Nearly two years ahead of the first open presidential race since 2008, MoveOn has pledged at least $1 million to help Warren after gaining majority approval in a vote put to its 8 million members. According to a Tuesday press release, the money will go toward staffing offices in caucus states as well as advertising in the initiative they’re calling “Run Warren Run.”
The current icon of the progressive movement, Warren got MoveOn’s backing early. The group bundled more than $2 million in donations for her successful 2012 bid against Scott Brown, making the group Warren’s largest career donor.
While the potential GOP field is crowded, the long-held presumption among the bulk of Democrats is that if Hillary Clinton runs, most other viable candidates will stay out of her way. MoveOn is seeking to prevent that from happening, and it wouldn’t be the first time the organization has supported one of Clinton’s Democratic opponents.
MoveOn endorsed then-Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination in February 2008 — four days before Super Tuesday. Acting as a conduit, MoveOn bundled $1.8 million for Obama in 2008 and spent more than $6 million on advertising for Obama and against Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Ironically, MoveOn’s inception was an online petition in support of President Bill Clinton, urging Congress to “Censure President Clinton and Move On to Pressing Issues Facing the Nation.” A decade later the group proved it wasn’t beholden to the Clintons by supporting Obama.
Clinton has long been a popular candidate on Wall Street, as both a New York Senator and presidential candidate. The securities and investment industry made up for $7.3 million of Clinton’s campaign donations during her presidential run and five or her top eight donors were Wall Street firms. As a senator, Clinton’s top two donors were Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.
MoveOn’s structure differs from most large political organizations, actually consisting of two separate organizations. It acts as a conduit — bundling small donations from its vast member network and also makes independent expenditures on advertising.
John Sugden is the Center’s fall 2014 reporting intern. He has a B.A. in history from Virginia Tech and an M.A. in journalism and public affairs from American University. He previously worked at LegiStorm and as a freelance researcher.
This article first appeared in OpenSecrets.org. Click here to go to the original.