Liberal ‘Dark Money’ Group Gave Millions to Michigan Causes in 2018


A new report details how a “dark money” group funneled more than $140 million into Democratic causes and groups across the country during the 2018 midterms, including organizations in Michigan and Minnesota.

A Tuesday report from POLITICO exposed how the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a “little-known nonprofit headquartered in Washington,” spent $141 million on more than 100 leftist causes in the 2018 election.

That’s according to a new tax filing from the group, which shows that it operated under four dozen different “trade names” in 2018 and was powered by large anonymous donations, including a donation of $51.7 million.

The Sixteen Thirty Fund gave more than $7 million to various Michigan organizations in 2018, the largest of which was a $6 million grant given to a group called Count MI Vote, which worked for changes to the state’s redistricting process. The tax filing reveals that the Sixteen Thirty Fund operates two political organizations in Michigan under vague trade names, including Michigan Families for Economic Prosperity and Secure Michigan Elections.

According to a report from the Center for Responsive Politics, these affiliate groups don’t actually “legally exist” and are “fictitious names registered by the Sixteen Thirty Fund.”

Other donations to Michigan causes included:

  • Michigan League of Responsible Voters: $250,000
  • Michigan Time to Care: $1.7 million
  • Progress Michigan: $240,000
  • Promote the Vote: $250,000

A progressive group called TakeAction Minnesota took $9,450 to fund “environmental programs” through its “Education Fund.”

According to POLITICO’s report, Sixteen Thirty Fund’s 2018 fundraising haul was the most ever raised by a liberal political nonprofit.

“In terms of of the size of dark money networks, there are only a few that have gone into the $100 million-plus range,” said Robert Maguire, a researcher with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The Center for Responsive Politics found that the group is managed by Eric Kessler, a former Clinton administration official. Most recently, the Sixteen Thirty Fund spent six figures on television ads pressuring Republicans to support impeachment.

“The Sixteen Thirty Fund and its sister 501(c)(3) nonprofit, New Venture Fund, have fiscally sponsored at least 80 of their own groups, bankrolling those entities in a way that leaves almost no paper trail,” the Center for Responsive Politics reported, noting the $141 million was donated by just thirteen anonymous donors.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].







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