The meeting was more secure than the White House and the Mexican border.
Wealthy liberals from across the country discussed strategy and finances this Sunday during the Democracy Alliance’s biennial donor confab, where the number of supported groups grew by more than a dozen and funding targets grew by tens of millions of dollars above previous years.
The contrasts are stark at this week’s meeting of the nation’s foremost liberal donor club. Flashy sports cars ferry climate crusaders to a luxury hotel, a private security company shields prying eyes from speeches on political accountability, and billionaire Democratic donors denounce money in politics.
The Alliance is a hub of liberal and Democratic fundraising. It steers tens of millions of dollars each year to leading political and policy groups strategically vetted and endorsed by its staff of progressive operatives.[…]
Security was tight at San Francisco’s Four Seasons hotel, as the group hired its own security to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing the hotel’s conference area.
It set up disposal bins for “confidential” conference materials, where attendees could dispose of sensitive paperwork for “secure shredding.” The group brought along its own paper shredders.
Attendees dined on goat cheese and garlic polenta, sourdough French toast, Kobe beef, and chorizo-stuffed dates. They sipped fine Napa Valley wine. The minimum food and beverage charge for the event was $130,000 according to hotel documents.
Progressives’ main electoral problem, attendees were told, was an insufficiently populist message.
“Do you wonder why Elizabeth Warren memes dominate your Facebook feed? Come join us for a discussion of bold and winning strategies to alter the existing economic power structure,” one panel description asked of its considerably powerful audience.
Most conference-goers were wary of speaking with the press. One attendee who asked not to be identified said he had been instructed to inform Alliance staff of journalists asking questions about the week’s proceedings.[…]
The group acknowledges that their pledge of donor anonymity to groups that demand more political transparency is “ironic.” It has pledged to increase transparency in its operations, but has also assured DA “partners”—as its donors are known—that they will remain anonymous if they choose.