(NewsGlobal.com)- According to business registration documents, a “coalition of Wisconsin people” that has been advertising television attack commercials against Sen. Ron Johnson (R.) is a front for a major dark money outfit located in Washington, D.C., which has ties to the Koch brothers.
Opportunity Wisconsin claims to have spent at least $4 million on negative Johnson advertisements, including one that aired on Friday that criticized him for profiting from a tax reduction he helped create, making it the most visible anti-Johnson group on Wisconsin’s radio and television airways. Opportunity Wisconsin describes itself on its website as a coalition of Wisconsin people working for an economy that works for all Wisconsinites, not just the rich few. It boasts a steering committee made up of progressive activists from around the state.
Opportunity Wisconsin is a concept that only exists on paper. The North Fund, located more than 600 miles away from Washington, D.C., is known by this pseudonym. According to the District of Columbia corporation documents, the North Fund applied to do business in Wisconsin under the name “Opportunity Wisconsin” in January 2020. After being contacted for comment, Opportunity Wisconsin chose not to reply.
When it comes to the competitive Wisconsin race, The North Fund’s prominence shows the Democratic Party’s growing reliance on dark money groups, despite Democratic candidates’ claims to the contrary that such groups encourage corruption and give the wealthy and corporations undue influence over elections. According to a study published by the New York Times, Democrat-aligned dark money groups outspent their Republican counterparts by a large margin during the 2020 election cycle.
The North Fund, in contrast to super PACs and other political committees, is not compelled to publish the identities of its contributors. Last year, the New York Times reported that Arabella Advisors, a progressive, for-profit consulting firm, had “funneled hundreds of millions of dollars through a daisy chain of groups supporting Democrats and progressive causes.”
Arabella Advisors manages the North Fund, which Arabella Advisors operate.
President Joe Biden pledged to tighten down on dark money spending during his presidential campaign while receiving more than five times the amount of anonymous cash acquired by President Donald Trump in the same election year. In a speech last year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) claimed that dark money television expenditures constituted “voter suppression” and asserted that “black money has been a barrier to progress for America’s working people.”
Wisconsin lieutenant governor Mandela Barnes, the frontrunner in the state’s Democratic Senate primary, has repeatedly decried anonymous political spending, saying in February that “dark money has no place in a democracy.”
The primary includes hedge fund billionaire heir Alex Lasry and Wisconsin treasurer Sarah Godlewski. The winner will face Republican incumbent Johnson in what is expected to be one of the most competitive Senate races of the election cycle.