Liberal groups heavily financed by Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer and billionaire George Soros are part of a new coalition launched to attack Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and Republicans ahead of the 2020 elections.
Fix Our Senate, an alliance of liberal groups launched Tuesday, said that it intends to "shine a light on McConnell and every ally who supports him," Axios reported. The group plans to push out damaging research against McConnell in hopes of pinning responsibility for "wealth inequality," drug prices, conservative judicial nominations, and legislative gridlock on the Kentucky senator.
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Despite their focus on "inequality," the groups behind Fix Our Senate are themselves fueled by some of the wealthiest and most powerful donors to the Democratic party. The new effort is part of a wave of dark money being poured into progressive coffers by deep-pocketed financiers, activist networks, and labor unions in advance of the 2020 election. It also indicates that these groups see McConnell—who has repeatedly frustrated the left's agenda in the Senate—as a prime target in November.
Fix Our Senate will be registered as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, which will allow it to hide the identity of its donors. It will be led by Joshua Karp, a former communications director at American Bridge, the opposition research group founded and run by liberal operative David Brock.
Fix Our Senate did not respond to requests for comment on the project and its coalition.
One of the groups in the Fix Our Senate coalition, For Our Future, was launched by Steyer and four labor unions during the 2016 election cycle. For Our Future's political action committee is bankrolled almost entirely by Steyer's NextGen Climate Action Committee, which has paid out $25.9 million over the last four years. NextGen has provided 83 percent of the group's total contributions in the 2020 cycle thus far, money that will go toward Democratic campaigns in seven swing states.
Another activist group that is part of the new coalition, Demand Justice, received $2.5 million from Soros around the time of its launch in 2018. It is led by Brian Fallon, former press secretary for Hillary Clinton's failed 2016 presidential campaign, who the Washington Free Beacon spotted in 2018 at a secretive gathering of the Democracy Alliance, the progressive billionaire donor club cofounded by Soros and of which Steyer is also a member.
Demand Justice operates under the umbrella of Arabella Advisors, a massive network that has become a major Democratic dark money force. Arabella funneled more than $600 million in hidden funds from wealthy Democratic donors to dozens of groups and initiatives across the United States in 2018. Confidential Democracy Alliance documents show that the club directs its members to pass money through Arabella's network as part of its 2020 efforts to expand its influence.
Another group involved with the Fix Our Senate coalition, Indivisible, received $500,000 from Soros in late 2018. Indivisible previously worked alongside Bend the Arc, a "Jewish resistance" group founded by Soros's son Alexander. Bend the Arc privately met with Democratic presidential candidates to urge them to support decriminalizing border crossings and abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The new anti-McConnell coalition is rounded out by the Service Employees International Union, one of the largest labor unions in the country, and by Protect Our Care, which also falls under Arabella's dark money umbrella and was created to "reject Republican efforts to rip away healthcare from millions of people."
The formation of Fix Our Senate indicates that McConnell remains a key foil for Democratic moneyed interests. This is likely because of the Senate majority leader's quiet legislative effectiveness, particularly his confirmation of dozens of circuit court judges over the past three years. Progressive billionaires' distaste for McConnell has occasionally erupted in public, as when Steyer claimed that "there is blood on Mitch McConnell's hands" last September following the Midland-Odessa, Texas, shootings.
Fix Our Senate is just the latest of a number of efforts by well-funded groups and wealthy donors to push Trump and Republicans out of office. Soros and Scott Wallace, a failed congressional candidate in Pennsylvania who is also tied to the Democracy Alliance, are helping bankroll a fund housed at Arabella focused on helping Democrats make inroads with Midwestern voters for the 2020 elections.
Another group, Future Majority, is attempting to help "rebrand" the Democratic party and provide support to activist organizations with plans to spend $60 million leading up to the elections. American Bridge has mapped out a $50 million plan to "weaken" Trump in the region. Priorities USA, the largest liberal super PAC, will spend north of $100 million on the 2020 elections, including in Michigan and Wisconsin.