A video released Monday by the pro-worker media organization More Perfect Union delves into the funders behind the dark money group No Labels, which has grown its nationwide influence in recent months as it promises to back candidates in the 2024 elections who will give voters a break from “the angriest voices dominating our politics” and make “commonsense progress.”
Founded in 2009, No Labels has for more than a decade peddled the familiar notion that the majority of Americans are political centrists, despite numerous polls showing that people in the U.S. broadly support progressive policy proposals such as Medicare for All, higher taxes for the wealthiest Americans, and universal childcare.
While claiming to represent the interests of most voters, No Labels’ mission statement suggests that those ideas are embraced only by “the extreme.”
More Perfect Union‘s investigation into who has poured money into the organization shows how No Labels has depended heavily on corporations and billionaires who benefit from sidelining popular proposals aimed at helping working people.
The group “followed a money trail,” said reporter Andrew Rivera, “to discover a deeper story about who is behind No Labels and what’s really in it for them.”
A group calling themselves "No Labels" has suddenly emerged as a huge financial backer of Kyrsten Sinema.
They're also floating the idea of running Joe Manchin for President.
We dug into them, and found a whole lot of billionaires with a history of opposing democracy. pic.twitter.com/InSWKhGDE7
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) May 22, 2023
No Labels has raised $70 million in support of putting third party candidates on election ballots in 2024, including U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), who announced earlier this year that she was leaving the Democratic Party to become an Independent.
A number of No Labels’ biggest donors in recent years also gave the maximum contribution to Sinema, particularly showering the right-wing senator with donations after she refused to support President Joe Biden’s signature domestic legislation, the Build Back Better Act, in 2021.
Louis Bacon, billionaire CEO of hedge fund Moore Capital Management, gave $1 million each to No Labels and the Republican Party after donating the maximum allowable contribution to Sinema. Nelson Peltz, a major backer of former Republican President Donald Trump and a billionaire investor, gave $900,000 to two No Labels political action committees and also maxed out his donations to Sinema.
The director of No Labels called on its donors—who also include private equity executive Stephen Schwartzman of Blackstone and former 20th Century Fox CEO James Rupert Murdoch—to donate heavily to Sinema after she helped block the Build Back Better Act.
The group was highly motivated to reward lawmakers for helping to defeat Build Back Better, which included broadly popular proposals such as universal childcare.
“You would think that no labels would be all in on something that so united the country… except that it would have been paid for by raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans,” said Rivera. “At the end of the day, these billionaires and large corporations are deeply invested in maintaining the status quo and opposing Democrats’ agenda for working people.”
One observer said that More Perfect Union’s probe into No Labels explains why, when confronted with a group claiming not to stand for any particular political viewpoint, one should “check the money.”
When one group says it’s not one or the other, check the money. It’s billionaires who want their lackey in congress to protect them.
They stand for nothing but money. https://t.co/VcAO6QaTe8
— BranFlakes (@talishabrand) May 22, 2023
“A political organization that claims to have no ideology,” added podcast host Michael Hobbes, “is going to be a right-wing op every single time.”
Republished with permission from Common Dreams, by Julia Conley
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