David Donnelly, Executive Director, Public Campaign Action Fund
David is a veteran of money in politics campaigns at the state and national level, serving in a variety of campaign management, research, outreach, communications, fundraising, and strategist roles for major initiatives since the mid-1990s. He joined Public Campaign Action Fund in 2002.
Over his career, David has managed policy campaigns at both the state and federal level and has pioneered political accountability approaches to educate voters about candidates who stand in the way of reform. From 2008 to 2010, he served as the campaign manager for the Campaign for Fair Elections, a multi-organizational national effort to pass the comprehensive Fair Elections Now Act in Congress. David has also directed or consulted on campaign finance reform policy victories in seven states, including managing the ballot campaign to pass Maine’s landmark Clean Elections law in 1996.
As the director of the only money in politics-oriented electoral project, he has designed, raised funding for, and run strategic issue campaigns since the 2002 election cycle. His achievements include: running a multi-year, national campaign to drive Tom DeLay out of elective office; driving research about Presidential candidate John McCain’s ties to lobbyists in the news to develop a defining counter-narrative during the 2008 election; and implementing more than a dozen other issue advertising campaigns that led to reformer victories, including four current Senators.
Given David’s wide-ranging experience, he is regularly sought out by organizational partners, the funding community, and the media to help describe the role of money in politics on elections and public policy making. His commentary is often featured in the nation’s leading newspapers, wire services, and electronic media. David, his wife, and two children live in Princeton, N.J.