Liberal 'Money Hub' Aims to Mobilize Democratic Base

Image: Liberal 'Money Hub' Aims to Mobilize Democratic Base George Soros

Monday, 05 May 2014 07:25 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Fearing that Democrats will be trounced in the 2014 mid-year elections, a group of deep-pocked liberal donors is developing a major new funding strategy to bankroll unions, Latinos, African Americans, women's and youth groups, The Washington Post reported.

The goal is to bolster and expand the pool of those who will support Democratic candidates and causes — including at the state level — in the coming election cycle and beyond.

Major liberal donors and key operatives met at an invitation-only Chicago conclave last week under the auspices of the Democracy Alliance. Many of the attendees are also backers of the Center for American Progress, Media Matters for America, America Votes, and Catalist.

"There's a lot of anxiety about the midterms," said San Francisco venture capitalist and alliance Chairman Robert McKay, according to the Post.

Those present included billionaire George Soros, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett and political director David Simas, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, and trial lawyers Steve and Amber Mostyn, the Post said.

Gara LaMarche, the new senior staffer at the Democratic Alliance, said it was time to take a "fresh look" at strategy. "The question we're asking ourselves is, what are the capacities that need our resources now?"

The alliance itself does not give money away but serves as the central money hub on the left, according to the Post. Those who want to join the alliance must donate a minimum of $200,000 annually to a roster of groups recommended by the alliance. At the Chicago gathering, the alliance agreed to funnel $30 million in 2014 to 20 select groups.

Altogether, some $500 million has been pumped into organizations in the last nine years through the alliance's efforts. In comparison, major conservative donors raised $400 million for the 2012 election cycle alone, the Post reported.

The board of the Democratic Alliance is led by McKay who is also a contributor to the Web magazine Salon and  to Mother Jones. LaMarche, the group's top staffer, previously worked for other Soros-supported projects.

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