Excavating the Origin of Arabella: In the Beginning There Was Nothing (Complete Series)
Arabella Trails | start small
Behind the curtain | Lessons learned
But the experience left Brian, me and our fellow riders shaking their heads in frustrated wonder. RTA’s narrative shamelessly copied other progressive outlines. It existed as an “organization” or “coalition” primarily through numerous professionally written press releases. These in turn directed reporters’ inquiries to an anonymously registered website and the cellphones of various expensive lobbyists under contract with Arabella, with RTA’s only “asset” being a rented five-digit post office box in Virginia. .
Rather than being “innovative and effective,” the few of us aware of Arabella’s existence found the RTA effort ridiculously unsophisticated, if not crude. We stopped laughing after realizing that what little news RTA had gathered was just regurgitating RTA messages. There would be no “investigative journalism” about RTA or, as there was, dangerously little about Arabella, New Venture and its other “enterprises”.
Nonetheless, the respective trail committees were personally educated by upset off-roaders. At least $800,000 from Hewlett passed through Arabella to RTA stopped earning and RTA disappeared completely in 2014.
Did Arabella realize that RTA, possibly even Arabella Legacy Fund, had been “discovered” even though no accredited journalists had written news articles? Absolutely, and he reacted quite quickly. In late fall 2010, when the nonprofit Form 990 returns for 2009 normally became available to the public, I noticed that Guidestar had not released the Arabella Legacy Fund return, and that there were no new ALF listings in Google either. But Arabella Advisors still had a website, listing “high net worth” clients such as Bill and Melinda Gates.
With an EIN (Employer Identification Number) search, I found Arabella. But Arabella had the niftiest new name: “New Venture Fund.” Wow! Just awesome ! Why? When I first entered “New Venture Fund” into Google search, I scrolled through 58 articles, mostly news articles about a “new venture capital fund”, before finding “the” New Venture fund.
Compare that to 66 total items in all of Google today for the entire history of Arabella Legacy Fund, with a fair amount of those anti-OHV “reports” associated with RTA.
Obviously, someone realized that Arabella Legacy Fund was too unique. If some Montana backcountry motorheads could relate, maybe politicians and journalists could too.
But even if it failed in the long run, RTA was a good, relatively inexpensive, real-world proof-of-concept for Arabella’s core operating model, an experiment conducted in the lab-like political isolation of the interior west american. Thanks to a new generic company, Arabella Advisers has begun to apply this model much more widely at the national level.
Brian Hawthorne recalls:
Public lands were a big part of the radical left’s agenda, but then the focus shifted. I can’t remember exactly when or why, but it seemed to me that money and staff seemed to be shifting from public lands to energy/climate. And soon after, she became (as Arabella rose to prominence) overtly political, meaning direct efforts to influence elections, support candidates, wage war on Republicans, etc.
Now, of course, Arabella Advisors oversees several “charity” organizations with a tax-sheltered debit of $1.7 billion, dedicated to several major deception campaigns. Now you know how and where it all started.
It should be noted that the Montana State Senator representing Whitefish, Montana from 2004 to 2008 is the aforementioned Daniel C. Weinberg. Weinberg had burst onto the local scene after using his oddly-named Angora Ridge foundation to make major contributions to building a swimming pool at the nonprofit Whitefish Wave fitness club. Shortly after, he ran for the State Senate and defeated the Republican incumbent.
However, Senator Weinberg’s career as an extremely progressive Democrat ended when Whitefish’s hometown hero Ryan Zinke (a Republican) returned from the Navy SEALs. Weinberg opted out of running in 2008.
Zinke, of course, was elected to the United States House in 2016, then after being re-elected in 2018, was named and confirmed United States Secretary of the Interior. But throughout Zinke’s federal service, it has been plagued with negative publicity and endless “scandal” allegations, generated by entities such as the “Western Values Project”, headquartered in found in a Whitefish UPS Store mailbox. At the time, he was most active against Zinke. The project’s very first press release (in 2013) stated that it “receives financial support from the New Venture Fund”.
This article originally appeared in the February 2022 issue of Capital research magazine.