Under Ethics Scrutiny, Liberal Dark Money Behemoth Arabella Advisors Discloses $1.3 Billion Fundraising Haul

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November 16, 2023

The left-wing dark money behemoth Arabella Advisors and its five nonprofit funds raised a staggering $1.35 billion from anonymous donors in 2022, tax documents released Wednesday show.

The disclosures show that Arabella and its offshoots, which include the New Venture Fund and Sixteen Thirty Fund, were dominant players in the 2022 midterm elections. Arabella’s groups doled out $937 million to outside liberal organizations and political initiatives in 2022, and the umbrella group spent nearly $500 million more operating its own network of hundreds of ostensibly grassroots left-wing activist groups across the country.

Its fundraising haul notwithstanding, Arabella has had a tough year. The network is under investigation by the attorney general of the District of Columbia, who in September issued subpoenas to Arabella and its largest funds seeking information related to allegations of financial mismanagement covered in a series of Washington Free Beacon reports. Arabella laid off 10 percent of its workforce in May, and on Tuesday hired its third CEO since 2021.

"Arabella’s empire continues to struggle, losing revenue as well as leadership, but it’s still the 800-pound gorilla of Democratic ‘dark money.’ Lawsuits, investigations, and potential Senate subpoenas are tarnishing it and likely scaring away some donors," said Capital Research Center president Scott Walter. "Yet it still poured money into Michigan and other swing states. Wounded by controversy, it remains a dangerous animal."

Arabella Advisors’ primary political arm, the Sixteen Thirty Fund, spent over $66 million supporting liberal politicians and ballot initiatives in 2022. The fund spent $20 million on efforts to strengthen abortion rights and make ballot drop boxes a permanent feature of state elections, both of which succeeded. The Sixteen Thirty Fund also contributed over $20 million to America Votes, a group that bills itself as the "coordination hub of the progressive community" and works to advance left-wing policies in swing states including Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Wisconsin, and North Carolina.

The figures are likely to add fire to Republican efforts to pass legislation banning foreign nationals such as the Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss from contributing to political dark money groups. Wyss is prohibited from donating directly to political candidates or PACs, but has contributed at least $208 million to the Sixteen Thirty Fund since 2016.

In addition to the New Venture Fund and Sixteen Thirty Fund, Arabella’s other nonprofit funds include the North Fund, Windward Fund, and Hopewell Fund. Reached for comment, the five nonprofits sent the Free Beacon copies of their 990s and donor impact reports.

"These documents reveal the overwhelming influence of the left-wing Arabella Advisors network on American politics," said Americans for Public Trust executive director Caitlin Sutherland. "In 2022 alone, these groups spent $1.4 billion to push our country toward more extreme causes and candidates. As the 2024 election cycle ramps up, the American people deserve to know just how much influence the foreign-backed Arabella network has on our local, state, and federal elections."

The true extent of Arabella’s influence over the 2022 midterms is hard to glean from its tax filings. Internal records obtained by the Free Beacon show Arabella wields centralized control of its five funds, which then use their tax-exempt status to launch pop-up groups in key states that only exist for a brief period of time before they’re disbanded. Examples of Arabella pop-up groups include Kansans for Secure Elections and the SoCal Healthcare Coalition.