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Have You Passed the New Democratic Sniff Test?

Posted on Jul 17, 2006

The George Soros-backed Democracy Alliance pools contributions from the richest progressive donors in the country to fund advocacy groups capable of building a counterweight to the well-entrenched conservative infrastructure.

But the Washington Post says the group has effectively become an “accreditation agency for political advocacy groups,” and if your group’s progressive ideology doesn’t conform with the Alliance’s, you will find yourself cut off from the nation’s big Democratic money.

Washington Post:

An alliance of nearly a hundred of the nation’s wealthiest donors is roiling Democratic political circles, directing more than $50 million in the past nine months to liberal think tanks and advocacy groups in what organizers say is the first installment of a long-term campaign to compete more aggressively against conservatives.

A year after its founding, Democracy Alliance has followed up on its pledge to become a major power in the liberal movement. It has lavished millions on groups that have been willing to submit to its extensive screening process and its demands for secrecy.

These include the Center for American Progress, a think tank with an unabashed partisan edge, as well as Media Matters for America, which tracks what it sees as conservative bias in the news media. Several alliance donors are negotiating a major investment in Air America, a liberal talk-radio network.

But the large checks and demanding style wielded by Democracy Alliance organizers in recent months have caused unease among Washington’s community of Democratic-linked organizations. The alliance has required organizations that receive its endorsement to sign agreements shielding the identity of donors. Public interest groups said the alliance represents a large source of undisclosed and unaccountable political influence.


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By DR, July 18, 2006 at 3:47 am Link to this comment
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The identity of individual donors in most of these organisations, which are technically non-profits, is usually shielded. Do we know the entire list of donors to the Heritage Foundation? Or even the full list of attendees to Grover Norquist’s weekly shindig? Obviously not. It’s only when it’s a progressive organisation that such openness should be required. Obviously.

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By Robert Gutchen, July 17, 2006 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment
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I think this piece tells us more about the WaPo writer than it tells us about the Democracy Alliance. The WaPo writer does not offer a shred of evidence, not a single example, not one anecdote to illustrate his/her dark hints about the alleged authoritarian nature of the group. This writer might well be a republican supporter looking to sow bad seeds about the Alliance.  The “unabashed partisan edge” attacked by the writer is laughable—partisan edges have legitimately characterized politics for a long time. What about the the Republican and right wing religious groups? no partisan edge there?  I don’t know anything about the Democratic Alliance, and this piece does not enlighten—it merely condemns without offering any solid information.

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