Even as top Democrats denounce Charles and David Koch’s political “dark money” organizations, party operatives have built a secretive nonprofit network of their own — albeit a much smaller one — to advance liberal policies and win votes.
America Votes, which seeks to build “a permanent advocacy and campaign infrastructure” to “promote progressive issues,” raised $12.7 million during its most recent fiscal year, according to new tax documents reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity.
The sources of America Votes’ funding are not clear.
“We do not disclose that information to the public,” said America Votes spokeswoman Liz Accola, adding that her group was “in full compliance” with the law.
The new tax records show that a dozen anonymous donors provided the lion’s share of the budget for America Votes during its most recent fiscal year, with each giving between $300,000 and $1.1 million. Together, these 12 donors accounted for 60 percent of the group’s funds.
Americans for Prosperity, one of the many conservative nonprofits supported by the billionaire Koch brothers, spent $122 million in 2012, as the Center for Public Integrity previously reported.
This year, America Votes aims to raise more than $8.5 million, according to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. Between 40 percent and 50 percent of that sum is projected to come from wealthy donors connected to the Democracy Alliance, a secretive nonprofit whose funders include the likes of billionaire investor George Soros* and author, horticulturalist and philanthropist Amy Goldman.
As a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” nonprofit, America Votes is not required to publicly disclose its donors. Accola called this designation an “appropriate” tax status for America Votes, given its focus on issue advocacy.
She added that the group also maintains a sister super PAC, the America Votes Action Fund, which “conducts exclusively electoral activity” and “discloses its donors as required by law.”