People for the American Way is a left-of-center advocacy group formed in 1981 by liberal Hollywood television producer Norman Lear, ostensibly to oppose the conservative principles espoused by Christian conservative televangelists. It is the 501(c)(4) social welfare organization arm of the People For the American Way Foundation, a progressive nonprofit organization in the United States.
People For the American Way monitors what it characterizes as “right-wing” activities, advocates for a left-of-center policy agenda, and helps to elect liberal political candidates. PFAW’s policy includes left-of-center positions on a wide-range of issues including public funding of abortion providers, a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, tax and spend big government budgeting,  and a general opposition to President Donald Trump’s policies and appointments.
PFAW has been particularly active in U.S. Supreme Court judicial nomination battles. PFAW spent $1.5 million opposing President Ronald Reagan’s nominee, Judge Robert Bork; ran ads supporting President Barack Obama’s nomination of now-Justice Sonia Sotomayor; and sharply opposed President Trump’s nomination of now-Justice Neil Gorsuch. 
PFAW also publishes the website RightWingWatch, which has published thousands of posts monitoring and attacking conservative political beliefs in support of the PFAW’s left-of-center agenda.
PFAW has spent over $1.6 million lobbying congress and state governments on hundreds of liberal policy prerogatives, and through its affiliated PAC has given out nearly $1.7 million in political contributions to Democratic candidates and causes.
After the election of President Reagan, liberal Hollywood TV producer Norman Lear (known for All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, among other shows), then-U.S. Representative Barbara Jordan (D-Texas), Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, and Time Inc. Chairman Andrew Heiskell, founded Citizens for Constitutional Concerns, Inc. in 1981 as a left-of-center 501(c)(4) nonprofit advocacy organization. It was renamed People for the American Way (PFAW) in 1985.
At its inception the organization was largely focused on oppose the policies and organizations of Christian conservatives and popular televangelists, such as Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggart, and Pat Robertson.
Located in Washington, D.C., People For the American Way monitors what it characterizes as “right-wing” activities, and uses rapid response, political lobbying, volunteer mobilization, press releases, op-eds, and other press tools to push a left-of-center policy agenda and to elect liberal political candidates.
PFAW also funds and deploys popularized media campaigns to advocate for its liberal issue priorities and preferred candidates. In its first seven years, “the organization produced approximately eighteen television ads and public service announcements, three film/videotape documentaries, twenty-five print ad campaigns, and twelve radio spots.”
PFAW’s affiliated People For the American Way Foundation and People For the American Way Voters Alliance run programs designed to complement its liberal advocacy agenda pushing for voter education and left-wing political infrastructure building.
Left-Wing Policy Campaigns
Initially, the organization focused on countering conservatives through three primary areas: secularizing government and society, expanding the public education system, and securing liberal control of the judiciary. In 1988, the group’s issue focus broadened to attract new donors. PFAW added liberal issue priorities such as voter registration, abortion, and immigration issues to its advocacy.
Current PFAW advocacy campaigns support a wide range of liberal policies.
PFAW’s “Trump’s Dangerous Team” campaign criticizes President Trump’s current cabinet members and demands that that Senators refuse to confirm the President’s future conservative nominees.
PFAW’s “Fighting the Right’s Tax and Budget Agenda” attacks conservative fiscal policy and President Trump’s proposed budget, while at the same time pushing for welfare handouts, government funded healthcare, food stamps, and environmentalist financial handouts.
Some of PFAW’s other campaigns run ads supporting Democratic candidates for state or federal office and their efforts to give legal status to illegal immigrants and attacking Republicans for their strong border security positions. PFAW has also pushed for federal funding or and unfettered access to abortions and costly labor mandates such as a minimum wage and paid leave. PFAW has also argued religious institutions should be forced to comply with laws that offend their religious beliefs.
PFAW has long been active in battles over judicial nominations. In 1987, PFAW reportedly spent $1.5 million on advertisements to defeat the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork. Later, PFAW would join with other liberal groups such as the Alliance for Justice and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to run hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of ads in support of President Obama’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 2017, PFAW ran ads against President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Right Wing Watch
PFAW publishes the RightWingWatch website, which monitors and attacks right-of-center movements in support of the PFAW’s left-wing agenda. The site has published countless reports on similar subjects, including reports that attack conservative political candidates, policies, and advocacy organizations.
PFAW has run numerous advocacy ads attacking Republican political candidates based on their left-wing political agenda. In 2008 PFAW ran ads attacking presidential candidate John McCain and five U.S. Senate candidates for supporting Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s confirmation. In 2012, PFAW funded an attack campaign against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
In 2016, PFAW ran numerous political campaign ads featuring anxious children discussing how they were scared of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump.
PFAW was “profoundly troubled” by his election and pledged to “work harder than ever” to fight for their liberal agenda. The group promptly took issue with Trump’s immigration policy and cabinet nominations.
Throughout Trump’s presidency PFAW has consistently taken issue with President Trump’s policies, attacked his alleged conflicts of interest, and funded an ad campaign against Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, now-Justice Neil Gorsuch.
Since 2007, People For the American Way has spent $1.64 million lobbying congress on over 750 separate bills.
PFAW took lobbying positions on issues such as; opposing a bill to enhance penalties for convicted and deported criminals who reenter the United States illegally, supporting Federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and support for a federal budget that stops sequestration and raises spending caps.
PFAW also lobbies state legislatures for liberal political policies. In 2014, it lobbied the New York legislature to pass a resolution favoring a constitutional amendment that would deny Americans their constitutionally protected right to free speech in election campaigns.
In 2016, PFAW took in $7,502,564 and spent $6,162,094. Included in PFAW’s revenues were at least seven six-figure contributions between $100,000 and $500,000.
PFAW often decries special interest political spending. For instance in 2012, PFAW joined forces with other liberal special interest groups such as Health Care for America Now (HCAN), Public Citizen, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), to advocate for laws that would restrict the funding of campaign and advocacy speech.
However, since 2004, People for the American Way’s 501(c)(3) associated entity has received $2.6 million from liberal billionaire George Soros‘ Open Society Institute (now the Open Society Foundations), according to data from the Foundation Center. As of 2014, the Democracy Alliance network of left-wing donors including Soros listed PFAW as part of the progressive infrastructure.
Additionally, PFAW has received money from labor unions and other liberal-left foundations. It took $900,000 from the Miriam G. and Ira D. Wallach Foundation; $810,000 from the Lear Family Foundation; $575,000 from the Bauman Family Foundation; and $500,000 from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. 
PFAW also consistently attacks “dark money” in politics even though it was created as a project of the Tides Foundation, a donor-advised fund which allows contributors to obscure the endpoint of their contributions. Moreover, PFAW is registered as a 501(c)(4) lobbying group and does not disclose its donors, the type of arrangement that PFAW classifies as “dark money” when practiced by conservatives.
Michael Keegan is the President and CEO of People For the American Way. Keegan has worked at PFAW since 1994. Keegan is also a founding national board member of The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
PFAW’s Board of Directors includes a number of liberal Hollywood figures. Norman Lear is the Founding Chair of the PFAW Board of Directors. Lear is a television producer who created the genre of politically charged television shows that include such show runners as All in the Family, Maude, the Jeffersons, and others.  Lear is a self-admitted liberal who has no problem using his celebrity to push a left-wing political agenda, including higher taxes and abortion.  Other influential liberals and Hollywood celebrities on the PFAW Board include actors Alec Baldwin and Seth MacFarlane, actress Jane Lynch, producer Howard Klein, and labor union movement figure Dolores Huerta.