Liberal Groups Band Together to Fight Conservative ‘Big Money,’ But Have Received $30 Million from Soros

Eco groups, unions and more pool resources for ‘Democracy Initiative.’

Between 30 and 35 lefty and environmental groups have joined forces to combat the NRA, the American Legislative Exchange Council and other conservative groups, and they expect their number to grow to 50 by the end of winter. As if that wasn’t bad enough, members of this coalition have received more than $30 million in Soros funding.

The effort, dubbed the “Democracy Initiative,” is being led by the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the Communication Workers of America, and the NAACP. According to a Mother Jones article on the meeting, “[a]t the end of the day, many of the attendees closed with a pledge of money and staff resources to build a national, coordinated campaign.” This campaign centers around three key issues: fighting voter ID laws, getting “big money” out of politics, and changing the Senate rules to prevent filibusters.

“The groups in attendance pledged a total of millions of dollars and dozens of organizers to form a united front on these issues” said the article.

The environmental news outlet Grist described the meeting as “green and lefty groups band together, pledge millions to fight right-wing evildoing.”

Despite all the talk of getting “big money” out of politics, the groups involved at this meeting received tens of millions of dollars from George Soros, whose Open Society Foundation epitomizes what it means to be “big money in politics.”

George Soros aids hundreds of left-wing groups in America each year under the auspices of his Open Society Foundations. In just 10 years, Soros has given more than $550 million to liberal organizations in the United States.

Mother Jones lists 20 of the 30 to 35 groups involved at the last meeting of the Democracy Initiative. Of these 20, 12 have received money from Soros.


  • Piper Fund (Proteus Foundation)                                           $10,710,000   
  • Center for American Progress                                               $7,300,000
  • People for the America Way                                                  $4,200,000
  • Demos think tank                                                                   $3,090,000
  • Common Cause                                                                      $2,153,500
  • NAACP                                                                                   $2,130,000
  • Public Campaign                                                                    $1,375,000
  • Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington                  $450,000
  • National People’s Action                                                          $300,000
  • Voto Latino                                                                            $150,000
  • SEIU                                                                                       $100,000
  • Friends of the Earth                                                                $50,000

That adds up to $32,008,500.

The other eight groups mentioned by Mother Jones were the National Education Association (which hosted the event), the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Communications Workers of America, the League of Conservation Voters, the AFL-CIO, the National Wildlife Federation and United Auto Workers. Grist also mentioned that Color of Change was in attendance. The Communications Workers of America is the parent group for the Newspaper Guild, a journalists union.

A Mother Jones employee was also in attendance, although it is unclear in what capacity, or if they were included in the 30 to 35 number. Mother Jones has also received money from Soros, but the amount was unspecified.

Mother Jones wasn’t the only news outlet to mention this coalition. A front page story in The Washington Times on January 10 described the movement: “pillars of [President Obama’s] political network, along with independent groups, are raising millions of dollars and mapping out strategies in an attempt to shepherd new regulations through Congress.” It then went on to describe the goals of the group, and to mention several of its members.

Leaders of the coalition said the Democracy Initiative is a long-term project, and won’t end with this election cycle. Potential targets of the group (again, according to the Mother Jones article) include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), ALEC and Chevron, as well as the NRA.

The Mother Jones story began with the phrase “It was the kind of meeting that conspiratorial conservative bloggers dream about.” Yes it was.