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Influential liberal donor organizes massive coalition to throw cash behind voter mobilization


Daily Caller News Foundation

An influential left-of-center donor’s charity launched an initiative compelling other philanthropies to pour money into voter mobilization efforts ahead of the 2024 elections.

Democracy Fund, which was founded and is funded by liberal philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, has rallied a group of 174 organizations and individuals pledging to expedite their disbursement of grants related to efforts including get-out-the-vote operations. The pledge calls on its signatories to either make the bulk of their election-related donations by the end of April, to “move up” disbursements scheduled for later in the year or to streamline their grant approval processes.

Alex Soros’ Open Society Foundations, the liberal dark money giant Arabella Advisors, Tides and Democratic megadonor Susan Pritzker are among the major left-of-center philanthropic players who have signed the pledge.

Omidyar, who founded eBay and has since become a prolific investor, is worth over $10.9 billion, according to Bloomberg. Omidyar has given roughly $1.2 billion through his various charitable arms to an array of primarily left-of-center causes between 2004 and 2020, according to a Capital Research Center report.

In 2020, Omidyar gave the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a sprawling Democrat-aligned political outfit, $45 million to support its Civic Action Fund project, a now-defunct voter turnout initiative that focused on “empower[ing] those typically underrepresented in our democratic process” by ensuring that they voted in 2020.

The group collaborated with liberal politicians and activists to organize local get-out-the-vote efforts targeting low-propensity voters, according to Influence Watch.

In explaining his donation to Civic Action Fund, Omidyar cited the importance of “supporting local voter outreach and engagement of young people and people of color.” Young people and minority voters favor the Democratic party by considerable margins, with voters 18 to 29 and all non-white constituencies favoring Biden by double digits in 2020, according to a CNN exit poll.

Civic Action Fund was active in 14 states, including the key states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, during the 2020 electoral season, according to its website. The group had staffers with ties to notable Democrats like former President Barack Obama and former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, according to Influence Watch.

Many of the signatories of Democracy Fund’s “All by April” pledge have clear ideological slants.

Alex Soros, son of influential liberal financier George Soros, has described himself as “more political” than his father. Arabella manages a network of nonprofits that pour tens of millions into liberal causes every year, Tides comprises a variety of organizational arms including one of the largest pass-through organizations for liberal philanthropists and Pritzker has donated millions to Democratic and otherwise left-of-center political committees.

Arabella’s nonprofit network and the Soros family’s philanthropic ventures have, in the past, dropped large sums on election spending. Arabella’s nonprofits spent more than $62 million on voter registration and mobilization efforts during 2022, a midterm election year.

Much of the Arabella network’s spending also focused on getting Democrat-friendly demographics to the polls. New Venture Fund, one of Arabella’s arms, gave millions to the Voter Registration Project, a group “commissioned” by veteran Democratic operative John Podesta that, according to Influence Watch, “targets African-American, Latino, Native American, low-income, and other voter groups likely to lean left-of-center.”

The Soros philanthropic empire also gave millions to the Voter Registration Project between 2016 and 2022. Voter Registration Project’s efforts in 2020 netted President Biden between 1 million and 2.7 million votes, according to a Capital Research Center report.

Open Society Policy Center, which is part of the broader Soros network, gave $1.4 million to the Voto Latino Action Fund in 2022. The organization focuses on registering Latino voters and loosening voting laws, according to its website.

High voter turnout among Latinos was among the reasons Democrats outperformed expectations during the 2022 midterm elections, according to Politico.

“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,” Parker Thayer, an Investigative Researcher at Capital Research Center, previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Democracy Fund, Arabella, Tides and Open Society Foundations did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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