Other Group

Democracy Docket Legal Fund (DDLF)

Website:

https://www.democracydocket.com/

Formation:

2020

Type:

Legal Defense Fund

 Democracy Docket Legal Fund (DDLF) is a left-of-center advocacy group associated with controversial Democratic election lawyer Marc Elias that raises money for lawsuits to expand voting access, with “a focus on laws and practices that will have the greatest impact on BIPOC and young voters.” [1] The DDLF is the sister-group of Democracy Docket LLC, a media platform that reports on electoral news, and the Democracy Docket Action Fund.

There is little public information on the DDLF’s activity, though it has received large donations from numerous major left-of-center foundations and is supposedly tracking 350 pieces of election administration legislation in 47 states. [2]

Founding

Democracy Docket Legal Fund was founded in 2020 by Democratic election-law attorney Marc Elias of the Elias Law Group. DDLF is a fiscally sponsored project of the Hopewell Fund, a left-of-center grantmaking foundation closely associated with Arabella Advisors. Also in 2020, Elias founded Democracy Docket LLC as an independent for-profit media company and the Democracy Docket Action Fund (DDAF), though not through the Hopewell Fund. Rather, DDAF is under the umbrella of the North Fund, another group managed by Arabella Advisors, which in 2019 received $9.3 million (100% of its revenue) from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, which is also run by Arabella Advisors. [3]

Funding

Democracy Docket Legal Fund was financed by numerous left-of-center grantmaking foundations through the Hopewell Fund in 2020. The Sandler Foundation, after committing to donate $200 million to “racial justice groups” after the police-custody death of George Floyd, [4] gave $1.5 million. [5] The Sherwood Foundation, the charitable grantmaking foundation of Susan A. Buffet, gave $500,000. [6] The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation gave $800,000, by far its largest donation to the Hopewell Fund. [7] The Omidyar Network, the grantmaking foundation of eBay-founder Pierre Omidyar, gave $1.5 million. [8]

In April 2021, Bad Robot, the film production company run by J.J. Abrams, along with the Katie McGrath and J.J. Abrams Foundation, donated $1 million to DDLF. [9] [10]

References

  1. “Hopewell Fund.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed December 2, 2021. https://www.macfound.org/grantee/hopewell-fund-10114459/. ^
  2. “Bad Robot.” Twitter. April 8, 2021. Accessed December 2, 2021. https://twitter.com/bad_robot/status/1380296416849850374. ^
  3. Schoffstall, Joe. “Dark money network gives top Dem lawyer ‘nearly unlimited funding’ for voting rights lawsuits, watchdog says.” Fox News. September 15, 2021. Accessed December 2, 2021. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/dark-money-network-gives-dem-lawyer-nearly-unlimited-funding-for-voting-rights-lawsuits-watchdog-says. ^
  4. [1] Herndon, Astead W. “Progressive Donor Susan Sandler to Give $200 Million to Racial Justice Groups.” New York Times. September 14, 2020. Accessed December 2, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/14/us/politics/Susan-Sandler-donation-racial-justice.html. ^
  5. “Sandler Foundation.” ProPublica. Accessed December 2, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/943147856/202141329349304039/IRS990ScheduleI. ^
  6. “Sherwood Foundation.” ProPublica. Accessed December 2, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/470824755/202141349349102619/full. ^
  7. “Hopewell Fund.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed December 2, 2021. https://www.macfound.org/grantee/hopewell-fund-10114459/. ^
  8. Schoffstall, Joe. “Dark money network gives top Dem lawyer ‘nearly unlimited funding’ for voting rights lawsuits, watchdog says.” Fox News. September 15, 2021. Accessed December 2, 2021. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/dark-money-network-gives-dem-lawyer-nearly-unlimited-funding-for-voting-rights-lawsuits-watchdog-says. ^
  9. Schoffstall, Joe. “Dark money network gives top Dem lawyer ‘nearly unlimited funding’ for voting rights lawsuits, watchdog says.” Fox News. September 15, 2021. Accessed December 2, 2021. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/dark-money-network-gives-dem-lawyer-nearly-unlimited-funding-for-voting-rights-lawsuits-watchdog-says. ^
  10. “Bad Robot.” Twitter. April 8, 2021. Accessed December 2, 2021. https://twitter.com/bad_robot/status/1380296416849850374. ^
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