Public Campaign is a non-profit, liberal 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.
Based in Washington, DC, Public Campaign was founded in 1997. Nick Nyhart is the president of the organization.
Public Campaign, an organization whose board of directors includes prominent liberals and progressives, 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.
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."
An example of a problem with special interest money in politics is the current lobbing against a Cap and Trade system to mitigate CO2 emissions.
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