Defend democracy in the South.

campaign contributions

INSTITUTE INDEX: Uvalde massacre gunmaker is a major federal contractor and political donor

June 7, 2022 - Daniel Defense is the Georgia-based company that manufactured the AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle used in the massacre that left 19 schoolchildren and two teachers dead in Uvalde, Texas. The private company is a major federal contractor, inking its latest deal to provide arms for the U.S. Marshals Service 10 days after the Uvalde shooting. It's also been a generous contributor to Republican candidates and a pro-gun political action committee.   

The politicians who stood with the NRA after the Uvalde massacre

June 3, 2022 - The recent National Rifle Association convention in Houston took place just days after a gunman with an AR-15-style rifle killed 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in the Texas city of Uvalde. Some politicians scheduled to address the gathering canceled even before the shooting, some canceled afterwards — and some showed up anyway.

INSTITUTE INDEX: The election deniers running to oversee elections

April 22, 2022 - Scores of people who have publicly spread lies about the results of the 2020 presidential election are seeking to be governor, attorney, or secretary of state — offices that run, oversee, and protect elections. At least 19 of them are running in the seven Southern states holding elections for those offices this year.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Rick Perry's oily plans for an authoritarian America

January 6, 2022 - A text sent to the Trump White House the day after the 2020 election outlining a strategy to have the Supreme Court decide the outcome of the presidential race reportedly came from the phone of former Energy Secretary and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Championing the election's overthrow didn't dim Perry's job prospects, though: He resigned his Trump administration post that December and the following month became a director for the general partner of Energy Transfer, the Dallas-based pipeline company led by billionaire Trump backer and longtime Perry associate Kelcy Warren, whose interests Perry profitably championed in Washington.

INSTITUTE INDEX: How Build Back Better would transform dirty rural electric systems

December 1, 2021 - Born of the New Deal's anti-poverty initiatives, rural electric cooperatives today serve 42 million Americans, most in the South, Midwest, and Great Plains. They still depend heavily on coal, but the $1.8 trillion spending bill passed by the House has a provision giving billions of dollars to speed their transition to renewables. Will it survive corporate Democrats' obstructionism in the Senate?

INSTITUTE INDEX: An opening for change at the beleaguered U.S. Postal Service

November 19, 2021 - The term of Ron Bloom, chair of the U.S. Postal Service's Board of Governors, ends on Dec. 8, and hundreds of public-interest organizations are urging President Biden to replace him. They object to his support for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump appointee embroiled in numerous controversies over service cuts, financial conflicts of interest, wage theft, and a pattern of questionable campaign contributions at his former North Carolina-based logistics company.

INSTITUTE INDEX: How Entergy thwarted energy resilience in Louisiana

September 10, 2021 - Hurricane Ida's devastation of Louisiana's electric grid and the deadly power outages that resulted show the risk that highly centralized generation systems present in an era of increasingly destructive climate change-driven weather events. Yet Entergy — a Fortune 500 company that's the main power provider for the hard-hit southeastern part of the state, including New Orleans — has fought plans to move toward cleaner community-based generation. Will Ida mark a turning point?

INSTITUTE INDEX: Democratic senator from Virginia blocking key pro-union bill

April 29, 2021 - Three Democratic members of the evenly divided U.S. Senate have so far refused to sign on to the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, legislation endorsed by President Biden that would provide stronger protections for workers trying to form a union. Among the naysayers is Mark Warner of Virginia, the Senate's second-richest member and a venture capitalist with a nine-figure estimated net worth.