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File:Moveon logo.png
Formation 1998
7 million[1]
Website is an American, non-profit, progressive public policy advocacy group and political action committee.[2] Formed in 1998 in response to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton by the U.S. House of Representatives, has raised millions of dollars for candidates it identifies as "progressives" in the United States.[2] It also runs a petition Website similar to[2]


MoveOn comprises two legal entities, organized under different sections of U.S. tax and election laws. Civic Action is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation,[2] and was formerly called It focuses on education and advocacy on national issues. Political Action is a federal political action committee, and was formerly known as MoveOn PAC. It contributes to the campaigns of many candidates across the country. MoveOn describes the legal structure of the Civic Action that of "a California nonprofit public-benefit corporation" and Political Action that of "a California nonprofit mutual benefit corporation," and refers to both corporations collectively as "MoveOn".[3]

Anna Galland is the executive director of Civic Action and Ilya Sheyman is the executive director of Political Action.[1] The president of MoveOn's board is former executive director, Justin Ruben. Co-founder Joan Blades is also on the board. Past board members include co-founder Wes Boyd, former executive director Eli Pariser, and former Chief Operating Officer Carrie Olson.


MoveOn started in 1998 as an e-mail group,, created by software entrepreneurs Joan Blades and Wes Boyd, the married cofounders of Berkeley Systems. They started by passing around a petition asking Congress to "censure President Clinton and move on", as opposed to impeaching him. The petition, passed around by word of mouth, gathered half a million signatures but did not dissuade Congress from impeaching the President.[4] The couple went on to start similar campaigns calling for arms inspections rather than an invasion of Iraq, and campaign finance reform.

Since 1998, MoveOn has raised millions of dollars for many Democratic candidates.[5] In November 2007, a drive spearheaded by MoveOn caused Facebook to change its controversial new "Beacon" program, which notified Facebook users about purchases by people on their friends list.[6]

Since the 2000 election cycle, the MoveOn PAC has endorsed and supported the campaigns of candidates, including the 2008 presidential candidacy of Democrat Barack Obama.[7]

In 2007, MoveOn was a co-founder of Avaaz, a similar organization with an international focus.[citation needed]

In 2016, MoveOn endorsed U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders for President of the United States after holding online elections in which 340,665 members reportedly cast their ballot. 78.6 percent of these supported the junior Senator from Vermont, while 14.6 percent and 0.9 percent threw themselves behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, respectively.[8] [9]

Communication methods has advertised in new and traditional media formats, with publicity strategies including billboards, bus signs, and bumper stickers.[10]

MoveOn has collaborated with groups in organizing street demonstrations, bake sales, house parties, and other opportunities.[11]

Changes in federal election laws have impacted groups like MoveOn. The McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform legislation, which went into effect in 2002, allows political parties to raise larger amounts of "hard money" contributions, but bans unlimited soft money contributions to the national political parties and prohibits federal officeholders from soliciting "soft money."[12] MoveOn, like many other political organizations which sought to influence the 2004 election, was able to circumvent this legislation using a 527 group, which became inactive in 2005 and closed in 2008.[13]

In preparation for the 2006 midterm elections, MoveOn created a new system for soliciting potential voters named Call for Change. As part of the Call for Change effort, MoveOn reported that it placed over seven million phone calls to registered voters.[14]

On May 16, 2011, debuted, a non-profit hosting service for Internet petitions, and in 2013, became MoveOn Petitions. The MoveOn Petitions campaigning platform competes with other, similar hosts such as, Avaaz and PetitionOnline.[citation needed]

Financial contributors

Contributors to during the 2004 election cycle included financier George Soros who gave US$1.46 million to Voter Fund; Peter B. Lewis, chief executive of the Progressive Corp., who gave US$500,000 to Voter Fund.[15]


MoveOn was criticized by the Anti-Defamation League, among others, when a member-submitted ad which drew parallels between President George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler was submitted to their online ad contest "Bush in 30 Seconds". The ad was part of an online MoveOn-sponsored contest during the 2004 presidential election in which members were invited to create and submit political ads challenging President Bush and his administration.[16][17] The advertisement was quickly pulled off the website.[16]

Fox News criticized the organization after it successfully encouraged the 2008 Democratic presidential candidates not to attend two debates sponsored by the network. Fox News advisor David Rhodes and the network's commentators Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly have also made accusations that "owns" the Democratic Party and George Soros owns[18][19]

Google and MoveOn have been accused of selective adherence to trademark law for removing ads from Google Adwords for Maine Senator Susan Collins, citing infringement of MoveOn trademarks.[20][21] Wired stated on October 15, 2007 that the "left-leaning political advocacy group,, is backing down" and will allow Google to show the ads. communications director Jennifer Lindenauer said: "We don't want to support a policy that denies people freedom of expression."[22]

On June 17, 2008, MoveOn emailed its members stating that it had produced "the most effective TV ad we've ever created."[23] The ad depicts a mother telling Republican and former presidential nominee John McCain that she will not let him use her infant son, Alex, as a soldier in the war in Iraq. Subsequent to the ad's release, Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show, "praised" MoveOn for "10 years of making even people who agree with you cringe."[24] The New York Times op/ed contributor Bill Kristol criticized the ad in an essay, including pointing to the fact that the "United States has an all-volunteer Army. Alex won’t be drafted, and his mommy can’t enlist him. He can decide when he’s an adult whether he wants to serve."[25]

David Petraeus advertising controversy

MoveOn was criticized by 31 Republican senators and one independent senator for running a print ad in The New York Times that questioned the personal integrity of General David Petraeus, with headlines such as "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" and "Cooking the Books for the White House".[26] On September 20, 2007, the Senate passed an amendment by Republican John Cornyn of Texas designed to "strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus". All forty-nine Republican Senators, as well as twenty-two Democratic Senators, voted in support.[27] The House passed a similar resolution by a 341-79 vote on September 26, 2007.[28]

On September 20, 2007, The Washington Post stated: "Democrats blamed the group for giving moderate Republicans a ready excuse for staying with Bush and for giving Bush and his supporters a way to divert attention away from the war."[5][29][30]

The New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt later stated in an op-ed that MoveOn was mistakenly charged US$77,000 less for the ad than it should have been under Times policies,[31] and MoveOn announced that it would pay The New York Times the difference in price.[32] ran more ads using a 'betrayal' theme, with TV spots targeting former President Bush and former presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.[33][34] Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani ran his own full-page ad in The New York Times on September 14, 2007.[35][36][37] Giuliani asked for and received a similar reduced fee as, paying US$65,000.[38][39]


  • MoveOn. (2004). MoveOn's 50 Ways to Love Your Country. Maui, Hawaii: Inner Ocean Pub. ISBN 1-930722-29-X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Laura Dawn (ed.), ed. (2006). It Takes a Nation: How Strangers Became Family in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina. foreword by Barack Obama, photographs by C.B. Smith. Earth Aware. ISBN 1-932771-86-7. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Terkel, Amanda; Grim, Ryan (December 5, 2012). "MoveOn Moving On: Progressive Powerhouse Launches Radical Strategic Overhaul". Huffington Post. Retrieved 6 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "What is MoveOn™?". Retrieved 6 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "MoveOn Volunteer Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Agreement". Retrieved 2010-12-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. McNally, Terrence (June 24, 2004). "MoveOn as an Instrument of the People". AlterNet. Retrieved 16 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 Bacon Jr., Perry (September 21, 2007). "MoveOn Unmoved By Furor Over Ad Targeting Petraeus". Washington Post. Retrieved 16 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Liedtke, Michael (2007-11-30). "Facebook revamps new advertising system", Huffington Post, November 30, 2007.
  7. "MoveOn Endorsement Throws Progressive Weight Behind Barack Obama" (Press release). 2008-02-01. Retrieved 2008-02-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Sanders campaign endorsed by". The Big Story. Retrieved 2016-01-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Sheyman, Ilya. (2007-11-30). "The Top 5 Reasons MoveOn Members Voted to Endorse Bernie (with the Most Votes and Widest Margin in Our History)",, January 12, 2016.
  10. " becomes anti-Bush powerhouse". CNN. 2004-01-13. Archived from the original on September 9, 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Hazen, Don (2003-02-11). "Moving On: A New Kind of Peace Activism". AlterNet. Archived from the original on 2006-10-18. Retrieved 2006-10-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Glossary of Terms: Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA)". Center for Responsive Politics.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Johnson, Sasha (2008-06-20). shutters its 527.
  14. " Political Action: Democracy in Action". Retrieved 2010-02-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Democrats Forming Parallel Campaign". Washington Post. 2004-03-10. Retrieved 2007-09-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Hitler Ad Should Never Have Appeared On". Retrieved 2008-04-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "PR Newswire: Public Interest Services". Retrieved 2007-09-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Hennessey, Kathleen (March 9, 2007). "Nevada Democrats cancel candidate debate co-hosted by Fox News". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2007-09-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Dems cancel debate over Fox chief's Obama joke". CNN. 2007-03-10. Retrieved 2007-09-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Sen. Susan Collins' Web Ads Run Up Against Google,". 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2010-02-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Chavez, Pablo (2007-10-12). "Our advertising policies and political speech". Google Public Policy Blog. Retrieved 2010-02-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Stirland, Sarah Lai (2007-10-15). "Reverses: Allows Critical Ads on Google".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Baby's mom tells McCain in new ad: "You can't have him"". Retrieved 2010-02-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Kakutani, Michiko (2008-08-17). "Television: Is Jon Stewart the Most Trusted Man in America?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. Kristol, William (2008-06-23). "Op-Ed Columnist: Someone Else's Alex". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "GOP calls on top Senate Dem to condemn anti-Petraeus ad". CNN. 2007-09-10. Retrieved 2007-09-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 110th Congress - 1st Session". United States Senate. Archived from the original on April 28, 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. Taylor, Andrew (September 26, 2007). "House Condemns's Petraeus Ad, 341-79". The Associated Press. Common Dreams. Archived from the original on July 2, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. Flaherty, Anne (2007-09-20). "Senate Condemns "General Betray Us" Ad". Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-09-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. Marre, Klaus (2007-09-26). "House overwhelmingly condemns MoveOn ad". The Hill. Retrieved 2007-09-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. Hoyt, Mark (2007-09-23). "Betraying Its Own Best Interests". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. Vekshin, Alison (2007-09-23). " Says It Will Pay Times More for Controversial Ad". Retrieved 2007-09-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. "Anger over 'Betray Us' Ad Simmers on Hill" in NPR
  34. "Putting the moves on" in The Toronto Star
  35. "Giuliani Plans Full-Page Ad Defending Petraeus -".<!. 2007-09-14. Retrieved 2010-02-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. Seelye, Katharine Q. (2007-09-14). "Angered by an Antiwar Ad, Giuliani Seeks Equal Space". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  37. "Rudy Blasts Hillary Again Over MoveOn Ad, Giuliani Continues To Call For Clinton To Denounce Petraeus Ad, Apologize - CBS News". CBS News<!. 2007-09-17. Retrieved 2010-02-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. Seelye, Katharine Q. (2007-09-14). "Giuliani slams New York Times over anti-Petraeus ad - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2010-02-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  39. "General Petraeus ad nets Giuliani big bucks from donors". 2007-09-15. Retrieved 2010-02-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links