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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center



Political leanings: Democratic/Liberal

Spending target: Unknown


MoveOn.org formed in 1998 to oppose the impeachment of President Bill Clinton; it circulated an online petition "Censure President Clinton and Move On to Pressing Issues Facing the Nation." It was co-founded by Joan Blades and Wes Boyd, a married couple from California. Blades, who later also founded the group Moms Rising, writes a blog for the liberal Huffington Post. Boyd sits on the board of directors for Progressive States Network, a liberal advocacy group on issues including health care, immigration and energy.

MoveOn.org has grown into a major political force — both at the grassroots and national level. It was a 527 committee that took unlimited contributions from major Democratic donors. During the 2004 presidential campaign, MoveOn.org was the seventh-largest 527 committee and spent $21 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Initial donors included billionaire George Soros, a major donor to liberal causes, who spent millions in 2004 trying unsuccessfully to defeat President Bush.

MoveOn.org closed its 527 committee in 2008. It now operates a federal political action committee, which must disclose its donors and cannot accept more than $5,000 from any single source. MoveOn.org PAC raised and spent $38 million in 2008. It had spent $21 million during the 2010 campaign cycle, as of August. The PAC funds Internet and TV ads, raises money for liberal candidates and causes, and finances grassroots campaigns.

The group also created a 501(c)(4) called MoveOn.org Civic Action in 2001 for its advocacy work, including online petitions and e-mail campaigns. In fiscal year 2007, the most recent available, MoveOn.org Civic Action reported spending nearly $700,000