Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Progressive legal advocacy group spinning off from sponsor

A leading progressive legal advocacy group is spinning off from the sprawling dark money network that seeded it, the group tells Axios.

Why it matters: Demand Justice's decision to separate from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a "fiscal sponsor" for scores of largely left-wing organizations, will provide the public with its first detailed look behind the curtain of the influential progressive nonprofit.


  • As stand-alone nonprofits, Demand Justice and its 501(c)(3) arm, the Demand Justice Initiative, will have to reveal new information about their structures and finances.

What they're saying: Demand Justice co-founder and executive director Brian Fallon told Axios his group has outgrown the umbrella organization under which it operated for its first three years.

  • "Taking this step is a nod to the fact that we plan to exist for the long term and are ready to graduate out of the start-up phase," Fallon said in an email.
  • The switch hasn't officially happened, Fallon said. His group plans to apply for tax exemption as an independent entity but is still operating as a Sixteen Thirty Fund project for the time being.

The big picture: Demand Justice is the tip of the progressive spear in battles over the makeup of the federal judiciary.

  • Fallon, formerly the top spokesman at the Department of Justice, formed the group to counter influential conservative organizations such as the Federalist Society and the Judicial Crisis Network.
  • Demand Justice has made headlines recently for running ads calling on Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to resign so he can be replaced by a Black woman.

Between the lines: When Demand Justice and the Demand Justice Initiative complete their new filings, the public will be able to see previously undisclosed details about their budgets, advocacy work and the vendors they've engaged.

  • The Sixteen Thirty Fund and a sister organization, the New Venture Fund, have been criticized for obscuring information about the scores of subsidiary groups they sponsor.
  • Sixteen Thirty Fund executive director Amy Kurtz defended the structure in a Medium post last month. Her group, she wrote, "advances progressive causes through advocacy and fiscal sponsorship ... using the legal rulebook in place today."

regular 4 post ff

infinite scroll 4 pff

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories