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A secretive group backed by millions of dollars from liberal billionaire George Soros is working behind the scenes with President Biden’s administration to shape policy, documents reviewed by Fox News show.
Governing for Impact (GFI), the veiled group, boasts in internal memos of implementing more than 20 of its legislative agenda items while working to reverse the Trump-era deregulation by focusing on education, environment, health care, housing and working conditions .
“The Open Society is proud to support Governing for Impact’s efforts to protect American workers, consumers, patients, students and the environment through policy reform,” Tom Perriello, CEO of Soros’ Open Society Foundations, told Fox News Digital.
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“Their work gives voice to people who are often overlooked in a regulatory environment that is too often dominated by corporate interests,” he continued. “Our support for Governing for Impact’s work is publicly available on our website, and we are transparent about our enthusiasm for their victories for American workers and families.”
However, GFI is working to remain secretive. It is invisible to Internet search engines like Google (an unrelated “Govern for Impact” is the only group that appears in a search). No news reports or press releases about its existence appear other than a mention of its related action fund in a previous Fox News article about the $ 1.6 billion Arabella Advisors-managed dark money network to which it is affiliated.
But as the group tried to hide its activities, it searched for talent on the Harvard Law School website that could be found. The post, which is no longer displayed on the page, was for legal practice.
The Harvard ad said the group was set up to prepare the Biden administration for a “transformative governance” and that it had produced “more than 60 in-depth, shovel-clear regulatory recommendations” for dozens of federal agencies.
The list also included an email address ending in “@ governingforimpact.org,” which is the group’s website that can only be accessed by those who know the URL.
According to its website, Rachael Klarman, a graduate of Harvard Law School, is in charge of the group. Her father, Michael Klarman, is a professor at Harvard Law and also has connections to progressive advocacy groups. He is an advisory board member of the left-wing dark money-law group Take Back the Court. Last year, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, invited him to testify before Congress about the “attack” of dark money on the justice system.
“Governing for Impact is the perfect example of the left’s false outrage over ‘dark money’ in politics,” said Capital Research Center’s Parker Thayer, who discovered the group and warned Fox News.
“As a ‘tax-sponsored’ dark money project that writes and pushes rules out of the shadows, hidden from the public and funded by one billionaire fund, GFI embodies everything the left pretends to detest.”
“Governing for Impact conducts and shares research designed to help ensure that the federal government works more effectively for day-to-day working Americans, not just for members of industry groups who have long spent considerable resources pursuing their own political agendas,” he said. Rachael Klarman to Fox News.
“We were founded in 2019 and have developed detailed regulatory recommendations for several federal agencies, which are published on our website,” she said.
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GFI’s website contains dozens of legal strategy notes for drafting executive orders and rules in the education, environment, health, housing and labor markets.
The memos generally do not identify their authors. Some show partnerships with external groups such as The National Student League Defense Network, Center for Law, Energy and the Environment at Berkeley Law School and Economic Policy Institute.
“Many of the proposals on this site focus on how the new administration could settle the harmful administrative legacy of the previous administration, but GFI continues to undertake new policy projects at all levels of government,” the site said.
The Department of Education is set to announce a new ordinance that will change Section IX rules on anti-transgender inequality in schools, and reverse the Trump-era guidance. GFI appears to have been working on the issue as its website contains a November 2020 legal note on the matter.
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GFI also created an internal slide tire and uploaded it to Prezi’s presentation page. The roller coaster, which is now inaccessible, says GFI has implemented more than 20 of its 2021 federal proposals.
Several federal officials appear in the internal slide as part of its “listening tour,” including Sharon Block, Biden’s former chief executive of regulatory review. Block served as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), a division of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), from the beginning of Biden’s presidency until February this year.
“Under Sharon’s leadership, OIRA has played a crucial role in advancing the President’s agenda – from strengthening our historic economic recovery and fighting the pandemic, to tackling the climate crisis and promoting equity,” said Shalanda Young, Director of OMB, before her departure. .
GFI shows Blocks enthusiasm over a GFI proposal on the slide. “I jump out of my seat with excitement over this idea,” Block says in his “feedback” section.
Block, now a professor of practice at Harvard Law School, did not respond to a Fox News Digital query about what proposals she had been working on with the group while serving as the top regulator in the Biden administration.
In addition to the Block, the GFI highlights other top federal officials as part of its “listening tour.” Senior DOJ official Joel McElvain, who in 2018 left his position in protest of the Trump administration’s position on the Affordable Care Act, but returned in 2021, appears on the slide.
It also shows Raj Nayak, assistant secretary of the Labor Department, Sabeel Rahman, senior adviser to OIRA, Narayan Subramanian, a legal adviser to the Department of Energy, and Maggie Thomas, whom Biden chose as chief of staff in the Office of Domestic Climate Policy.
GFI has prepared legal policy notes for at least ten federal departments and agencies, the slide shows show. They also produced ten administrative law primers from 2021.
GFI, meanwhile, is not an independent non-profit organization. Instead, New Venture Fund, a nonprofit incubator managed by DC-based consulting firm Arabella Advisors, sponsors it financially. This setup allows the GFI to avoid filing tax forms with the IRS.
The group’s affiliation with Arabella-Advisors’ dark money network, which raised $ 1.6 billion in anonymous donations in 2020, can not be found in public records. New Venture Fund does not report GFI as a trade name in its DC business records.
However, GFI’s links to the New Venture Fund can be found in George Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF) grant database. A search of the database shows that Soros nonprofits sent $ 12.98 million to GFI and its related action fund in 2019 and 2020.
The Foundation to Promote Open Society awarded $ 5.53 million to GFI. Meanwhile, the Open Society Policy Center sent $ 7.45 million to GFI’s action fund. The Sixteen Thirty Fund, also managed by Arabella Advisors, sponsors the action fund for tax purposes.
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“As a fiscal sponsor, the New Venture Fund provides operational and administrative support to help advocates and philanthropists quickly and effectively launch new solutions to today’s toughest challenges,” the group told Fox News. “The New Venture Fund does not expressly engage in party political activities or support any election campaigns, and we comply with all applicable laws and disclosure requirements.”
Like the New Venture Fund, the Sixteen Thirty Fund has not reported it as a trading name in DC’s business records.
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“The Sixteen Thirty Fund supports progressive causes and campaigns fighting for economic justice, affordable health care, climate change, racial justice, voter access and other significant social change goals,” the group told Fox News. “We follow all local, state, and federal laws regarding the publication of individual donors and grant recipients.”
GFI has additional links to Soros’ network. Perriello, OSF’s CEO, sits on GFI’s board of four members. MB Maxwell, a special adviser at OSF, showed up at GFI’s slide deck as part of their “listening tour.”
The White House did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.