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 120: Solar and Wind Energy Myths Destroyed

    May 21st, 2020  |  9 mins 55 secs
    conservative, dark money, democrat, environment, filmmaker, green, left, liberal, libertarian, michael moore, planet of the humans, progressive, propaganda, republican, right, solar, super pacs, turbines, wind

    In this episode, we’ll cover just how much Democrats love the things they profess to hate as we reveal they’ve outspent Republicans in the 2020 election cycle using “dark money” to pay for political ads; and discuss their recent embrace and affection for the devil they know, Super PACS. Next, we’ll revisit the vote-by-mail furor and tell you just what states like Michigan and Pennsylvania are willing to do to make sure voters won’t need to cast an in-person vote in the 2020 election cycle thereby risking that some votes will never counted at all. And finally, we’ll go over filmmaker Michael Moore’s surprising apostasy on the green energy issue in his new documentary, “Planet of the Humans,” a film in which the grandfather of liberal propaganda proves wind turbines and solar arrays aren’t up to the task of powering our current industrial civilization.

  • Episode 119: COVID-19 Relief Mistakes

    May 14th, 2020  |  7 mins 40 secs
    2020, big labor, california, congress, conservative, coronavirus, covid-19, election, heroes act, left, liberal, libertarian, nlra, politics, progressive, right, union, vote by mail, vote-by-mail

    In this episode: As the COVID-19 death rate continues to decline in the U.S., some states are beginning the process of cautiously re-opening for business. This has not stopped other states like California from embracing a complete vote-by-mail scheme in preparation for an absentee election in the Fall. Nor has it stopped federal Democratic legislators from attempting to mandate a vote-by-mail system nationwide by attempting to include funding for that scheme in their preferred iteration of the next COVID-19 relief bill, which they’ve named the HEROES Act. Democratic leaders, in pushing for the HEROES Act, are essentially seeking to incentivize states to remain closed by funding them in the coming weeks, if not months, and using the pandemic as justification. And finally, we’ll discuss how Big Union is apparently trying to shut down levity itself by accusing a prominent conservative publisher of violating provisions of the National Labor Relations Act because he told a joke on Twitter.

  • Episode 118: 1619 Project’s Fake History

    May 8th, 2020  |  14 mins 8 secs
    1619 project, commentary, conservative, history, left, liberal, libertarian, new york times, nikole hannah-jones, politics, progressive, pulitzer prize, right, slavery, united states

    Last week, the Pulitzer Prizes announced that the prize for Commentary was awarded to Nicole Hannah-Jones, the architect of the New York Times’s highly controversial and factually suspect “1619 Project,” a nominally historical exercise to re-center the origins of the United States on the first importation of enslaved Africans to Virginia. Today, I’m joined by my Capital Research Center colleague Ken Braun, who wrote the Influence Watch profile on the 1619 Project to discuss the project itself, the criticisms of prominent—in some cases, Pulitzer-Prize-winning—historians of the Project, and the goals of the Project’s institutional supporters.

  • Episode 117: The Left Wants the Covid Economy

    April 30th, 2020  |  12 mins 48 secs
    coronavirus, covid-19, economics, energy, government, green new deal, institute for energy research, left, libertarian, politics, progressive, research, right, socialist, stay at home, unemployment

    You’ve heard of the Green New Deal, that radical, socialist makeover of the American economy proposed by the hardline wing of the environmentalist movement. More than a few people—including this podcast, last week—have noted that the economy envisioned by the Green New Dealers resembles the economy of…right now, in the middle of government-ordered shutdowns of all forms of normal human interaction that have put over 30 million people into the unemployment lines. Joining us to discuss that truth is Tom Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research.

  • Episode 116: Environmentalists Praise Economic Devastation

    April 24th, 2020  |  7 mins 23 secs
    big labor, conservative, coronavirus, covid-19, crisis, government worker union, government workers, green new deal, left, liberal, libertarian, pandemic, progressive, right, states, union, unions, wuhan virus

    In this episode, supporters of the Green New Deal praise the destitution inflicted by the government response to the pandemic coronavirus, government worker unions and state-government-interest advocates try to use the crisis to shore up already-broken state finances, and we debunk a supposed “prudential conservative case” for the power of Big Labor.

  • Episode 115: George Soros: In His Own Words

    April 17th, 2020  |  10 mins 30 secs
    billionaire, economics, george soros, left, libertarian, open society, open society foundation, philosophy, politics, progressive, right

    In this episode: You’ve undoubtedly heard the name George Soros, but what do you actually know about the man and his philosophy? Today, I’m joined by my Capital Research Center colleague Shane Devine, who read and reviewed the left-progressive billionaire’s philosophical and political testament, In Defense of Open Society.

  • Episode 114: The Radical Left’s Government Censoring Scheme

    April 9th, 2020  |  8 mins 22 secs
    big labor, censorship, congress, coronavirus, covid-19, government, labor, left, pandemic, right, uaw, union, united auto workers, wuhan virus

    In this episode, a radical-left pressure group calls for the government to censor the government, labor union activists allege shenanigans in the succession to head the United Auto Workers amid its ongoing corruption scandal, and Big Labor and its congressional allies take aim at one of the few things making the ongoing pandemic lockdowns tolerable: Independent contracting work.

  • Episode 113: Playing Pandemic Politics

    April 3rd, 2020  |  7 mins 16 secs
    congress, conservative, coronavirus, embezzlement, fraud, gig economy, left, liberal, libertarian, progressive, right, trump, unions

    In this episode, we discuss the ways in which progressive legislators have gone out of their way to not let the coronavirus crisis go to waste, first by going on a wild spending spree, purchasing political ads knocking the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic. But also by inserting legislative wish-list items into the coronavirus relief bills, efforts that could pave the way for voter fraud while potentially destroying the gig economy. And finally, we’ll reveal exactly why blindly supporting unions can have disastrous consequences for union members as we tell you about one union boss who may have embezzled as much as 1 million dollars from a first-responders pension fund.

  • Episode 112: Sen. Schumer Threatens Supreme Court Justices

    March 5th, 2020  |  7 mins 45 secs
    abortion, cenk uygur, chuck schumer, collective bargaining, conservative, left, liberal, libertarian, principles, right, scotus, supreme court, threats, young turks

    In this episode: SCOTUS considers an abortion case that has the backing of some strange bedfellows, and that has caused the Senate minority leader to issue what could only be called a threat; principled conservatives are revealed to be less principled and less conservative than they claim; and union fan Cenk Uygur loves collective bargaining, except when it comes to his own staff at the Young Turks News show.

  • Episode 111: Fighting California's Union "Gag Rule"

    February 27th, 2020  |  6 mins 32 secs
    9th circuit court of appeals, abortion, big labor, citizens united, conservative, department of labor, fast-food, gag rule, janus, left. right, liberal, libertarian, nlrb, obama, obama administration, seiu, trump, trump administration, unions

    In this episode, the National Labor Relations Board hands a major setback to the SEIU’s $180 million corporate campaign to unionize restaurants, local officials and free-market groups push back against California’s “gag rule” against discussing government workers’ Janus rights, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the Trump administration’s rule withholding federal family planning funds from organizations that perform or refer for abortions.

  • Episode 110: What the Green New Deal Would Mean

    February 24th, 2020  |  10 mins 5 secs
    alexandria ocasio-cortez, aoc, environment, green, mitch mcconnell, new york, saikat chakrabarti, seiu, senate, service employees international union, texas public policy foundation, u.s. economy, union, united states

    Last year, the hard-left—pressure groups like the Sunrise Movement, politicians like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, and labor unions like the Service Employees International Union—presented the “Green New Deal,” a package of radical environmentalist policy demands that ranged (according to an “FAQ” document that the Green New Dealers denounced and memory-holed shortly after its release) from banning air travel to retrofitting every building in the United States. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell denounced it as a “radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy”; Saikat Chakrabarti, one of Rep. Ocasio Cortez’s close allies and a former aide, admitted the Green New Deal was “a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy” plan.

    But what would the plan actually mean for consumers and families? Today, I’m joined by Jason Isaac, Senior Manager for the “Life: Powered” project at the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) to dig into that question and other issues related to energy both in Texas and nationally.

  • Episode 109: State Debates Enforcing Workers’ Rights

    February 13th, 2020  |  6 mins 49 secs
    big labor, conservative, crony, democrats, district, government, labor, labor department, left, legislate, legislature, liberal, pennsylvania, redistricting, right, transparency, unions

    In this episode: Democrats announce a $50 million campaign to take control of drawing legislative district boundaries, the Pennsylvania Legislature considers legislation to enforce the Supreme Court’s Janus decision and government worker rights, and the Labor Department promulgates a rule to increase transparency of government worker unions.

  • Episode 108: The Iowa Democratic Caucus Disaster

    February 6th, 2020  |  7 mins 9 secs
    big labor, caucus, citizens united, conservative, controversy, corporations, democracy, democratic, fec, free speech, house of representatives, influencers, iowa, left, liberal, libertarian, organized labor, politics, public funding, right, san francisco, supreme court, unions

    In this episode, the Iowa Democratic Party’s reliance on a Democratic-establishment-connected political vendor results in vote-counting-chaos, the House of Representatives prepares to affirm its loyalty to the will of Organized Labor, and San Francisco lefties fight over campaign finance disclosure.

  • Episode 107: Citizens United 10 Years Later

    January 30th, 2020  |  9 mins 58 secs
    big labor, citizens united, conservative, controversy, corporations, democracy, fec, free speech, influencers, institute for free speech, left, liberal, libertarian, politics, public funding, research, right, scott blackburn, supreme court, unions

    Ten years ago this month, the Supreme Court handed down a controversial decision with bearing on influence and politics: Citizens United v. FEC. As liberal activists push ever harder to “overturn” the decision, I’m joined this week by Scott Blackburn, Research Director of the Institute For Free Speech, who recently authored a brief “Citizens United After 10 Years: More Speech, Better Democracy” laying out the case that far from “destroying democracy,” the Supreme Court’s holding expanded political competition.

  • Episode 106: What If Planned Parenthood Lost Public Funding?

    January 23rd, 2020  |  8 mins 51 secs
    big labor, bureau of labor statistics, conservative, green new deal, left, liberal, libertarian, naomi klein, planned parenthood, pro life, pro-abortion, public funding, radical-left, right, socialism, unions

    In this episode, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports continuing decline in Big Labor’s ranks, radical-left author Naomi Klein admits that the Green New Deal is about making your life worse, and as pro-lifers March for Life we consider the possible ramifications of Planned Parenthood losing public funding.

  • Episode 105: RIP, Sir Roger Scruton

    January 17th, 2020  |  8 mins 51 secs
    america, big labor, bill schambra, british, conservative, department of labor, left. right, liberal, libertarian, obama, obama administration, philanthropy, sir roger scruton, unions

    In this episode, the Department of Labor takes deregulatory action to undo a key Obama administration favor to its supporters in Big Labor, center-right scholar of philanthropy Bill Schambra offers an explanation for Americans’ declining trust in nonprofits that satisfies Ockham’s Razor, and we remember the eminent British Conservative philosopher Sir Roger Scruton, who passed away this week.