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Politico Reporter Disguises PR For Left-Wing Political Group As Journalism

Does political writer Heidi Przybyla work for Politico or a left-wing group funded by Arabella? Her recent stories make it hard to tell.


Does political writer Heidi Przybyla work for Politico or a left-wing group funded by Arabella Advisors? Her recent stories make it hard to tell.

On Tuesday, Przybyla published what conservative radio host Erick Erickson characterized as a “press release” for a group called “Demand Justice.” The story, headlined, “Progressive advocacy group plans $10M offensive targeting Supreme Court,” chronicles the far-left operation’s multi-million-dollar campaign to undermine the last functional institution of the federal government.

“According to plans first shared with POLITICO, the group intends to spend $10 million by the end of this year on a range of activities, from conducting opposition research on potential Supreme Court picks to advocating for ethics reforms for the high court,” Przybyla reported. “It will also work to mobilize key constituencies affected by the court’s decisions, including women and young people, and to call out a network of far-right judicial activists that laid the groundwork for the conservative supermajority on the Supreme Court.”

Left out of Przybyla’s reporting, however, as Erickson noted, “Demand Justice is a part of a multi-billion dollar dark money enterprise of the left called Arabella.”

Arabella is a colossal dark money group funneling anonymous donations to left-wing causes such as efforts to “defund police” and antisemitic protests. Last month, CBS called the group a “dark money juggernaut” with entities promoting “progressive causes, like climate change and marijuana legalization.”

“Lately, they have poured money into state ballot initiatives, particularly where there are competitive Senate or House seats, possibly as a way of driving turnout,” CBS reported.

Arabella, however, wasn’t even mentioned in Przybyla’s piece where she described Demand Justice’s efforts as part of “an advocacy ecosystem to challenge a deep-pocketed network of ultraconservative judicial activists helmed by Leonard Leo, the Federalist Society co-chair.”

“So Politico, which believes in transparency and supposedly believes in democracy, is running a press release for a leftwing group funded by anonymous leftwing billionaires who are also anonymously trying to fund election efforts for the left,” Erickson wrote on X Tuesday.

Other recent stories by Przybyla include multiple pieces on Federalist Society Co-Chair Leonard Leo being active in the conservative non-profit world and promoting Christianity in K-12 classrooms. In February, Przybyla hysterically reported that the re-election of former President Donald Trump would be a victory for “Christian nationalism.”

“Trump allies prepare to infuse ‘Christian nationalism’ in second administration,” Przybyla headlined her story, writing “Christian nationalists in America believe that the country was founded as a Christian nation and that Christian values should be prioritized throughout government and public life.”

Przybyla defended her reporting on MSNBC.

“The one thing that unites them as Christian nationalists — not Christians by the way, because Christian nationalists is very different — is that they believe that our rights as Americans, as all human beings, don’t come from any earthly authority; they don’t come from Congress; they don’t come from the Supreme Court — they come from God,” she said.

Federalist Senior Editor David Harsanyi pointed out the same themes presented as “extremist” under the umbrella of “Christian nationalism” by Przybyla were also the foundational values that set the stage for American democracy in the first place.

“If This Is ‘Christian Nationalism,’ Sign Me Up!” Harsanyi headlined his response.

As numerous critics have already pointed out, ‘Christian nationalism’ sounds identical to the case for American liberty offered in the Declaration of Independence. Then again, the idea that man has inalienable, universal rights goes back to ancient Greece, at least. The entire American project is contingent on accepting the notion that the state can’t give or take our God-given freedoms. It is the best kind of ‘extremism.’

And yet Przybyla would go on to publish commentary on “The Right Way to Cover the Intersection of Religion and Politics.”

Przybyla seems obsessed with going after the conservative legal movement in particular. In 2018, she participated in the smear campaign against Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and last year she published another hit piece on Justice Neil Gorsuch.

The story, headlined “Law firm head bought Gorsuch-owned property,” accused the justice of impropriety with the claim: “For nearly two years beginning in 2015, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch sought a buyer for a 40-acre tract of property he co-owned in rural Granby, Colo.” Gorsuch apparently left the “Identity of buyer/seller” blank for the estate transaction during his nomination process in 2017.

Harsanyi examined “all the disclosure forms of Supreme Court Justices in 2017” and explained “none of them made a single notation in that column for any transaction.”

“As far as I can tell, that line has never seen as much as a scribble from any justice in any year,” Harsanyi reported. “Politico is holding Gorsuch to a completely new standard.”

The estate, meanwhile, was sold just nine days after the justice’s confirmation, before he even ruled on a single case, to a lawyer at Colorado’s largest law firm.

Przybyla followed the story several days later with another story headlined, “Leonard Leo used Federalist Society contact to obtain $1.6B donation.”

“Leonard Leo,” she reported, “who helped to choose judicial nominees for former President Donald Trump, obtained a historic $1.6 billion gift for his conservative legal network via an introduction through the Federalist Society, whose tax status forbids political activism.”

“Who knows, maybe Przybyla is under the impression that it’s illegal for one-time employees of 501(c)(3)s to interact with any prospective political donors they meet through old acquaintances,” Harsanyi reported. “Sorry. All we learn after reading the 1700-word piece is that a bunch of normal Washington, D.C. fundraising stuff is happening and that no one broke any law or did anything unethical. “

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