Non-profit

Mainers Against Health Care Cuts

Website:

www.mainersagainsthealthcarecuts.org

Type:

Pro-Obamacare Group

Project of:

Sixteen Thirty Fund

Mainers Against Health Care Cuts is a left-of-center pro-Obamacare group. It is a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a 501(c)(4) funding and fiscal sponsorship nonprofit created and managed by the Washington, D.C.-based consultancy Arabella Advisors.

The Sixteen Thirty Fund created Mainers Against Health Care Cuts to defeat then-U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) in the 2018 congressional elections. [1]

Background

Mainers Against Health Care Cuts is part of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a network of liberal “dark money” groups across the country. Its focus is on opposing cuts to government spending on health care and opposing efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. [2]

The Sixteen Thirty Fund established Mainers Against Health Care Cuts to target then-U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Republican, in the 2018 election. The group ran ads attacking Poliquin for his vote to repeal Obamacare, and also for his vote in favor of the tax reform bill that eliminated Obamacare’s individual mandate to carry insurance. [3]

Separately, in 2017, the Sixteen Thirty Fund also provided hundreds of thousands to the Maine People’s Alliance, a left-progressive activist group, and Mainers for Health Care, a group supporting Medicaid expansion in the state. [4]

Funding Source

The Sixteen Thirty Fund was founded in 2008. [5] It operates alongside its charitable “sister” nonprofit New Venture Fund, which provides similar funding and fiscal sponsorship services to center-left organizations. Both groups, along with the Hopewell Fund and Windward Fund, are administered by Arabella Advisors, a  philanthropy consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., that caters to left-leaning clients. [6]

The Sixteen Thirty Fund was established with seed money from liberal groups Americans United for Change (AUFC)ACORNUSAction, the Sierra Club, and Working America. [7]

The Sixteen Thirty Fund primarily targets vulnerable House Republicans by establishing political groups that sound local or state-based, as is the case in Maine and other states. In 2018, the Sixteen Thirty Fund was credited with providing a major boost for helping Democrats win a House majority. [8]

The left-leaning editorial board of the Washington Post criticized Arabella’s Sixteen Thirty Fund as a “big campaign donor” in a November 21, 2019, editorial that called on Congress to change nonprofit disclosure laws, noting in particular a $26.7 million anonymous donation to the Fund;[9] the donation was later identified as having originated with New Venture Fund, another Arabella-network pass-through funding group. [10]

Partnerships

Mainers Against Health Care Cuts has also presented itself as a coalition of progressive groups that includes the Maine People’s Alliance, Mainers for Accountable Leadership, the Maine Small Business Coalition, and Organizing for America. The organization held a press conference in late 2017 announcing the release of new anti-Poliquin ads with these organizations. The ads accused Poliquin of trying to cut government funding for health care and trying to increase the cost of health care for senior citizens. [11]

Mainers Against Health Care Cuts teamed with the liberal group Not One Penny in 2018 to air numerous other attack ads against Poliquin, who ultimately lost that year despite winning a plurality of votes, because of the state’s ranked-choice voting system. One of the commercials attacked him for voting differently than Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who voted against repealing Obamacare. [12]

References

  1. Mistler, Steve. “New Group Uses Exploited Advocacy Rules To ‘Educate’ Mainers About Sen. Collins.” Main Public Radio. July 3, 2019. Accessed December 15, 2020. https://www.mainepublic.org/post/new-group-uses-exploited-advocacy-rules-educate-mainers-about-sen-collins ^
  2. Bland, Scott. “Liberal secret-money network hammers House GOP.” Politico. July 29, 2018. Accessed December 15, 2020. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/29/democrats-dark-money-midterms-house-745145 ^
  3. Mistler, Steve. “New Group Uses Exploited Advocacy Rules To ‘Educate’ Mainers About Sen. Collins.” Main Public Radio. July 3, 2019. Accessed December 15, 2020. https://www.mainepublic.org/post/new-group-uses-exploited-advocacy-rules-educate-mainers-about-sen-collins ^
  4. Mistler, Steve. “New Group Uses Exploited Advocacy Rules To ‘Educate’ Mainers About Sen. Collins.” Main Public Radio. July 3, 2019. Accessed December 15, 2020. https://www.mainepublic.org/post/new-group-uses-exploited-advocacy-rules-educate-mainers-about-sen-collins ^
  5. “Sixteen Thirty Fund.” Sixteen Thirty Fund. Accessed April 18, 2017. http://sixteenthirtyfund.org/. ^
  6. Form 1024 Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(a). Sixteen Thirty Fund. Archived here: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/11/Sixteen-Thirty-Fund-Form-1024-Applicaton-for-Recognition-of-Exemption-Under-501a.pdf  ^
  7. Form 1024 Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(a). Sixteen Thirty Fund. Archived here: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/11/Sixteen-Thirty-Fund-Form-1024-Applicaton-for-Recognition-of-Exemption-Under-501a.pdf  ^
  8. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sixteen Thirty Fund. 2018. Schedule O. See page 59 out of 62: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/11/Sixteen-Thirty-Fund-2018-Form-990.pdf ^
  9. Washington Post Editorial Board. “Big campaign donors have exploited a loophole. Congress must change the law.” Washington Post. November 21, 2019. Accessed January 7, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/big-campaign-donors-have-exploited-a-loophole-congress-must-change-the-law/2019/11/21/ab31cf3a-0bd6-11ea-bd9d-c628fd48b3a0_story.html  ^
  10. Walter, Scott. “Opinion | This Organization Traced the Supposed ‘Dark Money’s’ Origins.” The Washington Post. WP Company, November 24, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/this-organization-traced-the-supposed-dark-moneys-origins/2019/11/24/07d88e78-0d48-11ea-8054-289aef6e38a3_story.html. ^
  11. Staff. “Grassroots groups launch TV ads slamming Rep. Poliquin’s health care repeal votes.” Beacon. October 23, 2017. Accessed December 15, 2020. https://mainebeacon.com/grassroots-groups-launch-tv-ads-slamming-rep-poliquins-health-care-repeal-votes/ ^
  12. Robillard, Kevin. “Democrats Say They Have Proof Health Care Can Turn Trump Voters Against Republicans.” Huffington Post. June 14, 2018. Accessed December 15, 2020. Accessed December 15, 2020. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/democrat-strategy-maine-congress-health-care-taxes_n_5b195578e4b0957825a0452a?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9ub3RvbmVwZW5ueS5vcmcv&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAADVquPMlBgHE9STQoDYjBi7h3CYoQU13IzKADbPO0ablGou_4DorJOdQJPjHys0J9tR_a1lGrNVlgNiuerrDyC4ouAEZ70oRfeVe1P7JvssqRo-z2ti_L3GP1n6P7p2C_rbNGx2YW3P2MBjJhSdV2oXDEP8qiP53aEViRID3gkXw ^
  See an error? Let us know!