Democracy Forward (DF) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization which was founded in 2017 “to help expose the rampant corruption in the Executive Branch” of the federal government “and fight it in court on behalf of the people it hurts.” Toward that end, DF since its inception has aggressively and relentlessly targeted President Donald Trump and his political allies for their allegedly “unlawful actions.” As of December 2018, DF had filed approximately 60 separate lawsuits against the Trump Administration.
DF’s personnel consists entirely of committed Democrat activists, attorneys, strategists, and political operatives, many of whom have close ties to the Party’s most powerful figures and to organizations that promote all manner of Democrat agendas. Below is a list of some of DF’s key players as of January 2019:
- Executive Director Anne Harkavy is an attorney who previously served as Deputy National Counsel for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign; as a Senior Legal Advisor to the General Counsel of Obama For America (now known as Organizing For Action) in 2008; and as Deputy General Counsel for Litigation, Regulation and Enforcement for the U.S. Energy Department from 2013-16, under President Barack Obama.
- Senior Counsel Travis Annatoyn worked for more than five years at the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division during the Obama Administration.
- Special Assistant Rachel Chaney worked in Missouri as a Field Organizer for the unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of Democrat Jason Kander in 2016.
- Policy and Strategy Director Corey Ciorciari worked on Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign in 2008. He also has served as a Policy Advisor to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and to Hillary Clinton‘s 2016 run for the White House.
- Research Analyst Batul Contractor was a Research Associate on the Media Monitoring Team at Hillary For America in 2016. Ms. Contractor was also a member of the Special Projects Team at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
- Senior Counsel Adam Grogg served as a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Justice Department during the Obama Administration, from 2013-17.
- Legal Director Javier Guzman served in the Obama Justice Department as Deputy Associate Attorney General and Deputy Chief in the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.
- Operations Director Alex Hornbrook worked on the Obama-Biden general election campaign in 2007-08. In 2016 he was the Director of Scheduling for Vice President Joe Biden and for Hillary Clinton’s presidential run.
- Legal Analyst Allison Hunn worked on the policy and media planning teams for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. She subsequently served in the Obama Administration’s White House Office of Cabinet Affairs.
- Public Affairs Director Adam Jentleson was formerly a Deputy Chief of Staff to Senator Harry Reid.
- Legal analyst Rachael Klarman was the National Director for Young American Outreach at Enroll America, an organization that helped people sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
- Research and Investigations Director Sam Ritzman worked on Tim Kaine‘s 2006 gubernatorial campaign and Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid. In 2016 he was the Vice President and Research Director for Correct The Record, a rapid-response organization supporting Hillary Clinton’s second run for the White House.
- Legal Analyst Ben Seel worked as a community organizer with Organizing For America (later renamed Organizing For Action), which was launched in 2009 to promote the agendas of President Obama.
- Senior Counsel Nitin Shah served a stint as an attorney in the Office of Legal Counsel during the Obama Administration. He later became Chief of Staff and Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Division, where he supervised litigation defending Obama Administration policies.
- Senior Counsel Robin Thurston served as a trial attorney in the Federal Programs Branch of the Justice Department’s Civil Division during the Obama Administration.
- External Affairs Director Megan Uzzell served eight years at the U.S. Labor Department under President Obama.
DF’s Board of Directors likewise consists of hard-core Democrat activists. Board Chairman Marc Elias, for instance, is an attorney with the Perkins Coie law firm. He served as General Counsel for John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004, Lead Counsel for Al Franken‘s U.S. Senate run in 2008, and General Counsel for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid in 2016. During the 2016 election cycle, Elias infamously used Perkins Coie money to finance the so-called “Christopher Steele dossier” which levied all manner of false and defamatory accusations against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Elias’s political committee clients have included the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Democratic Governors Associations, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, Priorities USA, Senate Majority PAC, House Majority PAC, and EMILY’s List.
Below is a list of DF’s other Board Members (as of January 2019) and some of their more noteworthy affiliations:
- Maya Harris previously served as a Fellow at the Center for American Progress; a Vice President of Democracy, Rights, and Justice at the Ford Foundation; and a Senior Policy Advisor to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
- Ronald Klain was Chief of Staff for such notables as Attorney General Janet Reno, Vice President Al Gore, and Vice President Joe Biden. He was also appointed by President Obama as the “Ebola Czar” to coordinate administration policy in dealing with the disease’s sudden appearance in the United States in 2014.
- Mindy Myers worked in President Bill Clinton’s legislative affairs office; served as Deputy Director for Constituency Outreach for Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign; worked for Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle in 2004; managed Sheldon Whitehouse’s victorious 2006 Senate race and then became Whitehouse’s Chief of Staff; ran Barack Obama’s 2008 general election campaign in New Hampshire; ran Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s Senate race in 2010; and helped jump-start Elizabeth Warren‘s Senate campaign in 2012.
- Matthew Miller led the John Kerry presidential campaign’s Florida press operation in 2004. He also has worked for Senator Robert Menendez; served as Communications Director for the House Democratic Caucus and for Senator Charles Schumer at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; and served as Director of the Justice Department’s Public Affairs Office under Attorney General Eric Holder.
- Scott Nathan is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. He also was the Associate Director for General Government Programs at the Office of Management and Budget under President Obama. And he has served on the boards of such organizations as National Security Action, the Democracy Forward Foundation, the League of Conservation Voters, the Wilderness Society, the Trustees of Reservations, and the Alaska Conservation Foundation.
- John Podesta is a longtime Democrat operative who founded the Center for American Progress and chaired Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
- Faiz Shakir is the National Political Director of the ACLU. He previously served as a Senior Advisor to Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid, and as Vice President for Communications at the Center for American Progress, where he was a founding member of ThinkProgress.org.
Further Reading: DemocracyForward.com (“Who We Are“; “Lawsuits“; “Our Team“; “Our Board“); “Democracy Forward” (InfluenceWatch.org); “The Left’s Judicial Watch Knockoffs Targeting Trump” (Capital Research Center, 12-28-2018); “When Hillary Clinton Needs Advice, She Turns to Maya Harris” (Elle, 11-24-2016); “Ronald Klain” (OpenSecrets.org); “Meet the Woman [Mindy Myers] Behind Democrats’ Efforts to Win the Senate” (Roll Call, 3-11-2016); “Matthew Miller” (Vianovo.com); “Scott Nathan” (BelferCenter.org); “Faiz Shakir” (ACLU.org).