America Votes is an umbrella group formed in 2004 to coordinate the efforts of liberal groups trying to defeat President Bush.
Unlike the other large coordinating groups, such as America Coming Together and Media Fund, America Votes outlived the election and played a similar role in 2006 and now in 2008.
The group uses voter data from Catalist, a company run by Democratic operative Harold Ickes, in order to target communities for voter outreach and mobilization. The organization, which calls itself "the largest grassroots voter mobilization effort in the country today," is meant to help liberal advocacy groups work together and avoid overlapping efforts.
Other than SEIU, America Votes raised and spent more money than any other political committee 2006, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
The coalition includes the following groups: 21st Century Democrats, ACORN, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Alliance for Retired Americans, American Association for Justice, American Federation of Teachers, Americans United for Change, Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence united with the Million Mom March, Campaign for America's Future, Change to Win, Campaign for Community Change, Civic Participation Campaign, Clean Water Action, Communities for Quality Education, Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, Democracy for America, EMILY's List, The Human Rights Campaign, INDN's List, League of Conservation Voters, League of Young Voters, LULAC, MoveOn.org Political Action, My Rural America, NAACP National Voter Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America, NDN, National Education Association, National Jewish Democratic Council, People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Progressive Majority, ProgressNow Action, SEIU, Sierra Club, USAction, Voices for Working Families, Women's Campaign Forum, Women's Voices. Women Vote., Working America and Young Democrats of America.
Funders: Fund for America, $2.8 million in 2008 and $1 million in 2007; George Soros, $1.25 million in 2007 and $2.15 million in 2006; SEIU, $1.25 million in 2007; and contributions from member organizations.
Leadership: Martin Frost, Anna Ekindjian, Antwaun Griffin, David Zwick, David Hardt, Juan Marcos Vilar, Karen Ackerman, Paul Helmke, Jeff Blum, Anna Burger, Gene Karpinski, Ed Coyle, Ira Forman, Arshad Hasan, Maude Hurd, Linda Lipsen, Ellen Malcolm, Greg Moore, Bob Borosage, Rosa Rosales, Cecile Richards, Rodger Schlickeisen, Liz Smith, Joe Solmonese, Gloria Totten, Reginald Weaver, Mark Lotwis, Eli Pariser, Simon Rosenberg, Larry Scanlon, Nancy Keenan, Carl Pope, Page Gardner, Michael Huttner, Ilana Goldman, Mary Jean Collins, Barbara Leach, Billy Wimsatt, Kalyn Free, John DeCock, Greg Tarpinian, Deepak Bhargava, Kristina Wilfore, Brad Woodhouse, Zach Polett. 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.