Democracy Alliance

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Democracy Alliance was founded by former Clinton Treasury official Rob Stein, Erica Payne and various donors in 2005. The Muckety website maintains a relationship map on some of the major financial donors to the Democracy Alliance.

View Democracy Alliance Muckety Map

Website

Background

"At least 80 wealthy liberals have pledged to contribute $1 million or more apiece to fund a network of think tanks and advocacy groups to compete with the potent conservative infrastructure built up over the past three decades," The Washington Post reported in August, 2005. [1]

Rob Stein's PowerPoint presentation on how the Right built a strong infrastructure of think tanks, non-profits, non-profit groups, scholarship recipients, academics, lobbyists, right wing activists and the media led to the founding of the Democracy Alliance, and also a separate organization, the New Progressive Coalition founded by entrepreneurs Andy and Deborah Rappaport.

The Democracy Alliance tries to keep a low profile and its wealthy donors prefer anonymity. According to published reports, organizations funded by Democracy Alliance are asked not to reveal the funding.

In 2006 a San Francisco, CA, office was established by the Democracy Alliance at the Presidio in the Tides Center, where Alliance member Drummond Pike has his offce.

Rob McKay of the McKay Foundation and Anna Burger of SEIU are the elected chair and vice chair of the board of directors of the Democracy Alliance. [2]

"Members of the Democracy Alliance include billionaires like George Soros and his son Jonathan Soros, former Rockefeller Family Fund president Anne Bartley, San Francisco Bay Area donors Susie Tompkins Buell and Mark Buell, Hollywood director Rob Reiner, Taco Bell heir Rob McKay ... as well as New York financiers like Steven Gluckstern." [3]

In October 2006, an article in The Nation magazine reported "the Alliance's 100 donors have distributed more than $50 million to center-left organizations and activists--a lot of money, yet still largely symbolic given the deep pockets of its members. Even as the donors pour millions into a new political infrastructure, however, problems have emerged that mirror many of the problems of the Democratic Party today and the progressive movement in general. The first is determining what, exactly, the group stands for and wants to accomplish. ... Rob Johnson, an early board member, says the tension in the Alliance is between 'party subsidizers' and 'climate changers'--those who want to fund organizations that work toward more effectively electing candidates versus those who aspire to change the fundamental nature of political debate with a stronger set of governing principles. ... Since its inception, the Alliance has been unabashedly elitist, while also poorly run. ... To stabilize the organization internally after almost a year of early stumbles, the partners chose as its managing director Judy Wade, a member of the elite firm McKinsey & Company, consultants to multinational corporations." [4]

Board of Directors and Members

The Board of Directors identified on the Democracy Alliance website (September, 2007) are:

Members of the Democracy Alliance self-identified or identified in published articles include:

Staff of Democracy Alliance

The following staff are listed on the Democracy Alliance website (September, 2007):


Funding Recipients

Organizations self-identified or identified in published reports as receiving financial support from the Democracy Alliance include the following:

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