Sixteen Thirty Fund Steers $55 Million in Hidden Cash to Pro-Biden PACs

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November 2, 2020

A liberal dark money group has steered $55 million from deep-pocketed donors into super PACs backing Joe Biden this election cycle, filings show.

The Sixteen Thirty Fund, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit incubator, pushed the tens of millions of dollars into Democratic super PACs while masking the original sources of the contributions. Wealthy individuals have used the network to conceal hundreds of millions in nonprofit spending in recent years. During the 2020 cycle, they've used it to pump large sums into the election as well.

The secret cash comes despite Biden's calls for "increased transparency of election spending" and an "end [to] dark money groups." Nearly two dozen left-wing groups supporting Biden's candidacy have received contributions that first passed through the dark money network.

The Sixteen Thirty Fund's largest donation this cycle was $7.7 million to Victory 2020, a joint fundraising venture between David Brock's American Bridge PAC and the Unite the Country PAC. The two groups merged earlier this year to build a $175 million anti-Trump network to hit the president in battleground states such as Pennsylvania and Michigan.

The League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund, an environmental group that has also spent large sums on the elections, took in $6.8 million from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, and the Change Now PAC, which is backed by labor groups and receives administrative support from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, has hauled in $5 million.

Other prominent liberal super PACs, such as Priorities USA Action, Future Forward USA, America's Progressive Promise, PACRONYM, the Black PAC, and Senate Majority PAC, have received between $1 million and $4.5 million from the Sixteen Thirty Fund.

"The Sixteen Thirty Fund is confronting the biggest social challenges in our country through fiscal sponsorship, advocacy, and electoral action," group executive director Amy Kurtz previously told the Washington Free Beacon. "We support investing in the health and strength of our democracy and have lobbied in favor of reform to the current campaign finance system (through H.R. 1), but we are equally committed to following the current laws to level the playing field for progressives in this election."

The 2020 cycle marks the first time the Sixteen Thirty Fund has been used as a pass-through avenue to fund secret election activity. The $55 million had gone to the liberal super PACs through September 30, meaning the total could be even higher.

The Sixteen Thirty Fund is managed by Arabella Advisors, a D.C.-based consulting group. More than $1 billion in anonymous cash has passed to left-wing nonprofits through the four funds that Arabella manages since Trump was elected. Some of the biggest liberal-donor groups, including the Democracy Alliance, also use it.