It’s often stated that money is the mother’s milk of politics. Progressives, taking this idea to heart, have amassed an enormous war chest to promote their social justice and equality agenda.
The single largest bankroller is George Soros, a convicted inside trader who’s worth about $25 billion. He’s using his massive wealth to build a “sustainable progressive movement” in America. In other words, he’s seeking to destroy the US Constitution and establish an authoritarian socialist government. Soros shovels out hundreds of millions of dollars annually to progressive organizations and political candidates across America.
Next on the list of deep pocket supporters are labor unions, which annually shell out many tens of millions of dollars to progressive causes. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), for example, spends about $50 million annually on political activities, many of the top recipients of which are progressive organizations. From 2011-2015, it allocated $7 million to Americans United for Change, $2.1 million to America Votes, $1 million to Catalist, and $1 million to the Center for American Progress – all progressive outlets.
Foundations are another money-gusher for progressives. Many foundations in America have been hijacked by progressives, redirecting their funds, which once were distributed to traditional causes, to progressive organizations.
The Woods Fund in Chicago is one example. Established in 1941 by businessman Frank Woods, the Fund originally made contributions to the arts and charities. After Woods died, progressives gained control of the organization and redirected its spending. Barack Obama served on the Fund’s board from 1993 to 2002, steering money to progressive groups, such as the Midwest Academy. (See Kellogg Foundation – www.progressiveswatch.com/kellogg.)
The Tides Foundation does not spend legacy funds but solicits money from donors and then channels it to progressive causes. In 2015, it distributed 3,731 grants, totaling $150 million. Recipients of its grants include Black Lives Matter ($1.5 million), Democracy Now ($302,000), Media Matters ($225,000), and 350.org ($82,000). Donors not wanting to be publicly linked to a controversial progressive group can make a donation to Tides, which then forwards the money to the entity, eliminating any fingerprints.
The Democracy Alliance
One of the largest pools of money for progressives is The Democracy Alliance (DA), established in 2005 to build an “infrastructure to advance a progressive agenda for America.”
DA is an invitation-only, non-profit organization, started by Rob Stein, a political operative with ties to the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton-Gore transition team. Founding members include George Soros, Peter B. Lewis, and Tim Gill.
As of 2015, DA had about 110 members1, each of whom is required annually to pay $30,000 in dues and contribute at least $200,000 to a progressive organization selected by DA.2 (DA does not collect any money, only links donors to its favored organizations.)
When steering funds to a progressive group, the DA’s strategic goals are to:
- Advance progressive ideas, policies, and messages.
- Support progressive candidates.
- Fight the Right.
- Build legal capacity.
- Enhance leadership and grassroots networks.
- Integrate state and national capacity.
- Perfect data and tools.
- Reform government.
- Protect voting rights.
- Reform elections.
- Recognize emerging opportunities.3
The DA generates some $190 million annually for strategically-selected progressive groups. Taken together, they represent a multi-front, broad-based attack on America’s traditional institutions and free market system.
Open Society Foundations
George Soros began donating to various causes in the late 1970s and created the Open Society Institute (now called Open Society Foundations) in 1993 to oversee financial contributions. Since then, the OSF has expanded into a worldwide labyrinth of interconnected foundations that distribute close to a billion dollars annually in grants and donations.
One of Soros’ subgroups, the Foundation to Promote Open Society, distributed about $250 million in 2014 to individuals, organizations, and progressive foundations around the world. The same year, his Open Society Policy Center contributed about $10.5 million to some 40 progressive groups in the US.
It’s no exaggeration to state that Soros is personally responsible for funding a major segment of the progressive infrastructure in America. His contributions have been linked to nearly 200 progressive organizations. Below are examples of his influence in American politics:
- Soros gave $500,000 to the Color of Change, a progressive activist group that collected more than 100,000 signatures on a petition that demanded Coca-Cola and other companies withdraw their financial support for the Republican National Convention. The group distributed a picture of a Coca-Cola bottle with the label “Share a Coke with the KKK.” Its successful intimidation tactics caused the soft drink company to reduce its support from $660,000 in 2012 to just $75,000 in 2016. Other corporate sponsors backed away from giving any money to the RNC.
- Soros contributed $250,000 to Brave New Films, a progressive group that created a false petition that sought support for allowing firearms to be openly carried at the 2016 Republican Convention. Progressive media outlets readily distributed news stories about the petition before the ruse was uncovered.
- Soros gave more than $3 million to local district attorney campaigns in six states to elect progressive candidates.
- Soros allocated $900,000 to the social justice activist group, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) and Organization for Black Struggle. The money was used to bus agitators to Ferguson, Missouri, to participate in the violent protests.
- “Wealthy Donors on Left Launch New Plan to Wrest Back Control in the States,” Washington Post, April 12, 2015.
- Institutions pay $60,000 in annual dues and must contribute at least $1 million.
- “Funding ‘Snapshot’ Details Nearly $40 Million in Alliance Support for 20 Groups This Year,” Washington Free Beacon, May 19, 2014.
Hiding the Money
Tracking money distributed to progressive organizations can pose a huge challenge. A case in point is Democracy Partners, a progressive campaign/PR organization co-founded by Robert Creamer (above left) that began operation for nearly four decades.
In the 2016 presidential election, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hired Democracy Partners, which then hired the Foval Group, to disrupt Donald Trump’s campaign rallies. The Foval Group was owned by Scott Foval (above right), who also was National Field Director at Americans United For Change (AUFC), a progressive advocacy group with links to the Obama White House.
Creamer also was a consultant at AUFC and worked closely with the Obama Administration. From 2009-2016, he visited the White House 342 times, meeting with President Obama 43 times.
In an undercover video by Project Veritas, Foval described how he was paid for his services. He said the DNC gave money to Democratic Partners, which then paid his company, creating a “double-blind” transaction.
Foval, in the video, bragged about his knowledge of voter fraud strategies and his successful efforts to incite violence at Trump’s campaign rallies by paying people to cause trouble. Helping in this effort was Aaron Black, Deputy Rapid Response Director at the DNC. Black worked directly with Democracy Partners, an association he said was supposed to remain “secret.”
“Nobody’s really supposed to know about me,” Black confided in the undercover video. “So the Chicago protest (against Trump in March 2016), when they shut all that, that was us. It was more him (Creamer) than me, but none of this is supposed to come back to us because we want it coming from people. We don’t want it to come from the party.”
Progressives have created a vast infrastructure to influence politics in America. While not operating openly as a political party, it nevertheless functions like one. The infrastructure includes traditional and internet-based media outlets, think tanks, grassroots lobbying, voter mobilization, community organizing, environmental and legal groups, special professional protestors, campaign experts, demonstrations, and much more.
Below are 181 organizations Democracy Alliance singled out as the core progressive infrastructure in America. It includes 172 groups publicly identified in 2014 and an additional nine groups (italicized) designated in 2016. The 20 organizations in bold received about $190 million from DA in 2014. Since then, some organizations have merged with others have shut down, such as Know Your Care.
- Advancement Project
- The Agenda Project
- Alliance for Justice
- America Votes – $8.5 million
- American Bridge 21st Century
- American Constitution Society – $4.65 million
- Americans for Financial Reform
- American Independent News Network
- American Sustainable Business Council
- Americans for Responsible Solutions
- Americans United for Change
- Analyst Institute
- The Atlas Project
- Auburn Seminary
- Ballot Initiate Strategy Center
- Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice
- Black Civic Engagement Fund – $4.16 million
- BlueGreen Alliance
- Brave New Films
- Brennan Center for Justice
- The Bus Federation
- Campaign for America’s Future
- Catalist – $10.2 million
- Catholics United
- Center for American Progress – $44.08 million
- Center for Community Change
- Center for Economic and Policy Research
- Center for Media and Democracy
- Center for Political Accountability
- Center for Popular Democracy
- Center for Responsible Lending
- Center for Social Inclusion
- Center for Story-Based Strategy
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – $23.25 million
- Citizen Engagement Laboratory
- Climate Reality Project
- Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
- Code for Progress
- Color for Change
- Committee on States
- Common Cause
- Common Purpose Project – $.22 million
- Constitutional Accountability Center
- Corporate Action Network
- Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
- Democracy for America
- Democracy Initiative
- Democracy Now
- Democracy: A Journal of Ideas
- Drug Policy Alliance
- Economic Innovative Institute
- Economic Policy Institute
- Emerge America
- EMILY’s List
- Energy Action Coalition
- Enroll America
- Environment America
- Fair Elections Legal Network
- Fair Share Alliance
- Faith in Public Life
- The Foundation for the Future
- Free Press
- Free Speech for People
- Free Speech TV
- Freedom to Marry
- Friends of Democracy
- Fund for the Republic – $4.7 million
- Gamaliel Foundation
- Gamechanger Networks
- Generation Alliance
- Green Corps
- Green For All
- Head Count Inc.
- Hip Hop Caucus
- House Majority PAC
- Human Rights Campaign
- I Vote
- Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights
- Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy
- Issue One
- J Street
- Justice at Stake
- Know Your Care
- Latino Engagement Fund – $4.45 million
- Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
- Leadership Center for the Common Good
- Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
- Leading Green
- League of Conservation Voters
- League of Young Voters
- Main Street Alliance
- Majority PAC
- The Management Center
- Mayors Against Illegal Guns
- The Media Consortium
- Media Matters for America – $11.67 million
- Mi Familia Vota
- Midwest Academy
- Mother Jones
- Movement Advancement Project
- NARAL Pro-Choice America
- The Nation
- National Council of La Raza
- National Democratic Redistricting Trust
- National Domestic Workers Alliance
- National Employment Law Project
- The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
- National Immigration Forum
- National People’s Action
- National Popular Vote
- National Security Network
- New America Media
- New American Leaders Project
- New Leaders Council
- New Media Ventures – $.4 million
- New Organizing Institute – $4.84 million
- NextGen Climate Action
- The Opportunity Agenda
- Organizing for Action – $19.28 million
- People for the American Way
- People’s Action
- PICO National Network
- Piper Fund
- Planned Parenthood
- Priorities USA
Progressive Campaign Change Committee
- Progressive Congress
- Progressive Majority – $1.35 million
- Progressive States Network
- ProgressNow – $9.63 million
- Project Vote
- Public Campaign
- Public Citizen
- Public Leadership Institute
- Race Forward
- Rainforest Action Network
- Rebuild the Dream
- ROC United
- Rock the Vote
- The Roosevelt Institute
- Scholars Strategy Network
- Sierra Club
- Small Business Majority
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- Southern Progress Fund
- State Engagement Initiative – n/a
- State Innovative Exchange
- State Voices – $7.87 million
- Student PIRGs
- Sunlight Foundation
- The Texas Future Project
- Third Way
- Truman National Security Project
- Ultra Violet
- United for a Fair Economy
- United Republic
- UR PIRG
- Voices for Progress
- Voter Participation Center
- Voto Latino
- Washington Monthly
- Wellstone Action
- Center for Popular Democracy
- Women’s Equality Center – $4.9 million
- Working America
- Working Families
- Young Democrats of America
- Young Invincible
- Youth Engagement Fund – $2.2 million
- YP4 and YEO Network