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On the other side of the divide are those Democracy Alliance members who want the group to more closely align itself with groups close to the Obama White House such as Media Matters for America and the Center for American Progress in order to help Democrats in the approaching election.
Right now this faction appears to have the upper hand. The Democracy Alliance has officially dumped several of the more ideologically oriented groups as recommended grantees. Among the dropped groups are Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), documentary filmmaker Brave New Foundation, and the Campaign for America’s Future which has repeatedly attacked Democrats for taking insufficiently left-wing stances.
Trust fund baby Rob McKay, the Taco Bell heir who chairs the Democracy Alliance’s board, is going all out to make sure President Obama wins a second term. McKay, who also sits on the board of the pro-Obama Priorities USA Action super PAC, helped organize a $35,800-a-plate fundraiser for Obama earlier this year.
McKay complains that election-focused groups have taken in just a small fraction of the “hundreds of million dollars” that the group has funneled to Democracy Alliance-approved grant recipients since it was formed in 2005.
The Democracy Alliance funds many key institutions on the Left. One of them is Catalist, formerly known as Data Warehouse. The company was created by Clinton aide Harold Ickes and Democratic operative Laura Quinn to help leftist groups get out the Democratic vote. It describes its mission as providing “progressive organizations with the data and services needed to better identify, understand, and communicate with the people they need to persuade and mobilize.” The chairman of Catalist is Democracy Alliance member Albert J. Dwoskin, a Virginia-based real estate developer.
The Democracy Alliance has also funded People for the American Way, EMILY’s List, ACORN, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Progressive States Network, Center for Community Change, Sierra Club, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund, and the Secretary of State Project which has helped elect left-wingers as chief electoral officials in at least nine states.
SEIU and the AFL-CIO are institutional members of the Democracy Alliance. As I note in my book Subversion Inc., among the group’s individual members are subprime mortgage hucksters Herb and Marion Sandler, Tides Foundation founder Drummond Pike, Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr., Goldman Sachs banker Lawrence Linden, Congressman Jared Polis (D-Colo.), former Congressman Bob Clement (D-Tenn.), and Livingston Kosberg, CEO of U.S. Physical Therapy Inc.
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