Defending Democracy Together Action Fund is a Republican 527 super PAC created in Washington, D.C. in January 2018. Its leadership consists of Weekly Standard editor-at-large William “Bill” Kristol, Ethics and Public Policy Center senior fellow Mona Charen, and other conservatives.1 The group has taken positions in opposition to a number of initiatives by President Donald Trump, often through its project, Republicans for the Rule of Law; most prominently, it has supported continuing birthright citizenship and strongly supported the Justice Department investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.2 3 4
Defending Democracy Together is the 501(c)(4) counterpart of Defending Democracy Together Action Fund. Republic Affairs (formerly Defending Democracy Together Institute) is its 501(c)(3) affiliate.
As of November 2018, no funding data is publicly available for the Defending Democracy Together Action Fund.
Defending Democracy Together has been criticized for accepting at least $600,000 in two grants from Democracy Fund Voice, a 501(c)(4) group created and funded by left-wing mega-donor Pierre Omidyar. 5 According to Democracy Fund Voice’s website, in May 2018 it “approved two grants to Defending Democracy Together: first in the amount of up to $100,000 over one year and then in the amount of up to $500,000 over one year” (image available here). 6
Republic Affairs was awarded $150,000 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in September 2018. The grant was paid to Republic Affairs (then known as Defending Democracy Together Institute) through DonorsTrust, a right-of-center donor-advised fund provider (image available here). 7
According to its 2018 statement of organization filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the Defending Democracy Together Action Fund’s custodian of records is Donna Smith, and its PAC treasurer is Chris Marson, a campaign finance compliance consultant. 8
- “About Us.” Republicans for the Rule of Law. Accessed November 19, 2018. https://www.ruleoflawrepublicans.com/about-us/
- “Republican Immigration Group Defends Birthright Citizenship.” Press Release, Defending Democracy Together. October 30, 2018. Accessed November 19, 2018. https://www.defendingdemocracytogether.org/press-release/republican-immigration-group-defends-birthright-citizenship/
- “Manafort Conviction Proves Mueller Investigation is not a Witch Hunt.” Press Release, Defending Democracy Together. August 21, 2018. Accessed November 19, 2018. https://www.defendingdemocracytogether.org/press-release/manafort-conviction-proves-mueller-investigation-is-not-a-witch-hunt/
- “New Republican Group Launches Pro-Mueller Campaign.” Press Release, Defending Democracy Together. April 11, 2018. Accessed November 19, 2018. https://www.defendingdemocracytogether.org/press-release/new-republican-group-launches-pro-mueller-campaign/
- Julie Kelly. “NeverTrump’s Billionaire Leftist Benefactors.” November 14, 2018. Accessed November 19, 2018. https://amgreatness.com/2018/11/14/nevertrumps-billionaire-leftist-benefactors/
- “Grants: Defending Democracy Together.” Democracy Fund Voice. May 3, 2018. Accessed November 19, 2018. https://democracyfundvoice.org/defending-democracy-together/; Screenshot: https://www.influencewatch.org/democracy-fund-2018-grant-defending-democracy-together/
- “Grant: Donors Trust Inc. – For support of the Defending Democracy Together Institute.” Hewlett Foundation. September 19, 2018. Accessed November 19, 2018. https://hewlett.org/grants/donors-trust-inc-for-support-of-the-defending-democracy-together-institute/; Screenshot: https://www.influencewatch.org/hewlett-foundation-2018-grant-defending-democracy-together-institute/
- “Statement of Organization.” Federal Election Commission. January 11, 2018. Accessed November 19, 2018. http://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00665596/1196854/