Democracy Alliance Dumps Progressive Organizations
Continued from previous page
But Deborah Sagner, a former member of the donor network, said that the decision was in line with the group's unfortunate drift toward supporting only groups closely allied to the Democratic Party. "I was sorry to see that the DA has continued on the trajectory away from funding independent infrastructure that induced me to leave the organization two years ago. I will say that the DA was a great idea (the need was nicely expressed by Bill Bradley in this editorial written at the time the DA was incubating), did some excellent funding of good groups, and it's really a shame that it has not been able to fulfill its promise," she wrote in an email.
While the Democracy Alliance does not give directly to progressive groups, it pulls together a network of donors to attend two annual conferences. Groups on a select list are given access to those donors and a chance to make presentations on behalf of their organization. Donors who have pledged a certain amount and then credited for their donations to listed groups.
The Democracy Alliance maintains a low profile by forbidding recipients from talking publicly about the organization. But former recipients are under no such rules.
"CREW is very appreciative of the Democracy Alliance’s past support," said CREW's head, Melanie Sloan. "Still, at a time when Americans are increasingly concerned about the corrupting influence of money in our political system, it is disappointing the group has chosen to focus on other areas."
"Nevertheless because this issue remains vital to a functioning democracy, CREW is confident there will still be broad support for our efforts to combat corruption," she added.
Greenwald, too, echoed gratitude for the support his group had received in the past. "The truth is Democracy Alliance has been incredibly helpful and they took a chance on us when there was no proof that YouTube could be a platform for social change, when it looked like it was only naked women falling down in showers," he said.
Ryan Grim is an editorial intern at Washington City Paper.