Jul 16, 2021 - Politics

The dark money funding Colorado groups

Illustration of stacks of hundred dollar bills receding into an ever-darker distance

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A dark-money nonprofit that spent millions in the 2020 election also funneled money to Democratic-aligned groups in Colorado, new documents show.

The budget for North Fund, a D.C. advocacy group that refused to reveal its contributors, shot up from $9.3 million in 2019 to nearly $50 million in 2020, according to previously unreported records filed with state regulators in Montana, Axios' Lachlan Markey scooped this week.

  • In 2019, North Fund gave at least $500,000 to Coloradans for Prosperity, the lead supporter of the failed Proposition CC ballot measure.
  • In 2020, North Fund spent $6.8 million to support Colorado ballot measures, mostly to get a paid leave measure approved.

What's new: In addition to the ballot spending, the new documents reveal that a handful of other progressive political organizations with ties to Colorado received money from the North Fund last year, John found.

  • The New Venture Fund received $500,000.
  • Colorado Black Women Empowerment Fund received $5,000.
  • The States Newsroom, which operates the progressive media outlet Colorado Newsline, received $85,000.

Why it matters: The North Fund is the latest progressive nonprofit to operate in ways that obscure key financial information from the public, even as it pushes for legislation to limit the role of so-called dark money in politics.

Of note: The new filings from Montana offer a preview of the organization's 2020 public tax documents, which are expected in November.


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