September 22, 2008 Browse a directory of influential, behind-the-scenes people that run the independent groups active in the 2008 election cycle. These groups do not have to disclose their donors and spending the same way the candidates do. Some don't have to disclose at all. Many of the leaders are connected to more than one organization.
September 10, 2008 Health Care for America Now is a coalition of labor unions and liberal advocacy groups pushing for affordable health care and stricter regulation of the health insurance industry. It plans to spend $40 million by the end of the year.
September 10, 2008 A religious conservative advocacy organization, Let Freedom Ring was a response to the efforts of George Soros and other liberal donors. In 2004, it was credited with helping turn out voters for Bush.
September 10, 2008 They Work For Us is a liberal advocacy organization started in 2007 to hold Democratic members of Congress accountable to a "populist economic agenda." The group, run by Democratic operatives, criticizes Democrats it deems too conservative.
September 9, 2008 This environmental advocacy organization led the charge in defeating former Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA) in 2006. This year it is focusing on electing a Democrat in a key Senate race in New Mexico.
September 9, 2008 A national group promoting pro-environment policy and candidates, the League of Conservation Voters tracks the voting record of members of Congress and claims to have helped defeat 23 out of 37 candidates it deemed anti-environment since 1996.
September 8, 2008 Coloradans for Economic Growth is a new advocacy organization that supports the Republican Senate candidate in Colorado, Bob Schaffer. Its leadership includes Republican and school reform activists.
September 8, 2008 This is an ad hoc coalition of industry groups opposed to federal legislation that would make it easier for workers to unionize. It's running a $20 million campaign targeting Democratic Senate candidates.
September 8, 2008 This coalition was started in 2007 by AARP, Service Employees International Union, Business Roundtable and the National Federation of Independent Business. It advocates an end to partisan gridlock in Congress.
September 8, 2008 This advocacy organization is run by a former lobbyist who also runs several other industry-funded nonprofits. The group advocates for secret ballots in union elections and uses that issue to criticize Democrats.
September 8, 2008 Veteran Democratic political consultant Craig Varoga is running a network of 527 organizations, with names like Patriot Majority, aimed at helping Democrats in Senate, House and gubernatorial races this year.
August 26, 2008 Formed in 2007, Freedom's Watch was seen as the conservative counterpart to Moveon.org and spent $15 million on an ad campaign backing President Bush's troop "surge" strategy in Iraq. Lately, it has shifted its attention toward congressional elections.
August 22, 2008 Representing 3.2 million employees of schools and educational institutions, the National Education Association calls itself the largest professional employee organization in the country. It has plans for the biggest political mobilization in its history this year, spending tens of millions of dollars on the presidential and congressional races.
August 20, 2008 American Future Fund is a 501(c)(4) led by a collection of professionals who worked for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. The fund advocates free-market policies, offshore oil drilling and the development of nuclear energy. It's focusing its efforts on competitive Senate races.