Non-profit

Demand Progress Education Fund

Demand Progress Education Fund is the educational arm of Demand Progress Action, a left-of-center lobbying organization, and Demand Progress PAC. It describes itself as “sponsored by the New Venture Fund,” a left-liberal funder and nonprofit sponsor that critics describe as part of a half-billion dollar “dark money” network aligned with the consultancy Arabella Advisors. [1][2]

Demand Progress Education Fund’s major issues campaigns promote left-progressive policies related to the internet and online data.

Funding

Demand Progress Education Fund’s revenues primarily come from the New Venture Fund. It is one of approximately 150 projects which combine to receive over $300 million from New Venture Fund. [3] While New Venture Fund’s money goes almost entirely left-leaning groups, the conservative Daily Caller News Foundation received $100,000 in 2016. It also funded the apolitical Boston Medical Center and the libertarian Cato Institute that year. [4]

Money provided to Demand Progress Education Fund by New Venture Fund is not listed on the group’s 990 forms for 2015, 2016, or 2017. [5]

Demand Progress Education Fund receives donations from at least one outside group. The internet search engine DuckDuckGo gave over $100,000 from 2017 to 2019. [6]

Advocacy

Demand Progress Education Fund engages heavily in the federal regulatory and legislative processes to accomplish its goals.

It has organized the annual Legislative Data and Transparency Conference on Capitol Hill since 2012. [7] The conference brings Members of Congress, federal legislative staff, and others together to discuss how federal agencies use data.

Demand Progress Education Fund supports so-called “net neutrality” regulations which were implemented under the Obama administration and rescinded under the Trump administration. [8]

It regularly opposes corporate mergers such as the Sprint and T-Mobile merger and Staples’ purchase of Essendant. It also urged federal regulators to look closely at the BB&T/SunTrust merger. [9] Other advocacy work includes building support for breaking up Facebook and opposition to a proposed Facebook cryptocurrency. [10][11]

Other Fund projects include the Progressive Talent Pipeline, a partnership with leading left-leaning activist and advocacy groups which is designed to train and place liberals in government and political roles in Washington, D.C. [12] The Fund also co-organizes the Congressional Data Coalition. [13] It supports an investigation into President Donald Trump’s deployment of military personnel to the U.S.-Mexico border. [14]

Some of Demand Progress Education Fund’s goals have bipartisan support. It partnered with the conservative FreedomWorks Foundation to oppose warrantless wiretapping of Americans allowed under Section 215 of The Patriot Act. [15] It also promoted an op-ed by the policy director of its sister group Demand Progress and the head of policy for the right-leaning Lincoln Network to support Congress re-evaluating resources and policies related to technology oversight. [16]

Leadership

Demand Progress Education Fund’s leadership team consists of a left-leaning data transparency advocate, a former Rhode Island state representative who was first elected to city office as a far-left Green Party candidate, and a public relations expert. [17]

David Segal co-founded Demand Progress Education Fund and is executive director. He was previously a Green Party City Council member in the city of Providence, Rhode Island and a Democratic Party state representative. Segal previously ran the leftist advocacy group Rootstrikers, also known as Issue One. [18][19]

Mark Stanley directs Demand Progress Education Fund’s communications. He previously worked at the international public relations firm Edelman and at the net neutrality-backing Center for Democracy and Technology. [20]

Daniel Schuman is Demand Progress Education Fund’s policy director. He co-founded the Congressional Data Coalition and previously worked for the left-leaning government watchdog groups Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and Sunlight Foundation. He also worked for the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. [21]

References

  1. Demand Progress Education Fund, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://demandprogresseducationfund.org/#/ ^
  2. Hayden Ludwig. “Big Money in Dark Shadows: Arabella Advisors’ Half-billion-dollar ‘Dark Money’ Network.” Capital Research Center. Published April 2019. Accessed July 31, 2019. https://capitalresearch.org/app/uploads/CRC_Arabella-Advisors-Dark-Money.pdf ^
  3. New Venture Fund, About NVF, Accessed November 5, 2019. http://www.newventurefund.org/about-nvf/ ^
  4. New Venture Fund, 2016 990, Accessed November 5, 2019. http://www.newventurefund.org/wp-content/uploads/2016-990-Small.pdf ^
  5. ProPublica, New Venture Fund 990 page, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/205806345 ^
  6. Duck Duck Go, donations, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://duckduckgo.com/donations ^
  7. First Branch Forecast, “7th Annual House Legislative Data and Transparency Conference Announced,” September 30, 2019. Accessed November 5, 2019. https://firstbranchforecast.com/2019/09/30/7th-annual-house-legislative-data-and-transparency-conference-announced/ ^
  8. The Center for Internet and Society, David Segal, Accessed November 5, 2019. http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/about/people/david-segal ^
  9. Demand Progress Education Fund, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://demandprogresseducationfund.org/#/ ^
  10. Open Markets, “Open Markets Institute, Public Citizen, Demand Progress Education Fund, and Revolving Door Project send open letter demanding Libra Partners ‘Walk Away,’” July 18, 2019. Accessed November 5, 2019. https://openmarketsinstitute.org/releases/open-markets-institute-public-citizen-demand-progress-education-fund-revolving-door-project-send-open-letter-demanding-libra-partners-walk-away/ ^
  11. Demand Progress Education Fund, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://demandprogresseducationfund.org/#/ ^
  12. Progressive Talent Pipeline, About the Program, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://progresspipeline.org/#about ^
  13. Demand Progress Education Fund, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://demandprogresseducationfund.org/#/ ^
  14. House of Representatives, Congressman Paul Grijalva Member page, “Rep. Grijalva leads Members of Congress in demanding investigation into Trump’s use of troops at the southern border,” September 23, 2019. Accessed November 5, 2019. https://grijalva.house.gov/press-releases/rep-grijalva-leads-members-of-congress-in-letter-demanding-investigation-into-trumps-use-of-troops-at-the-southern-border/ ^
  15. Peter Vicenzi, “FreedomWorks Foundation announces partnership with the Demand Progress Education Fund in report highlighting Section 215 of FISA abuses,” September 9, 2019. Accessed November 5, 2019. https://www.freedomworks.org/content/freedomworks-foundation-announces-partnership-demand-progress-education-fund-report ^
  16. Daniel Schuman and Zach Graves, “A modernized OTA is a key step in addressing Congress’s S&T capacity gap,” September 25, 2019. Accessed November 5, 2019. https://firstbranchforecast.com/2019/09/25/a-modernized-ota-is-a-key-step-in-addressing-congresss-st-capacity-gap/ ^
  17. Demand Progress Education Fund, Team, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://demandprogresseducationfund.org/#/team ^
  18. Issue One, Our Team, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://www.issueone.org/our-staff/ ^
  19. The Center for Internet and Society, David Segal, Accessed November 5, 2019. http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/about/people/david-segal ^
  20. Demand Progress Education Fund, Team, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://demandprogresseducationfund.org/#/team ^
  21. Demand Progress Education Fund, Team, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://demandprogresseducationfund.org/#/team ^
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