MoveOn.org has received plenty of attention for being an influential online grassroots political group, but MoveOn’s popular image is largely hype.
To begin with, MoveOn is not a ‘grassroots’ political organization. Among the current definitions of ‘grassroots’ political groups in use (innovative, based on the support and leadership of average individuals, not related to a political party) virtually none except for not having ties to a party seem applicable.
While many have touted MoveOn as innovative, this isn’t even accurate.
There were popular online political communities long before MoveOn.
The conservative online community FreeRepublic.com, for example, predates MoveOn by nearly two years and was organizing a march on Washington through the Internet before MoveOn existed!
Another misconception of MoveOn is that it receives all its money from average people.
As the Associated Press reported last year, MoveOn received $3.9 million from … three people!
Billionaire George Soros, for example, contributed $1.46 million to MoveOn.org and another $5 million dollars to another grassroots-sounding liberal group called ‘Americans Coming Together.’
Billionaire Peter Lewis has also pledged up to $5 million to MoveOn.
Not only are these massive donations undemocratic, but also may even be illegal.
Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold, authors of the McCain-Feingold bill, have both decried such donations.
McCain has threatened to sue the Federal Exchange Commission for evading their obligation to enforce the law and stop these soft money contributions.
According to McCain, ‘the use of soft money contributions by ‘527 groups’