According to a recently published briefing book “obtained by Politico” by the liberal megadonor group Democracy Alliance, “progressives’ long term success hinges on our ability to fundamentally change our current political system – including large questions about who can vote, the role money should play in politics, and what our courts look like.”
The Democracy Alliance is a membership group that directs funding to a wide variety of liberal causes. It was created to consolidate the efforts of wealthy liberal donors such as George Soros, Tom Steyer and Robert Mckay.
The report paid “particular attention” to “the successful examples of alignment that have developed over the last three years and highlight additional opportunities that could further advance our collective visions of a stronger democracy and more progressive America.”
The document highlighted 21 organizations the Alliance viewed as success stories. These “successes” included items like:
- “Met goal to coordinate campaigns to block conservatives agendas” (America Votes),
- “Met goal to promote progressive vision of the law” (American Constitution Society),
- “Met goal to advance progressive state policies” (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities).
- Another highlighted group, Progressive Majority, boasted that it helped “elect 60 progressives and flip six local governments” in 2013 alone.
Towards the end of the document is a list of 172 liberal groups that the Democracy Alliance encouraged its supporters to donate to, entitled “Progressive Infrastructure Map Spring 2014.” A footnote on this list states that “[O]ver the last nine years, many of the organizations previously recommended for support by the Democracy Alliance have played instrumental roles in building a stronger, more integrated progressive infrastructure.” These 172 groups cover a wide range of left-wing issues such as gun control, LGBT activism, pro-choice activism and climate change alarmism.
Each of the 21 highlighted organization profiles included a rating of how diverse the organization was when it came to race, gender, and LGBTQ staff. According to the description of the briefing, “a well-balanced set of recommendations and Partner support for organizations that reflect diversity will contribute to our vision of a more progressive America.”
Some of these groups have far-reaching influence, including America Votes which claims to coordinate “the engagement and issue advocacy of its more than 400 state and national partners.”
The media are quick to criticize right wing donors, particularly Charles and David Koch, but they rarely report on the vast network of liberal donors. The Democracy Alliance even referenced the Koch brothers, with no apparent hint at irony. After talking about the “pronounced financial advantage” of conservatives, the briefing book assured liberals that “[w]hat progressives have is a strong infrastructure – built up and supported by Democracy Alliance (DA) Partners and other allied funders – that is innovative, collaborative, and deeply invested in mobilizing the key constituencies that will constitute the new American majority.”
Groups profiled by the Democracy Alliance, with funding amounts. The number of Democracy Alliance partners supporting each organization is in parentheses.
- America Votes: $3.16 million (24 partners supporting)
- American Constitution Society $1.19 million (18 partners supporting)
- Black Civic Engagement Fund: $900.000 (3 partners supporting)
- Brennan Center for Justice: $2.6 million (32 partners supporting)
- Catalist, LLC: $1.18 million (9 partners supporting)
- Center for American Progress: $3.3 million (26 partners supporting)
- Center for Community Change: $2.15 million (17 partners supporting)
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: $1.91 million (27 partners supporting)
- Common Purpose Project: $130,000 (5 partners supporting)
- Fund for the Republic: $1.39 million (14 partners supporting)
- Latino Engagement Fund: $1.89 million (15 partners supporting)
- Media Matters for America: $2.7 million (33 partners supporting)
- New Media Ventures: $330,000 (14 partners supporting)
- New Organizing Institute: $440,000 (13 partners supporting)
- Organizing for Action: $650,000 (10 partners supporting)
- Progressive Majority: $600,000 (13 partners supporting)
- ProgressNow: $1.8 million (31 partners supporting)
- State Engagement Initiative: (created through a partnership with the Committee on States)
- State Voices: $1.44 million (20 partners supporting)
- Youth Engagement Fund $240,000 (14 partners supported)
The Women’s Equality Center was also highlighted, although it did not receive money during 2013, with the addendum that “[g]oing forward, DA staff will work with WEC to set annual goals and report back to Partners on its performance and impact.”