Profile: MoveOn.org

MoveOn.org
Still from the group's website

MoveOn.org is a liberal, anti-war organization with 3.3 million members. Wes Boyd and Joan Blades, a California couple whose company created the flying toaster screen saver, started MoveOn as an online petition in 1998, urging Congress to "move on" to issues more pressing than impeaching President Clinton.

Since then, the group has evolved into a powerful grassroots organization opposed to the war in Iraq. In the 2004 election cycle, it was one of a constellation of liberal 527s, financed by George Soros and others, to spend millions of dollars trying to defeat President Bush. MoveOn shut down its 527 operation after it was fined $150,000 for violating election laws.

MoveOn now consists of two entities: a 501(c)(4) organization called MoveOn.org Civic Action and a political action committee called MoveOn.org Political Action, which is a member of the coalition Americans Against Escalation in Iraq.

Last year, MoveOn generated controversy with a print ad calling Army Gen. David Petraeus "General Betray Us."

This year it has been one of the leading outside groups supporting Democrat Barack Obama in the primary and general election, and opposing Republican John McCain.

The Funders: The PAC is limited to small donors and the 501(c)(4) doesn't disclose donors.

Leadership: Wes Boyd, Joan Blades, Eli Pariser, Carrie Olson, Tom Matzzie, Joe Sandler. Read more about these leaders in The Secret Money Project's Who's Who Directory of Key Leaders of Independent Groups.

Will Evans is a reporter for the Center for Investigative Reporting, NPR's partner in the Secret Money Project.

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