President Biden has been filling high-level administration posts with a litany of individuals tied to the Center for American Progress and Media Matters — despite calling for an end to “dark money” groups during his campaign.
“Dark money” refers to political spending where the source of the funds is unknown.
Officials with ties to CAP — founded by President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff John Podesta and run by Neera Tanden, Biden’s failed nominee to run the Office of Management and Budget — can be found working in the White House, Agriculture Department, State Department, Homeland Security Department, Interior Department, Education Department, Veterans Affairs Department, the Environmental Protection Agency as well as other agencies in the federal government.
Most notable of the employees is White House chief of staff Ron Klain, who served for several years on the liberal organization’s board of directors.
In addition to Klain, VA Secretary Denis McDonough, White House Domestic Policy Council deputy director Carmel Martin and Kelly Magsamen, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s chief of staff, all worked for the liberal group.
Reached for comment by Fox News, CAP denied being a “dark money” group because it includes a page on its website with a list of donors.
However, the page does not answer for the $5.3 million in funding it received from undisclosed donors last year.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm served as a senior adviser to Media Matters for America until resigning in December 2020, when she was tapped by Biden for her current role.
While liberal watchdog group MMfA does disclose its donors, it also receives donations through donor-advised funds, a method through which identities are able to remain hidden.
Neither group has official influence over the administration, though that doesn’t mean the groups’ voices aren’t regularly heard.
“It’s been very important for us to have an intellectual gathering place off the Hill that we know is continuously trying to be creative about policy,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told Insider in March of Democrats’ closeness to CAP as Biden was scooping up alumni by the handful.
When Democrats are out of power, he continued, it is “a great place to go to keep hope alive.”
“It’s a win-win for us. It’s no surprise to many of us that we have a lot of talented people that we feel very fortunate to draw in and would expect or hope that the skills and abilities of those people are embraced by a progressive administration,” Mara Rudman, CAP’s executive vice president for policy, told the outlet in an interview.