Salvo 04.25.2024 6 minutes

Shedding Light on Governing for Impact

100 dollars with the Statue of Liberty in the background

The dark money network shaping the Biden Administration and America’s schools.

Editors’ Note

The following excerpt is from Arabella: The Dark Money Network of Leftist Billionaires Transforming America by Scott Walter, now available from Encounter Books.

One of the more notable examples of the coordination between the Soros philanthropic network and Arabella Advisors—and the Biden Administration—came to light in mid-2022, despite extensive efforts to keep it hidden.

In early 2022, Capital Research Center alerted Fox News to the existence of a secret 501(c)(3) “charity” called Governing for Impact. The research organization and its sister (c)(4) “dark money” group, the Governing for Impact Action Fund, exist to research, write, promote, and defend new federal regulations for the Biden Administration to issue. These two groups, sponsored by Arabella’s New Venture Fund and Sixteen Thirty Fund, respectively, received a combined $17.4 million in funding from Soros grant-makers from 2019 to 2021. Most surprisingly, the group intentionally operated far under the radar from its launch in 2019 (long before the 2020 presidential election) because its website was carefully set to be invisible to Google and other search engines. That’s right; it was hidden from the public, who couldn’t find it even by accident. But friends, including in the Biden Administration, could reach it if they were told the site’s URL, GoverningForImpact.org, and typed that into their computers. (After news reports based on our research “outed” the site, it became visible to search engines.)

Once the Biden Administration took power, Governing for Impact exploited its high-level contacts within the administration (illustrated in previous chapters), ultimately enacting “more than 20” of the group’s policy recommendations in the first couple years of the administration.

The regulations the secret group helped shape and make law aren’t obscure or minor. A case study of just one of those policies illustrates how Arabella’s infrastructure empowers the Left (particularly when endowed with Soros-level funding). But before we examine that particular case, observe the breadth of influence this secretive Arabella-Soros group has achieved.

The group’s internal presentations to donors in 2022 state that it has drafted more than 60 policy memos designed to shape federal department after federal department, specifically:

  • Education
  • Interior
  • HHS
  • Labor
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Justice
  • Housing and Urban Development
  • Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Treasury

The sweeping agenda of specific radical policies in those agencies is breathtaking. At the Labor Department, for instance, they want to change the rules of independent contracting (likely to shut down the “gig” work industry, which means shuttering Uber, DoorDash, and more). The Education Department agenda involves a half dozen specific issues, some of which we will examine more closely below, but in addition to those, the secretive radicals want to regulate “school discipline guidance,” which likely means making schools even less safe. For the Environmental Protection Agency, the schemes involve things like regimens for government permits that hinder the building of factories and other industrial facilities where so many Americans have jobs. At the Agriculture Department, existing “work requirements” for food stamps are in the crosshairs for destruction—another policy where strong majorities of the public, and even half of all Democrats, support the opposite of what Arabella-Soros is pushing the Biden Administration to do.

“Transgender shelter protections” are among the items on the Department of Housing and Urban Development list, while the Department of Energy is being urged to increase “energy efficiency standards,” which will raise prices on items within every American family’s budget: refrigerators, furnaces, dishwashers, air conditioning, and much more. At the Department of Health and Human Services, there’s an especially long to-do list, including, it appears, ditching work requirements for Medicaid benefits, getting rid of short-term health insurance plans that let people escape the costly insurance regulations of Obamacare, and of course, here as everywhere, expanding federal antidiscrimination requirements for sexual orientation and gender identity (the administration did the group’s bidding on this in July 2022).

The Treasury Department has an ominous checklist of a half dozen memos with titles like, “executive compensation” and “strengthening Dodd-Frank,” the latter an Obama-era law that among other things has hurt small banks across the country, many of them serving rural voters whose political views differ from Governing for Impact’s Harvard Law types and from those of the rich Wall Street financiers running the big banks that benefit from such regulation.

Waging Culture War Over Gender and Women’s Sports

On its secret website, Governing for Impact prioritized six policy areas, with education policy listed at the top. One of the policies involved Title IX, the 1972 education law passed to protect women and women’s sports on college campuses. So when in April 2022, Biden’s Education Department announced it was seeking radical changes to Title IX—changes matching what Governing for Impact “research” supported—my colleague Parker Thayer sounded the alarm:

Governing for Impact is the ultimate example of the “dark money” the Left pretends to hate. It works totally in secret, it’s funded by one billionaire, it’s run by that billionaire’s cronies, and it directly influences policy from the shadows. The idea that a group so deeply in Soros’s pocket is calling the shots on regulations that will affect the education and safety of almost every child in the country is deeply disturbing and should be investigated at once.

As predicted, the Biden Administration did announce sweeping changes to Title IX, and the proposed changes seem to pull directly from Governing for Impact policy papers. As Fox News reported:

The Education Department is set to announce a new regulation that will change Title IX rules on anti-transgender bias in schools, reversing Trump-era guidance. [Governing for Impact] appears to have worked on the issue, as its site contains a November 2020 legal memo on the matter.

The Education Department, like Governing for Impact, originally sought to make two key changes to Title IX. First, it would have changed the rules for investigations of sexual assault allegations in ways that seriously weaken the due process rights of accused young men. Second, it would have required schools, colleges, and universities to allow men and boys to compete in women’s and girls’ athletics based on their perceived “gender identity.” Governing for Impact gave the administration policy papers recommending both changes.

Creating Kangaroo Courts

In “Addressing Sexual Violence under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972,” Governing for Impact advised the Education Department to repeal a regulation that required colleges to provide students accused of sexual harassment with in-person hearings, the opportunity to cross-examine accusers, and written summaries of the evidence presented against them.

The Biden Administration and its Soros-funded Arabella allies are trying to reverse Title IX regulations promulgated by then Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in 2020. Those regulatory reforms were needed because, as KC Johnson (he spells his name sans periods), Professor of History at Brooklyn College, explains: “A well-intentioned policy initiative designed to ensure that survivors of sexual assault would not lose their access to education had wound up producing an entirely separate class of victims—students who were punished after dubious or false findings of guilt.” Johnson adds that these reforms had “survived five court challenges—from blue states, from professional and campus activist organizations,” and from the ACLU.

In response, Biden’s proposed changes would implement almost every action item in Governing for Impact’s memorandum and (if enacted) return campus Title IX procedures back to glorified kangaroo courts. KC Johnson and other academics have warned the changes would create a “Title IX Inquisition” on college campuses from which no one would be safe.

Destroying Women’s Sports

In a second memo, “Protecting the Rights of LGBTQ+ Students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972,” Governing for Impact also advises the Education Department to issue a regulation stating it will interpret Title IX protections so they extend to a student’s gender identity. The Biden Administration’s proposed rule changes include this item, citing the same court cases, providing comparable justifications, and using language similar to what’s found in the Governing for Impact memo.

Opponents argue that this kind of regulation lacks any basis in law and would spell disaster for women’s sports and women’s on-campus opportunities.

Robert Eitel, the President of the Defense of Freedom Institute which has produced detailed rebuttals of the administration proposed regulations, warns of how much damage those changes will produce: “By commandeering Title IX, progressives seek to force all educational institutions that receive federal funds to heed their ideological agenda on issues of gender identity, family, free speech, religious liberty, and abortion.”

Sarah Perry, senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, warns that women’s opportunities in college would be “jeopardized by the inclusion of biological males in their chosen athletic programs. How backward it is to take a women’s movement ‘win’ and subjugate it to a ‘loss’ to the agenda of the radical few.”

Perry’s phrase agenda of the radical few is apt, as the Governing for Impact memos reveal. The Biden Administration’s rule isn’t responding to the American public, which by a large and growing majority oppose its policy.

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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