Public Campaign

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Public Campaign is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that aims to reduce the role of special interest money in American politics. Public Campaign works to bring publicly funded elections to local, state, and federal elections. Currently, seven states and two cities have some form of publicly funded elections.[1]

Based in Washington, DC, Public Campaign was founded in 1997.

Public Campaign, an organization whose board of directors consists of eight individuals,[2] has published several reports over the years about the role of money in the political process, including the Color of Money report, that detailed that a majority of campaign contributions to presidential candidates are from upper class white neighborhoods.

In December 2011, Public Campaign published a report detailing the tax avoidance and lobbying efforts conducted by 30 very large American corporations between 2008 and 2010. The report states that of the 30 companies, 29 paid no taxes and received tax rebates totaling $10.6 billion, while spending $475.6 million on lobbying (or $400,000 per day, including weekends) and $22 million on federal campaigns, while in some cases increasing executive compensation ($706 million altogether in 2010) and laying off tens of thousands of workers.[3]

Public Campaign is a 501(c)(3) organization which pays no taxes and receives tax-deductible contributions. Unlike a 501(c)(4) — contributions to which are not tax deductible — as a 501(c)(3) "it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities."[4]

Nick Nyhart[edit]

Nick Nyhart is the president and CEO of Public Campaign.[5][6] Prior to his role at Public Campaign, Nyhart directed a six-state campaign finance organizing project for Northeast Action for initiatives on publicly funded elections in Maine and Massachusetts.[citation needed] He previously worked as a community organizer on electoral coalition politics and other political issues in Connecticut.[citation needed]


  1. ^ About Us; Public Campaign website; April, 2015
  2. ^ "Board of Directors and Funders". Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Portero, Ashley. "30 Major U.S. Corporations Paid More to Lobby Congress Than Income Taxes, 2008-2010". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 26 December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Exemption requirements: 501(c)(3) organizations". 
  5. ^ "How to 'drain the swamp'". SFGate. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "When Money Talks, Do Voters Lose? (5 Letters)". Retrieved 5 November 2014. 

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