Center For American Progress


Introduction


The Center for American Progress (CAP) is a decidedly left-of-center public policy research and advocacy organization. The Center for American Progress supports strict energy regulations, universal health care and affirmative action programs. Climate Progress, one of the Center for American Progress’ blogs, promotes an extreme climate change agenda.[1]

The Center for American Progress has lobbied U.S. leaders to ratify the Kyoto Treaty – a treaty that critics suggest could cut current U.S. energy consumption by 30 percent.[2]

History and Mission


On its website, the Center for American Progress states that it is “dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action.”[3] News columnist Robert Dreyfuss reported in the March 1, 2004 edition of The Nation: “The idea for the Center began with discussions in 2002 between Morton Halperin and George Soros, the billionaire investor. Halperin, who heads the office of Soros’ Open Society Institute, brought [former Clinton chief of staff John] Podesta into the discussion, and beginning in late 2002 Halperin and Podesta circulated a series of papers to funders.”[4]

Those two got Harold Ickes, chief fundraiser and former deputy chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, to help organize the Center for American Progress. The American Majority Institute was launched on July 7, 2003. The name was changed to the Center for American Progress (CAP) on September 1, 2003. CAP has a campus outreach program, Campus Progress, and a sister advocacy organization, the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Of CAP, Hillary Clinton said, “[w]e need some new intellectual capital. There has to be some thought given as to how we build the 21st century policies that reflect the Democratic Party’s values.”[5] Moreover, Clinton stated, “[w]e’ve had the challenge of filling a void on our side of the ledger for a long time, while the other side created an infrastructure that has come to dominate political discourse. The Center is a welcome effort to fill that void.”[6]

CAP Connection to Clintons and Obama


CAP's former President and CEO, John D. Podesta, is a former Chief of Staff to then-President Bill Clinton. In October 2011, Ben Smith of Politico reported that Podesta was stepping down as CAP's President and CEO to serve as a volunteer to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.[7] Citing Podesta’s influence in the formation of the Obama Administration, a November 2008 Time article stated that “not since the Heritage Foundation helped guide Ronald Reagan’s transition in 1981 has a single outside group held so much sway.”[8] Robert Dreyfuss noted in The Nation, “[i]n looking at Podesta’s center, there’s no escaping the imprint of the Clintons. It’s not completely wrong to see it as a shadow government, a kind of Clinton White-House-in-exile, or a White House staff in readiness for President Hillary Clinton.”[9] Dreyfuss also noted the abundance of Clintonites on the Center’s staff, including Clinton’s national security speechwriter Robert Boorstin; Democratic Leadership Council staffer and former head of Clinton’s National Economic Council Gene Sperling; and former senior advisor to Clinton’s Office of Management and Budget Matt Miller.[10]

After Barack Obama was elected President in 2008, CAP was influential in advising the new administration. Among Obama’s leading advisers were John Podesta and at least ten additional CAP experts.[11]

CAP and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill


On April 20, 2010, a deepwater oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico killing 11 people. For months oil gushed from the well at a rate of 35,000 to 60,000 barrels per day.[12] The U.S. government recognizes British Petroleum (BP) as the responsible party.[13] CAP’s influence on the Obama administration is evident in Obama’s spill policy.

On May 4, 2010, the Center for American Progress’ energy and environment expert, Daniel Weiss, “called on the president to name an independent commission to look at the causes of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.”[14] On May 22, 2010, Obama did just that. Then, on May 21, 2010, Center for American Progress president John Podesta “privately implored White House officials to name someone to be the public point person for the spill response.”[15] A week later, the White House “announced that Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen would hold daily briefings on the spill, wherever he would be on any given day.”[16]

Leadership (as of November 2011)


John Podesta, (former) President and Chief Executive Officer (2009 Compensation, $238,262)
Sarah Wartell, Executive VP for Management (2009 Compensation, $245,675.00)
David Halperin, Senior VP and Director, Campus Progress (2009 Compensation, $196,145)
John Norris, Executive Director of the Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative (2009 Compensation, ($202,490)
Lawrence Korb, Fellow (2009 Compensation, $207,209)
Tom Daschle, Distinguished Senior Fellow

Funding


Wal-Mart reported in 2010 that it had donated at least $500,000 to CAP. [17]

In the 2010-11 fiscal year, the National Education Association (the largest labor union in the United States) donated $25,000 to the CAP.[18]

In 2008, noting CAP's close ties to the then-incoming Obama Administration, Ben Smith and Chris Frates, writing an opinion piece in Politico, criticized CAP for keeping "many of its donors secret." [19]

According to Discover the Networks, "the Center For American Progress raised $13 million in 2003.[20] Part of that money came from George Soros, who had pledged $3 million, to be paid in $1 million increments over three years. Other donors to the Center For American Progress include the Rockefeller Family Fund, the Irving Harris Foundation, the Philip Murphy Foundation, the New York Community Trust, the San Francisco Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Open Society Institute, and the Robert and Irene Schwartz Foundation."[21]

In 2009, the Center for American Progress had total revenues of $36,600,935.[22]


Contact Information

1333 H St, NW
10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-682-1611
Email: progress@americanprogress.org
Web: http://www.americanprogress.org



The National Center For Public Policy Research publishes GroupSnoop. The National Center is a non-profit communications and research foundation that supports free-market and pro-Constitution approaches to today’s policy problems. The National Center is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters, receiving less than one percent of its revenue from corporate sources. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated!

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  1. ^ For a discussion of CAPs distorted research, see http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2009/04/03/global-warming-debate-morano-vs-climateprogresss-romm, downloaded September 7, 2010.
  2. ^ Amy Ridenour, “Meeting the Climate Challenge: Left-of-Center Groups Warn of Impending Doom,” National Policy Analysis, February 2005, #522, downloaded from http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA522ClimateAmericanProgress.html
    on September 7, 2010.
  3. ^ Center for American Progress, “About the Center for American Progress,” downloaded from http://www.americanprogress.org/aboutus on June 8, 2010.
  4. ^ Robert Dreyfuss, “An Idea Factory for the Democrats,” The Nation, March 1, 2004, downloaded from http://www.thenation.com/article/idea-factory-democrats on June 8, 2010.
  5. ^ Matt Bai, “Notion Building,” New York Times Magazine, October 12, 2003, downloaded from
    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/12/magazine/notion-building.html?scp=6&sq=Center+for+American+Progress%2C+Hillary+Clinton&st=nyton June 8, 2010.
  6. ^ Matt Bai, “Notion Building,” New York Times Magazine, October 12, 2003, downloaded from http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/12/magazine/notion-building.html?scp=6&sq=Center+for+American+Progress%2C+Hillary+Clinton&st=nyt on June 8, 2010.
  7. ^ Ben Smith, "John Podesta to Step Down at Center for American Progress President," Politico, October 24, 2011, available at
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/66742.html as of November 22, 2011.
  8. ^ Michael Scherer, “Inside Obama's Idea Factory in Washington,” Time magazine, November 21, 2008, downloaded from http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1861305,00.html on June 8, 2010.</ ref>
  9. ^ Robert Dreyfuss, “An Idea Factory for the Democrats,” The Nation, March 1, 2004, downloaded from http://www.thenation.com/article/idea-factory-democratson June 8, 2010.
  10. ^ Robert Dreyfuss, “An Idea Factory for the Democrats,” The Nation, March 1, 2004, downloaded from http://www.thenation.com/article/idea-factory-democrats on June 8, 2010.
  11. ^ Edwin Chen, “Soros-Funded Democratic Idea Factory Becomes Obama Policy Front,” Bloomberg, November 18, 2008, downloaded from http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=washingtonstory&sid=aF7fB1PF0NPg on June 8, 2010.
  12. ^ Nicolas Johnston and Joshua Gallu, “Emanuel Says U.S. Pushed BP to Be More Aggressive on Oil Spill,” Business Week, June 21, 2010, downloaded from http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-06-21/emanuel-says-u-s-pushed-bp-to-be-more-aggressive-on-oil-spill.htmlon July 2, 2010.
  13. ^ Nicolas Johnston and Joshua Gallu, “Emanuel Says U.S. Pushed BP to Be More Aggressive on Oil Spill,” Business Week, June 21, 2010, downloaded from http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-06-21/emanuel-says-u-s-pushed-bp-to-be-more-aggressive-on-oil-spill.html on July 2, 2010.
  14. ^ Jonathan Weisman, “WH Takes Cues from Liberal Think Tank on Spill,” Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2010, downloaded from http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/06/14/wh-takes-cues-from-liberal-think-tank-on-spill/on June 23, 2010.
  15. ^ Jonathan Weisman, “WH Takes Cues from Liberal Think Tank on Spill,” Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2010, downloaded from http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/06/14/wh-takes-cues-from-liberal-think-tank-on-spill/on June 23, 2010.
  16. ^ Jonathan Weisman, “WH Takes Cues from Liberal Think Tank on Spill,” Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2010, downloaded from http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/06/14/wh-takes-cues-from-liberal-think-tank-on-spill/ on June 23, 2010.
  17. ^ Walmartstores.com reported on its "Major Contributions" page on January 2, 2010 that it had recently made a donation in the range of $500,000-$999,000 to the Center for American Progress, as accessed via webarchive.org at
    http://web.archive.org/web/20100102031431/http ://walmartstores.com/CommunityGiving/204.aspx on October 14, 2011.
  18. ^ Mike Antonucci, “NEA Gave More than $18.8 Million to Advocacy Groups,” Hot Air, January 9, 2011, available at http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2012/01/09/nea-gave-more-than-18-8-million-to-advocacy-groups/ as of January 11, 2012.
  19. ^ Ben Smith and Chris Frates, "Where's Transparency of Podesta Group?," Politico, December 8, 2008, available at
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1208/16318.html as of October 14, 2011.
  20. ^ “Center for American Progress,” discoverthenetworks.org, downloaded from http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6709 on June 8, 2010.
  21. ^ “Center for American Progress,” discoverthenetworks.org, downloaded from http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6709 on June 8, 2010.
  22. ^ Revenue figures downloaded from guidstar.org on October 17, 2011.