Hayden Ludwig: Watch out, Alaska, more partisan news is coming your way

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By HAYDEN LUDWIG

The latest front in the Left’s battle for the states is Alaska.

If you haven’t heard of States Newsroom, you soon will—the network of left-leaning outlets posing as just-the-facts news sites is expanding in force, with new offices in Juneau, Anchorage, and elsewhere in the state. 

Though it presents itself as apolitical, States Newsroom is actually the invention of the most powerful liberal lobbying force in Washington, DC: Arabella Advisors.

Arabella is a consulting company that quietly controls a nonprofit nexus which raked in a stunning $1.7 billion in 2020 alone—that’s over $3 billion since 2015—to advance the activist Left’s agenda across the country.

One of the Arabella network’s nonprofits, the Hopewell Fund, launched States Newsroom in 2019 with funding from an unknown donor. Back then, the group didn’t try to hide its bent—one job posting proudly proclaims it a “progressive political journalism startup based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Why North Carolina? The Tar Heel state is the focus of a years-long, well-funded campaign to flip the battleground state to Democrats using a blueprint developed in Colorado—a rural state that no one thought could turn blue, until it did.

That’s the professional Left’s top goal, flipping reliably red areas of the country to blue. And the Arabella network has a lot of money to get the job done, thanks to funding from wealthy left-wing donors, many of whom share the same last name: Foundation. 

These donors—like the Gates, Ford, and Soros-funded Open Society Foundations—are anything but centrist, which is why they’ve invested heavily into making the Arabella network the Left’s go-to machine for funneling secret money into politics. 

Amazingly, this multi-billion-dollar operation went totally unnoticed by the “dark money”-obsessed media until my colleagues and I at the Capital Research Center exposed it in 2019. 

Since then, Arabella’s become the poster child of “dark money,” a well-earned reputation. The network’s most famous brainchild, the court-packing group Demand Justice, effectively lobbied judge Ketanji Brown Jackson from obscurity into the Supreme Court in a scant few years. And at least two Demand Justice alumni, White House counsel Paige Herwig and Biden spokeswoman Jen Psaki, have made it into President Biden’s inner circle.

States Newsroom isn’t far behind. The group’s board includes Courtney Cuff, a Colorado activist who used to lead the Gill Foundation, the biggest funder of the campaign to legalize gay marriage. Not coincidentally, foundation funder Tim Gill also co-founded the Democracy Alliance—a potent club for major leftist donors which created the blueprint for taking over states, beginning with Colorado. Another Democracy Alliance co-founder, Jared Polis, is now the state’s governor.

A steady stream of partisan news masquerading as anything but was essential to that campaign. No wonder that Swiss billionaire and top Arabella donor Hansjörg Wyss is funding the same effort in other states via States Newsroom. 

Wyss, who resides in America but isn’t a U.S. citizen, has been trying to build a foreign owned, left-wing media empire for years—most recently in a failed bid last year to buy the Chicago Tribune, which even the New York Times decried as a partisan takeover.

States Newsroom took on a more centrist face when it became independent in 2019, but its leadership still comes from the permanent activist class. Chris FitzSimon, the group’s director, worked for 13 years at NC Policy Watch, a front for the Justice Center, which spawns new activist groups trying to tilt the state left.  

States Newsroom’s board also includes Ezra Reese, a longtime lawyer for the Democratic law firm Perkins Coie and now Clinton crony Marc Elias’ Elias Law Group, a partisan litigation firm whose goal is “electing Democrats, supporting voting rights, and helping progressives make change.”

Curiously, States Newsroom doesn’t mention that fact either on its website or IRS Form 990 disclosure.

Alaska, don’t be fooled by wolves in sheep’s clothing. The most effective activist campaigns always rely first and foremost on deception, which is why my colleagues and I created InfluenceWatch.org to help you follow the money and expose these secret special interests. 

Money talks. What will States Newsroom say?

Hayden Ludwig is a senior investigative researcher for the Capital Research Center.

22 COMMENTS

  1. There was a tech boom in Colorado during the 90s (when I lived there). This brought a huge influx of Californians that helped tip the state – and once the blues get control, they rig the system to keep it (look at all the corruption exposed there during the 2020 elections). Alaska doesn’t seem to have a California problem, at least, but the corrupt election system might make up for the lack of real blue voters in the state.

  2. How much of this “dark money” goes directly into the back pocket of Scott Kendall? He’s the architect of Alaska’s rank choice voting (but he didn’t invent it. It was tried in other states and resoundingly defeated). Kendall is the enemy of the People, and he will be dealt with accordingly.

  3. Thanks for the heads-up, Ludwig! But what’s the worry? They’ll be just another “peddler” looking for fame and fortune being “honest and relevant.”

    Suzanne’s got class: she just might be neighborly and give ’em a bull horn and an old egg crate to stand on. She might even help them get set up on some street corner. Who knows! But there’s nothing to be alarmed about? Just keep your eyes open and you spectacles adjusted: It’s not as if they will be the last out to save the world from the “ordeal of thinking!”

    • Edit: “Who knows! But there’s nothing to be alarmed about? Just keep your eyes open and your spectacles adjusted….”

      • Edit (for the record): “Who knows! But there’s nothing to be alarmed about! Just keep your eyes open and your spectacles adjusted….”

  4. More fake news to fool the sheep. Sadly, we have many here in Juneau who will believe this nonsense and become very angry if you try to point out the BS. Alaska is the last man standing…CA, OR, and WA are fully entrenched with Liberals who are slowly dismantling these once great states.

  5. This why alaskans need to be in the Word of God, following a daily devotional plan, and not neglect meeting with the church body who also know the Word. Here is a nugget the simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his/her steps. One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless. Just to remember to have understanding to the slow to learn and dumb, whoever despises his/her neighbor sinner, but blessed is he/she who is generous to the poor such as the simple minded quick to believe everything. While
    they come to decieve and steal and destroy the church ought
    to be ante up its ability to getting out literature and establishing new friendships with neighbors waiting to be found waiting for the church attendee be God’s hands and feet and find them before the wolf does.

    • I respectfully disagree with you. Too much deviance has ben disguised by church bodies, too much rejection of factual information has occurred due to deferral to “God’s plan”.

    • I too respectfully disagree Jen. Christianity has become too interested with people’s private parts and what they do with them. Candidate Kelly Tshibaka wants to make birth control illegal! I’m serious.

      • Bick, by birth control, are you talking about late term abortions?
        Please cite specific evidence before you make such groundless statements.
        BTW, are you a Lisa supporter?

      • Nope. But we know who IS interested in people’s- specifically children’s body parts and that is the left. The groomers. The mutilators. The left also has no problem with Planned Parenthood selling fetal body parts.
        As always, leftists gaslight and project.

  6. This is no joke people. Colorado has become a cesspool of incompetence and debauchery. Governor Polis makes Chris Constant and crew look like choir boys. This is a full-on assault on our values and way of life up here. As much as I love the first amendment, I would burn anything this group puts out on print. Seriously! I saw what happened in CO. Disgusting and sad.

  7. At this point, who cares? The media can’t get any more left and almost no one pays attention to them.

  8. Will it really change local news that much? Whether KTUU and ADN use “States Newsroom” or the A.P., MSNBC, NY Times or the Bezos Post, what difference does it make? Or is States News going to start broadcasting news themselves?

  9. The most partisan hackjob of a website in Alaska warns us that “partisan news is coming our way.”
    Yeah. Like, that’s not the least bit ironic.

    • And yet here you are, and probably keep coming back!
      I quit watching news on any of the local channels or reading the newspapers because they are all left leaning. No desire to see or read that crap. But here you are on a site you call a “partisan hackjob”. Just avoid this website since you find it objectionable. That is the beauty of capitalism and free enterprise. Pity lefties can’t do that, they are attracted like moths to a flame.

  10. Thank you for bringing this into focus. All these ‘foundations’ spring from one another precisely for the reason to make it very difficult to ‘follow the money.’ It’s like playing a game of Whack-a-Mole. It’s been said, that to control the message–one must control the messenger. However, with the way media (social or otherwise) has devolved–they will eventually get to the point where they start to consume each other. One can hope…

  11. I wish I could be as optimistic as some of you are. But as long as the end result is not seen, these people will continue to come up with even more ways to influence the unsuspecting public. Most of these democrats are globalists who want big government, the larger, the better. That’s why the feds are trying to take over private land in the name of protecting marshes and other wild life zones. If people don’t start drawing the line and insisting on accountability in the press and in the voting systems as well, real democracy will continue to ebb away. Alaska has a lot to lose. If Walker and the democrats get away with seizing control of Alaska by any means necessary, the Great Land will be lost.

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