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Arabella Sheds Light On The Dark-Money Groups Remaking America Millions Of Dollars At A Time

Arabella dark-money book cover
Image CreditEncounter Books

The new book Arabella shows that the left’s network of influence far outpaces that of the right in areas such as elections, abortion, and climate activism.

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Dark money groups have been shaping policy for years, doing the bidding of wealthy, anonymous left-wing ideologues. Now Scott Walter, president of Capital Research Center, brings them to light with his new book, Arabella.

Encounter Books released Arabella: The Dark Money Network of Leftist Billionaires Secretly Transforming America on April 9. Walter details the role of the shadowy Arabella network in moving money for powerful billionaires such as Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Hansjörg Wyss to fundamentally change American society.

This work is an essential primer for anyone, especially policymakers and reporters, on left-wing dark-money networks. It offers a captivating and concise, yet content-dense, history of Arabella Advisors and its work with unseen political forces.

Arabella has “funneled hundreds of millions of dollars through a daisy chain of groups supporting Democrats and progressive causes,” according to The New York Times.

Arabella has five branches: the New Venture Fund, the Hopewell Fund, the Windward Fund, the Sixteen Thirty Fund, and the North Fund. Walter explains these branches create “pop-up” groups that move funds to accomplish the aims of their donors, who stay anonymous. Capital Research, however, has spent years tracing the money.

The largest donor to Arabella groups is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which gave the group more than $456 million — including $127 million in 2020 — since 2008, according to the book, which draws on years of research from Capital Research. The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation gave Arabella nonprofits close to $28 million in 2020, and the Rockefeller Foundation gave them a total of $15 million. The Wyss Foundation also gave close to $52 million to Arabella groups from 2010 to 2020. 

The left often accuses the right of using dark money networks, but Walter shows that Arabella’s network of influence far outpaces that of the right in areas such as elections, abortion, and climate change. The book contains many more important points than this article could cover.

Elections

Arabella has been moving money to shape elections for powerful figures who would likely wish to remain anonymous. But thanks to the work of Walter and Capital Research, they — and their plans — are now known publicly.

The Democracy Alliance is a network of elite left-wing election influencers. Walter explains its “ambitious goals” ahead of the 2020 election, when its network partners committed $146 million to “progressive infrastructure map” groups.

Wyss, a member of the Democracy Alliance, is like a new George Soros figure. He commands the $2.7 billion Wyss Foundation, which worked with John Podesta, former adviser to President Barack Obama, in 2015 to expand the Democratic voter base with election policy. 

The Daily Caller revealed in 2016 that Wyss, a Swiss citizen, had given $41,000 to Democratic causes in violation of the federal government’s ban on foreign nationals giving to political campaigns. Americans for Public Trust filed a complaint in 2021 alleging illegal election interference from Wyss, the Wyss Foundation, and Arabella’s Sixteen Thirty Fund and New Venture Fund.

The Wyss Foundation helped start Arabella’s The Hub Project, which aims to shape media coverage to boost support for Democrats.

The New Venture Fund in 2022 gave more than $21 million to America Votes, which recently hosted a summit of officials and influencers to shape election policy for Democratic victory. 

In 2020, the New Venture Fund gave $24.8 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life, to which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave $350 million to boost Democratic turnout in the 2020 election. The same year, it gave $675,000 to the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR).

Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, is also the founder of Democracy Fund. Walter exposes the group’s connections to left-wing election influence groups like CTCL and CEIR.

Democracy Fund, which partners with CTCL, shuttled $280,000 through Arabella to CEIR in 2017, according to Influence Watch. CEIR received $70 million in Zuckbucks in 2020, the same year the group obtained Virginia voter data.

According to a former head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, CEIR Executive Director David Becker is a “hardcore leftist” who “couldn’t stand conservatives.”

The Center for Secure and Modern Elections (CSME) is also a major player. The group advocates for automatic voter registration and funnels funding between dark money groups. CSME is a project of Arabella’s New Venture Fund, which the Louisiana attorney general sued along with CTCL following the 2020 election alleging illegal interference. 

While the world of election funding is complicated, Walter makes it easily accessible to the reader by tying the dollars and details together into a cohesive narrative.

Abortion

Walter follows the big-name, big-money characters as they develop in support of the abortion industry. 

Warren Buffett is one of the most influential figures in abortion funding. Walter begins his analysis of the billionaire with a more human angle, demonstrating his deep fear of overpopulation. 

The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation has given $4 billion to pro-abortion and pro-population control groups in the last 20 years, according to Capital Research. Its grants include: $675 million to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America; $416 million to Population Services International; $91 million to EngenderHealth, formerly the Sterilization League of New Jersey; and $36 million to Gynuity Health.

Gynuity tested abortifacients on women in poor countries such as Armenia, Burkina Faso, and Ukraine in the 2010s. The group received $287,500 from Arabella’s abortion branch, the Hopewell Fund, in 2017. According to Influence Watch, the Hopewell Fund supports expanding abortion and donates to pro-abortion causes.

The Buffett Foundation gave $77 million to Arabella’s New Venture Fund and $66 million to its Hopewell Fund by 2020. 

Buffett and Arabella are not alone. Buffett is a trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which sends millions to support abortion worldwide. While Walter holds the Gates accountable for contributing to the abortion industry, he is fair in acknowledging the foundation’s past hesitation about the matter.

Climate

Arabella has been involved in climate issues from the start. Walter begins his book in 2008 in Whitefish, Montana, with a group called “Responsible Trails America” trying to close motorbike trails on public land. That group was a front for Arabella.

Walter uses this example to draw a striking contrast between where Arabella was and where it is now. The network has since grown exponentially, taking in $1.26 billion in revenue in 2020, according to InfluenceWatch. While Arabella’s operations have expanded to nearly every corner of American life, many of its activities still relate to climate. 

The Western Values Project (WVP) began as a project of Arabella’s New Venture Fund. It maintained a website attacking former President Donald Trump’s Department of the Interior, including then-Secretary Ryan Zinke of Montana, who resigned due to public pressure. When Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt took over as secretary, the WVP pivoted to attack him.

More recently, federal attempts to ban gas stoves point back to Rewiring America, a project of Arabella’s Windward Fund. Rewiring America pushes the federal government to transform American homes to rely entirely on electricity through incentives and societal “mobilization.” The Rockefeller Brothers Fund gave the group $300,000 in 2020, and former Rep. Stacey Abrams, D-Georgia, is a “senior counsel” for the group. 

Walter offers an interesting narrative, with evidence connecting the most important anonymous influencers in areas including elections, abortion, and climate activism. He includes the small details linking dark money groups with one another, depicting their unity in a common cause.


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