Progressive Turnout Project is a left-of-center political action committee based in Chicago, Illinois that supports Democratic Party candidates for public office. The main goal of the organization is to increase voter turnout for Democratic candidates. The organization appeals to what they claim are “key Democratic constituencies: young people, minorities and low-income people.”
PTP was founded in July 2015 with the goal of garnering Democratic votes in the 2016 election cycle. The PAC claims to have focused on 19 “competitive congressional districts” across the country but does not advertise the results of those districts in the election.1 2
Community Action Network
After the 2016 Election, Progressive Turnout Project created the Community Action Network (PTP-CAN) a network of left-leaning chapter entities that focus on local politics and aim to work as a liaison between elected officials and their constituents with the goal of overturning Trump administration policies. The “Action Center” page of each local CAN website contains links to petitions for members to sign that cover issues such as LGBT rights, immigration, environmentalist issues, and impeachment of Republican officials. 3 4
According to FEC filings, Progressive Turnout Project spent $432,048 during the 2016 election cycle. This total was spent advocating for 6 candidates running for Congress, all of whom were Democrats. During the 2018 election cycle, PTP upped its spending greatly, spending a total of $6,016,402. The PAC spent $5,524,228 for Democrats. The remaining $492,174 was spent against Republicans. Those opposed were Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), whom the PAC spent $4,200 opposing and now-Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), whom the organization spent $487,974 opposing.5
Harry Pascal is the founder of Progressive Turnout Project. He previously worked as a self-employed CPA, and as a treasurer for the campaigns of Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Dan Seals, an Illinois Democrat who was defeated by Republican candidates in 2006, 2008, and 2010. 6
Alex Morgan is the executive director of Progressive Turnout Project. He previously worked as an organizer for Sierra Club, one of the largest left-leaning environmentalist organizations in the United States. He also worked as a field director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and as a state coordinator for Obama for America during President Obama’s original 2008 election campaign.7
Priyal Amin is the communications director of PTP.
Progressive Turnout Project is funded significantly through small individual donations. The PAC uses ActBlue, a fundraising platform that caters specifically to left-of-center candidates and organizations, to receive donations. PTP paid ActBlue $856,380 during the 2018 election cycle.9 Progressive Turnout Project also hired Mothership Strategies, a controversial Democratic-aligned political consultancy.10
PTP Spent $234,774 in direct donations to candidates during the 2018 election cycle, all of which were Democrats. 11
- “Who We Are.” Progressive Turnout Project. Accessed May 11, 2019. https://www.turnoutpac.org/who-we-are/.
- “What We Do.” Progressive Turnout Project. Accessed May 11, 2019. https://www.turnoutpac.org/what-we-do/
- “Community Action Network: Action Center.” Turnoutaction.org. Accessed May 11, 2019. Turnoutaction.org/action/#petition-1251
- “About Us.” Community Action Network. Accessed May 11, 2019. https://www.turnoutaction.org/about/
- “Progressive Turnout Project: Independent Expenditures, Communication Costs and Coordinated Expenses as of March 26, 2019.” OpenSecrets.com https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/indexpend.php?cycle=2018&cmte=C00580068
- “User Profile: Harry Pascal.” LinkedIn.com. Accessed May 11, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/in/harry-pascal-6908b7b/.
- “User Profile: Alex Morgan.” LinkedIn.com. Accessed May 11, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandermorgan/
- “User Profile: Leigh Heckman.” LinkedIn.com. Accessed May 11, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/in/leigh-heckman-54729491/.
- “Progressive Turnout Project: Expenditures, 2018 cycle.” OpenSecrets.com. Accessed May 11, 2019.
- “PROGRESSIVE TURNOUT PROJECT – Committee Overview.” FEC.gov. Accessed May 17, 2019. https://www.fec.gov/data/committee/C00580068/?cycle=2018&tab=spending.
- “Progressive Turnout Project: Contributions to Federal Candidates, 2018 cycle.” OpenSecrets.com. Accessed May 11, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgot.php?cmte=C00580068&cycle=2018