Left-wing advocacy groups that have supported the controversial “defund” police movement have received tens of millions of dollars from a Texas billionaire who has backed efforts across the United States to overhaul the criminal justice system, records show.
John Arnold, a former Enron executive, has emerged as a major donor to organizations that have supported policies such as cashless bail that Republicans argue lead to crime spikes.
Through his limited liability corporation, Arnold Ventures, the billionaire has steered $17.2 million to four organizations behind efforts and calls to strip law enforcement of crucial resources, according to records reviewed by the Washington Examiner.
“Arnold Ventures opposes calls to defund the police,” a spokesperson for the LLC told the Washington Examiner.
“We are guided by the objective of improving public safety.
“Research shows that law enforcement can be effective at reducing violent crime and plays an integral role in ensuring community safety.”
Arnold’s donations through the years from his LLC have remained relatively obscure, despite other major philanthropists like George Soros gaining prominent attention in media outlets.
Arnold Ventures does not legally have to disclose entities that it awards grants to, but the LLC says on its website that it has delivered hundreds of millions in criminal justice grants since 2015.