A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Council for American Job Growth


playersguide2014_135pxPolitical leanings: Democratic/liberal

Spending target: Unknown

The Council for American Job Growth is a subsidiary of the political advocacy group FWD.us, which was founded in 2013 by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and several other major Silicon Valley leaders. FWD.us aims to “promote policies to keep the United States and its citizens competitive in a global economy.” That includes, most notably, supporting “comprehensive immigration reform and education reform,” which are also goals of its liberal off-shoot.

FWD.us, a registered 501(c)(4) nonprofit social welfare organization, can accept unlimited donations without disclosing the names of its donors. The Council for American Job Growth, which is incorporated as an LLC, was set up to target progressive and independent voters.

Although funded by FWD.us, the Council for American Job Growth retains an independent board of directors headed by Todd Schulte, former chief of staff at the pro-President Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action. The board also includes former New York Congressman Scott Murphy and Joe Lockhart, former press secretary to President Clinton.

FWD.us received backlash in 2013 from liberal organizations for airing ads to provide political cover to vulnerable senators who supported immigration overhaul legislation. The ads highlighted the senators’ conservative credentials, rather than tout the legislation.

The Council for American Job Growth ran an ad praising Democratic Alaska Sen. Mark Begich for supporting oil drilling, building a natural gas pipeline and voting for a balanced budget amendment. Similarly, a FWD.us subsidiary, Americans for a Conservative Direction, ran ads touting efforts by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to repeal the Affordable Care Act, as well as highlighting his support for the Keystone XL pipeline.

Most recently, the Council for American Job Growth released a $500,000 nationwide ad campaign in March, advocating the benefits of overhauling federal immigration laws, and attacking House Republicans for not moving forward with a comprehensive bill to do so. It also paid $216,000 to air an ad praising North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan’s work supporting high-tech jobs. And another ad praised West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin for voting for the Senate immigration bill after he initially hesitated to support the legislation.