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Left-Wing Nonprofit Interfering In Milwaukee’s 2024 Elections Got $750K From Soros Group


A Democrat-friendly dark money group bankrolling Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s 2024 elections previously received $750,000 from an organization founded by leftist billionaire George Soros.

Earlier this month, Urban Milwaukee revealed that the Democrat stronghold — in a county Joe Biden won by nearly 40 points in the 2020 election — was offered a $786,500 election grant from Cities Forward, a virtually unknown nonprofit organization that markets itself as a “nonpartisan effort focused on helping cities around the country make participation in the democratic process a priority.” According to Claire Woodall, the executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission, the funds will be used to purchase new election equipment such as voting machines that print paper ballots and ballot tabulators, among other items.

The Milwaukee Election Commission and the Milwaukee Public Library also accepted a $250,000 grant from Cities Forward. Just the News reported that the grant will go towards a supposedly “non-partisan public education campaign … to increase civic connection among residents” that includes “Encourag[ing] ALL residents to register to vote, sign up to vote by mail, vote early, and update their state ID/driver’s licenses.”

The Federalist has since learned that Cities Forward was previously given a $750,000 grant from the Open Society Foundations (OSF), a left-wing organization founded and financed by Soros that “gives away nearly a billion dollars per year to left-wing organizations around the world to advance his vision of an ‘open society,'” according to InfluenceWatch. Through the years, OSF has funded numerous left-wing organizations such as the American Civil Liberties UnionPlanned Parenthood, and the Brennan Center for Justice, and prioritizes backing Democrat-backed causes such as “enacting liberal comprehensive immigration reform (including a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants), cutting the number of prison inmates by 50 percent, increasing welfare handouts, and raising taxes to redistribute wealth.”

OSF’s $750,000 grant was earmarked for Cities Forward in 2022 when the latter was an initiative of the New Venture Fund. As noted by InfluenceWatch, the New Venture Fund “focuses primarily on social and environmental change,” and is “the largest 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the network of five nonprofits created and managed by Arabella Advisors, a Washington, D.C.-based philanthropy consulting company that caters to major foundations and organizations on the political Left.”

Restoration News’ Hayden Ludwig first reported Cities Forward’s connections to the New Venture Fund last week.

But Cities Forward’s ties to Democrats’ dark money empire doesn’t stop there. As I previously wrote in these pages, the group is apparently run by Trevor Ostbye, who previously worked at the Democracy Fund, another left-wing organization that prioritizes Democrat causes and bankrolls partisan voter registration efforts. Ostbye has also contributed to reports issued by leftist organizations that dishonestly smear Republican-backed election integrity laws and previously donated to Democrat Doug Jones’ 2017 Senate campaign.

Milwaukee’s acceptance of the aforementioned Cities Forward grants comes ahead of Wisconsin’s April 2 primary elections, in which electors will vote on a constitutional amendment proposal that seeks to prohibit private money from being used to conduct elections.

During the 2020 contest, the Center for Tech and Civic Life and the Center for Election Innovation and Research collectively received hundreds of millions of dollars from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. These “Zuckbucks” were poured into local election offices in battleground states around the country to change how elections were administered, such as by expanding unsupervised election protocols like mail-in voting and the use of ballot drop boxes. To make matters worse, the grants were heavily skewed towards Democrat-majority counties, essentially making it a massive Democrat get-out-the-vote operation.

According to the Capital Research Center, Wisconsin received $10.1 million in “Zuckbucks” from CTCL, which “distributed a total of 31 grants above the $5,000 minimum to Wisconsin cities and townships.” Of those 31 grants, 28 went to cities, eight of which were won by Trump and 20 by Biden. Milwaukee received the fourth largest amount of funds per capita, behind Racine, Green Bay, and Kenosha, respectively.

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