Issue One Action


Tax ID:





Election-Speech Advocacy Group

President and CEO:

Nick Penniman

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Issue One Action is the lobbying branch of Issue One, a left-leaning organization that promotes restrictions on election-related speech activity and supports The ReFormers Caucus, a group of former legislators who lobby congress in that vein. Issue One Action supports a parallel caucus within congress: The Congressional Reformers Caucus. Members of this parallel caucus promote Issue One Action-supported legislation. Both organizations share Nick Penniman, a progressive activist and former executive director and cofounder of the Huffington Post Investigative Fund, as their president and CEO.

Issue One

Issue One, Issue One Action’s parent organization, is a 501(c)(3) founded in 2014 as the result of a merger between two left-leaning organizations: the Fund For The Republic and Americans For Campaign Reform. 1 Early financial support for the organization came from the Democracy Alliance, a coalition of left-of-center political donors. Within a year of its founding, the Alliance coordinated $1.6 million in financial support for the organization. 2

Issue One’s main activities include running issue advocacy campaigns broadly advocating for restricting election-related speech activity and making grants to similarly aligned organizations. 3 Among the left-of-center organizations that have received grants from Issue One are the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, the Center for American Progress, and the Common Cause Education Fund. 4

Reformers Caucus

Issue One works with former members of Congress to advocate for speech restriction. Former legislators associated with the so-called “ReFormers Caucus” include former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), Obama administration Secretary of Defense and former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), left-wing former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley (D-NJ), and moderate Republican former Sen. John Danforth (R-MO). 5

Issue One Action supports The Congressional Reformers Caucus, which takes its inspiration from Issue One’s The ReFormers Caucus. Its Co-chairs are Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Ken Buck (R-CO), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), and Mike Gallagher (R-WI). According to Issue One Action’s promotional material for the group, its parent organization supports the caucus by “providing advice, policy expertise, and public recognition.” 6

Legislative Agenda

Issue One Action supports the Honest Ads Act a substantial curtailment of political speech rights. It would expand the definition of “public communications” under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, extending existing campaign disclosure and finance restrictions and requirements to digital news articles, blogs, and other forms of digital media not currently enumerated within the bill. 7


Nick Penniman is the President and CEO of Issue One Action8 and its parent organization Issue One. Previously, Penniman was the executive Director of the Huffington Post Investigative Fund, which he cofounded in 2009 with Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post. In 2005 and 2006, Penniman was the publisher of the liberal magazine Washington Monthly. Penniman has also held editorial positions at the left-leaning publications American Prospect and Lincoln Journal. 910


Electoral Count Act Support

In August 2022, Issue One Action spent $55,000 on advertisement campaigns in support of the Electoral Count Act 2022, a bill meant to update the Electoral Count Act of 1887 with more provisions claiming to protect the electoral process. 11 The group states that the bill is a, “meaningful and bipartisan step forward that will protect U.S. elections and insulate our country from a constitutional crisis following future presidential elections. 12 The bill was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden in December 2022. 13



  1. “Issue One – Ballotpedia.” 2017. Ballotpedia.Org. Accessed June 4, 2019.
  2. Markay, Lachlan. “Democracy Alliance Network Revealed.” Washington Free Beacon. May 20, 2014. Accessed June 4, 2019.
  3. “Issue One – Democracy Alliance.” Democracy Alliance. Accessed June 4, 2019.
  4. Issue One, Form 990-PF, 2014, Schedule I, Part II. Accessed June 4, 2019.
  5. Blumenthal, Paul. “Campaign Finance Reform Brings Former Lawmakers Together.” Huffpost. November 6, 2015. Accessed June 4, 2019.
  6. “ Congressional Reformers Caucus.” Accessed June 4, 2019.
  7. “S.1356 – Honest Ads Act.” Accessed June 4, 2019.
  8. “About Fix Politics Now.” Fix Politics Now. Accessed June 4, 2019.
  9. “Nick Penniman.” Accessed June 4, 2019.
  10. “Nick Penniman.”American Prospect. Accessed June 4, 2019.
  11. Beitsch, Rebecca. “Democracy Group Launches $55K Campaign to Back Electoral Count Act.” The Hill. The Hill, August 2, 2022.
  12. Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act of 2022.” Propublica, Accessed January 25, 2023.
  13. Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act of 2022.” Propublica, Accessed January 25, 2023.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Amber McReynolds
    Senior Political Strategist (2022-Present)
  2. Ian Simmons
    Board Member
  3. Nick Penniman
    President and CEO

Associated Organizations

  1. Issue One (Non-profit)
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