Democracy 21

Democracy 21 (1997, Washington; 7 staff;

This non-profit, non-partisan organization works to eliminate the undue influence of money in American politics. They try to prevent government corruption, empower citizens in the political process and ensure the integrity and fairness of government decisions and elections by promoting campaign finance reform. Provides media with information and analysis on money and politics and campaign finance reform efforts. Funders include the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Opportunity Fund, Three Foundation, the Open Society Foundations and individual donors.


  • Promoting the creation of a new public financing system for presidential and congressional races;
  • Ending the presence of secret money in federal elections by enacting new campaign finance disclosure laws;
  • Curbing the role of Super PACs in federal elections and creating a new system to effectively enforce the campaign finance laws;
  • Supporting technological breakthroughs by which the internet and social media can be used to empower citizens to make small contributions online;
  • Bringing lawsuits and to defend the constitutionality of the nation’s campaign finance laws and to ensure the laws are effectively interpreted and enforced;
  • Participating in administrative proceedings and filing complaints;
  • Promoting other government integrity reform measures, including lobbying, ethics and transparency laws and rules; and
  • Holding federal office holders accountable for violating campaign finance laws and ethics rules.


  • A newsroom with 250+ press releases, newsletter, Op-Eds, Fred’s Weekly Note

Leadership: Fred Wertheimer (Founder, President)

Budget: ~$500k (2015)

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