Act Blue Is Top PAC for Democrats

In the 2005-2006 election cycle, Act Blue has allowed a wide range of people to raise money for Democratic candidates. In this election cycle alone, more than 5.8 million dollars has been raised for Democratic candidates via Act Blue. That is more than three times the amount raised for Democrats than by any other Political Action Committee in the 2005-2006 cycle (see open secrets for a complete list).

Now, Act Blue still has a long way to go to catch up to the largest PAC's in terms of total receipts (it would rank around 14th on that list--MoveOn.org comes in at an impressive 3rd). Also, if one were to add up all of the various union PACs, labor still raises more money for Democrats than does Act Blue. However, whatever qualifiers are thrown in front of it, the rapid rise of Act Blue is quite an achievement. It remains a very significant piece of the new, emerging progressive infrastructure and is an important facilitator of the people-powered progressive movement.

With Blogosphere Day fast approaching, I wanted to take this moment to praise Act Blue in hopes that when people continue to contribute to candidates via Act Blue over the next few weeks, they will remember to tip Act Blue when you contribute. Also, consider starting a campaign to activate Act Blue for Democratic candidates within your state. This is a long-term project that will cost a few hundred thousand dollars, but it needs to get done. The power of Act Blue on the federal level to help Democrats and the people-powered progressive movement has already been demonstrated. Considering the rapid rise of localized progressive blogospheres, if we can bring that power to all fifty states, our new progressive movement will be significantly strengthened.

Tags: Activism, Blogosphere, Fundraising, netroots, Political Action Committees (all tags)

Comments

19 Comments

Re: Act Blue Is Top PAC for Democrats

Our Roots Project, Texas group has already begun spontaneously to look into this.  I'll send you a contact person email, Chris, so you can help them think through the process, maybe.  It could be a nice pilot group.  They are motivated.

by Pachacutec 2006-07-16 06:11PM | 0 recs
Why isn't Act Blue ON that list?

I don't see it on there.

by MNPundit 2006-07-16 06:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Why isn't Act Blue ON that list?

My guess is that they don't count earmarked contributions to other committees -- only contributions to the PAC's general funds.

by brahn 2006-07-16 10:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Why isn't Act Blue ON that list?
Because they don't actually give the money themselves. Having spent Wednesday through Saturday working on an FEC filing myself, I now know htat contributions from Act Blue are listed as "conduit earmarked contributions," and that Act Blue is considered an intermediary through which contributions flow. But it is the largest intermediary in the country.
by Chris Bowers 2006-07-17 06:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Act Blue Is Top PAC for Democrats

I can tell you that al of us in Oregon are extremely excited that we got ActBlue today.

by Jonathan Singer 2006-07-16 06:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Act Blue Is Top PAC for Democrats

ActBlue kicks ass!

by Bob Brigham 2006-07-16 06:57PM | 0 recs
Heroes.

Matt & Ben are nothing short of heroes.  That they can't just snap their fingers and get every penny they need to fully fund even their wildest dreams for ActBlue is a tragedy.

Tim

by Tim Tagaris 2006-07-16 08:09PM | 0 recs
Three things matter...

The blogosphere is big on rhetoric and opinion (great), but material success requires:

(1) Money
(2) Voters
(3) That "our" politicians represent and vote for our values.

When I first saw Act Blue I knew that it presented a spectacular mechanism for addressing number one.

by MetaData 2006-07-16 08:31PM | 0 recs
Thanks everyone!

Wow... Chris (and Tim, Bob, et al) thanks so much -- your praise and encouragement means a lot to us.  

I'll have a more substantial update re: newly-activated states in the morning.

In the mean time, just wanted to blush a bit in public :-)

by brahn 2006-07-16 10:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks everyone!

You know, I hear Texas will be in that list... Why? =) Because the TexRoots raised over $1000 to put us over our ActBlue target to get it activated in Texas. And yes, we are going to have our own TexRoots endorsed candidates coming out after that. At least I hope it's tomorrow, haha. We're excited here!

by KTinTX 2006-07-16 11:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks everyone!

If ActBlue were an animal, I think it would be a unicorn.

by Bob Brigham 2006-07-17 06:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks everyone!

...that shoots lasers out of its horn.  

by Patton 2006-07-17 07:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Act Blue in Indiana

A number of Indiana candidates have signed on to Act Blue; I have started a page for my candidate:

WWW.ACTBLUE.COM/PAGE/DOLLARSFORDONNELLY

by aguila del norte 2006-07-17 04:24AM | 0 recs
by jasmine 2006-07-17 04:50AM | 0 recs
Re: I dont understand

ActBlue
PAC Contributions to Federal Candidates
2006 Cycle  
House Candidate  Total Contribs  
Shuldiner, Benjamin Oliver (D-NY)  $6,600

Total to Democratic House Candidates:  $6,600  
Total to Republican House Candidates:  $0  

Senate Candidate  Total Contribs  
Hackett, Paul (D-OH)  ($500)

Nelson, Bill (D-FL)  $200

Radnofsky, Barbara Ann (D-TX)  $385

Total to Democratic Senate Candidates:  $85  
Total to Republican Senate Candidates:  $0  

Based on data released by the FEC on Monday, July 10, 2006. Figures in parentheses denote negative numbers, and may indicate returned contributions or bounced checks.

by jasmine 2006-07-17 04:51AM | 0 recs
see above

That's for money from ActBlue itself.  Money given to it that's earmarked for specific campaigns gets credited to the donor, not the conduit.

by Adam B 2006-07-17 06:20AM | 0 recs
Re: I dont understand

And those are some sort of filing error -- we don't make direct contributions to campaigns, just earmarks.

by brahn 2006-07-17 11:34AM | 0 recs
Those lists reveal something else

of note to the blogosphere.

AT&T is the NUMBER ONE corporate PAC contributor, and one of only 2 corporations on this list:

http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/topacs.a sp?cycle=2006&Type=C

They have already given nearly $1.7 million.

Further research shows that:

The NCTA (industry group) has given $1,048,444

Verizon has given $1,010,700

BellSouth has given 686,850

and Qwest has given 384,702.

Almost $4 million total.  Already.  The price paid for destroying Net Neutrality.  Oh, and the $1 million SBC (AT&T) gave Bobby Rush's charity.  

by JJCPA 2006-07-17 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Act Blue Is Top PAC for Democrats

I especially commend ActBlue for their "big tent" policy.  They don't omit candidates because of arbitrary litmus test issues or support or lack thereof from the party establishment.  They don't omit candidates because some shrill activist has decided the candidate kills baby seals.  If the candidate is a Democrat and appears to be running a serious campaign, ActBlue will list them.  That is a commendable stance.  If every other Democratic site had the same policy, we might succeed yet in building a broad-based, big tent party in which all viewpoints have a voice.

ActBlue is especially to be commended for letting anyone, and I mean anyone, start an ActBlue page and list whatever combination of candidates they want.  <----go there and make some donations now!!!</shameless promotion>

by ACSR 2006-07-18 05:03PM | 0 recs

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