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, monitors congressional votes, puts pressure on Democrats to follow progressive policies and criticizes those it deems too conservative. In 2007, for example, the group ran radio ads criticizing Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) for siding with President Bush on fast-tracking free trade agreements.
The group's board includes the head of MoveOn.org, the liberal Daily Kos blogger, and union leaders.
A model for the group has been the Club for Growth, which tries to replace moderate Republican incumbents with more conservative challengers. For that reason, They Work For Us has reportedly frustrated other Democratic leaders who see such criticism as unhelpful to the party.
They Work For Us is a 501(c)(4). Founder Steve Rosenthal told the Washington publication Roll Call in 2007 that it had a budget of $3.5 million. It also has an associated political action committee called Working For Us PAC.
Funders: In 2007, They Work For Us received $250,000 from the Service Employees International Union and $18,000 worth of polling from EMILY's List.
Leadership: Anna Burger, Donna Edwards, Eli Pariser, Chuck Rocha, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, Steve Rosenthal, Melissa Roy, Tyrone Freeman, Laurence E. Gold. 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 for the Secret Money Project.