Political Party/527

New Politics

Website:

newpolitics.org/

Location:

Boston, MA

Formation:

2013

Executive Director:

Emily Cherniack

Type:

Democratic political action committee

New Politics is a left-of-center PAC that supports candidates with experience in the military or other public service agencies. In 2016, New Politics formed the New Politics Leadership Academy (NPLA), which trains supported candidates to run for office. The NPLA has been accused of wrongfully disbursing funds to politicians in possible violation of its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. Both organizations claim to be nonpartisan, but primarily support Democratic candidates.

Since its founding in 2012, New Politics has spent almost $1.4 million. In 2018 alone, the organization spent almost $845,000. [1]

Candidates Supported

Servant Leaders

As of October 2020, New Politics lists 60 politicians supported by the organization that it calls “servant leaders.” 29 of the 60 are candidates, while the rest are incumbent officeholders. New Politics selects individuals who have served in the military or government agencies on the grounds that they will be more community-minded in a leadership position. [2]

The 60 servant leaders range from Congressmen to local school board members. Excluding the five school board members and candidates, 47 are Democrats, 7 are Republicans, and one (Rockville Councilor David Myles) is an independent, but supports left-of-center policies. The New Politics website does not mention any political parties in the servant leader bios. [3]

New Politics supports nine Democratic Congressmen:[4]

New Politics also supports seven Democratic Congressional Candidates:[5]

  • Dan Feehan (D-MN)
  • Jackie Gordon (D-NY)
  • Josh Hicks (D-KY)
  • Gina Ortiz Jones (D-TX)
  • Kai Kahele (D-HI)
  • Sri Kulkarni (D-TX)
  • Betsy Dirksen Londrigan (D-IL)

The only Congressional Republicans characterized by the group as “servant leaders” are Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and candidate Peter Meijer (R-MI). [6]

Second Service Coalition

New Politics organized the Second Service Coalition, a bloc of Congressman with military and national service backgrounds. Despite being officially non-partisan, all of the Coalition’s members are Democrats. The Coalition’s co-chairs are:[7]

The Coalition’s other members are:[8]

Service First Women

New Politics organized Service First Women, a bloc of female Congressmen with military and service backgrounds. Its membership consists entirely of Second Service Coalition members, and are exclusively Democratic. The members are:[9]

  • Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA)
  • Elaine Luria (D-VA)
  • Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ)
  • Elissa Slotkin (D-MI)
  • Abigail Spanberger (D-VA)

Fellows Program

In 2019, New Politics Leadership Academy announced the Fellows program which provides financial support to select “servant leaders” and other politicians who had unsuccessfully run for office in 2018 or had left office the same year. The program has been criticized by the Washington Examiner for potentially violating the legal mandate of the NPLA. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the NPLA is prohibited from using funds to support political candidates, yet the fellowship program has financially supported four candidates who ran for office in 2020. [10][11]

The NPLA officially claims that the fellowship funds are going to the candidates for research, consulting, and other services. However, in an interview, NPLA and New Politics founder and executive director Emily Cherniak said that the Fellowship was designed to support candidates between elections:[12][13]

What’s equally as important is the ones who don’t win, and what we have piloted and started this year is a fellowship program. And so what we realized was, a lot of our candidates who are not wealthy, have spent a year and a half not working, and they’re exhausted, and we just thought if we could provide some transition time for them; four months, where they get a stipend, so they don’t have to like worry about paying their rent or their groceries.

The Fellowship is officially listed as a project of the NPLA on its website. However, some of the fellowship money, such as the payments made to Gina Ortiz Jones (D-TX) and Amy McGrath (D-KT), are paid for by New Politics, which as a 501(c)(4) is permitted to fund political candidates. However, other candidates, including Roger Dean Huffstetler (D-VA) and  Dan Feehan (D-MN), are paid by the NPLA. [14][15]

The inaugural Fellowship class consisted of six Democratic Congressional candidates. Gina Ortiz Jones narrowly lost her race for Texas’s 23rd District, a district Hillary Clinton would win in the presidential election. [16] In May 2019, Jones announced she was running for the seat again. [17] The NPLA’s fellowship to Jones is officially based on Jones conducting research into ways domestic policy potentially poses risks to national security. [18] Jones was paid $34,000 by New Politics. [19]

Fellow Dan Feehan narrowly lost the Congressional race for the 1st District of Minnesota in 2018 to Jim Hagedorn (R-MN). Feehan is running against Hagedorn again in 2020. The NPLA is officially paying Feehan for consulting services on how to communicate with voters in a politically polarized environment. [20] Feehan reported receiving $239,500 from the NPLA. [21]

Fellow Amy McGrath unsuccessfully ran for Congress in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District in 2018. In May 2019, McGrath announced she was running for the Senate against Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). McGrath’s fellowship is officially for research on how to close the urban-rural gap in Kentucky. [22][23] McGrath reported receiving $42,500 from New Politics for the fellowship and an additional $35,000 for “consulting.” [24]

Fellow Roger Dean Huffstetler unsuccessfully ran in the Democratic Congressional primaries for the 5th District of Virginia in 2018. Huffstetler ran again in 2020, but was again defeated in the Democratic primary. The NPLA is officially paying Huffstetler as a mentor for other NPLA candidates and as a developer for campaign technology. [25] Huffstetler reported receiving $25,500 from the NPLA. [26]

Two NPLA fellows did not run for office in 2020. Fellow Ken Harbaugh (D-OH) unsuccessfully ran for Congress in Ohio’s seventh district. Fellow Juana Matias (D-MA) is a former Massachusetts state Representative and lost in the Democratic primary for Massachusetts’s Third District in 2018, but she is not running for office in 2020. [27]

Leadership

New Politics and NPLA were founded and are led by Emily Cherniack. In the early 2000s, Cherniack worked for City Year Boston, a community service nonprofit which works closely with AmeriCorps, one of the organizations from which the NPLA recruits political candidates. In 2007, Cherniak began working for Be the Change, a left-of-center nonprofit founded by Alan Khazei (D-MA), the former CEO of City Year. In 2009, while continuing to work at Be the Change, Cherniak became the deputy finance director for Khazei’s Massachusetts Senatorial campaign, which he would lose in the Democratic primary. In 2011, she was appointed chief of staff and deputy campaign manager for Khazei’s second run for Senate. Two years later, Cherniack founded New Politics. [28]

Funding

In 2012, New Politics’s first election cycle, the organization received almost $400,000 in funding. [29] Education Reform Now, a Democratic PAC, gave over $85,000. 50CAN Action Fund gave almost $70,000. [30]

In the 2014 cycle, New Politics raised less than $50,000,[31] $30,000 of which came from people affiliated with Bloomberg Media. [32]

In the 2016 cycle, New Politics raised over $170,000,[33] $100,000 of which came from the individuals affiliated with Pilot House Association, an investment management firm. Forward Massachusetts, a Democratic PAC, and people associated with the U.S. Department of the Treasury also gave minor donations. [34]

In the 2018 cycle, New Politics raised over $1.2 million, more than seven times the amount raised in the previous cycle. [35] The organization’s largest donor was billionaire Amos Hoffstetter, the owner of Continental Cablevision, who gave $400,000. Individuals associated with the Baupost Group, a hedge fund, gave $100,000, as did people associated with the Walton Family Foundation. [36]

References

  1. “New Politics: Overview.” Open Secrets. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail.php?ein=455493827&cycle=2018. ^
  2. “Our Servant Leaders.” New Politics. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.newpolitics.org/our-candidates. ^
  3. “David Myles.” Bethesda Magazine. 2019. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://bethesdamagazine.com/2019-gaithersburg-and-rockville-voters-guide/david-myles/. ^
  4. “Our Servant Leaders.” New Politics. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.newpolitics.org/our-candidates. ^
  5. “Our Servant Leaders.” New Politics. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.newpolitics.org/our-candidates. ^
  6. “Our Servant Leaders.” New Politics. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.newpolitics.org/our-candidates. ^
  7. “Who We Are.” Second Service Coalition. Accessed October 10, 2020. https://secondservice.us/who-we-are. ^
  8. “Who We Are.” Second Service Coalition. Accessed October 10, 2020. https://secondservice.us/who-we-are. ^
  9. “We Are…” Service First Women. Accessed October 10, 2020. https://www.servicefirstwomensvictoryfund.com/who-we-are. ^
  10. “NPLA Unveils Inaugural Fellowship Cohort Focused on Political Research and Civic Engagement.” New Politics Leadership Academy. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.newpoliticsacademy.org/blog/2019/1/9/npla-unveils-inaugural-fellowship-cohort-focused-on-political-research-and-civic-engagement. ^
  11. Larsen, Emily. “Unusual ‘fellowship’ paid high-profile, repeat Democratic candidates between runs.” Washington Examiner. October 6, 2020. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/unusual-fellowship-paid-high-profile-repeat-democratic-candidates-between-runs. ^
  12. “NPLA Unveils Inaugural Fellowship Cohort Focused on Political Research and Civic Engagement.” New Politics Leadership Academy. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.newpoliticsacademy.org/blog/2019/1/9/npla-unveils-inaugural-fellowship-cohort-focused-on-political-research-and-civic-engagement. ^
  13. Larsen, Emily. “Unusual ‘fellowship’ paid high-profile, repeat Democratic candidates between runs.” Washington Examiner. October 6, 2020. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/unusual-fellowship-paid-high-profile-repeat-democratic-candidates-between-runs. ^
  14. “NPLA Unveils Inaugural Fellowship Cohort Focused on Political Research and Civic Engagement.” New Politics Leadership Academy. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.newpoliticsacademy.org/blog/2019/1/9/npla-unveils-inaugural-fellowship-cohort-focused-on-political-research-and-civic-engagement. ^
  15. Larsen, Emily. “Unusual ‘fellowship’ paid high-profile, repeat Democratic candidates between runs.” Washington Examiner. October 6, 2020. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/unusual-fellowship-paid-high-profile-repeat-democratic-candidates-between-runs. ^
  16. Alter, Charlotte. “A Year Ago, They Marched. Now a Record Number of Women Are Running for Office.” Time. January 18, 2018. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://time.com/magazine/us/5107476/january-29th-2018-vol-191-no-3-u-s/. ^
  17. Svitek, Patrick. “Gina Ortez Jones running again to unseat Texas U.S. Rep. Will Hurd.” May 14, 2019. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.texastribune.org/2019/05/14/gina-ortiz-jones-running-again-unseat-will-hurd/. ^
  18. “NPLA Unveils Inaugural Fellowship Cohort Focused on Political Research and Civic Engagement.” New Politics Leadership Academy. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.newpoliticsacademy.org/blog/2019/1/9/npla-unveils-inaugural-fellowship-cohort-focused-on-political-research-and-civic-engagement. ^
  19. Larsen, Emily. “Unusual ‘fellowship’ paid high-profile, repeat Democratic candidates between runs.” Washington Examiner. October 6, 2020. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/unusual-fellowship-paid-high-profile-repeat-democratic-candidates-between-runs. ^
  20. “NPLA Unveils Inaugural Fellowship Cohort Focused on Political Research and Civic Engagement.” New Politics Leadership Academy. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.newpoliticsacademy.org/blog/2019/1/9/npla-unveils-inaugural-fellowship-cohort-focused-on-political-research-and-civic-engagement. ^
  21. Larsen, Emily. “Unusual ‘fellowship’ paid high-profile, repeat Democratic candidates between runs.” Washington Examiner. October 6, 2020. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/unusual-fellowship-paid-high-profile-repeat-democratic-candidates-between-runs. ^
  22. “NPLA Unveils Inaugural Fellowship Cohort Focused on Political Research and Civic Engagement.” New Politics Leadership Academy. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.newpoliticsacademy.org/blog/2019/1/9/npla-unveils-inaugural-fellowship-cohort-focused-on-political-research-and-civic-engagement. ^
  23. Larsen, Emily. “Unusual ‘fellowship’ paid high-profile, repeat Democratic candidates between runs.” Washington Examiner. October 6, 2020. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/unusual-fellowship-paid-high-profile-repeat-democratic-candidates-between-runs. ^
  24. “Candidate Report: Ms. Amy M McGrath.” United States Senate Financial Disclosures. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://efdsearch.senate.gov/search/view/annual/a56fd193-9162-4c24-ab74-a6ba239d999e/. ^
  25. “NPLA Unveils Inaugural Fellowship Cohort Focused on Political Research and Civic Engagement.” New Politics Leadership Academy. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.newpoliticsacademy.org/blog/2019/1/9/npla-unveils-inaugural-fellowship-cohort-focused-on-political-research-and-civic-engagement. ^
  26. Larsen, Emily. “Unusual ‘fellowship’ paid high-profile, repeat Democratic candidates between runs.” Washington Examiner. October 6, 2020. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/unusual-fellowship-paid-high-profile-repeat-democratic-candidates-between-runs. ^
  27. “Massachusetts Primary Election Results: Third House District.” New York Times. September 6, 2018. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/massachusetts-house-district-3-primary-election. ^
  28. “Emily Cherniack.” LinkedIn. Accessed October 9, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilycherniack/. ^
  29. “New Politics: Overview.” Open Secrets. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail.php?ein=455493827&cycle=2018. ^
  30. “New Politics: Contributors.” Open Secrets. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail_contribs.php?cycle=2012&ein=455493827. ^
  31. “New Politics: Overview.” Open Secrets. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail.php?ein=455493827&cycle=2018. ^
  32. “New Politics: Contributors.” Open Secrets. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail_contribs.php?cycle=2012&ein=455493827. ^
  33. “New Politics: Overview.” Open Secrets. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail.php?ein=455493827&cycle=2018. ^
  34. “New Politics: Contributors.” Open Secrets. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail_contribs.php?cycle=2012&ein=455493827. ^
  35. “New Politics: Overview.” Open Secrets. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail.php?ein=455493827&cycle=2018. ^
  36. “New Politics: Contributors.” Open Secrets. Accessed October 7, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail_contribs.php?cycle=2012&ein=455493827. ^
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New Politics


Boston, MA