The Washington Free Beacon has published a blistering report about the liberal consulting company Arabella Advisors, revealing how the dark money group directly controls numerous “grassroots” pop-up organizations through sub-entities such as New Venture Funds. Some of these funded groups are in Alaska.
The Alaska Center and the relative newcomer Alaska Venture Fund are two Alaska groups funded through this Arabella dark-money network.
Although it’s unclear where funding from the new 907 Initiative comes from, it has all the same markings as the others funded by Arabella/New Venture Fund and appears to be running campaign ads while not disclosing its top three donors in the Anchorage mayoral election. It asks for no donations on its website, because all of its money is coming from Outside entities. It’s also skating close to the edge of the ice on legal activities.
Another Alaska group funded by the New Venture Fund is Alaskans for Posterity, a low-performing shadow group meant to trick voters with a name similar to the conservative Americans for Prosperity Alaska. Although Must Read Alaska has reported on this group in the past, the tie to the New Venture Fund was made by the Free Beacon reporters.
The 907 Initiative is this week carpet bombing Anchorage residents with negative ads about Mayor Dave Bronson on Anchorage in the same way that Alaskans for Posterity bombarded the airwaves against Gov. Mike Dunleavy in 2021.
The 907 Initiative, just like Alaskans for Posterity, came out of nowhere and is using Gonzalez Marketing in Anchorage to place its advertising. Gonzalez has placed a two-week ad buy for $8,500 on iHeart radio. Gonzalez Marketing has a close relationship with Lottsfelt Strategies. The two companies used to share the same address on Northern Lights Blvd. in Anchorage.
Many of the groups funded by the New Venture Fund are controlled from the top down. All of the pop-up groups are prohibited from discussing their ties to the broader network, according to the fund’s employee handbook, which, according to the document’s metadata, was prepared in April 2019 by Arabella senior director Gideon Steinberg, the Free Beacon writes.
Arabella Advisors also administers the nonprofit Sixteen Thirty Fund, and numerous other progressive groups, which Arabella uses as guerrilla political teams around the country to attack on specific issues, such as environment and political campaigns.
Arabella’s The Sixteen Thirty Fund and the New Venture Fund both support The Alaska Center, and the Sixteen Thirty Fund provided support for the failed mayoral campaign of Forrest Dunbar.
“A single, cryptically named entity that has served as a clearinghouse of undisclosed cash for the left, the Sixteen Thirty Fund, received mystery donations as large as $50 million and disseminated grants to more than 200 groups, while spending a total of $410 million in 2020 — more than the Democratic National Committee itself,” The New York Times reported about the dark money network in January.
Arabella controls the array of pop-up nonprofits, such as Demand Justice, Kansans for Secure Elections, SoCal Healthcare Coalition, and Justice March, some of which exist for only a short period of time, according to the records uncovered by the Free Beacon.
“They are effectively departments of the New Venture Fund [controlled by Arabella] and each of their employees are on the fund’s payroll. That means a group like the Student Experience Research Network or the Institute for Responsive Government doesn’t have its own employees, but rather, New Venture Fund employees under the guise of the Institute for Responsive Government. The same goes for the Compassion Project, the Alaska Venture Fund, the Healthy Voting Project, and countless other New Venture Fund “pop-up” groups,” the Beacon reports.
“The benefits of Arabella’s centralized control over the network are made clear to New Venture Fund employees. With Arabella in control, it can “coordinate collaborative initiatives between donors” and gain access to “expert philanthropic strategy development, execution, and evaluation support services,” the Free Beacon reports.
Arabella last year contributed $600,000 to Alaskans for Bristol Bay Action, which was every penny that the pop-up organization got. The group spent its money pushing Rep. Mary Peltola and attacking Sarah Palin in the race for Alaska’s only congressional seat.
The anti-Pebble group SalmonState is another front organization for Arabella’s New Venture Fund.
Alaska’s newest news group called the Alaska Beacon is part of this politically driven network, funded in part by the Hopewell Fund, another Arabella Advisors spinoff. Although Must Read Alaska does not carry the Alaska Beacon stories, all of the other major media outlets in the state are now using the company to fill their pages, helping their news companies stay alive without paying for their own reporters, but instead using a dark-money group to provide their content.