Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about some of the dark money being spent in the 2020 elections.
The article reports:
When Hayden Ludwig and a colleague showed up at the Civic Participation Action Fund’s (CPAF) Washington, D.C., office in 2019 seeking copies of the group’s most recent tax returns, they were greeted by an angry Stephen McConnell.
McConnell, then-CPAF’s president, demanded to know who paid his inquisitors’ salaries. Ludwig identified himself as an investigative researcher for the Capital Research Center (CRC), and his colleague as an intern there.
Ludwig also reminded McConnell that federal regulations require groups like CPAF and CRC to provide the documents on request. At that point, Ludwig said McConnell cooled down and produced the documents.
“They’re not used to being in the limelight,” Ludwig laconically told The Epoch Times on Oct. 22.
Indeed, throughout its carefully planned five-year lifespan, CPAF flew under the radar even as it spent millions of dollars from anonymous overseas donors on campaigns to boost Democratic registration and voting in highly-targeted neighborhoods in the 2018 and 2020 campaigns.
The article notes:
“CPAF is best described as a $50 million secretive conduit for moving Atlantic Philanthropy’s foreign ‘dark money’ dollars into U.S. left-wing infrastructure groups doing Get Out The Vote (GOTV) and voter registration campaigns that help Democrats,” Ludwig said.
Atlantic Philanthropy is an offshore complex of closely related foundations based in Bermuda and established by American entrepreneur Chuck Feeney, who made his fortune with the Duty Free Shoppers line of retail stores. Atlantic received $1.6 billion when Feeney sold his interest in the stores in 1997.
Atlantic Philanthropy channeled nearly $50 million to CPAF in 2015 via Atlantic Advocacy Fund, one of its associated groups. McConnell was Atlantic’s U.S. Director before starting CPAF. The group also received funds from other liberal Democratic sources, including $367,000 from George Soros’ Open Society Foundation.
The plan from the outset was that CPAF—a “limited life initiative”—would complete its mission in time for the 2020 presidential election.
The article notes the legal loophole that allows CPAF to be involved in politics:
“Due to technicalities of American foundation law, since it is organized offshore, Atlantic Philanthropies is permitted to fund 501(c)(4) advocacy activities, which American-based foundations cannot,” according to CRC’s Influence Watch. Names of individual donors behind funding sources remain anonymous.
The article concludes:
In addition to encouraging voter registration in heavily Democratic neighborhoods, CPAF also made grants to activist groups closely aligned with Democratic candidates.
One such group, Arizona Wins, which got $437,675 from CPAF, played a major role in Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-Ariz.) narrow win over Republican Martha McSally in 2018.
Neither McConnell nor Roberts could be reached for comment, while Atlantic Philanthropies completed its grant-making and closed down its media office earlier this year, according to a recording on the foundation’s main telephone line.
Please follow the link above to read the entire article. There is nothing wrong with encouraging voter registration, but there are laws that restrict the political activities of certain groups based on their tax status. Using offshore companies to skirt those laws is not ethical, even if it does not violate the ‘letter of the law.’