American Action Network
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political viewpoint:
Conservative
2016 election spending:
$5,559,198
(Source: The Center for Responsive Politics)
type:
501(c)(4)
date created:
2010
location:
Washington D.C.
description:
American Action Network describes itself as an “action tank” looking to promote and implement center-right policies. AAN was founded by former Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman and Fred Malek, finance chairman of the Republican Governors Association Executive Roundtable. The network has two sister organizations: the American Action Forum, which produces policy research, and the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC, which focuses on “protecting and strengthening the Republican Majority” in the U.S. House of Representatives. Several groups, including Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have filed complaints against AAN with the IRS and FEC, arguing that the group violated its 501(c)(4) status by engaging primarily in political activities, rather than social welfare.
involvement in federal and state elections:
The American Action Network has supported conservative candidates in U.S. House and Senate races. In the 2010 election cycle, the group spent almost $19 million, placing it behind only the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in dark money expenditures.   In the 2012 election cycle, the organization spent at least $10.5 million on attack ads targeting Democratic candidates and less than $1 million on ads against Republicans. It spent $310,000 supporting Republican candidates.   In the 2014 election cycle, AAN spent at least $8.6 million attacking Democrats, and a little over $200,000 against Republicans in the primary. In the 2016 election cycle, the organization spent a little over $5 million supporting Republican candidates and opposing Democratic ones.
known donors:
American Action Network received $4.5 million from the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America in 2010 and $1.5 million in 2012; and it received $500,000 from another politically active conservative nonprofit group, Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, in 2011. AAN and Crossroads GPS shared office space in 2010.
candidates supported:
Richard Hudson (R-NC, House), John M Shimkus (R-IL, House), Bill Shuster (R-PA, House)
candidates opposed:
Ami Bera (D-CA, House), Bryan Caforio (D-CA, House), Rick Nolan (D-MN, House), Helene Schneider (D-CA, House)
political ads: