Funding from Dark Money Heavyweight, Soros-Supported Foundation, Ed Associations Helps Defeat Ohio Ballot Initiative

Craig Bannister | August 9, 2023
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An Ohio ballot initiative to make it harder to change the state’s constitution, prior to November’s referendum on whether to codify abortion as a right, has failed – thanks to major opposition funding by radical left-wing groups.

Defeated by a large margin on Tuesday, State Issue 1 would have raised the threshold for passing future ballot measures from 50% to 60%. Because it failed to pass, pro-abortion forces need just a simple majority of Ohioans to vote their way in order to codify a right to abortion in November.

Proponents of the measure, represented by the Protect Our Constitution coalition, wanted to raise the bar in order to keep deep-pocketed special interest groups from pushing leftist agenda initiatives on issues, such as abortion and gun control, on Ohioans.

One Person One Vote, the victorious opposition campaign, raised a total of $14.8 million, with about 16% of it coming from Ohio donors. Donors who gave one million dollars or more to One Person One Vote include:

  • The Tides Foundation,
  • The Sixteen Thirty Fund,
  • Silicon Valley Philanthropist Karla Jurvetson,
  • The Ohio Education Association, and
  • The National Education Association.


The Tides Foundation, which funnels money to left-wing causes, receives tens of millions of dollars from radical billionaire liberal activist George Soros’ organizations. Tides “washes” the money it receives, then passes it on to the final recipients, in to disguise the identity of its donors.

As explains:

“The Tides Foundation has been described as an organization that ‘washes’ away the paper trail between its grants and the original donor. Tides Founder Drummond Pike stated, ‘Anonymity is very important to most of the people we work with.’”

Tides has given grants to Canadian anti-capitalist group Adbusters, which has incited protests.

The Sixteen Thirty Fund ranks among the largest left-leaning dark money groups, The Atlantic reports:

“The Sixteen Thirty Fund—the indisputable heavyweight of Democratic dark money—was the second-largest super-PAC donor in 2020, according to the investigative organization OpenSecrets, giving roughly $61 million of effectively untraceable money to progressive causes. The organization that connects many of these groups—what a critic might call the mothership—is called Arabella Advisors.”

Karla Jurvetson emerged as one of the largest Democrat donors during the 2020 campaign. She began to ramp up her political-activist giving in 2018, when she gave $5.4 million to a super PAC tied to the pro-abortion women’s group Emily’s List.

“Jurvetson has now given over $22 million in recent cycles to Democratic candidates and causes,” reported in March of 2020, noting that Jurvetson made one of the largest political donations in the entire 2020 presidential campaign when she gave $14.6 million to a super PAC dedicated to the doomed presidential bid of Elizabeth Warren.