Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Wealthy Liberal Donors Who Bankrolled CAP Eyeing New Strategy

The Democracy Alliance (DA), an invitation-only donor group founded in 2005 to help build powerful liberal think tanks and activist groups to counterbalance conservatives, is now focusing on state-level work.  The goal is to help give Democrats more influence in redrawing district lines for state legislatures and the US House.  Most notably, DA has helped fund the Center for American Progress (CAP), an influential liberal think tank.

Here is more from The Washington Post:
The focus on ground-level politics would mark a new emphasis for the Democracy Alliance, whose members have helped finance influential national liberal groups such as Media Matters for America, the media watchdog group; America Votes, which coordinates the efforts of allied interest groups; and Catalist, which provides voter data. The Center for American Progress, created during the George W. Bush years, has emerged as one of Washington’s powerhouse think tanks, serving as an intellectual engine for the liberal movement and the Obama White House.
The Democracy Alliance does not make contributions itself. Instead, donors who join the alliance, known as “partners,” are required to contribute at least $200,000 a year to groups it recommends. Among the partners are some of the country’s largest labor unions.  The system has pumped an estimated $500 million into an array of organizations on the left over the past nine years, according to the alliance.

Here is more about the members of Democracy Alliance.  In 2012, Huffington Post said that DA dropped a number of prominent organizations, but has kept funding groups such as Center for American Progress (CAP) - a think tank which has "retained its status with Democracy Alliance as a favored organization."

In 2005, organizers of Democracy Alliance said that the goal of the group would be to "foster the growth of liberal or left-leaning institutions equipped to take on prominent think tanks on the right, including the Heritage Foundation, Hoover Institution, American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and the Cato Institute."

Think Tank Watch is working to verify this, but it has been said that besides CAP, Democracy Alliance supports at least two other think tanks: Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBBP).