NPR logo Profile: VoteVets

Profile: VoteVets

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark (right) speaks at an October 2006 press conference by the veterans advocacy group Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Formed in 2006 by veterans of the Iraq war, VoteVets opposes the Bush administration's handling of the war and backs mostly Democratic veterans running for Congress.

The organization's hard-hitting TV ads were credited with helping defeat several Republican incumbents in the 2006 midterm elections. The ads accused Republican senators of not providing soldiers with the best body armor. These were some of the most talked-about ads of 2006.

VoteVets Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) and PAC is a political action committee. Its leader, Jon Soltz, became involved in politics by volunteering for Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's presidential bid in 2004 after Soltz returned from fighting in Iraq.

Funders: In 2008, Fund for America ($100,000). In 2006, Gail Furman, board member of Democracy Alliance ($75,000).

VoteVets' PAC also received $10,000 from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's political action committee, and $5,000 contributions from the following groups: AFSCME, SEIU and HopeFund Inc. (Obama's political action committee). It also received $4,000 from Political Action.

Leadership: Jon Soltz, Malea Stenzel, Evan Hutchison, Eric Schmeltzer, Gen. Wesley Clark, Tammy Duckworth, Paul Hackett, Elaine Kamarck, Bob Kerrey, Lawrence J. Korb, Bill Belding. 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.