The Left’s dark money managers: Meet Philip Gara LaMarche
by Michelle Malkin
Philip Gara LaMarche is a secretive political operative who funnels billions of dollars from undisclosed donors to nonprofits and astroturf groups. But you won’t hear unhinged Harry Reid railing Queegishly about him on the Senate floor. Why?
Here’s why: LaMarche is a militant leftist philanthropist. He’s a protected elite — Columbia University grad, former ACLU leader and Human Rights Watch official — with ready access to the White House. He and the left’s other dark money managers preach transparency and openness, while plotting behind closed doors to secure power at every level of government.
LaMarche currently heads the shadowy Democracy Alliance (DA). In internal documents obtained and published this month by John Hinderaker of the Power Line blog, the group currently describes itself as the “center of gravity” for the progressive funding world. DA enrolls wealthy liberal “members” who coordinate and finance a web of at least 132 left-wing groups. Though some of their members’ and partners’ identities have been exposed, DA takes great care to promise a cloak of donor secrecy “to provide a comfortable environment for our partners to collectively make a real impact.”
While they bash Wall Street publicly, DA leaders have quietly recruited venture capitalists, bankers and hedge fund moguls — along with union bosses and red-diaper trust fund babies — to fund their takeover goals. Public school educators who belong to the American Federation of Teachers, headed by $500,000-plus yearly salaried President Randi Weingarten, should know that $230,000 of their hard-earned union dues go to DA, as Lachlan Markay of the Washington Free Beacon has reported.
While they bemoan “income inequality,” DA brass have wined, dined and wooed 1-percenter plutocrats with swanky get-togethers featuring New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Kentucky Secretary of State and Democratic Senate candidate Alison Grimes, and popular “comediennes” Stephanie Miller and Lizz Winstead.
“Over the past nine years,” the organization brags to potential contributors, DA has “aligned leaders in the progressive movement and political infrastructure” to “achieve victories at the ballot box and in policy fights.” Their agenda spans “social justice,” “climate change,” “voting rights,” gun control, illegal alien amnesty, campaign finance and sustained “strategic investment” to turn red states blue. That’s exactly what DA members Jared Polis and Tim Gill succeeded in doing in once-GOP-dominated Colorado in 2008.
LaMarche previously served as president and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies. As I first reported five years ago, that entity was a Bermuda-based political front stocked with acolytes of progressive billionaire George Soros. The “charity” run by LaMarche dumped some $40 million to help fund the astroturf Health Care for America Now group. As the tax disclaimer for HCAN discloses, “HCAN is related to Health Care for America Education Fund, a project of The Tides Center, a section 501(c)(3) public charity.” The Tides Center and its parent organization, the Tides Foundation, in turn have seeded some of the country’s most radical activist groups of the left, including the communist-friendly United for Peace and Justice, the jihadist-friendly National Lawyers Guild and the grievance-mongering Council on American-Islamic Relations.
The faux populist HCAN, coordinated from 1825 K Street, provided invaluable ground and air support to reinforce Democratic messaging on Obamacare.