The rumors are true. It’s not just a right-wing conspiracy theory.
Soros and Steyer, along with the other super-rich progressives who value their privacy, are members of what is being called a “secret billionaire’s club.” The name of their group is the Democracy Alliance, and they have a hatched a plot to help Democrats take back Congress.
According to POLITICO:
“The donor clique, which counts George Soros and Tom Steyer among its members, is quietly giving funds to a handful of local grassroots groups like Living United for Change in Arizona. They hope that these organizations can do a better job than Democratic campaigns at reaching and turning out young and minority voters in states that liberals have long viewed as just out of their reach.”
“They also view wooing new voters in diversifying states across the southern U.S. as the best way to take down President Donald Trump in 2020, rather than prioritizing fighting Republicans for older white residents of the Rust Belt.”
Living United for Change in Arizona, or LUCHA, is important for Hispanics because it combines immigration services, lobbying on issues like criminal justice, and political campaigning. For the past year they have been working hard to register low-propensity voters and get them to turn out to vote.
Latinos made up 22 percent of Arizona eligible voters in 2016, but just 15 percent of people who actually voted. And not all Latinos vote Democratic. Just 61 percent of them Arizona Latinos voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, while 31 percent voted for Donald Trump.
The Democracy Alliance believes that past efforts to turn out Latinos for Democrats have been done wrong. They have been there for one political campaign season and then they moved on.
Now the Democracy Alliance is hoping it can give financial assistance to allow the efforts to remain and be permanent. This is benefiting groups like LUCHA in Arizona and similar groups in New Mexico, Florida and Virginia.
Their efforts this year have been to turn out the hard to reach eligible voters for Tuesday’s midterms elections.
“We don’t believe in inauthentic community-based efforts. We’re not interested in building an AstroTurf operation,” said Democracy Alliance executive vice president Kim Anderson. “We want to empower real people: authentic community members raising the issues that are important to them.”
Anderson said the Democracy Alliance is interested in how to win back Rust Belt voters too, even though most of its early efforts are focused across more diverse Southern states.
“This is about doing ‘both, and,’” Anderson said. “How to expand and continue to engage Americans and real people so we’re not writing states and communities off the map.”
“It’s not just an electoral strategy, it’s how do you engage people all the time?” said Shekar Narasimhan, a Democracy Alliance donor and board member. “I think we’ll see the results in a way we haven’t seen before. And you can maintain it in ’19, you can maintain it in ’20 — but you better be there.”
Democracy Alliance officials said they will not know how much donors contribute to the groups in total until after the election. No matter how much it ends up being, it will be more support for LUCHA and the other groups than they have ever received before. We should be thankful that wealthy progressives are using their wealth for a good cause — to promote and protect democracy in America.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.