Soros-Backed Progressive Activist Group Takes Credit for Flake Confrontation

Center for Popular Democracy claims victory

Demonstrators hold anti-Kavanaugh sign
Demonstrators hold anti-Kavanaugh sign / Getty Images
October 1, 2018

The Center for Popular Democracy, a New York-based liberal activist group that receives the bulk of its funding from liberal billionaire George Soros and leads a massive $80 million anti-Trump network, is taking credit for the elevator confrontation last Friday that pushed Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) to call for an FBI investigation into the accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Ana Maria Archila, the co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy, was one of the two women who confronted Flake and later boasted about it in a post titled, "Ana Maria Archila Confronts Senator Jeff Flake Ahead of Supreme Court Vote."

"Just a few hours ago, a courageous young woman and I confronted Senator Jeff Flake on an elevator about his statement that he would vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the post reads. "In a now-viral video, Flake could not even look us in the eyes when we shared with him our experiences of sexual assault. He would not make eye contact with me when I asked him to think about my children, and his own children."

"Shortly after, CNN reported that Flake was visibly shaken after his encounter with us," it continues. "Our words, and the words of thousands of women who have shared their stories, moved him. Within hours, the senator announced he would seek an investigation from the FBI into Dr. Ford’s accusations of sexual assault by Brett Kavanaugh, delaying the Senate’s confirmation vote."

Prior to joining the Center for Popular Democracy, Archila was the co-executive director of Make the Road New York, a Latino group with more than 20,000 dues-paying members. Make the Road was founded in 1997 by Andrew Friedman, who is now the other co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy alongside Archila. Make the Road has received more than $25 million in taxpayer-backed government grants since 2002 with $400,000 going to the group as recently as last year, the Washington Free Beacon previously reported.

Make the Road and the Center of Popular Democracy, which are described as "sister" organizations, have passed hundreds of thousands of dollars between each other. The two groups have partnered on anti-Trump campaigns such as the "Corporate Backers of Hate" campaign that involved mass lobbying higher ups at companies that they said could profit from Trump policies.

Make the Road was behind the "spontaneous" protests at New York's JFK airport following Trump's Muslim travel ban. The group then led a "Delete Uber" campaign against the ridesharing company after they had continued to pick up passengers from the airport during the protests. Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick, later stepped down from Trump's advisory council.

Make the Road was also behind the "Grab Your Wallet" campaign, which targeted retailers carrying Trump family products. Nordstrom ultimately pulled Ivanka Trump products but claimed they dropped the products over declining sales.

The Center for Popular Democracy was founded in 2012 and is comprised of old chapters of the controversial and now-defunct Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). CPD runs a massive $80 million anti-Trump network that spans across more than 30 states. Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.), the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, publicly backed the effort last year.

"This national network, led by working class people of color and immigrants, will supply the power and the fight we need to resist the Trump administration's all-out assault on American values," Ellison said. "I look forward to standing with CPD Action's leaders in the streets and in Congress to win real progressive change."

The Center for Popular Democracy currently shows partnerships with more than 50 other left-wing activist groups, according to its website.

The group, which is heavily financed by Soros, is also an approved organization of the Democracy Alliance, the left's biggest dark money donor network where deep-pocketed donors vow to steer a minimum of hundreds of thousands of dollars to approved groups of the alliance.

This was not the first time the Center for Popular Democracy has opposed Kavanaugh from Washington, D.C. The group was also caught slipping cash to protesters to pay for their post-and-forfeit payments, which helps resolve minor crimes and avoid any jail time, the Daily Caller reported.

The Center for Popular Democracy did not respond to a request for comment.