Non-profit

Democracy is Good for Business

Democracy is Good for Business is a left-of-center group that advocates for changes to the U.S. electoral system, including automatic voter registration, mail-in voting, and widespread early voting. It is a project of the left-of-center New Venture Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based pass-through funding and fiscal sponsorship nonprofit. The fund is managed by Arabella Advisors, a consulting firm that controls a multi-billion-dollar “dark money” network. [1]

Background

Democracy is Good for Business describes itself as a partnership encouraging businesses to advocate for electoral reforms. [2] It is a project of the New Venture Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based left-of-center pass-through funding and fiscal sponsorship nonprofit managed by the consulting firm Arabella Advisors. [3]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the group provided analysis and support to state election officials for expanding mail-in voting during the 2020 election. [4]

Advocacy Issues

Democracy is Good for Business recruits companies to support left-of-center electoral policies, including expanded mail-in balloting, early voting, automatic voter registration, and modernized election equipment. The organization has claimed that companies are not required to make a financial contribution to the group, but by signing up, companies can have their logos “prominently featured in Democracy is Good for Business communications materials.” Companies can also participate in the steering committee. [5]

The organization has presented its left-of-center policy proposals as key to election integrity and claimed that they are necessary to maintaining a prosperous business climate. [6] The group advocates for election modernization policies, such as upgrading election database technology, securing state funding for voter registration data maintenance, providing automatic audits of electronic voting equipment, and creating secure data transfers between state agencies and election administrators to automatically verify and register eligible voters. [7]

Partners

The Democracy is Good for Business website list several high-profile partners including Facebook, Twitter, Lyft, Bodhala, Builders and Backers, Carecentrix, Endeavour, Swift, RevoluSun, Peak Resrouces, Rebrand/Cities, KY CBD Blend, Conscious Venture Lab, and Techstars. [8]

Texas Initiative

In Texas, other left-of-center organizations have been involved with what another Democracy is Good for Business coalition. These include Texas LULAC, the Texas NAACP, and the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Texas. The coalition has called for large and small businesses to support left-of-center electoral policy and claimed that proposed right-of-center election laws in the state created “voter suppression.” [9] It is not clear if the Texas partnership is related to the project of the New Venture Fund.

The coalition touting the Texas initiative said 186 companies in the state signed on to the Civic Associations Joint Statement on Protecting Voter Access to oppose electoral reforms in Texas that required voter identification for absentee voting and prohibited drive-through polling stations. [10]

The Texas group set up a task force that includes Sam Stolbun, CEO of the Stolbun Group, and research, development, and production of Twin Star Bakeries; Laurie Vignaud, president of Unity Bank in Houston; Margaret Potter of Camillo Properties and Camillo Legacy Capital; and Glenn Lewis, a partner in Linebarger, Goggan, and Blair in Fort Worth. [11]

References

  1. District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. Search: New Venture Fund: Trade Names. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://corponline.dcra.dc.gov/BizEntity.aspx/ViewEntityData?entityId=2689437^ ^
  2. Democracy is Good for Business. Accessed July 30, 2021. https://democracyisgoodforbusiness.com/ ^
  3. New Venture Fund. Open Corporates. Accessed July 30, 2021. https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_dc/EXTUID_2689437 ^
  4. Democracy is Good for Business. Accessed July 30, 2021. https://democracyisgoodforbusiness.com/ ^
  5. Democracy is Good for Business. Accessed July 30, 2021. https://democracyisgoodforbusiness.com/ ^
  6. Democracy is Good for Business. Accessed July 30, 2021. https://democracyisgoodforbusiness.com/ ^
  7. Democracy is Good for Business. Accessed July 30, 2021. https://democracyisgoodforbusiness.com/ ^
  8. Democracy is Good for Business. Accessed July 30, 2021. https://democracyisgoodforbusiness.com/ ^
  9. Press Release. “Democracy is Good for Business.” League of Women Voters. April 5, 2021. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LRFHeJ0zT8k6Ppz2MhESif_0LI4Bgzo-/view ^
  10. Press Release. “Democracy is Good for Business.” League of Women Voters. April 5, 2021. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LRFHeJ0zT8k6Ppz2MhESif_0LI4Bgzo-/view ^
  11. “Democracy is Good for Business!” The Gilmer Mirror. Accessed July 31, 2021. http://www.gilmermirror.com/view/full_story/27798389/article-Democracy-is-Good-for-Business-?instance=secondary_stories_left_column ^
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