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Here's some news.  This ain't something I ever would have predicted.  Not in a million years.

Democracy for America and the DCCC have joined forces to create the Campaign for a New Majority Committee and are hosting a joint fundraiser in Seattle on August 31 honoring Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean.

The link referring to this new joint fundraising committee is simply an RSVP page for the August 31 event, so I'm not clear whether this is a limited committee set up for just this event or whether DFA and the DCCC plan to do a series of joint events around the country using this joint committee.  (Details on the August 31 event after the jump.)

In a way, this relationship seems naturally symbiotic.  The DCCC seems to target incumbents and only the most "winnable" races.  DFA supports a variety of candidates and takes more risk in supporting long shots, keeping an eye on the long term goal of stregthening the party from the ground up.  DFA can fill in gaps where the DCCC fears to tread and builds the "farm team" that, ideally, will later earn DCCC support.

Still, the relationship is surprising to me, knowing the players involved.  If the joint committee goes beyond this one event, I am delighted and enthusiastic about it for two reasons.  One, it is another sign that the DCCC is willing to take risks and build new alliances that are focused on strengthening the party base.  Two, it demonstrates a growing maturity for DFA and is a major sign that DFA is being taken seriously by the party and inside the Beltway.  

Discussion of questions and concerns after the jump.

I first heard about this in the comments section of a completely unrelated thread at BFA.  The post read:

The $100 Revolution Returns to Seattle!
Save the date!

Please join
Congressman Brian Baird,
Congressman Norm Dicks,
Congressman Jay Inslee,
Congressman Rick Larsen,
Congressman Jim McDermott,
and Congressman Adam Smith

for a reception honoring
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
and Governor Howard Dean

Tuesday, August 31
Bell Harbor International Conference Center
Pier 66
Seattle, WA

5:30pm - VIP Reception & Photo Line for Hosts
6:00pm - 8:00pm
General Reception
Host $1000 (contribute or raise), includes private VIP reception
Guest $100
Proceeds go to the Campaign for a New Majority, a joint fundraising committee between Democracy for America and The DCCC.
RSVP, via the Web at:
http://blog.dccc.org/newmajority/
(If you have questions, you can contact Selene Hofer-Shall at (802)651-3200 ext. 130)

Contributions and gifts to Campaign for a New Majority Committee are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.

Paid for by Campaign for a New Majority Committee, a joint fundraising committee authorized by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and
Democracy for America, 430 South Capital St. SE Washington, DC, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Contributions to Campaign for a New Majority Committee will be allocated as follows:
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Inc. 75%
Democracy for America   25%

Any contributor may designate his or her contribution for a particular participant. The allocation formula above may change if any contributor makes a contribution that, when allocated, would exceed the amount that the contributor may lawfully give to any participant.

First of all, the news above may not be a big deal for the DCCC, but I consider it a really big deal to DFA.  I assume that the post above came from an email that was sent to DFA email list members in the Seattle area, and I'm surprised that DFA did not make a wider announcement about the joint committee and the event.

Secondly, the term "Campaign for a New Majority Committee" raises a lot of questions for me.

As you may know, the DCCC has been promoting its "Campaign for a New Majority" for weeks now, most notably through the Majority Makers contest.  With the help of BFA and DailyKos friends, I raised nearly $6,000 for the Campaign for a New Majority and signed up 79 new "members" of the Campaign for a New Majority in the contest.  

I assume, however, that this is separate from the Campaign for a New Majority joint fundraising committee between DFA and DCCC, even though they share the same name.  After all, donors on that page are donating to the DCCC, not the Campaign for a New Majority Committee.  Nevertheless, the use of the same term is quite confusing.

So does anyone else have information on this joint committee?  If you are a Dean supporter or follow the development of DFA, do you consider this a significant development?  If you are a current skeptic of the DCCC, does this make you feel any differently about the organization?

Originally posted to Maura in VA on Sat Aug 14, 2004 at 12:15 AM PDT.

Poll

DFA's partnership with DCCC to form the Campaign for a New Majority Committee is a sign that Howard Dean is:

56%32 votes
43%25 votes
0%0 votes

| 57 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Scream reprise (4.00)
    I swear this is not gratuitous tip jar panhandling - a covert tip jar comment disguised as an informational post...

    If you haven't yet seen it, the good doctor reprised his famous scream a couple of weekends ago at DemocracyFest, just before the convention.  It's priceless.

    For the record, I hated Dean's speech in Iowa, directional mike or not...I watched it live on CNN and was horrified by how the speech targeting the people in the room rather than the bigger audience Dean needed to win over, the people on TV around the country who didn't know Dean yet.  Every single time I saw or heard the scream it hurt, like being tortured with 638 paper cuts the week it was shown 638 times.  

    Now, months later, I'm just delighted that Dean himself can laugh about it, and all of us in the room took great joy in being with Dean as he reprised it.

    I admired Howard Dean when he was running, but I admire him a dozen times more now.  The man has a resilience and strength that I can only hope to emulate in a small way.

    BTW, if you're in the DC area, please come to the Turn Virginia Blue BBQ!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    •  Conagratulations (none)
      Congratulations on winning the ... uh ... DCCC thingie.  I swear I'm not responding to the first comment to the post just so my two cents is at the top of the page before everyone else's!

      I think that as long as the Democracy for America folks keep engaged and keep sending money, Howard Dean will keep being relevant to party organizations like the DCCC.  How can they not try to use him in every way possible, when he has such a huge following and is such a huge cash cow?

      I'm starting to wonder if Dean's reputation for outspokenness has begun to innoculate him against criticizism for being "crazy."  People can say, oh, it's that crazy Howard Dean again!  But they keep inviting him on just about every news program out there.

      Give to the Daily KOS 8!

      by Aaron Gillies on Sat Aug 14, 2004 at 08:53:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Crazy (none)
        I've wondered if Dean is sort of the court jester, so to speak, of the Democrats now - because he can say stuff that everyone else wishes they could say, yet he's hardly on the fringe.  The Democrats can also make a show of distancing themselves from him if they like, to cover their own asses, and it makes little difference to whatever popularity he has.

        There seem to be a lot of rank-and-file Democrats who aren't impressed by the existing power structure in the party.  I'm for Kerry but I don't have any illusions that he doesn't represent political business as usual.  And his being ahead in the polls, while great news, doesn't signal any sort of real change to that.  DFA at least gives the still-disaffected Democratic activist an alternative option.  I suspect that DFA's actual numbers are quite depleted at this point, as "there's an election on."  But the Dean campaign was a tremendously potent and emotional experience in recent American political life, and the organization can appeal to the memory of that experience in future years, which may well bring new people into it after the fall elections.

        "You fool," said General Woundwort. "If my authority goes, where will yours be in half a day?"

        by NYCO on Sat Aug 14, 2004 at 09:37:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Court Jester (none)
          I was going to write the same thing, but I did not want to say it, because I think it is a real pity that this role fell to Howard Dean, instead of someone else.  He is a long-time moderate Democratic governor with an eleven year record of being a sane, successful state executive.  He's not Al Sharpton.  He's not Vermin Supreme.  The fact that he would become a figure of fun, no matter how trenchant his observations, seems sad to me.

          His humility in accepting this role, if that is indeed what has happened, is heroic.

          Give to the Daily KOS 8!

          by Aaron Gillies on Sat Aug 14, 2004 at 09:44:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fun (none)
            No, I actually didn't mean that to imply he was a figure of fun.  In medieval days, the court jester was actually a trenchant political voice - the only person who was allowed to criticize the King, the only person in the court who was allowed to say what was on everyone's mind.  And it was safe to agree with him, as long as you laughed at him and made sure to kick him around in front of the King.

            Comedy has much the same function today - see Jon Stewart.   But Howard Dean represents the most political honesty you can have without laughing.  Of course, if there's no humor involved, that means the only thing that the courtiers can do is call you mad.

            "You fool," said General Woundwort. "If my authority goes, where will yours be in half a day?"

            by NYCO on Sat Aug 14, 2004 at 09:51:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Further thought (none)
            Dean's a sane man in an insane political world.  I don't feel sorry for him one bit.

            "You fool," said General Woundwort. "If my authority goes, where will yours be in half a day?"

            by NYCO on Sat Aug 14, 2004 at 09:54:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Howard speaks truth to power (4.00)
          Which is why he has such a faithful following. You may call it being the court jester--and I understand that is not meant to be a slur--but we see it for what it is--leadership.

          I don't expect politicians to be able to land men on the moon or cure cancer.  I do expect intelligence, fairness, determination, and above all else, honesty.  

          George Bailey was a Democrat. Mr. Potter was a Republican.

          by 537 votes on Sat Aug 14, 2004 at 10:34:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Dean wisdom becoming conventional wisdom (none)
          ...because he can say stuff that everyone else wishes they could say, yet he's hardly on the fringe.  The Democrats can also make a show of distancing themselves from him if they like, to cover their own asses, and it makes little difference to whatever popularity he has.

          What I find remarkable about Dean's most recent venture into saying what everyone else wishes they could say - that is, the likely partial political motivation behind the most recent terror alert - is how quickly the "Dean wisdom" (which was presented in the SCLM as so shocking and outrageous) has now become conventional wisdom.

          It took months for Dean's "outrageous, shocking" statement about us not being safer about Saddam Hussein was captured to become accepted in the polls and in mainstream media.  Meanwhile, Dean's campaign tanked.  Months later, he's been vindicated to an extent about this statement, but that vindication is cold comfort.

          That turnaround in media approach and public opinion took many months, though.  This time, in a span of just two weeks, the discussion that Dean sparked about political motivations behind terror alerts has now turned very quickly from "Dean said something outrageous" to widespread acceptance that the terror alerts are largely politically motivated.  

          Last night, I was flipping from CNN to MSNBC and both stations had lengthy stories on political motivations for the terror alerts.  

          None of the guest pundits mentioned Dean, of course, but there is no question in my mind that they wouldn't be saying what they were quite comfortably saying last night had Dean not taken all the heat for voicing it two weeks ago.

      •  More than money, too (none)
         How can they not try to use him in every way possible, when he has such a huge following and is such a huge cash cow?

        There's no question that Dean people are keeping their wallets open, and to the extent that Dean serves as a spokesman and inspiration to a bloc of new, generous donors, he'll continue to have power.  

        What I found interesting about this new committee is that it suggests something beyond, "Boy that Howard Dean sure can rake in cash."  

        Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but the DCCC/DFA partnership suggests to me that party leaders are recognizing that DFA's approach of supporting lesser known candidates and long-shot races has great long-term merit.  While it may not ever be the DCCC's role to do this, the coordination between the two organizations shows promise in complementing each other's missions.

    •  Hey! (none)
      That's MY video!  :)  I'm glad someone else is getting to enjoy it... that was the funniest part of what was simply a great speech at D-fest.
    •  What's wrong with them? (none)
      What's wrong with disguised tip jars? I like them because they aren't blatant shilling. People can read the information and be done or use them to rate the diary. But, perhaps I'm not up on the latest etiquette.

      "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mahatma Ghandi

      by blackmahn on Sat Aug 14, 2004 at 12:51:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (none)
        I don't think there's anything wrong with them either, personally.  I've just read a lot of derision (sometimes tongue in cheek) about them...people panhandling for mojo in the guise of adding information, etc.  So I thought I'd head that off at the pass.  :-)

        Now that you can hit the "Recommend this diary" button, a lot of people were saying the other night that they'd like to see tip jars go away altogether, but I like the opportunity to throw around lots of appreciation for diaries.

        I figure this one, for instance, wouldn't likely ever hit the "leader board" because it would only interest those interested in DFA/DCCC, so some people might not want to recommend it with the Recommend button, but they might still be inclined to show appreciation through a tip.

        •  This would have otherwise flown under the radar (4.00)
           . . . so thank you for pointing out this development.  Respectfully, I disagree that it is only of interest to those intereted in DFA/DCCC.  It is of interest to ALL of us who desperately wish to see reform in the Democratic Party, to those of us who wish to see a stronger progressive voice in the Party.

          What are the implications of this development?  Hopefully that some of the party leadership truly is interested in steering the party off its rightward course and sees joining with DFA as the perfect vehicle.

          Therefore, this diary is worthy of the leader board.

          Don't doubt that those of us who were not Dean supporters during the primary nevertheless recognize the potential force that Democracy For America can become.  

          Thanks again for the heads up.

  •  As a committed Dean supporter (none)
    I second your thoughts about admiring the man before (got ME off the couch for sure), but now the man shows a strength and wisdom that is rare and I admire the man even more these days.

    This move makes sense in so many ways, but it will have an affect on many who currently post on the DFA blog.  Many there are truly in the 'Dean only' camp and Dean I thought was trying to reach them to bring them over to Kerry.

    Most are definitely committed to voting Kerry, but only minimally.  Nader defeners are quite common there.  I got tired of aruging with them.  

    thanks for the update.  The D.C.ers are coming to really like the good doctor, and see that he has a following that is committed.

    The doctor is a true patriot in that he put his personal betterment aside for the betterment of his country.

  •  Well I would not have (none)
    predicted it, but seeing it, whether a long term arrangement (which likely will come about if this is a tentative first) or what, I cannot say I am  surprised.

    The doctor has a working agenda.  Thankfully.

    It's a cartoon world run by people scarcely able to parse a grocery list. It's a pity...

    by Marisacat on Sat Aug 14, 2004 at 11:32:01 AM PDT

  •  yup, once again Howard thinks ahead (4.00)
    I mean, I'm supporting the nominee because there's no other choice but to do so, but the leader of my party is Howard Dean. It's not that he does everything right. It's just that he does the right thing as he sees it, and doesn't back down to foolishness and hypocrisy nearly as much as most other politicos. It's not just the straight talk, it's what he says and then what he actually does that earned my trust. I have to admit, I was a little taken aback at the DFA/DCCC alliance. But if it means some wing-spreading is happening, fine. Taking back the party is going to mean doing stuff like this. I give him the benefit of the doubt.
  •  Maura-- Thanks!, and a couple of questions??? (none)
    As a successful DCCC fundraiser, do you think it would be easier to raise funds around a specific race/candidate, than for the generic organization?

    I for one would like to see the DCCC reach out to every Dem Donor, (via the biggest lists,i.e. Kerry, DFA, MoveOn, DNC), and encourage us to participate and donate to at least one Swing Seat race. My two in New England are listed below.

    Also, what do you think about Howard ultimately heading to Congress. I think we need him for the House, and wouldn't it be great if he moved to northwest CT and took Nancy Johnson's seat! Howard Dean, Speaker of the House! Wouldn't that be great.

    CT-4 and CT-2! Two New England House races that Dems must win. www.farrellforcongress.com & www.sullivanforcongress.com

    by edwardbanderson on Sat Aug 14, 2004 at 05:17:19 PM PDT

    •  Thoughts (none)
      First of all, if Dean was going to run in Connecticut, I'd rather see him topple Joementum once and for all.  ;-)

      Seriously, I think a seat in the House would be an awfully big step down for Dean, but if he would ascend to Speaker that'd be something.  

      As for ease of raising funds, I don't think my experience is necessarily a good indicator.  The DCCC Majority Makers contest put "fundraising bat best practices" into play in a big way:

      1. Have a defined start point and a defined end point for your online fundraising event.

      2. Allow individual donors to set their own goals.

      3. Create a visual metaphor for "progress to goal" and update frequently.

      4. Create a compelling theme for the event and create meaningful incentives around the theme.

      Under those circumstances, it was easy to raise money for the DCCC.  I think the vast majority of my donors would have preferred donating to an individual campaign, but the fundraising contest was compelling, it was a worthy cause, it had a personal connection (at least to a "blog friend"), and there was an exciting, fun component to a contest of short duration with a meaningful prize.

      Personally, I'd rather give money directly to a campaign simply to put it right to work and avoid organizational overhead of a "middle man" organization.  Nothing against the DCCC, and they're a worthy org, of course.

      From what I've seen, not many candidates are employing all of the best practices from the best online fundraising pushes.  That's not to say that candidates haven't been successful, some simply by allowing online donations to happen with little other effort.  

      But others have tried to just put up a "bat"-like graphic and have been suprised when it didn't move much.   I think the best online fundraising campaigns are those that combine what I see as the most important three components -- a defined goal, a defined time frame, and a meaningful theme.  

  •  Not surprised at this, actually rather pleased. (4.00)
    Howard Dean has never been anything but a Democrat.  He got labeled otherwise because he broke the mold of being so cautious when speaking about important issues.  This careful, calculating type of responding began with the rise of the DLC.  They even today paint Howard as a lefty fringe type....he has never been that at all.  

    What makes him stand out now and what makes him so important to the country is his ability to get attention and respect by saying what needs to be said. He does not check polls before he responds, he answers from the gut.

    It is not surprising that he would ally with other Democratic groups. Look at the 29 groups allied at the America Votes site, plus the Take Back America group.  It is necessary to do this.

    Most of our Dean group here are over 40ish types, some of us well over.  We all continue to miss him unless he is on the TV or radio saying important truthful things....with no spin at all.  

    He always said he would remake the party from within, didn't he?  Well, we are staying on for the course.  We support DFA and a lot of Dean Dozens.  

    "I'm willing to say things that are not popular but ordinary people know are right." Howard Dean

    by floridagal on Sat Aug 14, 2004 at 05:59:17 PM PDT

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