fbpx Skip to content

Public-Sector Unions Funded Powerful Progressive Network that Attacked Elon Musk

The four largest unions representing government employees all give money to the Sixteen Thirty Fund, which is part of the Arabella Network, a powerful organization that directs hundreds of millions of dollars to progressive organizations and causes.

The unions that gave money to The Sixteen Thirty Fund, using their members’ regular dues, include:

  • Service Employees International Union, which donated $2 million;
  • American Federation of Teachers, which donated $35,000;
  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which gave $50,000; and,
  • National Education Association, which gave $350,000.

Union officials regularly tell their members they do not spend their dues on politics, but the financial documents they file with the U.S. Department of Labor showing donations to organizations like the Sixteen Thirty Fund tell a much different story. 

The Sixteen Thirty Fund is the lobbying and advocacy arm of the Arabella Network, which was set up by Clinton allies in 2005 as a for-profit consulting firm to advise wealthy Democratic donors and liberal non-profits on how to spend their money. The network has been linked to a number of progressive causes, and was recently outed as one of the groups behind the organized opposition to Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter.

The network is also linked to groups that fought the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, including the organization that sent trained protestors into the halls of the Capitol, where they cornered senators to try to pressure them in opposing the nomination.

Suzanne Bates

Suzanne Bates is Senior Writer and Researcher with Americans for Fair Treatment, a community of current and former public-sector workers offering resources and support to exercise their First Amendment rights. Prior to joining Americans for Fair Treatment in 2020, Suzanne worked as a journalist for the Associated Press, as Policy Director with the Yankee Institute, as a contributor for The Hartford Courant, and as a regular commentator for WNPR’s The Wheelhouse.