A Missouri group pushing for an increased minimum wage received a $3 million donation recently from a Washington D.C. dark money group, according to campaign finance reports.

The state group, Raise Up Missouri, supports Proposition B, the November ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2023. The D.C. group is the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that doesn’t have to reveal its donors.

Through mid-July, the latest filing period for campaign finance reports, Raise Up Missouri had reported raising about $1.7 million, including $1 million from the Sixteen Thirty Fund. The new donation brings Sixteen Thirty’s total to $4 million, making it by far Raise Up Missouri’s largest donor.

Tony Wyche, Raise Up Missouri’s spokesman, praised the financial contributions made in support of raising the state’s minimum wage.

“We appreciate the grassroots and financial support we’ve received to date,” he said in an email.

When asked if he had any concerns about donations coming from a dark money contributor, Wyche directed any inquiries to the group itself.

“If you have questions regarding any particular organization,” he said in the email, “we defer to them on how they handle their own organization.”

The Sixteen-Thirty Fund describes itself as a social welfare organization, according to its website. In recent years, the fund has donated to causes across the country, including Ohio, Alaska and Arizona, according to its tax forms from 2016 — the latest year available. Organizations receiving money have included Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club and Media Matters, according to the tax forms.

The Sixteen Thirty Fund did not return several messages seeking comment.

Missouri residents will vote on the minimum wage initiative, also known as Proposition B, on Nov. 6.

Supervising editor is Sky Chadde: news@columbiamissourian.com, 882-7884.

  • Spring 2019 advanced reporter. I am a junior studying investigative journalism and political science. You can reach me at: (573)-303-2698 or at: lrm279@mail.missouri.edu. Follow me on twitter: @murgatroydlaura.

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