Democratic Leadership Council

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) was co-founded in 1985 by Will Marshall, who served as its first Policy Director and who is the founder and President of DLC's think tank, the Progressive Policy Institute. DLC counts among its past chairs former President Bill Clinton, Congressman Richard Gephardt, and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman. [1] Current chairman is Senator Harold Ford.





"The DLC publishes a daily newsletter, the New Dem Daily [currently links to the New Dem Dispatch][2], and a periodical called Blueprint Magazine (published four to six times per year), which advocate moderately leftwing social, political, and economic agendas for America. Despite its open hostility to Republicans and its open cheerleading for Democrats in both the New Dem Daily and Blueprint Magazine, the DLC identifies itself as a tax-exempt nonprofit that is 'not a political committee and not set up to influence elections.'" [3]

New Donkey .com

The website is "an unofficial weblog sponsored by the Democratic Leadership Council, written by a veteran operative with one foot in the world of ideas and another in the world of practical politics -- in other words, a two-legged New Democrat, or new donkey." [4]

"So here's the deal: New Dem Daily -- think authoritative, institutional voice, magisterially surveying the political and policy landscape and delivering, on schedule, op-ed length gems of wisdom; -- think pithier, and more irregular posts, often simply linking to material of interest, varied by the occasional smart-ass riposte or high-dudgeon tirade." [5]


"Freeing Democrats from being, well, Democrats has been the Democratic Leadership Council's mission since its founding 16 years ago by Al Gore, Chuck Robb, and a handful of other conservative, mostly southern Dems as a rump faction of disaffected elected officials and party activists. Producing and directing the DLC is Al From, its founder and CEO, who's been the leader, visionary, and energizing force behind the New Democrat movement since Day One." --Robert Dreyfuss, The American Prospect, April 23, 2001.


An August, 2000 Newsweek story on Joe Liebermn, The Soul And The Steel[1] reveals that some of the early funding came from ARCO, Chevron, Merck, Du Pont, Microsoft, Philip Morris and Koch Industries:

His selection may also complicate Gore's efforts to depict Bush as a patsy for big business. Since 1995 Lieberman has chaired the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), the centrist think tank that eschews liberal dogma and promotes market-oriented approaches to policy. Like many similar groups, the DLC (of which Gore is a founding member) has never disclosed its funding sources. But last week, in response to requests from NEWSWEEK, it turned over a list of top donors. If Gore still hopes to score populist points by bashing Big Oil and pharmaceutical companies that oppose his plan to add a prescription-drug entitlement to Medicare, he may have some explaining to do. Among the DLC's biggest benefactors last year (contributions of between $50,000 and $100,000) were ARCO, Chevron and the drug giant Merck. Other big underwriters include Du Pont, Microsoft and Philip Morris (which has kicked in $500,000 since Lieberman became DLC chairman). There is no evidence that the DLC has trimmed policies to accommodate its patrons, but some contributors say the money has helped ensure an open door to Lieberman. "We've been able to have a dialogue with the senator and his staff," said Jay Rosser, spokesman for another DLC benefactor, Koch Industries, an oil-pipeline firm that is also a big GOP donor.


"The DLC characterizes itself as the 'founding organization of the New Democratic movement,' the goal of which is to 'modernize the progressive tradition in American politics.' The DLC further highlights its commitment to a 'Third Way' agenda that includes some apparently conservative as well as leftwing guiding principles." [6]

Contact details

Website: (Democratic Leadership Council) redirects to, New Democrats Online, "The Democratic Leadship Council's Online Community."


Former Chairs

   * Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri (1985 - 1986)
   * Gov. Chuck Robb of Virginia (1986 - 1988)
   * Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia (1988 - 1990)
   * Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas (1990 - 1991)
   * Sen. John Breaux of Louisiana (1991 - 1993)
   * Rep. Dave McCurdy of Oklahoma (1993 - 1995)
   * Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut (1995 - 2001)
   * Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana (2001 - 2005)
   * Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa (2005 - 2007)
   * Former Rep. Harold Ford of Tennessee (2007 - present)

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links



Articles & Commentary


  1. Bill Turque, The Soul And The Steel, Newsweek, August 21, 2000. Retreived June 16, 2010.