Andy Kroll

Andy Kroll is a staff reporter in the D.C. bureau of Mother Jones magazine. 

Recent Articles

Meet the Billionaires Backing Team Blue With a Megaphone Only Money Can Buy

Conservatives have the Kochs and Rupert Murdoch, but progressives have their mega-donors, too. 

Illustrations by Steve Brodner/Art Direction by Mary Parsons
*/ Illustrations by Steve Brodner E ver since the Supreme Court's decisions in Citizens United and McCutcheon v. FEC , the influence of big money in politics, such as that wielded by the Koch brothers, has been a matter of concern to Democrats. That's because conservative big-spenders have perfected the use of so-called social welfare organizations, which shield their donors from public disclosure, for baldly political purposes—especially for televisions ads at election time. Based on an interview with Viveca Novak of the Center for Media and Democracy, the Tampa Bay Times' PolitiFact website reported , " Republicans tend to donate to and use non-disclosing groups more than Democrats do." PolitiFact's Lauren Carroll wrote : " Conservative political nonprofits spent almost five times as much as liberal ones in 2012, according to Open Secrets data. [As of June 23] in 2014, they have spent almost twice as much." That's hardly to say that all is lost for liberals and Democrats...

The Evangelist

Gregg Segal Two years ago on a summer morning, Jim Gilliam stood offstage at New York University’s Skirball Center. It was the second day of the Personal Democracy Forum, an annual gathering of civic-minded coders, hackers, and online organizers. Many in the crowd knew Gilliam as much for his appearance—he’s six-foot-nine, bald, ivory-pale, and impossibly thin—as for his brilliance as a programmer and his passion for progressive causes. Gilliam, who was 33 years old, had never spoken before such a large audience, and as he strode across the stage and looked out on all the people, he was terrified. “Growing up,” he began, “I had two loves: Jesus and the Internet.” He had titled his speech “The Internet Is My Religion,” and he was surprised the conference’s organizers had agreed to let him give a talk steeped in God and faith. Even though he’d rehearsed for weeks, he expected to bomb. Still, he had to do this. His...