Democrats

Soros Donor Network Quietly Launched New Big-Money Entities

Democracy Alliance plans to spend $275 million through liberal groups opposing Trump

George Soros / Getty Images

A powerful donor club cofounded by liberal billionaire George Soros quietly established two big-money entities to help its effort to inject $275 million into the 2020 election.

The Democracy Alliance, a coalition of deep-pocketed Democratic donors, launched the Strategic Victory Fund super PAC in March. The PAC appears to be aimed at state-based initiatives and can collect and spend unlimited sums on political advertisements. The group also created the Strategic Victory Fund nonprofit arm, which supplied the PAC's initial $500,000 deposit.

Democracy Alliance helps set the Democratic agenda and Vox has called it the "closest thing that exists to a ‘left-wing conspiracy' in the US." The two new groups appear to be part of the $275 million anti-Trump strategy its board approved in February of 2019. The strategy includes supporting state-based organizing in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, and Virginia. It would also work to elect more progressive politicians at the state and local levels while building a candidate pipeline. The network additionally pinpointed at least 25 rural communities to build infrastructure and leadership for "civic engagement and progressive agenda development."

Both the PAC and the nonprofit were incorporated by North Carolina attorney Michael Weisel, who also incorporated other Democracy Alliance efforts, including its Committee on States. Gara LaMarche, president of Democracy Alliance, confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon that the super PAC and nonprofit are part of the organization's 2020 efforts. Scott Anderson, executive director of Strategic Victory Fund, was previously the executive director of the Committee on States. Anderson did not respond to a request for comment.

The Strategic Victory Fund's dark money nonprofit arm funds the Organizing Together 2020 campaign, a large-scale effort to better position Democrats to take on Trump. Organizing Together was launched to boost Democratic campaign infrastructure in the battleground states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The campaign, which consists of a coalition of 14 liberal groups, is co-chaired by Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo, New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, and former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe. The total cost of its efforts is estimated to run between $20 and $60 million.

New filings submitted Monday afternoon by the Strategic Victory Fund's super PAC show that in April it received an additional $1.9 million from its nonprofit arm, $1 million from billionaire Amy Goldman Fowler, $600,000 from Soros's Democracy PAC, and $100,000 from New York City-based philanthropist Andrew Beck. The PAC paid out $2.1 million to 2020 Campaign Services Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based political consulting company run by Paul Tewes, an Obama campaign alum who leads the Organizing Together campaign. Another $16,000 was given to the MBA Consulting Group, which is headed by Steven Mele, who in April took over the super PAC's records from Weisel.

Members of the Democracy Alliance have pushed nearly $2 billion into progressive infrastructure since its founding in 2005, according to its internal documents. Confidential Democracy Alliance documents obtained by the Free Beacon last year outlined an intricate plan to pump large amounts of cash into expanding and strengthening the progressive political base. The alliance has helped propel some of the biggest left-wing groups in the nation but "redoubled" its state-based focus to expand Democratic power and defeat Trump in 2020. Its donors, however, continue to fund national anti-Trump organizations.

Each millionaire and billionaire partner in the alliance pledges at least $200,000 annually to liberal organizations that are recommended by the club. The network, which hides its members, has helped propel more than 150 liberal organizations, including Media Matters for America and the Center for American Progress. The alliance has also taken in smaller anti-Trump groups such as the Center for Community Change and Center for Popular Democracy.

Many Democratic Party leaders enjoy close access to the donor club. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) has appeared at numerous Democracy Alliance gatherings. Others, including Sens. Kamala Harris (Calif.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.), DNC chair Tom Perez, and prospective V.P. pick Stacey Abrams, have participated in Democracy Alliance conferences in recent years.

The Democracy Alliance's largest investment was $200 million for its State Victory Fund, meant to support liberal causes in 15 states. The fund is led by the alliance's Committee on States, which helps coordinate money to state-level progressive organizations. The victory fund's money is budgeted to amplify the "harm" the "Trump administration and conservatives have caused in Americans' lives" and year-round organizing.