OpenSecrets published a report last week that ACRONYM, the outfit that blew everything about the Democratic Caucus in Iowa in February due to a failed app, has now set its sights on President Trump. By setting up newsy-looking websites, they hope to inject progressive news and anti-Trump bias into local reporting and social media. Stand by for a tsunami of fake news.
Calling it a dark-money campaign, OpenSecrets reports:
One newer group heralding the new era of pseudo-news outlets is ACRONYM, a liberal dark money group with an affiliated super PAC called PACRONYM. The nonprofit also is an investor in a for-profit digital consulting firm that gained notoriety for its role in launching Shadow Inc., the secretive vendor behind a vote tabulation app at the center of the pandemonium at the Iowa Democratic caucuses. ACRONYM announced it was divesting in Shadow Inc. shortly thereafter.
ACRONYM is behind Courier Newsroom, a network of websites emulating progressive local news outlets. Courier has faced scrutiny for exploiting the collapse of local journalism to spread “hyperlocal partisan propaganda.” It claims to operate “independent from” ACRONYM and says ownership is shared with “other investors.” But a new tax return obtained by OpenSecrets lists ACRONYM as the full owner of Courier as of April. 30, 2019, the most recent date on record. An ACRONYM spokesperson told OpenSecrets that Courier has attracted multiple private investors since that time.
Websites affiliated with Courier Newsroom that appear to be free-standing local news outlets are actually part of a coordinated effort with deep ties to Democractic political operatives. OpenSecrets first revealed the network’s digital ad spending at the Investigative Reporters and Editors NICAR conference in March.
Let’s take a look back, shall we, to that ancient pre-pandemic time when Bernie Sanders was still trying to win the Democratic primary. PJ Media’s Stephen Kruiser reported on the fallout:
With the impeachment circus wrapping up in the worst possible fashion for the Democrats, this wasn’t the kind of publicity they needed. The party elders headed into Monday believing that a likely Bernie Sanders win would have been the worst-case scenario for them. Welcome to Democratic luck in the Trump era, ladies and gentlemen.
The evening was, as I noted to my Twitter friends, particularly ignominious for a party whose frontrunners consistently advocate for greater federal involvement in the lives of American citizens:
ACRONYM and PACRONYM are the products of some of the biggest donors to progressive causes. OpenSecrets goes on to report:
Tax records analyzed by OpenSecrets reveal ACRONYM’s most recent financial information and shine light on its cozy relationship with affiliated entities.
ACRONYM raised $9.4 million from secret donors during its second year of operation through April 2019, more than seven times the prior year according to its tax returns. Three anonymous donors giving more than $1 million each made up more than half of that, with the top donor giving more than $2 million.
Launched in 2017, ACRONYM received financial backing from Investing in US, an investment vehicle funded by Silicon Valley donor and billionaire LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman. ACRONYM received $250,000 from New Venture Fund the following year, according to New Venture’s most recent tax return.
Along with the allied Sixteen Thirty Fund, New Venture Fund’s operation has fiscally sponsored at least 80 groups and acted as a pass-through agency funneling millions of dollars in grants for wealthy donors to opaque groups with minimal disclosure.
We’re talking hundreds of millions in funding here, every year. Now they’re not just making apps to steal nominations away from Bernie Bros, they’re putting ads and placing real-looking news articles on social media. Not only that, but PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil previously reported that PACRONYM has launched a campaign to criticize President Trump’s response to the CCP coronavirus pandemic:
A dark-money network of liberal groups will spend millions tarring the president’s response to the virus, RealClearPolitics’ Susan Crabtree reported. Pacronym, a liberal PAC, announced it would spend $5 million through July slamming Trump’s handling of the crisis through ads in Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Taken together, the progressive left STILL hasn’t learned how to defeat Donald Trump. Whether it’s impeachment, fake news, stealing the nomination from Bernie, or criticizing his response to COVID-19, they have utterly failed, while wasting billions of donor funding and dark money in the process.
It’s kind of impressive to watch.
Do yourself a favor and don’t believe any fake news they push out.
Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available now at www.WhoOwnsTheDems.com. Jeff hosts a podcast at anchor.fm/BehindTheCurtain. You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff.
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