Where the Money Goes

The end of the year fast approaches, with the arrival of 1099s and tax time soon to follow. I am a bit ahead of my usual: I have almost finished inputting my credit card transactions into Quicken. This is proving what I already knew: I gave a lot of money to political candidates and organizations this year. Not all that much by absolute standards, but considering my income — it’s a chunk.

ActBlue makes it devilishly easy. You probably know ActBlue. You may very well be, like me, on a first-name basis with ActBlue. It’s a conduit for contributions to liberal and progressive candidates and organizations, including a few nonprofits.

ActBlue keeps pretty good records. This is how I know that I made my first contribution in 2012 — to Sam Sutter, who IIRC was running for Congress in the Democratic primary — but didn’t really get going till 2016. No surprise there! I campaigned for two impressive young men running for office for the first time: Julian Cyr was elected (and still is) state senator and Dylan Fernandes was elected (and still is) state rep. These were the bright spots in what turned out to be a cataclymic year. The country is still assessing the damage done while trying to clean up the mess and prevent its happening again.

But I digress. I set out to make a list of the candidates, causes, and organizations I contribute to. I’m including the publications, podcasts, and Substacks I subscribe to because they’re part of putting my money where my mouth is, and helping ensure that what comes out of my mouth makes sense. I haven’t included books, although they play a significant role in this project. If you want to know what I’m reading, friend me on Goodreads.

I haven’t included links because that would make a mess, and all of those listed should be easy to find online.


  • Washington Post
  • Guardian (US & UK)
  • Boston Globe (got the $1 for 6 months sub so I could follow election news)
  • Martha’s Vineyard Times
  • Vineyard Gazette
  • The Atlantic
  • Slate
  • ProPublica
  • CommonWealth
  • The New Yorker (rarely read)
  • Foreign Affairs (don’t read enough)
  • Liber Review (feminist book review)
  • WTF Just Happened Today
  • Wikipedia (how to categorize this? monthly)


Note: I listen to a bunch of other podcasts at least occasionally, notably the ones from MSNBC or Crooked Media, but these are the ones I pay for.

  • Deep State Radio (David Rothkopf & co.)
  • Cafe Insider (Preet Bharara and Joyce Vance, who succeeded Anne Milgram)
  • Now & Then (Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman)


Note: One thing I love about Substacks (free-standing columns) is that if you subscribe, you can comment, and the comment sections of all the ones I subscribe to are great: intelligent, well informed people who are remarkably civil to each other. If only newspaper comment sections and social media could be more like this!

  • Letters from an American (Heather Cox Richardson)
  • Lucian Truscott Newsletter
  • Public Notice (Aaron Rupar et al.)
  • Civil Discourse (Joyce Vance)
  • Thinking About . . . (Timothy Snyder)
  • The Line (Canada)
  • MessageBox (Dan Pfeiffer)

Campaigns, Etc.

Note: The Massachusetts Democratic primary field was amazing, in part because so many offices had no incumbent running. This contributed to hyperactivity in the credit card department. I’m not including the contributions I made in 2021 because enough is enough.

  • Julian Cyr (state senator)
  • Rob Galibois (Cape & Islands DA)
  • Sonia Chang-Diaz (governor)
  • Andrea Campbell (attorney general)
  • Downballot Progress (monthly)
  • Warren Democrats (monthly)
  • Collective PAC (monthly)
  • Raphael Warnock (U.S. Senate, GA; monthly)
  • Fair Fight (GA)
  • Democratic Party of Georgia
  • Eric Lesser (lieutenant governor)
  • Tanisha Sullivan (secretary of state)
  • John Fetterman (U.S. Senate, PA)
  • Postcards to Voters (monthly)


  • National Women’s History Museum (monthly)
  • African American Policy Forum (monthly)
  • COW PAC (legal support for Devin Nunes’ Cow, a Twitter account that former congressman Devin Nunes [remember him?] is suing for defamation or impersonation or something)

About Susanna J. Sturgis

Susanna edits for a living, writes to survive, and has been preoccupied with electoral politics since 2016. She just started a blog about her vintage T-shirt collection: "The T-Shirt Chronicles." Her other blogs include "From the Seasonally Occupied Territories," about being a year-round resident of Martha's Vineyard, and "Write Through It," about writing, editing, and how to keep going.
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