Non-profit

American Action Network

Website:

americanactionnetwork.org/

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

27-0730508

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $41,875,675
Expenses: $43,998,646
Assets: $6,188,140

President:

Dan Conston

The American Action Network (AAN) is an advocacy organization that runs ads supportive of Republican congressional candidates and critical of Democratic candidates. The organization was founded in 2009 and is affiliated with the American Action Forum, a right-of-center think tank that promotes Republican-aligned public policy priorities[1], and the Congressional Leadership Fund, a pro-Republican super PAC endorsed by House Republican Leadership. [2]

The organization publishes television and digital ads supportive of center-right policies in targeted congressional districts urging voters to call their member of Congress to take action. [3] It has several former Republican politicians on its Board of Directors including former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) and former U.S. Representatives Vin Weber (R-MN) and Tom Reynolds (R-NY). [4]

Background

In 2009, Republican strategists and former elected officials founded American Action Network, along with American Action Forum. It began operations in early 2010 during the Obama administration when Democrats controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress by wide margins. The founding of the joint organizations was compared to that of the Center for American Progress, a Democratic-aligned group that similarly was founded by Democratic strategist John Podesta during the George W. Bush administration. At the time of their founding, the American Action Forum and American Action Network were described together as a “think-and-do tank” that would push back on President Obama’s agenda and promote Republican congressional candidates ahead of the 2010 midterm elections. [5]

Also like the rival Center for American Progress, the organization was formed as two separate entities with the charitable arm American Action Forum providing policy research and analysis and the lobbying and electoral advocacy arm American Action Network focusing on running ads promoting Republican congressional candidates. [6]

One of ANN’s sister organizations, the American Action Forum, is headed by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an economist who held several senior roles in the George W. Bush White House and served as director of the Congressional Budget Office. [7] The American Action Forum focuses on publishing policy opinions and research promoting center-right positions on issues including the Affordable Care Act, minimum wage, the Green New Deal, and immigration. [8]

Another AAN sister organization is the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Super PAC dedicated to winning a Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Congressional Leadership Fund was founded in 2011 during the tenure of Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). [9]

People

The organization’s founding board members included former Mississippi Governor and Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie. [10]

Activity

The American Action Network publishes ads supporting Republican-aligned positions on issues including the opioid epidemic, energy, tax reform and health care. The organization’s YouTube channel lists 100 ads published during the 2020 election cycle covering a variety of issues and promoting or criticizing the records of members of Congress. [11] Rather than urging voters to vote a specific way, the organization’s ads urge voters to call Democratic members of congress to tell them to “get to work on issues that matter”[12] or to call Republican members to tell them to “keep fighting.” [13]

References

  1. “About.” American Action Network. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://americanactionnetwork.org/about-aan/ ^
  2. “Dan Conston.” American Action Network. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://americanactionnetwork.org/people/dan-conston/ ^
  3. “American Action Network: Videos.” YouTube. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/c/AmericanActionNetwork/videos ^
  4. “About.” American Action Forum. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://www.americanactionforum.org/about/ ^
  5. Calmes, Jackie. “G.O.P. Group to Promote Conservative Ideas.” New York Times. February 3, 2010. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/04/us/politics/04conservative.html ^
  6. Calmes, Jackie. “G.O.P. Group to Promote Conservative Ideas.” New York Times. February 3, 2010. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/04/us/politics/04conservative.html ^
  7. “Douglas Holtz-Eakin.” Immigration Forum. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://immigrationforum.org/article/dougholtzeakin/ ^
  8. Stevens, Madeleine. “American Action Network/American Action Forum.” February 26, 2014. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://www.factcheck.org/2014/02/american-action-networkamerican-action-forum/ ^
  9. “Congressional Leadership Fund.” Ballotpedia. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://ballotpedia.org/Congressional_Leadership_Fund ^
  10. Calmes, Jackie. “G.O.P. Group to Promote Conservative Ideas.” New York Times. February 3, 2010. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/04/us/politics/04conservative.html ^
  11. “American Action Network: Videos.” YouTube. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/c/AmericanActionNetwork/videos ^
  12. “American Action Network: Clear (NM-02).” YouTube. Accessed February 4, 2021. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQrfTMRZzYM ^
  13. “American Action Network: Progress (NC-09).” YouTube. Accessed February 4, 2021. Accessed February 4, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6T0nUf4QO7Q ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

Associated Organizations

  1. American Action Forum (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 2010

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Jun Form 990 $41,875,675 $43,998,646 $6,188,140 $1,399,663 N $41,875,675 $0 $0 $457,107 PDF
    2016 Jun Form 990 $14,557,000 $12,916,384 $7,674,638 $763,190 N $14,557,000 $0 $0 $312,398
    2015 Jun Form 990 $26,445,293 $26,188,836 $5,788,327 $517,495 N $26,445,060 $0 $233 $462,443 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $9,445,000 $9,376,647 $5,488,942 $474,567 N $9,445,000 $0 $0 $297,158 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $24,423,083 $34,201,771 $4,657,277 $248,464 N $23,578,433 $844,650 $0 $242,627 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $22,578,115 $11,482,833 $14,646,996 $459,495 N $22,556,387 $21,728 $0 $221,646 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $27,479,384 $25,692,334 $3,165,233 $74,486 N $27,479,380 $0 $4 $424,779 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    American Action Network

    1747 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW STE 5
    WASHINGTON, DC 20006-4604