A dark money group with links to several high-profile liberal activists contributed $2 million to The Democracy Integrity Project, an organization founded by a former Dianne Feinstein staffer that has contracted with Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele to investigate President Donald Trump.
Fund for a Better Future (FBF) donated $2,065,000 to The Democracy Integrity Project (TDIP) in 2017, according to IRS filings reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
TDIP was founded on Jan. 31, 2017, by Daniel Jones, a consultant who worked for Feinstein, a California Democrat, when she controlled the Senate Intelligence Committee. Jones has disclosed to the FBI that he hired Fusion GPS and Steele, the author of the anti-Trump dossier, to continue an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
He also told an associate that TDIP operated as a “shadow media organization helping the government.” Jones suggested to the associate, Adam Waldman, that his TDIP team planted several anti-Trump articles.
Little is known about the donors behind both TDIP and FBF. Both of the organizations are 501(c)(4)s, the type of public advocacy group most closely associated with “dark money” contributions. FBF has contributed to a mix of environmental organizations and politically active groups, including Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Priorities USA — the political group that backs Democrats — and the League of Conservation Voters, a progressive dark money group.
Scott Walter, the president of Capital Research Center, a conservative watchdog that tracks liberal groups’ funding, said the arrangement is a prime example of “dark money.”
“You’ve found one ‘dark money’ outfit providing dark millions to another ‘dark money’ outfit and refusing to reveal anything to you. That’s ‘dark’ two or three times over,” Walter told TheDCNF.
“Ironically, ‘dark money’ is most often applied only to conservative funding,” said Walter, who noted that “the Left has a vast empire of ‘dark money’ groups, including the Fund for a Better Future and The Democracy Integrity Project.”
An environmentalist who served as California’s undersecretary for resources, Michael Mantell, runs FBF. Board members in 2017 included David and Lucille Packard Foundation trustee Jason Burnett and Molly McUsic, the president of the Wyss Foundation, a charity founded by Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss, who funds numerous environmental causes.
Another FBF board member is Open Space Institute President Christopher Elliman. A trustee of that New York-based nonprofit is Hume Steyer, the older brother of Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist financing a campaign to impeach Trump. Tom Steyer hired Fusion GPS in 2012 to work on a California ballot initiative.
There is no indication from FBF’s filings that Tom Steyer has contributed to the group, but a current FBF board member has also worked closely with the California billionaire.
Kathleen Welch, of the election strategy firm Corridor Partners, was listed by Politico along with Tom Steyer as two of Hillary Clinton’s top green energy donors during the 2016 presidential campaign. Clinton campaign emails published by WikiLeaks showed that Welch and Tom Steyer took part in conference calls with the Clinton campaign to discuss environmental issues.
According to FBF’s most recent audit, the organization has four main donors, none of whom are identified.
One other prominent TDIP donor has been publicly identified.
George Soros contributed $1 million to TDIP, a spokesman for the billionaire financier toldThe New York Times in October. That disclosure came only after TheDCNF reported that Jones told his associate, Waldman, that Soros was one of TDIP’s funders.
These people have a really sick sense of humor.
Their tax exempt status should be investigated and probably revoked. I’m sure Democrats would have NO problem with that, based on history.