Randy Ruaro: Exposing the shadowy grip of Arabella Advisors, New Venture Fund in Alaska

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By RANDY RUARO

In accordance with the Tenth Amendment of the Federal Constitution and state rights, Congress promised Alaskans that, upon voting for statehood in 1959, Alaska would control resource development decisions on state land and have access to state resources.

Those promises are under attack from within the federal government (Biden Administration) and its’ left-wing political supporters. A battle is going on right now over control of resource development decisions and the ability of Alaskans to work and feed their families.

Alaska and AIDEA, the state’s economic and development corporation, are on the front lines in this fight.

Every time a group surfaces with a catchy Alaskan name claiming a need to stop resource development, jobs, and economic development, Alaskans should ask “Who is paying for this effort to influence public opinion?”

Research by AIDEA and others shines a light on Arabella Advisors and its’ many tentacles as a key player in the world of dark money politics. Connections between Arabella Advisors and influential funds, such as the “New Venture Fund,” and groups like “Salmon State” raise serious questions about the extent of their influence and motives.

Recent reports highlight the influence of foreign billionaires, their donations, and murky financial dealings orchestrated by Arabella Advisors and its “New Venture Fund.”

For example, here in Alaska, Salmon State is funded in part by the New Venture Fund with donors such as George Soros and Swiss billionaire, Hansjörg Wyss. The largest foundations in the world are using this dark money lobbying network to influence policy in Alaska.

In 2018, the New Venture Fund spent $88 million to influence environmental programs. This dark money organization controls media through the “States Newsroom,” which, in Alaska, operates the Alaska Beacon, an online news organization, making it one of the biggest media influencers in the state. 

The New Venture Fund is administered and overseen by Arabella Advisors. The New Venture Fund claims to be a tax-exempt non-profit with the IRS. A tax-exempt non-profit is not supposed to engage in partisan politics (IRS Revenue Ruling 2007-41).

The actions of the New Venture Fund, being so egregious in terms of acting as a blatantly political arm of liberal donors, have attracted the attention of prosecutors and are currently under investigation.

Organizations like the New Venture Fund, with hundreds of millions of dollars of donations from rich billionaires want to impose poverty and suffering on Alaska for a political agenda. They are a threat to this state. Because AIDEA’s mission supports resource development, jobs, and benefits Alaskans, it is a target. However, AIDEA’s commitment to jobs and economic development will not waiver.

The fight against dark money political and social engineering is not just a battle for Alaska; it’s a battle for the integrity of the democratic process. Alaskans must rally together to reclaim our autonomy and demand transparency and accountability from those who seek to undermine the promises made by the federal government to Alaska for statehood.

The Alaska Legislature should consider a bill next session placing donor disclosure requirements on entities such as the New Venture Fund and Salmon State to bring dark money connections into the light.

Randy Ruaro is the Executive Director of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), the State of Alaska’s economic development and finance authority. Ruaro most recently served as Governor Dunleavey’s Chief of Staff and Special Assistant for Statehood Defense. He has over 20 years of experience providing administrative oversight to state agencies and implementing policies supporting resource development, infrastructure, and job growth.

15 COMMENTS

  1. “The Alaska Legislature should consider a bill next session placing donor disclosure requirements…” sounds like a bill with unintended consequences before the public goes leaping for joy over it, trusted conservative and real Republican legislators should pick through it. The vague explanation of the author makes me skeptical.

  2. In fairness, we’ve never been given full access to our lands and resources.
    While we may be a state, in many ways we’re not much more than a taxed territory.

    Soros and company are just the latest face of interference. It’s a problem that goes much deeper.

  3. This is why I, as a builder in Alaska for decades. Very rarely work on a project that isn’t tied to either 1- public schools, 2- hospitals.
    It’s been quite a while since I’ve worked on a real business project that involves the use of a crane. Any city I’ve been to when traveling, a quick glance at the skyline is an indicator of the happenings in that city/state.
    Oh many cranes you see around here?
    How many could you have counted in the last 20 years?
    Alaska has gone from men in tool belts to whatever you call-em with “man buns” : (

  4. Randy is an old war horse that has been down many pathways. He has fought many political battles all for Alaska. He knows exactly what he is talking about, and we all better damn well listen and PAY ATTENTION.

    • Jim: But is there perhaps some reason to wonder whether AIDEA is actually conducting activities that are financially beneficial to the citizens of Alaska? That was, after all, the point made by the reports issued about AIDEA’s lousy investment record.
      Instead of addressing the information in the reports showing how AIDEA has become a slush fund with inadequate oversight and an entity that regularly produces a miserable return on investment, the reaction by AIDEA was to criticize the messenger. This kind of deflection is typical of dysfunctional organizations and one of the reasons the Alaska Legislature should exercise oversight and rein in the poor practices AIDEA has been allowed to conduct for decades.

  5. Soros money went to the Chorus foundations (2million) and then to Tanana Chiefs and then to the dena movement. Communist “de-colonizing” money.. if I’m White then I’m viewed as a colonist so I would love to hear exactly what “de-colonizing” means..? Sounds political to me.
    Remember the bridge blockade at the governors agricultural project? That was them.

  6. Dark money may shift public opinion, but the problem is we have enabled public opinion to have power over development of all kinds. Property rights have been socialized. Property should be privatized, and illegitimate federal institutions should be eliminated. Those two things would go a long way to restoring property rights and one’s ability to develop their property accordingly. Without these changes, your property or resource development investment is simply at the whim of a government “master” planner.

    • But when the property belongs to the State and it’s a resource for all citizens, then who holds the exclusive right? The governor? The legislature? Why shouldn’t public opinion be considered on how public lands should be managed or developed? Without this input, your plan sounds like how countries like China operate–when they wanted to build the larges hydroelectric dam in the world, they just flooded out hundreds of thousands of homes and cultural sites.

  7. Recent reports highlight the influence of foreign billionaires, their donations, and Murky financial dealings orchestrated by Arabella Advisors and its New Venture Funds?
    We knew Murky sold us out with Mitch McConnells generous donations to her campaign to become the top Democrat supporting Senator from Alaska.

  8. Good information. The group called Alaskans for Better Elections, who pushed through RCV, did so with massive funding that came almost entirely from outsiders Kathryn Murdoch and Marc Merrill.

    • Fishing: is your comment related to the column or are you just free associating about another topic?

  9. Oh gosh. Soros and the globalists really want this state controlled. People better be ready to stand up and tell them, “Heck No! We are done with your destruction and genocide. We are taking back control of our state government which should belong to the People – not to the globalists.”

  10. As long as the environmentalists are able to pull in these large sums, they will continue to deny progress and jobs to not only Alaskans, but Americans in the lower 48 as well. Conservation is good, but environmentalism out of control just brings more dictatorship.

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