Gigi Sohn Praised Billionaire-Backed Dark Money Group that Called Policing ‘A Violent Institution that Must End,’ as Riots Raged in Portland

A demonstrator kicks back a tear gas canister back at federal officers during a Black Lives Matter protest at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo

President Joe Biden’s radical, pro-censorship Federal Communications Committee (FCC) nominee Gigi Sohn praised an anti-police billionaire-backed dark money group in July 2020 — at the height of the Black Lives Matter “protests” in Portland.

Sohn, whom Biden selected as his nominee for FCC commissioner to have jurisdiction over Internet and telecoms policy — as the administration has been determined to appoint partisan leftists to critical positions in the federal bureaucracy — hosted a podcast, Tech on the Rock, with the earliest episodes starting in March 2020 and continuing to March 2021.

During her July 5, 2020 podcast, Sohn hosted Color Of Change senior campaign manager Brandi Collins-Dexter, where she said it is “one of a number of newer tech-savvy civil rights organizations” and noted that she “admire[s]” the group, and “love[s] supporting” them because she finds the “progress” they are making “wonderful,” such as the “headlines of everything that is important right now.”

“It’s critical to support groups like Color of Change, the NAACP Legal and Defense Fund, the ACLU, and others who’re helping to protect us all from these ubiquitous spying technologies,” she stated.

She claimed that federal and local law enforcement agencies use modern law enforcement technologies to spy on civil rights leaders. Sohn added that the “amount of data that is being gathered about you at any given time in public places is both astounding and incredibly frightening” and that date gathering it “tenfold for communities of color.”

However, Color Of Change is a 501c4 co-founded in 2005 by Van Jones, who worked in the Obama administration as the “green jobs czar,” and current day CNN contributor and the former director of grassroots mobilization, James Rucker. The organization has a history of anti-police rhetoric and is a portfolio organization of the Democracy Alliance, a secretive group of top liberal donors that bankrolls left-wing causes and organizations, according to a 2021 archived version of the group’s website.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, Democracy Alliance is a “secretive group of top liberal donors” who “budgeted $275 million to be injected into progressive infrastructure leading up to the 2020 elections.” Since its founding, the group had been “pivotal in helping bankroll left-wing causes and organizations.”

But, in June 2020, before Sohn’s comments about Color Of Change, the group praised Minneapolis for its efforts to “disband police” and called policing “a violent institution that must end” in a press release in June 2020 titled Minneapolis‘ Commitment to Disband Police A Historic Moment for Our Country.

And in the years — especially months — leading up to Sohn’s podcast, the group incessantly tweeted about defunding the police, divesting funds, and claimed, “more police in black neighborhoods, actually harms black people.”

On June 29, 2020, Color of Change expressed its advocacy for defunding the police by posting a defund the police video on Twitter, stating, “more police in black neighborhoods, actually harms black people.”

On June 18, 2020, Color Of Change expressed its advocacy for the anti-police Black Lives Matter movement.

On June 28, 2020, Color Of Change expressed its advocacy for defunding the police.

On June 29, 2020, Color Of Change urged the public to vote “No” on the New York city’s mayor’s proposal because it was “not defunding the police.”

On June 15, 2020, Color Of Change expressed its advocacy for defunding the police.

On June 20, 2020, Color Of Change expressed its advocacy for defunding the police, and stated more police in black neighborhoods, actually harms black people.”

On June 23, 2020, Color of Change said it was “proud to uplift this groundbreaking work” of Kendrick Sampson’s call to divest from police.

On June 25, 2020, Color Of Change expressed its advocacy for defunding the police.

On July 14, 2016, Color Of Change expressed its advocacy for defunding the police.

On July 11, 2016, Color Of Change urged the defunding of police.

In fact, the night before Sohn released her remarks, July 4, a protest in Portland devolved into a riot that included rioters shooting commercial-grade fireworks towards the federal courthouse — which ultimately led to several officers sustaining injuries due to mortars and fireworks exploding nearby.

Over the holiday weekend, the city of Portland would ultimately declared the downtown demonstrations as riots, twice in a 24-hour period and for the fourth time in five nights. “More than a dozen were arrested, and police used tear gas to drive the crowd away,” according to the Oregonian. At the time, Ted Wheeler, the city’s mayor, expressed concern over Portland being “on edge.”

This revelation comes towards the end of Sohn’s nomination process as she is waiting to be voted on by the Senate.

The FCC has played an increasingly significant role in the federal government, having jurisdiction over the Internet and telecoms policy. For instance, Trump used the FCC to fight back against Big Tech censorship during his administration.

As Breitbart News previously reported, Sohn having a track record of partisan, pro-censorship statements and ties to radical, far-left activists when she would be in a position of influence over cable and satellite providers creates a problem for policy-making:

Sohn was the co-founder and CEO of the leftist advocacy group Public Knowledge, which recently called on cable and satellite providers to drop the conservative One America News Network (OAN).

She has also personally called on the FCC to investigate whether the Sinclair Broadcast Group, a conservative-run network of local TV stations, should hold a broadcast license. As a commissioner, she will be able to do just that.

She has also said that both Fox News and social media are “dangerous to our democracy,” arguing that Fox is the greater danger and calling for a “hearing” about the network, which she labeled “state-sponsored propaganda.”

Breitbart News has also acknowledged that the Biden administration has previously shown its willingness to appoint far-left radicals to federal positions, including those who do not require Senate confirmation like Meredith Whittaker. Whittaker is a far-left agitator who is known for getting former Heritage Foundation president Kay Coles James expelled from an advisory role at Google.

Saule Omarova, whom Biden nominated for the Office of Comptroller of the Currency. Biden eventually withdrew her nomination after her past statements praising the Soviet Union and calling for the elimination of private banking came to light.

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.


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