Political leanings: Democratic/Liberal
Spending target: $3 million to $5 million
This group’s stated mission is to “to elect bold progressive candidates to federal office.” Formed in December 2008 with a $5,000 donation from MoveOn.org, it lists its headquarters as the Washington, D.C., apartment of co-founder Adam Green, a MoveOn.org strategist. It relies primarily on small donations and is a freestanding political action committee filing reports with the Federal Election Commission. It lists its two other co-founders as former labor organizer Stephanie Taylor and Internet activist Aaron Swartz.
PCCC gains attention more through free publicity and Internet buzz than through paid advertising. It has often been quoted criticizing President Obama for taking positions it considers insufficiently liberal. For example, it accused him in 2009 of failing to press for a government-run “public option” as part of the health care legislation then moving through Congress, and threatened to deny any donations or volunteer help for Obama’s 2012 reelection because of possible cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.
The group claimed more than 850,000 members as of mid-2012, and says it provides “needed infrastructure and strategic advice early to progressive candidates.” It reported raising $2.6 million in the 2010 election cycle, but made only modest donations and independent expenditures (totaling just under $72,000). It raised just over $1.8 million during 2011, and more than $500,000 in the first half of 2012.
It was reported to be spending $2 million jointly with another liberal group, Democracy for America, to run ads in recall elections held in Wisconsin in August 2011. The Democrats needed to defeat at least three of six Republican state senators to gain control of of state Senate, but they won only two seats. The Republicans were targeted for supporting Gov. Scott Walker’s budget cuts and imposing restrictions on the collective bargaining rights of unionized state and local workers.