The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) is a nationally-recognized watchdog that leads in-depth, award-winning investigations into the corruption that undermines our democracy, environment, and economic prosperity.
The Koch brothers and their network of billionaires are operating with a reach and resources that exceed those of political parties and they are using that power to erode the integrity of our elections and sap taxpayer dollars away from investments in public infrastructure, education, and healthcare to benefit narrow special interests and global corporations.
CMD’s investigations, public information requests, and lawsuits have ignited national conversations on money in politics and the distortion of U.S. law and democracy — at every level of government and in every region of the country. We believe in the public’s right to know how government operates and how corporations influence our democracy — and the true motivations for their actions. When necessary, CMD litigates to defend that right and ensure those in power follow the law.
Since CMD first exposed ALEC in 2011, more than 100 corporations have dropped ALEC, including Verizon, Ford, Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, General Electric, and Google. As a result of that ongoing investigation and other reporting, CMD is often contacted by whistleblowers wanting to make a difference. CMD has also researched the array of groups that are part of ALEC, including numerous Koch-funded entities and national and state “think tanks” that are affiliated with the State Policy Network.
CMD files more than 1,000 public information requests each year. This investigative watchdog work has broken through in the national debate. For example, CMD exposed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s deep ties to the fossil fuel industry and revealed lobbyist efforts to hide Chamber of Commerce members’ overwhelming support for raising the minimum wage and providing paid sick leave, among other groundbreaking investigations.
CMD’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, POLITICO, the Guardian, Bloomberg, WIRED, Vice, The Atlantic and Buzzfeed as well as on CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, PBS, NPR, The Daily Show, and Last Week with John Oliver. We also partner with investigative writers at The Intercept and ProPublica to publish new reports and findings.