At least 60 people within Joe Biden’s White House are affiliated with a liberal think tank in Washington DC, which, according to reports, is not disclosing its funding – raising questions about the power of progressive “dark money.”
The Center for American Progress was founded in 2003 by John Podesta, Bill Clinton’s chief of staff and adviser to Barack Obama.
It is one of a number of lobby groups and policy organizations that do not disclose how they are being funded, leading to concerns about who is behind their significant power and influence.
Biden’s Chief of Staff, Ronald Klain, served on the board of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the Center for American Progress’s advocate, from 2011 to 2013.
Ron Klain, one of Biden’s closest allies and now Chief of Staff, was on the board of a think tank
Biden, seen Thursday in Louisiana, hired many people with connections at CAP
Klain was Biden’s Chief of Staff when he was Vice President, and before that he was Vice President Al Gore’s Chief of Staff.
The CAP was founded in 2003 by Podesta
Of the 60 CAP alumni known to be employed in or nominated by Biden’s administration, 21 had joined the think tank until this year, an analysis of Insider showed last month.
They include Denis McDonough, Chief of the Department of Veterans Affairs, who was Obama’s Chief of Staff and became a senior fellow at CAP.
Carmel Martin, deputy director of the White House Interior Policy Council for Economic Mobility, and Kelly Magsamen, Chief of Staff to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, also worked for the group.
Biden and Klain have been working together for years; Klain previously worked for Vice President Al Gore
Hillary Clinton is seen in July 2016 with John Podesta, her campaign chairman and CAP founder
The executive vice president for policy at CAP, Mara Rudman, said the number of employees and friends of the group in the White House was cause for them to celebrate.
“It’s a win-win for us,” she told Insider.
“It is no surprise to many of us that we have a lot of talented people who we feel very happy about and expect or hope that the skills and capabilities of those people will be embraced by progressive administration.”
Another ‘dark money’ group with influence in the Biden White House is Media Matters for America, a left-wing media watchdog.
Jennifer Granholm, the energy secretary, was the group’s senior advisor from January 2017 to November 2020 and received monthly advances totaling more than $ 200,000, according to her financial disclosure report analyzed by Fox news.
Denis McDonough, currently Secretary of Veterans Affairs, was a senior fellow at CAP
Biden climate adviser Gina McCarthy, who led the EPA under the Obama administration, was president and chief executive officer of the Natural Resources Defense Council
And two more organizations, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund, are also benefiting from their high grades entering the White House.
Michael Regan, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, was the Deputy Vice President of the Environmental Defense Fund.
Biden climate adviser Gina McCarthy, who led the EPA under the Obama administration, was president and chief executive officer of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Critics point to the strength of Arabella Advisors, a DC-based consultancy that manages the four “ dark money funds ” that have deposited billions in left-wing groups.
CAP Action Fund has received $ 1.4 million from Arabella Advisors, Fox reported.
Media Matters has raised nearly $ 1 million, and the Environmental Defense Fund and its advocacy arm raised $ 3 million from funds in Arabella’s network.
Michael Regan, head of the EPA, previously worked at the Environmental Defense Fund
From his White House climate czar to his chief of staff, the White House Counsel’s office and even his own press secretary, Joe Biden has held top positions in his administration with people working for groups that are part of the vast liberal dark money from Arabella Advisors network; they impact court nominations, extreme environmental policies and other issues than anyone else, ”said Caitlin Sutherland, president of Americans for Public Trust.
The issue of ‘dark money’ is a hallmark of American political life and something Biden has pledged to combat.
During the election, Christian right-wing groups, many of which have close ties to the Trump administration, spent at least $ 280 million.
Their money was spent on campaigns against the rights of women and LGBTQ people on five continents, openDemocracy found it.
Politics reported that Trump supporters held a rally last month to devise strategies on how to better use ‘dark money’ to continue their own campaigns.