The Democracy Alliance is not a famous organization, but it deserves to be. The Alliance consists of approximately 100 rich liberals who have taken upon themselves the task of coordinating America’s many left-wing organizations to promote a single radical agenda. The Alliance does not publicize the names of its members, but it held a conference for its “partners” and membership prospects in April, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel (naturally) in Chicago. Someone who attended the conference unfortunately (heh) left his or her copy of the documents passed out by the Democracy Alliance behind, and they eventually fell into the wrong hands. Ours. [UPDATE: Some have suggested that a disgruntled Democracy Alliance member gave the documents to a conservative who passed them on to our source. This could be true.]
In the document below, you can see the agenda for the April DA conference and get information about DA’s partners, among other things.
There is always a certain dissociation when leftists gather at a Ritz Carlton hotel to discuss their commitment to the poor. It is impossible not to laugh at this invitation to a dinner with Katrina vanden Heuvel, the heiress who bought and now runs the Nation magazine, a Communist publication, and New York’s newly-elected mayor Bill de Blasio. They will discuss “New York’s path to social and economic equality.” Sure: in the world to come, the hedge fund manager will share his income equally with the doorman, and Miss vanden Heuvel will divide her inheritance with New York’s poor.
In the meantime, though, let’s make sure the Democratic Party’s donors all make another billion or two. (Tom Steyer figured prominently at the DA conference.) And don’t miss this delicious detail: all of the wine that the Ritz Carlton served at the vanden Heuvel-de Blasio after-dinner event came from vineyards owned by Democracy Alliance partners! Some things, we conservatives just can’t match. Click to enlarge:
When you look at the agenda, it is striking how seamlessly the Democracy Alliance, with its far-left tint, meshes with the Obama administration. Thus, the DA partners were treated to appearances by David Axelrod and Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
But that’s not all: the ultimate Obama insider, Valerie Jarrett, also graced DA’s Chicago conference:
Note that Ms. Jarrett appeared along with Lizz Winstead, a comedian of sorts who founded the Daily Show, which, we are told, is the main source from which young people learn about current events. Entirely non-partisan, of course.
The Democracy Alliance does not itself raise and spend a great deal of money. Rather, being a partner in the Alliance requires one to contribute large amounts to other left-wing groups. The Alliance evaluates left-wing organizations on various criteria, and makes recommendations to its members as to where they should put their money. Currently, the Alliance lists 21 groups in its “Aligned Network”: America Votes, American Constitution Society, Black Civic Engagement Fund, Brennan Center, Catalist, Center for American Progress, Center for Community Change, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Common Purpose Project, Fund for the Republic, Latino Engagement Fund, Media Matters for America, New Media Ventures, New Organizing Institute, Organizing For Action, Progressive Majority, Progress Now, State Engagement Initiative, State Voices, Women’s Equality Center and Youth Engagement Fund. You can see the list, with descriptions of each group, in the document below:
The most interesting of the DA documents that have come to light is the one below. It contains DA’s “investment recommendations” for 2014. Not only does it list the recommended organizations, but it rates each organization in several categories, sets out the group’s budget for 2014, and shows how much of that budget should be contributed by the 100 members of the Democracy Alliance. One category in which DA rates the organizations is “Collaboration,” as DA believes that all left-wing groups should coordinate their activities for maximum political impact.
Politicians like Harry Reid have denounced Charles and David Koch and others who contribute to conservative causes as “shadowy,” “secretive” people who infest politics with “dark money.” In that context, it is worth noting that most of the groups to which the Alliance and its elite liberal members contribute are 501(c)(4)s that do not disclose their donors. In fact, this question is addressed in a “FAQ” in one of the DA documents:
Harry Reid has no problem with that, since they are Democrats.
There is much information in this document, which I haven’t yet had time to digest fully. For example: have you ever wondered what Media Matters’ budget is? I can tell you: in 2013, it raised $13,820,000, of which $2,700,000 came from Democracy Alliance partners. Most of the rest, if I am not mistaken, was contributed by George Soros. DA notes that last year, Media Matters “partially met” its goal “to diversify funding and make organization more sustainable.” I assume that means that if one or two rich leftists die, David Brock is out of business.
These documents place an enormous amount of information about America’s Left at your fingertips. We have no proprietary interest in them; on the contrary, you can read them and comment on them here or elsewhere, and anyone can embed them on his or her own web site. They deserve, I think, broad circulation, as a window on the contemporary American Left.
UPDATE: Free Beacon analyzes the Democracy Alliance documents and comes to some interesting conclusions: “Democracy Alliance in Turmoil as Member Dissatisfaction Mounts.”