by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The group spearheading a campaign against Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), is a project of a low-profile progressive dark money organization with large assets.
Allied Progress, a Washington, D.C.-based group that describes itself as a “consumer watchdog organization,” has taken credit for forcing the withdrawals of past Trump nominees and is now in the midst of the “Defending the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” campaign against Mulvaney.
The group, which uses “hard-hitting research and creative campaigns to stand up to corporate special interests and hold their allies in Congress and the White House Accountable,” posts news and research files online as part of its campaign to defend the CFPB.
Karl Frisch, the executive director of Allied Progress, has for years been involved with issue advocacy and electoral communication campaigns.
Frisch came out as a progressive shortly after working on Sen. John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign. Since that time, he has worked for Democratic leaders, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), and Media Matters for America, a group founded by liberal operative and Clinton loyalist David Brock.
Frisch appears to be the only person associated with Allied Progress and is regularly a go-to for reporters seeking quotes on the CFPB. …
… According to the fine print at the bottom of the Allied Progress’s donation page, the group is not a standalone organization, but rather a project of the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) progressive “fiscal sponsor” organization that handles the group’s legal compliance and logistics. The New Venture Fund reported $363,725,355 in contributions and $364,305,889 in end of year assets on its most recently available tax forms from 2016.
Due to its arrangement with the New Venture Fund, it is virtually impossible to determine who funds the group.