in New Mexico and Michigan. The group says it “engaged 21 million voters—including voters of color and younger voters—with mail, text messages, and calls with tips to enroll and reminders for completing mail-in ballots,” during the 2020 elections.
New Venture Fund gave $8.5 million to the Voter Registration Project, a group “commissioned” by John Podesta, making it the second most funded voter mobilization group supported by Arabella’s network.
The Voter Registration Project is “a voter mobilization group which targets African-American, Latino, Native American, low-income, and other voter groups likely to lean left-of-center” that also distribute grants to fund voter registration efforts, according to Influence Watch.
A report from the Capital Research Center estimates that the Voter Registration Project’s efforts in 2020 netted President Biden between 1 million and 2.7 million votes. The group, like America Votes, also received millions in support from Soros’ philanthropic network.
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— America Votes (@AmericaVotes) June 24, 2023
The New Venture Fund and Hopewell Fund collectively gave $350,000 to State Voices. State Voices is a group that “fight[s] for a health democracy and political power for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI), and all people of color (BIPOC)” through things like get out the vote initiatives, voter registration and “voter protection.”
Arabella’s network leaned heavily into funding voting groups in battleground states.
Nonprofits managed by Arabella Advisors funneled more than $4 million into voter engagement and registration groups based in Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Nevada in 2022.
Close to half of those funds, $1.6 million coming from Sixteen Thirty Fund and New Venture Fund, was dedicated to the Voter Project, a Pennsylvania group focusing on voter registration and increasing the number of votes cast through mail.
An additional $850,000 from the Hopewell Fund went to the Voter Project Fund, a separate but associated nonprofit.
The Voter Project helped register over 3.2 million people to vote by mail in Pennsylvania in the lead-up to the 2020 election, according to a consultancy firm that worked with the group. One strategist’s bio on the consultancy firm’s website called the voter registration efforts “the soft-side effort to win the swing state in 2020.”
Joe Biden carried the state of Pennsylvania in the 2020 presidential election.
The group posted a a video to its YouTube channel following the 2020 election featuring Democratic Governor Tom Wolf saying “it may take longer than usual to count every vote.”
Republicans suffered defeats in the 2022 Pennsylvania senatorial and gubernatorial races.
The New Venture Fund and the Windward Fund sent $975,000 to the Mi Familia Vota Education Fund in Arizona during 2022. Mi Familia Vota describes itself as a group that “unites Latino, immigrant, and allied communities to promote social and economic justice through citizenship workshops, voter registration, and voter participation.”
Black Voters Matter and the Black Male Voter Project, Georgia-based groups focused on mobilizing black voters, received a combined $415,000 from Sixteen Thirty Fund and Windward Fund. Native Voters Alliance Nevada, a group that works to “mobilize Indigenous voters,” got $210,000 from the New Venture Fund in 2022.
“The partisanship of get-out-the-vote charities has been an open secret for a very long time,” Thayer told the DCNF.
“There’s not one of these groups that isn’t staffed almost exclusively by former Democrat campaign operatives and staffers, and none make it a priority to register voters from backgrounds and demographics that are typically Republican. It’s a loophole that could be easily closed, but has been left open by an IRS with a history (and present) of unfairly targeting conservative nonprofits.
District of Columbia Attorney General Brian Schwalb recently subpoenaed the New Venture Fund and Arabella following allegations that the New Venture Fund violated federal law by dictating the partisan activities of Secure Democracy, a group that pushed for expanded mail-in voting.
The Sixteen Thirty Fund, the New Venture Fund, the Windward Fund, the Hopewell Fund, the North Fund and Aabella Advisors did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.
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