Meredith McGehee




Issue One and McGehee Strategies

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Meredith McGehee is a lobbyist, political consultant, and political commentator primarily concerned with left-of-center campaign finance advocacy. She is the founder of McGehee Strategies, a lobbying firm, and the executive director of left-of-center advocacy group Issue One. Though McGehee is generally aligned with the Democratic Party, she has criticized Democratic efforts to enhance their ability to raise fundraising limits.


Early Career

After graduating from Pomona College in 1978 with a degree in political science and government, Meredeth McGehee joined the U.S. Peace Corps and volunteered in Niger for over two years. 1 At some point later, McGehee served as the head of the Friends of Niger, a philanthropic nonprofit associated with the Peace Corps, and stepped down in 2018. 2

McGehee returned to the United States in 1980 and began working as a legislative assistant to then-U.S. Representative Dante Fascell (D-FL). In 1983, she joined the staff of then-Representative Lane Evans (D-IL), for whom she worked for four years. 3

In 1987, McGehee joined Common Cause, a left-progressive advocacy group focused on campaign finance reform. Over 15 years, she worked her way up to become senior vice president and chief lobbyist. 4 She was a “key leader” in encouraging U.S. Congress to pass the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. 5

McGehee Strategies

In 2002, McGehee left Common Cause to establish McGehee Strategies, a political lobbying and consulting firm. Her first client was the California WIC Association. She consulted for the association for 12 years. McGehee helped defend the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition) program from numerous Congressional challenges. 6 7

The following year, McGehee Strategies began working with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, and would continue to consult until 2011. McGehee helped increase the group’s federal funding by 300 percent. 8 9

From 2005-2018, McGehee consulted for the Campaign Legal Center, a left-of-center campaign finance reform group, and worked as the group’s policy director. 10 11

From 2009-2011, McGehee was a consultant for Communities in Schools of Chicago. 12

In 2021, McGehee consulted for the League of Women Voters on its “Truth in Campaign Advertising.” 13

In 2013, McGehee consulted for her old group, Common Cause, on its Media and Democracy Reform Initiative. 14

At some point, McGehee consulted for the United States Breastfeeding Committee and Democracy 21, a group opposed to the use of private money in politics. 15

Other Work

In 2003, McGehee became president of the Alliance for Better Campaigns. She left the group in 2005. 16

In 2016, McGehee became the executive director of Issue One, a group which advocates for restrictions on online speech to safeguard elections. 17 In 2020, Issue One coordinated with ten other organizations, including the League of Women Voters, VoteSafe, Represent.US, Protect Democracy, and Take Back Our Republic to safeguard the outcome of the presidential election. 18

McGehee is a member of the National Task Force on Election Crises. 19

Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund

In October 2017, Meredeth McGehee criticized the Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund, a newly formed Super PAC designed to legally circumvent numerous campaign finance rules to permit individuals to donate up to $540,000 per person to support Democratic candidates. McGehee said: “In spite of its name, it seems highly unlikely this fund will focus on the grassroots. There’s a huge disconnect between this new fundraising organization’s name and what it does to eviscerate campaign contribution limits.” 20

Foreign Influence over American Elections

Meredeth McGehee has criticized the Citizens United decision for allegedly making it easier for foreign organizations to influence American elections by concealing donations through multiple layers of donors. Though McGehee admits “there is no way to know” if foreign influence is widespread in American elections, she claims other countries including Iran and Russia “may well be” exerting influence “on a large scale.” McGehee recommends the implementation of laws to increase transparency in so-called “dark money” groups. 21


  1. “Meredeth McGehee.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  2. “Friends of Niger.” Facebook. May 15, 2018. Accessed May 4, 2022.
  3. “Meredeth McGehee.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  4. “Meredeth McGehee.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  5. “About Us.” McGehee Strategies. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  6. “Meredeth McGehee.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  7. “Our Clients.” McGehee Strategies. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  8. “Meredeth McGehee.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  9. “Our Clients.” McGehee Strategies. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  10. “Meredeth McGehee.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  11. “Our Clients.” McGehee Strategies. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  12. “Meredeth McGehee.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  13. “Meredeth McGehee.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  14. “Meredeth McGehee.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  15. “Our Clients.” McGehee Strategies. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  16. “Meredeth McGehee.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  17. “Meredeth McGehee.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  18. [1] Reid, Tim. “Exclusive: Bipartisan campaign aims to reassure U.S. voters as Trump questions election integrity.” Reuters. September 2, 2020. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  19. “Task Force Members.” National Task Force On Election Crises. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  20. Combs, Cory. “Issue One raises concerns about Democratic Party’s new mega joint fundraising committee.” Issue One. October 20, 2017. Accessed May 3, 2022.
  21. McGehee, Meredeth. “COLUMN-Are U.S. rivals hacking the American electoral system? Why it’s impossible to know.” Reuters. January 21, 2015. Accessed May 4, 2022.
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