InfluenceWatch Podcast

The podcast where we go beneath the surface to reveal the web of connected influence, money, and motivation driving the news.

About the show

The podcast where we go beneath the surface to reveal the web of connected influence, money, and motivation driving the news, sourced primarily from our website, the Capital Research Center's online encyclopedia of the donors, non-profits, and influencers driving politics.

You can watch the video version of the podcast at:

InfluenceWatch Podcast on social media


  • Episode 204: An Education on Image

    February 4th, 2022  |  25 mins 33 secs

    The teachers' unions are receiving a lesson for themselves on the subject of image. Join us for a discussion with Dan Gainor of Media Research Center about how they are tracking the teachers' unions efforts to create a more positive image.

  • Episode 203: Did ZuckBucks buy the 2020 Election? - Virginia's Response

    January 28th, 2022  |  23 mins 59 secs
    2020 election, election 2020, election integrity, virginia, voter fraud, zuckbucks

    Since we shined a light on ZuckBucks and how it influenced the 2020 Election, many state legislatures are responding to prohibit private dollars going to local election superintendents' offices. Join Mike Watson for a discussion with CRC President Scott Walter and researchers Hayden Ludwig and Parker Thayer about the Virginia Legislature's response to ZuckBucks.

  • Episode 202: Virginia's Education Deep State

    January 21st, 2022  |  19 mins 30 secs

    As Virginia has been turning blue, the education system in that Commonwealth has become more ingrained with leftist policies and ideals. However, shifts could be occurring upon the election of Glenn Youngkin and his executive orders banning divisive educational concepts and promoting parental involvement in their childrens' education.

  • Episode 201: Education Distrust

    January 14th, 2022  |  27 mins 23 secs

    Listen to Dr. Jay Greene as he describes the impetus behind Critical Race Theory and why American parents are so upset.

  • Episode 200: Teachers Strike: Chicago

    January 7th, 2022  |  24 mins 17 secs
    chicago, chicago teachers union, conservative, politics, teachers, teachers unions

    Our host, Mike Watson, has a conversation with Mailee Smith, director of Labor Policy at the Illinois Policy Institute. She breaks down the the radical history behind the Chicago Teachers Union, its deep-rooted connections, and the impetus behind the latest action that Chicago Teachers are taking.

  • Episode 199: Auditing Equity

    December 17th, 2021  |  15 mins 31 secs
    conservative, deplatforming, equity audit

    While conservatives chafe under the threat of censorship and “de-platforming” by Big Tech companies, liberals are pressuring Congress to make the left-wing industry even more left wing through “equity audits,” which would in essence assess how completely companies are aligning their practices with critical race theory. And Congress has been receptive to the push, with Democrats proposing a bill to fine companies $20,000 each day if they do not have such an “equity audit” in any given two years. Joining me to discuss this proposal and the powers behind it is Santi Ruiz, reporter for the Washington Free Beacon.

  • Episode 198: Escape From New York

    December 10th, 2021  |  25 mins 37 secs
    authoritarianism, de blasio, vax mandate

    On this episode: Mike Watson chats with Joel Zinberg, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, director of Paragon Health Institute’s Public Health and American Well-Being Initiative, and associate clinical professor of surgery at the Icahn Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, about de Blasio's nonsensical 11th hour vaccine mandate.

  • Episode 197: Progressive Ruins

    December 3rd, 2021  |  38 mins 39 secs
    michael shellenberger, progressives, sick cities

    In this episode: Mike Watson and CRC's Senior Investigative Researcher Ken Braun talk with Michael Shellenberger, author of "San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities" about the book and his work as President of the group Environmental Progress.

  • Episode 196: Rigged -- The Story of the 2020 Election

    November 19th, 2021  |  22 mins 18 secs
    2020 presidential election, election integrity, the federalist

    In this episode: Mike Watson chats with Mollie Hemingway, senior editor of The Federalist, about her new book examining efforts by the left to "fortify" the 2020 election.

  • Episode 195: How Teachers Unions Affect Elections

    November 12th, 2021  |  24 mins 31 secs
    leftism, municipal elections, teacher unions

    In this episode: CRC's Mike Watson interviews Max Eden, a research fellow at AEI, on the extraordinary and little-discussed power teacher unions have to affect the outcome of municipal elections.

  • Episode 194: The National School Board Association's Arrogant Overreach

    November 5th, 2021  |  13 mins 15 secs
    domestic terrorists, nsba, osba, parents

    In this episode: Mike Watson interviews Sara Clark, the Chief Legal Counsel for the Ohio School Boards Association to discuss their decision -- emulated in states across the country -- to disassociate from the National School Boards Association following the now-infamous letter to President Biden.

  • Episode 193: Planned (And Well-Funded) Climate Chaos

    October 29th, 2021  |  20 mins 59 secs
    climate chaos, fossil free, leftist funding

    In this episode: Mike Watson interviews CRC Research Assistant Parker Thayer on the little-covered "Climate Chaos Week," in which demonstrations were held for five days around Washington, DC and introduced the group Build Back Fossil Free to the world.

  • Episode 192: Election Integrity Begins With Local Politics

    October 22nd, 2021  |  25 mins 13 secs
    election integrity, local politics, unions

    In this episode: Sarah Lee interviews Mike Watson on why local politics -- and the involvement of union organizers and activists at that level -- have played a role in some of the election integrity concerns plaguing modern American politics.

  • Episode 191: The Blueprint For Buying Elections?

    October 15th, 2021  |  27 mins 29 secs
    2020 election, ctcl, zuckerberg

    In this episode: Mike talks to William Doyle, Ph.D., principal researcher at Caesar Rodney Election Research Institute in Irving, Texas, about his thesis that, based on the data, the 2020 election wasn't stolen. It was instead purchased by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Episode 190: Big Left Philanthropy

    October 11th, 2021  |  26 mins 1 sec
    big philanthropy, ford foundation, jd vance

    In this episode: The two Mikes (Watson and Hartmann) discuss the leftward direction of Big Philanthropy and whether or not it's reasonable to suggest reform that "seizes assets" of any nonprofit or charitable organization.

  • Episode 189: Eco-Right Rising

    September 30th, 2021  |  20 mins 10 secs
    conservatives, eco-right, environmentalism, green new deal

    In this episode: Is there a way to be environmentally conscious without adopting the policy positions of leftists who want to implement radical policies like the Green New Deal? Mike Watson and Hayden Ludwig discuss Hayden's new report, "Rise of the Eco-Right."