An open letter from Accountable Tech, Media Matters For America, Ultraviolet, and other leftist organizations demands that advertisers on Twitter pressure Elon Musk to maintain the status quo at Twitter.
The letter issues three core demands. The first is that public figures like President Trump are not allowed to return to the platform and that users on Twitter continue to be removed for their behavior while off of the platform. Next, the signatories declare that algorithmic transparency must protect discriminated communities from bad actors. Lastly, they praise Twitter’s “commitment to transparency” and assert that researchers deserve continued access to the API in order to hold Twitter accountable.
Addressed to Twitter’s top advertisers, the letter warns that their brands can be attached to a “cesspool of misinformation” and can fund “Musk’s vanity project” or advertisers can “demand Musk uphold these basic standards of community trust and safety” by threatening to pull advertising spending if the status quo is not upheld.
On Twitter, Musk responded by asking “who funds these organizations” and whether they were aware of what these organizations are doing.
Interesting. I wonder if those funding these organizations are fully aware of what the organizations are doing. https://t.co/YzVZIvF68E
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 4, 2022
Timcast decided to answer that question.
In brief, the letter is the product of a progressive dark money operation headed by Arabella Advisors and the financial backers are fully aware of what their money is used for.
While the letter is signed by 26 different organizations, the masthead is adorned with the logos of three specific entities: Accountable Tech, Media Matters For America, and Ultraviolet. But linking these three organizations — and many of the smaller signatories — is a shadowy for-profit organization known as Arabella Advisors.
Musk followed up his request for information with an article by the Daily Mail which profiles prominent members of the Left who are linked to the co-signing organizations. While they are correct that operatives and donors tied to former President Obama’s administration and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton play lead roles, the trail of money does not stop there.
Arabella controls four non-profit funds which, together, act as intermediaries for dark money dispersals — that’s political funding from anonymous donors. The New Venture Fund, Hopewell Fund, the Sixteen Thirty Fund, and the Windward Fund all enjoy integrated and interlocked administrations that explicitly tie them to Arabella. Their books are managed by Arabella, their HR departments are housed in Arabella, and their addresses are often shared with Arabella.
Politico describes Arabella as an “unprecedented gusher of secret money.”
The billions of dollars funneled through Arabella to these non-profits are then further dispersed among a series of faux-grassroots organizations. Arabella’s CEO, Sampriti Ganguli, describes funds like Sixteen Thirty Fund and North Fund as “intermediaries” that allow large donors, who legally cannot give money to one another, to “collaborate on major initiatives.”
Contrary to how a “standalone nonprofit” will often “exist in perpetuity,” these intermediaries can pop up to handle “time-bound” projects.
One of those organizations is Accountable Tech which is registered in Washington’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs as a trade name of the North Fund.
The Capital Research Center obtained a copy of the North Fund’s 2020 IRS Form 990 filing. The disclosure logs the advocacy group’s impressive growth between fiscal years 2019 and 2020 which saw the North Fund increase from “$9.3 million to over $66 million.” Roughly half of that money can be traced to Arabella’s $1.7 billion dark money network.
Capital Research writes:
The North Fund acts as a cousin to Arabella’s four in-house “sister” groups. Arabella Advisors is listed as the contact for North Fund, which paid the company $942,000 last year for “administration, operations, and management services.” Arabella general counsel Saurabh Gupta also sits on North Fund’s board. In 2019, Sixteen Thirty Fund provided every penny of the North Fund’s revenues.
Arabella’s strategy has been so successful that Leonard Leo, the former head of the Federalist Society, told Axios that he would give up control of the organization in order to create a conservative network that emulates Arabella.
The New York Times recognizes Arabella’s influence, writing that “Democrats decried dark money. Then they won with it in 2020,” and noting that Arabella’s network poured $1.2 billion into 2020 election races and ballot initiatives and that, in turn, the funds managed by Arabella forked back $46.6 million to Arabella in “management fees.”
Accountable Tech is just the latest venture tied to Arabella.