Schumer-Aligned Dark Money Outfit Funnels Record $40 Million to Advocacy Groups

Majority Forward sent the cash to groups active in the Georgia runoffs

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) / Getty Images
November 30, 2020

A dark money organization aligned with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) funneled a record $40 million to liberal advocacy groups for voter engagement efforts, new filings show.

Majority Forward, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that is affiliated with Schumer's Senate Majority PAC, sent the grants to more than a dozen left-wing groups, several of which are active in Georgia's pivotal runoff elections. The new tax forms show that Majority Forward experienced a financial windfall heading into the 2020 elections. The group raised $76 million from anonymous donors between June 1, 2018, and May 31, 2019. It then flooded 16 liberal advocacy groups with funds for voter registration efforts. The largest grants include $14.8 million to America Votes, $10.1 million to the Black Progressive Action Coalition, and $3.5 million to the League of Conservation Voters.

Many of the groups funded by Majority Forward will be key players in the Georgia runoffs, which will determine control of the Senate. The Black PAC, a super PAC affiliated with the Black Progressive Action Coalition, has already dropped six figures into canvassing efforts for Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.

Majority Forward also cut a $376,000 check to the Voter Participation Center, a registration group that has been active in a number of states including Georgia. The center has drawn fire for "shaming" people into voting and angered election officials, who say the group's mailers have contained mistakes. It plans to send additional mailers to over four million Georgians before the runoffs in January.

Majority Forward eclipsed the cash the group raised and spent over its previous three years combined. From mid-2015 to mid-2018, the group hauled in $69 million and disbursed $16 million. Its prior best year came in 2016 when it took in $34.2 million in contributions and passed $9.5 million to other groups working to elect Democrats. The documents showing its activity from mid-2019 to mid-2020 will not be available until late next year.

Scott Walter, president of the Capital Research Center, said nonprofits like Majority Forward are as important as explicitly partisan outfits like campaigns and party committees. "[M]ost people don’t realize the politicized (c)(3) river of money is several multiples larger than the 'hard' political money river and the (c)(4) independent expenditures river combined," Walter told the Washington Free Beacon.

While Majority Forward primarily funds other advocacy nonprofits, the group also injected more than $10 million directly into the 2020 election. It pushed the majority of that cash through the Senate Majority PAC, with which it shares personnel and office space. Both groups are led by J.B. Poersch, a Schumer ally, and their relationship has been described as "ridiculously cozy" by watchdog groups.

Majority Forward did not respond to a request for comment.