The Fulcrum




Digital news organization

Executive Editor:

David Meyers

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

The Fulcrum is a digital news organization focused on electoral administration policy and spending on electoral advocacy. The Fulcrum is a subsidiary of Issue One, an advocacy group supporting restrictions on electoral advocacy with ties to the left-of-center Democracy Alliance.

Though the Fulcrum claims to be nonpartisan, it is funded by organizations that support left-of-center causes and led by individuals with long histories of left-of-center activism.


The Fulcrum publishes news stories in nine categories: balance of power, big picture, campaign finance, civic education, Congress, government ethics, open government, redistricting, and voting. News stories cover topics such as allegations of gerrymandering, the potential effects of the corona virus on voting rates, and electoral security. 1

In February 2020, the Fulcrum partnered with Independent Voter News,2 a similar digital media outlet run by the Foundation for Independent Voter Education, a nonprofit seeking to increase voting rates and political participation. 3 The Fulcrum and Independent Voter News cross-post news stories on their respective websites.


Though the Fulcrum portrays itself as nonpartisan, its leadership includes many individuals with a history of involvement in left-of-center organizations. 4

The Fulcrum was founded by Nick Penniman, the founder and CEO of parent organization Issue One. From 1998 to 2001, Penniman was the executive director at Alliance for Democracy,5 a nonprofit dedicated to left-of-center political and economic policies. 6 For the following two years, Penniman was an associate editor at American Prospect, a liberal ideological magazine. Penniman also authored the book, Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts our Democracy. 7

Rob Stein sits on the Fulcrum’s advisory board. 8 Stein is a long-time Democratic operative and the co-founder and primary organizer of Democracy Alliance.

Michael Golden, an experienced Democratic campaigner, sits on the Fulcrum’s advisory board. 9 From 2000-2001, Golden worked for the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish-focused anti-discrimination nonprofit that has steadily drifted left. 10 In the early and mid-2000s, Golden worked on a series of political campaigns for four Democratic candidates: Congressional candidate Marty Casto (D-IL), senatorial candidate Gery Chico (D-IL), U.S. Senator and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry (D-MA), and U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean (D-IL). In 2017, Golden became a senior fellow at the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy. In 2018, Golden worked for Chico’s second campaign for mayor of Chicago. 11

Myra Miller, a long-time Republican operative, also sits Fulcrum’s advisory board. 12 Miller worked as a political director of the Alabama Republican Party13 and has worked with House and Senate Republicans on voter outreach. 14


The Fulcrum is funded by nonprofits associated with left-of-center causes. The organization has received undisclosed funding from:15


  1. “News.” The Fulcrum. April 3, 2020.
  2. “Our Mission.” The Fulcrum. April 3, 2020.
  3. “About Five.” Independent Voter Project. April 3, 2020.
  4. “Advisory Board.” The Fulcrum. Accessed April 3, 2020.
  5. “Nick Penniman.” Linkedin. Accessed April 3, 2020.
  6. “What is the Alliance for Democracy.” Alliance for Democracy. Accessed April 3, 2020.
  7. “Nick Penniman.” Linkedin. Accessed April 3, 2020.
  8. “Advisory Board.” The Fulcrum. Accessed April 3, 2020.
  9. “Advisory Board.” The Fulcrum. Accessed April 3, 2020.
  10. “The Anti-Defamation League turns anti-Israel, possible hush money from a Clinton ally & other notable comments.” New York Post. Accessed April 3, 2020.
  11. “Michael Golden.” Linkedin. Accessed April 3, 2020.
  12. “Advisory Board.” The Fulcrum. Accessed April 3, 2020.
  13. “Myra Miller.” Linkedin. Accessed April 3, 2020.
  14. “Advisory Board.” The Fulcrum. Accessed April 3, 2020.
  15. “Our Funders.” The Fulcrum. Accessed April 3, 2020.
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