Organization Trends

InfluenceWatch Friday

April 26, 2024

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 Idaho Progressive Investor Network is a limited liability company (LLC) that connects donors to grassroot organizations advocating for left-of-center policy issues. The network was founded in 2010 by Lauren McLean, who was elected mayor of Boise, ID in 2019 and reelected in 2023. During her 2019 mayoral run, McLean was alleged to have used a “dark-money” campaign to pay $310,000 for television-ad buys funded by the League of Conservation Voters.
  • Advocacy Based on Lived Experience of Kentucky (ABLE KY) is a state-based nonprofit fiscally sponsored by the Kentucky Civic Engagement Table. It seeks to amend the state constitution to allow previously incarcerated individuals the right to vote. The group was founded in 2023 by Marcus Jackson, who had himself previously been incarcerated. Released in 2019, he later worked for the ACLU of Kentucky as well as the Louisville chapter of the National Urban League.
  • The Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) is a community organizing group that advocates for left-of-center policy goals including environmentalism and criminal justice reform. One of SWOP’s fiscally sponsored projects is the Pueblo Action Alliance, a far-left activist group based in New Mexico. SWOP has received funding from several left-of-center groups including the Ford Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
  • The Wilderness Society is an environmental advocacy group that pushes to address climate change and what it calls “environmental justice.” The group supports increased diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies, and by 2021 required all employees to undergo mandatory “racial equity training.” The Wilderness Society has previously donated to several other left-of-center groups including the National Wildlife Federation, the Resource Legacy Fund, and the Center for Civic Policy.
  • The Dudley Foundation is a left-of-center grantmaking foundation founded by Gerric “Rick” Dudley, the son of former Franklin Roosevelt administration official and Washington, D.C. Democratic Central Committee chairman Tilford E. Dudley. The Dudley Foundation has previously donated to advocacy groups which promote decreasing the human population including Population Connection and Population Balance. The group has also donated to environmental and other left-leaning groups including Protect Our Winters, Green America, and FairVote.

Jonathan Harsh

Jonathan Harsh holds a master’s degree in political science from James Madison University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from  Beloit College. He is a content editor at the…
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