WaPo Fact Checker hauls water for left-wing ‘Dark Money’ group behind Biden’s SCOTUS pick

One aspect of President Joe Biden’s choice for the next Supreme Court vacancy is not up for debate: Regardless of her credentials, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is the ‘dark money’ choice for the highest court in the land. So why is the Washington Post, which normally denounces “dark money”, carrying water for one of the darkest groups in politics?

WaPo columnist Glenn Kessler recently “wondered[ed] to the hypocrisy” of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network’s “attacks” on Demand Justice (a partisan activist group supporting Jackson with a million-dollar advertising spree) and its close ties to the nonprofit network of several billion dollars that spawned it.This network, operated by Arabella Advisors LLC, brought in nearly $1.7 billion in 2020 alone, much of it coming from wealthy left-leaning donors and their family foundations. It is the strongest liberal lobbying force in Washington.

Still, the Post wants the public to ignore Arabella, since Demand Justice parted ways with Arabella’s network last year after spending its first three years as a mere accounting code within Arabella’s Sixteen Thirty Fund. Furthermore, Kessler assures us, the giant Arabella is apolitical because it “primarily provides administrative support, compliance assistance, and grant processing to liberal philanthropic and nonprofit groups,” including those “incorporated so that they can receive”. [sic] donations from undisclosed donors.

The Capital Research Center (CRC) was the first to expose the Arabella Network to the world and was thrilled to help change the discourse on “dark money” by documenting how the left benefits more than the right. Much more.

So to see Kessler and the Post downplaying what the Arabella Network does, while inadvertently confirming its vast size and influence — something the left-leaning media ignored for years — strikes us at CRC as, frankly, hilarious.

So, to reiterate: Arabella’s internal nonprofits specialize in “pop-up” campaigns: creating fake front groups that deceive the public into thinking they are independent, militant groups of base based anywhere but DC Really, these “pop-up” groups let big foundations and mega-donors quietly fund dirty policies without polluting the thin air of philanthropy they want you to think they live. The Arabella network has spawned at least 400 such groups since 2006.

Credit to Kessler for pointing out that Arabella Advisors has “collected almost $50 million in management fees” from the network since its inception. Bonus points for noting that company founder Eric Kessler (no relation to Glenn) for years chaired the board of its advocacy arm, Sixteen Thirty Fund, and its largest nonprofit, New Venture Fund. He might have added that the four nonprofits appear to share Arabella’s DC address and have interlocking boards of directors that until recently included the sharing of general counsel and chief financial officer. from Arabella.

Kessler fails to note that Sixteen Thirty Fund created Demand Justice in 2018 to derail the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh with rallies and a defamation website (StopKavanaugh.com) and did the same with Judge Amy Coney Barrett in 2020. Ditto a another Arabella spin-off, ironically named Fix the Court, which stuffed websites (BrettKavanaugh.com) with links to sexual assault support groups in order to smear the contestant as a rapist.

Kessler also fails to inform the public that Demand Justice is the left’s main lobbying group on the courts. Also not mentioned is the Sixteen Thirty Fund’s $454,000 to Demand Justice’s PAC to elect Democrats in 2020, which represents 62% of PAC revenue for that cycle.

Demand Justice’s blatant partisanship and obvious ties to “dark money” could make things difficult for the slim majority of Senate Democrats as they try to place Jackson on the Supreme Court. But Post editors clearly intend to do whatever they can to help Democrats.

In addition to Kessler’s fun “fact-check,” the Post also published an op-ed by the Senate’s biggest “dark money” hypocrite, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island. The controversy over the vast Arabella network is now so strong that even he felt compelled, finally, to mention its existence, even though he implied that it was smaller than the conservative network he smeared.

But compare the senator’s grip on anonymous gifts to his nemesis to the money Demand Justice’s original parent, the Sixteen Thirty Fund, took in: the highest amount the senator can get. oppose is $48 million in 2020. But in the same year, Sixteen Thirty landed the following anonymous donations in that range: $45 million + $46 million + $53 million + $86 million.

Last proof of the Post’s hypocrisy: its own editorial board was horrified in 2019 by an anonymous donation of $26.7 million to the Sixteen Thirty Fund: “Who are these donors? The public won’t know. (We later told them the money came from another Arabella nonprofit, New Venture Fund.)

At the time, the Post wondered if this left-leaning giant was “part of a larger network of black money.” Today’s post would rather you not know.

This article originally appeared in The Federalist on March 14, 2022.

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