by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The left-wing group leading a campaign to have Senate Democrats eliminate the filibuster is housed at one of the left’s most powerful dark money networks, business records show.
Fix Our Senate is steering a coalition of 60 progressive groups to pressure moderate Democrats to eliminate the filibuster, which requires a 60-vote supermajority to advance legislation. The group is a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a nonprofit incubator managed by the D.C.-based consulting firm Arabella Advisors. Arabella’s network of funds is used by the nation’s wealthiest liberal donors to secretly bankroll a host of progressive initiatives.
The coalition has added dozens of groups in recent days as Democrats increase their calls to eliminate the filibuster. President Joe Biden has said he supports filibuster reform and would prefer a return to a “talking filibuster,” but White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the president remains “open to hearing” other ideas. Removing the filibuster would help Democrats looking to push through a progressive agenda. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has threatened to use procedural moves to grind Senate business to a halt, should Democrats succeed.
The coalition led by Fix Our Senate is trying to drum up support by painting the filibuster as a racist tool. On Thursday, the coalition launched a nationwide, six-figure ad buy that “makes the case that the filibuster, a long favored procedural tool of segregationists, has prevented voting rights and civil rights from passing the U.S. Senate.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has similarly argued that the filibuster has “deep roots in racism.” …
… As a subsidiary of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, Fix Our Senate does not have to register as a standalone nonprofit with the IRS. This allows the group to operate largely in secret.