Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
2Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
The Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters

The Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters

Ratings: (0)|Views: 8 |Likes:
Published by James Dellinger
Summary: Four years ago the Democratic
Party was in disarray after failing to reclaim
the White House and Congress despite record
contributions by high-dollar donors.
George Soros and other wealthy liberals
decided they had the answer to the party’s
problems. They formed a secretive donors’
collaborative to fund a permanent political
infrastructure of nonprofit think tanks, media
outlets, leadership schools, and activist
groups to compete with the conservative
movement. Called the Democracy Alliance
(DA), Soros and his colleagues put their imprimatur
on the party and the progressive
movement by steering hundreds of millions
of dollars to liberal nonprofi ts they favored.
The Democracy Alliance helped Democrats
give Republicans a shellacking in November.
Now it’s organizing state-level chapters
in at least 19 states, and once-conservative
Colorado, which hosts the Democracy Alliance’s
most successful state affi liate, has
turned Democrat blue. Moreover, the DAfunded
“Secretary of State Project” has
helped elect the chief electoral offi cials in
nine states. Critics worry that a secretary
of state sympathetic to the aims of ACORN,
the radical community organizing group,
will open to door to vote fraud.
Summary: Four years ago the Democratic
Party was in disarray after failing to reclaim
the White House and Congress despite record
contributions by high-dollar donors.
George Soros and other wealthy liberals
decided they had the answer to the party’s
problems. They formed a secretive donors’
collaborative to fund a permanent political
infrastructure of nonprofit think tanks, media
outlets, leadership schools, and activist
groups to compete with the conservative
movement. Called the Democracy Alliance
(DA), Soros and his colleagues put their imprimatur
on the party and the progressive
movement by steering hundreds of millions
of dollars to liberal nonprofi ts they favored.
The Democracy Alliance helped Democrats
give Republicans a shellacking in November.
Now it’s organizing state-level chapters
in at least 19 states, and once-conservative
Colorado, which hosts the Democracy Alliance’s
most successful state affi liate, has
turned Democrat blue. Moreover, the DAfunded
“Secretary of State Project” has
helped elect the chief electoral offi cials in
nine states. Critics worry that a secretary
of state sympathetic to the aims of ACORN,
the radical community organizing group,
will open to door to vote fraud.

More info:

Categories:Types, Resumes & CVs
Published by: James Dellinger on May 11, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

05/14/2014

pdf

text

original

 
The Democracy Alliance Does America:
The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters
CONTENTS
December 2008
 The Democracy AllianceDoes America
Page 1
Philanthropy Notes
Page 12
By Matthew Vadum and James Dellinger 
Democracy Alliance
nancier George Soros spoofed: This is a screen grab from theOct. 4 “Saturday Night Live.” In front row from left to right, Kristen Wiig as HouseSpeaker Nancy Pelosi, Will Forte as Soros, and Fred Armisen as Rep. Barney Frank.
T
he wealthy liberals who are membersof the Democracy Alliance (DA), the
nancial clearinghouse that aims tomove America permanently to the left, are al-ways afraid of something. Their greatest fear used to be George W. Bush. But now they areafraid that the Democratic victory last monthcould weaken the resolve of self-styled “pro-gressives.” They worry that complacencyand fatalism threaten the progressive senseof mission and their long-term prospects todestroy conservatism and the conservativemovement. When the Democracy Alliancewas founded in early 2005, members said ina survey that their greatest fear was that their organization might not survive a Democratwinning the White House. Over the next twoyears they will begin to
nd out if the Allianceis becoming a victim of its own success.Democracy Alliance leaders and their mostvisible funder, George Soros, haven’t said much publicly on the Democratic Party’striumph at the polls. But on November 12they met behind closed doors in Washington,
Summary
:
Four years ago the DemocraticParty was in disarray after failing to reclaimthe White House and Congress despite re-cord contributions by high-dollar donors.George Soros and other wealthy liberalsdecided they had the answer to the party’s problems. They formed a secretive donors’collaborative to fund a permanent politicalinfrastructure of nonpro
 fi
t think tanks, me-dia outlets, leadership schools, and activ-ist groups to compete with the conservativemovement. Called the Democracy Alliance(DA), Soros and his colleagues put their im- primatur on the party and the progressivemovement by steering hundreds of millionsof dollars to liberal nonpro
 fi
ts they favored.The Democracy Alliance helped Democratsgive Republicans a shellacking in Novem-ber. Now it’s organizing state-level chaptersin at least 19 states, and once-conservativeColorado, which hosts the Democracy Al-liance’s most successful state af 
 fi
liate, hasturned Democrat blue. Moreover, the DA- funded “Secretary of State Project” hashelped elect the chief electoral of 
 fi
cials innine states. Critics worry that a secretaryof state sympathetic to the aims of ACORN,the radical community organizing group,will open to door to vote fraud.
D.C., according to Marc Ambinder of theAtlantic. It’s safe to say they are planningtheir next moves.Since at least 2006 DA members and staff have been quietly working to franchise their operations at the state level. The Alliance(
Editor’s note
: This special report on theDemocracy Alliance updates our January2008 and December 2006 issues of 
Foun-dation Watch
.)
 
2December 2008
Foundation
Watch
Editor:
Matthew Vadum
Publisher:
 Terrence Scanlon
Foundation Watch
is published by Capital ResearchCenter, a non-partisan education andresearch organization, classi
ed bythe IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity.
 Address:
1513 16th Street, N.W.Washington, DC 20036-1480
Phone:
(202) 483-6900
Long-Distance:
(800) 459-3950
E-mail Address:
mvadum@capitalresearch.org
Web Site:
http://www.capitalresearch.org
Organization Trends
welcomes let-ters to the editor.
Reprints
are available for $2.50 pre-paid to Capital Research Center.
created a Committee on States which aimsto put a state-level Democracy Alliance inall 50 states. Its greatest success to date isColorado, where a DA chapter helped turnthat state Democrat blue. The Alliance alsofunds the Secretary of State Project, whichaims to put Democrats in control of the elec-tions apparatus in “key” states.
Following the Money
How much grant-making to liberal groupshas the Democracy Alliance facilitated?It’s not easy to say. First, the Alliance isextremely secretive. Second, it doesn’tgenerally handle grant monies directly, butacts as a clearinghouse matching causes towilling donors. Unless evidence surfacesthat money was funneled through the Alli-ance, who’s to say an individual DA member didn’t make a grant to a group on his or her own initiative?Last month a reporter told 
Foundation Watch
 that a Democracy Alliance spokespersontold him the DA has brokered a total of only$105 million in grants to date. This is only$5 million more than we reported 11 monthsago. Democracy Alliance founder Rob Steintold a Democratic Party national convention panel discussion in August that the Alliance“over the last 30 months has put about $110million into 30 groups.”Since the Alliance had been in existence for 43 months –not 30 months— when Steinmade the statement, neither amount tellsthe whole story.In an August 15 Huf 
ngton Post columnAlliance member Simon Rosenberg noted that the total dollar value of DA-approved grants was signi
cantly higher. Rosenberg,the founder of the 501(c)(4) New Democrat Network (now called simply NDN), wrotethat the Alliance has already “channeled hundreds of millions of dollars into progres-sive organizations.”In November 2007, Alliance membersGeorge Soros, Rob McKay, Anna Burger,and the Center for American Progress’s JohnPodesta helped form the Fund for America,a 527 group. Roll Call predicted (Nov. 12,2007) that the new entity could pump “per-haps $100 million or more into media buysand voter outreach in the run-up to the 2008elections.” But Alliance donors pulled back after the Fund fell short of its goal and wasdisbanded by June 2008, a victim of thelengthy Obama-Clinton primary
ght and Obama campaign signals that it did not wantits supporters giving to any outside 527 groupnot under its control. (New York Times “TheCaucus” blog, June 26)Before it disbanded the 527 funded a number of left-of-center political organizations. Theyinclude the Campaign to Defend America($1.4 million), America Votes, VoteVets.org, Americans United for Change, ACORN,Center for American Progress Action Fund,Women’s Voices, Women Vote Action Fund,and Progress Now Action and some of its af-
liates. The Fund’s address was identical tothe Service Employees International Union’sWashington headquarters, and it reimbursed SEIU for staff and of 
ce expenses. The fund took in $3.5 million from Soros, $2.5 millionfrom SEIU, $2.5 million from Hollywood  producer Steve Bing, and $1 million fromhedge fund executive
 
Donald Sussman.The Alliance created an internal bureaucracyto deal with grants. Last summer, the DA posted a “Letter of Interest” form on itswebsite inviting grant applications from progressive nonpro
ts for the 2009/2010giving cycle. The form, since scrubbed from the site, showed that the Alliance hasa special interest in sustaining certain kindsof organizations. This list usefully describeswhat DA funders consider the priorities for the 21st century left:
*Building power and capacity inkey constituencies
: engagement and issue advocacy work with key con-stituencies, primarily Latinos and young people, as well as AfricanAmericans and unmarried women.
* New media and technol-ogy
: content generators, aggrega-tors and distributors that disseminateand amplify progressive messages.
* Law and legal systems
: working to ad-vance and protect progressive values and  policies at all levels of the legal system.
* Early stage idea generators
: focus-ing on progressive idea generationand development at the early and middle stages of the idea cycle in-cluding journals, academic networks, books, and non-traditional think tanks.
* Content generation
: focusing ontraditional and new media vehiclesthat are capable of developing and ef-fectively promoting progressive ideas.
* Civic engagement coordination
:achieving greater ef 
ciency and effec-tiveness in mobilization and participationwork through collaboration and coordi-nation and creating economies of scale.
* Civic engagement tools
: increas-ing capacity and availability of dataservices, including online organizingservices for civic engagement groups.
* Election reform
: focusing on struc-tural reforms of our democratic processthat will increase voter participationamong progressive constituencies.
* Youth leadership development
: building on the youth development part of the leadership pipeline thatincludes looking for organizations tar-geting young people that work at scale.
* Mid-career nonpro
t leadershipdevelopment
: building on the mid-career development part of the leadership pipe-line that includes looking for organiza-tions working at scale.Clearly, donor support is needed for writing books, starting think tanks, winning electionsand changing laws. But what’s striking aboutthis list is the philanthropic left’s emphasison young people, new media, and onlineorganizing.
What is the Democracy Alliance?
During a panel discussion at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August,
 
3December 2008
Foundation
Watch
Democracy Alliance founder Rob Steinexplained the simple truth behind the Alli-ance’s mission: It was crucial to control theWhite House. According to a recording of that August 27 meeting Stein explained:The reason it is so important to controlgovernment is because government is thesource of enormous power. One presidentin this country, when he or she takes of-
ce, appoints 2 million people—I mean,I’m sorry—appoints 5,000 people to runa bureaucracy, non-military non-postalservice of 2 million people, who hire 10million outside outsource contractors— a workforce of 12 million people—thatspends 3 trillion dollars a year. Thatnumber is larger than the gross domestic product of all but four countries on theface of the earth.The Alliance has been around for almost four years now. It was born out of the frustrationof wealthy liberals who gave generously toliberal candidates and 527 political com-mittees, but received no electoral payoff in2004. George Soros, Progressive Insurancechairman Peter B. Lewis, and S&L tycoonsHerb and Marion Sandler were angry and discouraged after contributing to the MediaFund, which spent $57 million on TV adsattacking President Bush in swing statesand to America Coming Together whichspent $78 million on get out the vote efforts.They had been seduced by the siren songof pollsters and the mainstream media who promised them John Kerry would trouncethe incumbent president. Other wealthyDemocratic donors felt the same way. “TheU.S. didn’t enter World War II until Japan bombed Pearl Harbor,” political consultantErica Payne told them. “We just had our Pearl Harbor.”In April 2005, 70 millionaires and billion-aires met in Phoenix, Arizona, for a secretlong-term strategy session. Three quartersof the members at the meeting agreed thatthe Alliance should not “retain close ties tothe Democratic Party,” and 84% thought theconservative movement was “a fundamentalthreat to the American way of life.”Former Clinton administration of 
cial RobStein told the gathering they needed to re
ecton how conservatives had spent four decadesinvesting in ideas and institutions with stay-ing power. Stein showed his PowerPoint presentation on condition they keep it con-
dential. Called “The Conservative MessageMachine’s Money Matrix,” Stein showed graphs and charts of an intricate network of organizations, funders, and activists thatcomprised what he said was the conservativemovement. “This is perhaps the most potent,independent, institutionalized apparatus ever assembled in a democracy to promote one belief system,” Stein said.Stein believed the left could not competeelectorally because it was hopelessly out-gunned by the right’s think tanks, legaladvocacy organizations, and leadershipschools. Stein failed to mention the universi-ties, big foundations and mainstream mediaas adjuncts of the political left.Stein felt Democrats had grown accustomed to thinking of themselves as the naturalmajority party. The party had become atop-down organization run by professional politicians untroubled by donors’ concerns.He was convinced the party had to beturned upside-down: Donors should fund anideological movement to dictate policies to politicians. Activists with new money and new energy should demand more say in partyaffairs. Said Eli Pariser of the group MoveOn.org: “Now it’s our party: we bought it, weown it, and we’re going to take it back.”Democratic donors aggravated by the GOP’selectoral success latched on to Stein’s vision.“The new breed of rich and frustrated left-ists” saw themselves as oppressed both by “aRepublican conspiracy” and “by their own party and its insipid Washington establish-ment,” writes journalist Matt Bai, author of 
The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers, and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics
.“This, more than anything else, was whatdrew them to Rob Stein’s presentation,”writes Bai.Stein’s presentation won converts and in 2005the Democracy Alliance was born. It was anodd name for a loose collection of super-richdonors committed to building organizationsthat would propel America to the left.The Alliance is becoming what leftist blog-ger Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos famecalled for in 2005: “A vast, Vast Left WingConspiracy to rival” the conservative move-ment. It relies less on traditional DemocraticParty “machine” politics, which typicallydraws upon fat cats, institutions (the partyitself, labor unions), and single-issue advo-cacy groups (pro-abortion rights groups, the National Education Association and other teacher unions). Although it is of 
ciallynonpartisan, the DA has cultivated deepand extensive ties to the Democratic Partyestablishment.
Democracy Alliance founder Rob Stein at a November 2006 panel discussion at theHudson Institute’s Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->