Liberal dark-money group linked to 2020 election donated more than $400M

The group known as Sixteen Thirty Fund helped in funding attack ads against vulnerable Republican senators, as well as providing money for ads in swing states attacking Trump.

Updated: November 17, 2021 - 5:04pm

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A liberal dark-money group is alleged to have furnished more than $400 million in 2020 to help Democrats unseat then-President Donald Trump, as well as to help Democrats capture the Senate Majority.

According to Politico, the group known as Sixteen Thirty Fund helped pay for attack ads against vulnerable Republican senators, as well as providing money for ads in swing states attacking Trump.

The group has been around for a few years, but gained momentum under the Trump administration, going from donating a few million a year to hundreds of millions.

Because of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, other organizations gained a foothold in the political ecosystem, as well as helped fund campaigns that fought against Trump's Supreme Court nominees.

"Altogether this is absolutely one of the largest fundraising machines I have ever come across," said Robert Maguire, an expert in political nonprofits. "I am really struggling to think of any other group, especially recently, that could rival it." He compared the amount of money to the Republican-leaning Koch brothers’ network at its height.

The group's strength was its ability to "quickly and efficiently launch new initiatives through our fiscal sponsorship model," Sixteen Thirty Fund's President Amy Kurtz said in a Medium post on Wednesday. 

"Alongside our partners and projects, we scaled up quickly (growing 175 percent from 2019), enabling progressive donors to step up like never before to help in the face of intersecting crises and imminent threats,” Kurtz wrote.

As a non-profit, the Sixteen Thirty Fund does not disclose donors nor specific donation amounts.

The single largest donation from the group went to a get out the vote campaign sponsored by American Votes in the amount of $129 million.

Besides opposing certain candidates, the group also backed policy positions such as paid family leave in Colorado, and marijuana legalization in Montana. 

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