October 30, 2008 In a presidential race that seems to include every possible political strategy, one element has barely been visible. There have been no high-impact independent groups like the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the outfit that nearly derailed John Kerry's campaign four years ago.
October 15, 2008 Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, the Republican National Committee and others have accused ACORN of widespread voter registration fraud. It's the latest, and most bitter, battle in a long conflict between conservatives and the grassroots group.
September 26, 2008 An obscure charity has distributed an inflammatory anti-Islam DVD to millions of people in swing states. The financing for this project is secret. But critics say it's a backdoor endorsement of Republican presidential hopeful John McCain and an attack on his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama.
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 19, 2008 As the November presidential election draws nearer, ads by independent political groups are already on the air. John McCain and Barack Obama have said that these groups should stay out of the election process. But there seems to be no way to stop them.
September 15, 2008 Although the Obama campaign's $66 million in August may not be enough to maintain his advantage over the combined funds of the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee, liberal 527 groups may steal the spotlight with their anti-McCain ads.
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.