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Liberal media group received $1.2 million from dark money network ahead of 2022 midterms
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Liberal media group received $1.2 million from dark money network ahead of 2022 midterms

A left-leaning media group that operates a number of seemingly local news outlets received $1.2 million from a major dark money network ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

Courier Newsroom is a progressive digital media company that operates news publications in some crucial swing states, including Arizona, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Nevada, and New Hampshire. The network also plans to open a publication in Texas.

The company claims to be a “pro-democracy news network” that provides “factual, values-driven news and analysis,” according to its website. It notes that it “will relentlessly cover attempts or actions to undermine democratic institutions.” Courier Newsroom was founded in 2019 by Tara McGowan, who previously worked on former President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

According to the DCNF, the liberal news network, which has used its “local newsrooms” to back Democratic candidates, received $1.2 million from the New Venture Fund, Hopewell Fund, and the Sixteen Thirty Fund. All three nonprofit funds are managed by Arabella Advisors, a left-wing, for-profit dark money group based in Washington, D.C.

In 2021, Arabella Advisors received $1.6 billion in anonymous contributions to manage its five nonprofit groups. George Soros’ nonprofit system, the Soros Network, gave the company $36 million, according to 2021 filings.

The Sixteen Thirty Fund, a 501(c)(4), is not required to disclose the source of its funding. The group has funneled billions of dollars to environmental advocacy organizations to push progressive green policies and attack fossil fuels.

The DCNF reported that the Sixteen Thirty Fund gave Courier Newsroom $125,000. New Venture Fund provided the network with $940,000, and Hopewell Fund gave $100,000.

Courier Newsroom’s Wisconsin outlet, UpNorthNews, published articles promoting Democrats and criticizing Republicans leading up to the 2022 midterm elections. Pieces published on the media group’s news site accused Republicans of being conspiracy theorists and election deniers.

Soros’ Fund for Policy Reform also donated $5 million to Courier Newsrooms between 2021 and 2022.

Semafor reported earlier this month that Courier Newsroom is expanding its operations ahead of the 2024 election. The media group has been criticized for its political ties by conservatives as well as left-leaning outlets, including the Daily Beast and Jacobin, the DCNF reported.

Last year, a Courier Newsroom consultant told Jacobin, a socialist publication, that it is “too dangerous of a time to be nonpartisan” and that “everyone needed to pick a side for the sake of democracy,” the outlet reported.

Courier Newsroom, the Sixteen Thirty Fund, the New Venture Fund, the Hopewell Fund, and Arabella Advisors did not respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.

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