Sunday, May 4, 2014

Taking a Look Inside the Secret Leftist Billionaires Club

By Tori Richards

This weekend, a shadowy leftist group named Democracy Alliance will meet in Chicago to figure out a way to thwart conservative rivals.

As the adage goes, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

While top liberal organizations blast the right for accepting dark money, the Alliance’s entire business model is based on maintaining secrecy akin to the Illuminati.

“Like a lot of elite groups, we fly beneath the radar,” Oakland lawyer and Alliance donor Guy Saperstein told the Washington Post in 2006, a year after the group was formed. “We are not so stupid though (to) deny our existence.”

The group requires some hefty financial backing. It costs $25,000 just to join, yearly dues of $30,000 and an additional $200,000 donation to Alliance causes. Donation recipients must sign confidentiality agreements, the Post reported.

The Alliance was founded by
a group of billionaires, including George Soros and philanthropist Peter B. Lewis, as a result of George W. Bush’s re-election. Its goal was to fund think tanks and media organizations to move societal change toward a more socialist agenda. But the focus changed to funding political endeavors after Vice President Joe Biden asked for help in 2011 for the upcoming election.

Obama’s campaign and his umbrella activist group Organizing for Action have received millions from Democracy Alliance members.

This caused Lewis to quit because the group had become too partisan and wasn’t concentrating on infrastructure, according to media reports.

Lewis, who died last year, hasn’t been the only high-profile defector.

OBAMA’S SUPPORT GROUP: The Democracy Alliance seeks to employ the president’s agenda
One Alliance member who owns a cell phone company turned on Obama last year over a scandal involving telephone surveillance of ordinary American citizens.

CREDO Mobile’s Michael Kieschnick told CNN Money he was “deeply disturbed” at Obama’s “growing record of executive power grabs at the expense of constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties.”

Neither Kieschnick nor Democracy Alliance responded to requests for comment.

The left’s biggest mouthpiece for bashing the right over dark money and civil liberties issues has been the Center for Media and Democracy, also funded by Soros. CMD has been at the forefront of cheering on a secret investigation into dozens of conservative organizations, led by a Democrat district attorney. The prosecutors’ theory, questioned by the investigation’s own presiding judge, is that the groups illegally coordinated with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign during the state’s Democrat-driven recall elections.

The investigation issued more than 100 subpoenas last year to conservative individuals and organizations as part of the probe, which, sources have told, included “paramilitary-style” pre-dawn raids at the homes and offices of conservative targets. CMD, however, was on a public crusade to unseat Walker.

One target was the consumer-advocacy group Club for Growth, which CMD claimed “was at the center of a tangled web of undisclosed dark money in 2011, raking in millions from out-of-state secret donors and shuffling it to other nonprofits that in turn spent millions on the 2011 and 2012 elections.”

When asked about CMD’s own finances, its director, Lisa Graves said, “The question of conservative funders versus liberal funders, I think, is a matter of false equivalency.”

After Lewis left, the Alliance apparently dropped groups that didn’t agree with its new stance. Favored organizations that have remained include two Soros-funded groups: think tank Center for American Progress and Media Matters, a self-appointed media police for “monitoring, analyzing and correcting conservative misinformation.”

Each year, the Alliance holds an annual meeting where high-profile politicians and their donors meet to raise money and plan a progressive agenda. In keeping with its secrecy, the Alliance’s website has no mention of its annual conference starting Sunday at the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago.

But both Politico and the Chicago Tribune saw agendas listing powerful Clinton and Obama allies along with Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.

Besides focusing on mid-term and 2016 elections, panel discussions will include issues such as climate change, income inequality, abortion and the death penalty.

Contact Tori Richards at and on twitter @newswriter2

The above originally appeared at


  1. I love leftist billionaires. They throw such amazing pity parties.

  2. Soros is an anti-zoinist so he's not all bad

  3. “The question of conservative funders versus liberal funders, I think, is a matter of false equivalency.” - WOW

    1. She's absolutely right about the false equivalency. The conservative sneaks are much less sanctimonious about their skulduggery than the progressives.

  4. Cant we just put all these cronies and statists in a cage and let them kill each other?

    1. When the monopoly money doesn't work any longer then we probably won't even have to put them in cages to force them to kill each other, they'll probably do it willingly.

  5. did you say club?...or clubbed?

    LEAKED: Docs obtained by Pando show how a Wall Street giant is guaranteed huge fees from taxpayers on risky pension investments

    An increasing number of those pension funds are being stealthily diverted into high-fee, high-risk “alternative investments” that deliver spectacular rewards for the Wall Street firms paid to manage them – but not such great returns for pensioners and taxpayers.

    Citing data from the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, Al Jazeera America recently reported that “the average portion of pension dollars devoted to real estate and alternative investments has more than tripled over the last 12 years, growing from 7 percent to around 22 percent today.” With public pensions now reporting $3 trillion in total assets, that’s up to $660 billion of public money in these high-fee, high-risk investments.

    And yet… despite the fact that they deal with the expenditure of taxpayer money, the agreements between public pension systems and alternative investment firms are almost entirely secret.

    Until now.

    Thanks to confidential documents exclusively obtained by Pando, we can now see some of the language and fee structures in the agreements between the “alternative investment” industry and major public pension funds. Taken together, the documents raise serious questions about whether the government employees, trustees and politicians overseeing major public pension funds are shirking their fiduciary responsibilities under the law when they are cementing “alternative” investment deals.

    The documents, which were involved in a recent SEC inquiry into the $14.5 billion Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS), were handed to us by SEC whistleblower Chris Tobe, an investment consultant and former trustee of the KRS. Tobe has also written a book — “Kentucky Fried Pensions” — about the scandalous state of the Kentucky public pensions system.

    The documents provided by Tobe (embedded below) specifically detail Kentucky’s dealings with Blackstone – a giant Wall Street investment firm which has deployed a platoon of registered lobbyists in Kentucky and whose employees are major financial backers of Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R).

    The Blackstone-related documents, though, don’t just tell a story about public pensions in Kentucky. The firm, which just reported record earnings, does business with states and localities across the country. The Wall Street Journal reports that “about $37 of every $100 of Blackstone’s $111 billion investment pool comes from state and local pension plans.”

    In one set of documents provided by Tobe, Blackstone’s payment structure is outlined, with language guaranteeing that Blackstone will receive its hefty annual management fees from the taxpayer – regardless of the fund’s performance.