InfluenceWatch, a project of Capital Research Center, is a comprehensive and ever-evolving compilation of our research into the numerous advocacy groups, foundations, and donors working to influence the public policy process. The website offers transparency into these influencers’ funding, motives, and connections while providing insight often neglected by other watchdog groups.
The information compiled in InfluenceWatch gives news outlets and other interested parties research to use in reporting on significant topics that are often overlooked by the American public.
CRC is pleased to present some of the most significant additions to InfluenceWatch in the past week:
- The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is a far-left political activist group and the largest socialist organization within the United States, with membership totaling roughly 78,000 nationwide as of August 2023. As of November 2023, four members of the U.S House of Representatives belong to the DSA: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), and Rep. Greg Casar (D-TX).
- The organization was originally founded in 1982 by Michael Harrington, an influential left-wing political activist involved in various civil rights and socialist causes during the 1970s and 1980s. Harrington was the well-known author of The Other America, which discusses his thoughts on wealth distribution. Some claim the book inspired President Lyndon B. Jonhson’s War on Poverty policy initiative.
- The DSA takes several far-left policy positions, such as ending all police and prison systems, eliminating all traditional national energy sources such as gas and petroleum, creating a planned economic system to redistribute wealth through high taxation, and government distribution of goods and services. The organization grew in membership in the 2010s during the 2016 presidential run of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) openly running as a DSA candidate during the 2018 Democratic primary in her district.
- The organization received heavy criticism for its response to the Hamas terror attacks against Israel on October 7, 2023, in which Hamas members killed over 1,400 Israelis and took over 240 hostages including some Americans. The same day, the DSA released a statement announcing their “solidarity with Palestine” and claimed the terrorist attacks were “a direct result of Israel’s apartheid regime.” Another public statement read, “long live the resistance!” Several members announced they would resign from the organization including Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-MI) and founding DSA member Maurice Isserman.
- The DSA’s New York City chapter organized an “All Out for Palestine” rally on October 8, at which protesters burned an Israeli flag and at least one person held up a picture of a swastika. The rally received significant criticism from the New York State Democratic Party, which condemned the DSA for holding “a rally that sought to justify the wholly unjustifiable acts of wanton violence, terrorism, kidnapping and murder that was perpetrated on the people of Israel this weekend.”