Soros Spends More Than $9 Million to Form New Political Money Machine

Three progressive groups merge into the State Innovative Exchange.

Three liberal groups, with a combined total of $9.2 million in seed money from George Soros, have joined forces to create one super-network liberals hope will funnel money into different left-wing, grassroots political campaigns. These investments will finance democrat messaging through robocalls, pesky mailers, and meager hourly wages for clipboard wielding ideologues.

Late last year, the American Constitution Society’s “American Legislative and Issue Campaign Exchange” (ALICE), the Progressive States Network (PSN), and the Center for State Innovation (CSI) combined to become the “State Innovative Exchange” or “SiX.” SiX pledged to continue pursuing legislative efforts at the state level around the nation with well-funded and newly charged invigoration.

SiX’s stated its goals clearly on its website, “Elected officials and staff across the country are writing legislation that will shape our future. At SiX, we provide trusted, expert resources to inform and enhance that work. Together, we’re building the legislative wing of the progressive movement. SiX aims to encourage cross-pollination among states, providing a platform for the best ideas to spread and grow.”

Besides the Soros money, SiX boasts an advisory board full of representatives from liberal groups like ProgressNow, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, the Center for American Progress, the ACLU, the Economic Policy Institute, the Progressive Chance Campaign Committee, the AFL-CIO, and Priorities USA Action.

The same liberals behind SiX have campaigned against the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is a nonprofit forum where state legislators and private sector leaders can share ideas.

In the wake of 2014 GOP Senate victories, these Soros-connected organizations decided to rally their minuscule successes, disregard their ineffective track records and completely rebrand.

Together, these groups hoped to do more for the liberal cause than any of them could do on their own. Joel Rogers, a notorious climate change alarmist, was behind at least two of the components of SiX. He launched the American Constitution Society’s “American Legislative and Issue Campaign Exchange” (ALICE) in 2012. ALICE was touted to be liberals’ answer to the free-market-based ALEC, and was even promoted by TV show host Bill Moyers on his taxpayer-funded platform (while Moyers funds his show with his own extensive resources, it is broadcast on taxpayer-supported PBS).

Rogers co-founded and chaired the Apollo Alliance, a clean energy project forged by the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) at the University of Wisconsin where Rogers is a professor. The Apollo Alliance was a project of the Tides Foundation, a well-known progressive clearing house that has donated billions to liberal causes. The left-wing BlueGreen Alliance swallowed the Apollo Alliance whole in 2011, but still graciously allocates the brand a tab on its website.

The Apollo Alliance had a similar structure to SiX, focusing their efforts on state and local clean energy initiatives. Sen. Harry Reid once credited the Apollo Alliance for their work to help draft and push Obama’s stimulus plan through Congress. That stimulus bill was responsible for funding a $535 million loan guarantee to failed solar company Solyndra.

According to his official bio, Rogers “has also advised many governments, candidates, and movement leaders, and helped found and operate several progressive NGOs (Center for a New Democracy, New Party, Economic Analysis Research Network, Apollo Alliance, Emerald Cities Collaborative, ALICE, etc.) Newsweek identified him as one of the 100 living Americans most likely to shape U.S. politics and culture in the 21st century.”

The next SiX component was the Center for State Innovation (CSI). This group was another one of Rogers’ pet projects at COWS, providing “many types of assistance to state executives interested in implementing progressive policies.” CSI also received grant money from Soros’ Open Society Foundations to further its agenda and push progressive policy through state legislatures.

The final group to join SiX was the Progressive States Network (PSN), formerly the Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN). Joel Barkin founded PLAN in 2005 to target ALEC, aiming to “transform the political landscape by sparking progressive actions at the state level.”

PLAN provided “coordinated research and strategic advocacy tools to state legislators and their staffs,” by supplying “legislators and their staff members with the technical and messaging support necessary to embrace progressive policy.”

Liberal, Soros-funded founder Wes Boyd jumped on board PLAN’s launch in 2005. And former White House Counsel and Center for American Progress founder John Podesta was a keynote speaker at the group’s Seattle pitch party entitled “Planning Progress 2005.” That mission now lives on through SiX.

Soros gave at least $1.46 million to, which the group used to advocate for “progressive laws.” But since is not part of SiX, the amount was not included in the $9 million total.


Soros Funding:

  • American Constitution Society: $5,801,500

  • Progressive States Network: $1,450,000

  • University of Wisconsin: $1,942,487

TOTAL: $9,193,987

— Mike Ciandella is Research Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Mike Ciandella on Twitter.