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Hi, this is Adam Green. I recently left MoveOn to get some new ventures off the ground. You may have read about the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) at the Huffington Post. Or Chris Bowers and David Sirota's kind endorsements at OpenLeft, or similarly kind words by Digby and Atrios.

I figured a Sunday morning would be a good time to go into detail about the rationale for this new group -- and to let you know where you fit in.

First, the PCCC mission. As our mission statement points out:

In 2008, one first-time progressive candidate in a key congressional district went through four campaign managers before losing.

Another spent $47,000 to retain a media firm that never produced a single TV ad. Another spent $40,000 on field consultants -- enough to pay 10 field staffers for two months, but which only bought a few hand-holding consultant calls. And others wasted thousands of dollars and weeks of staff time designing C-rate websites.

Every election cycle, inexperienced candidates who run on bold progressive ideas -- candidates who political insiders predict "can’t win" -- come within a few points of victory. But too many lose winnable races due to the mistakes and inefficiencies of their campaigns.

Who is getting the backs of these progressive candidates? Who is helping them run competent, efficient campaigns so they can win? Right now, nobody.

...The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) will fill this void – providing needed infrastructure and strategic advice to progressive candidates so they can run first-class campaigns and win.

(More info:

One thing I realized at MoveOn -- and that many folks across the blogosphere have written about in recent election cycles -- is that it makes no sense for the progressive community to raise tons of money for candidates who then spend it inefficiently, including on bloated consultant costs. We need to step up and help progressive candidates not just raise money, but run effective campaigns and win.

So, what's the PCCC going to do specifically? Here are the top 3 jobs in the short term:

Job #1 -- helping candidates find super-competent, progressive campaign managers. Too often, folks hire their "political friends" or inexperienced staff. Every relevant decision of the campaign will stem from the campaign management -- including whether to spend money wisely and whether to campaign progressively. And to the extent that consultants are needed, we'll introduce campaigns to outside-the-box-thinking progressives like Bill Hillsman (Paul Wellstone and Ned Lamont's ad guy) and Steve Eichenbaum (Russ Feingold and Tom Perriello's ad guy).

Job #2 -- working with campaigns to implement best practices. One top progressive campaign in 2008 went months with a large field staff that had no daily metrics for success. Basic stuff like that can't happen.

Best practices also means innovation. Technology gives us a golden opportunity to replace some formerly-needed consultants with modern-day people power. As I said in the Huff Post piece, paying TV consultants thousands of bucks for a YouTube video is a waste of money. Opposition research consultants will someday be replaced by the wiki. The examples go on and on. Campaign spending must transform to account for and embrace people-powered technology. Our team of former MoveOn organizers, labor and campaign organizers, and the co-inventor of RSS & Reddit is uniquely suited to help campaigns know how to use the Internet to run people-powered campaigns. And we'll show candidates how to work as partners with the blogosphere and overall progressive community.

Job #3 -- economies of scale. As mentioned above, why do so many candidates spend weeks of staff time and thousands of dollars designing a lackluster website that doesn't have people-powered functionality? It makes no sense. Why not just have a progressive entity that designs the perfect website once and gets it to progressive candidates? There are a bunch of similar economies of scale that can be had to avoid reinventing broken wheels.

(There are also some cool technology-revolution things we have cooking for the long term, but that's for a different day.)

The net result: Progressive candidates save tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars in campaign costs, giving them a competitive advantage and allowing them to run more effective campaigns and win.

So, where do you fit it?

Lots of ways.

First, sign up to stay in the loop with us. If we can't communicate with folks who agree with our core mission, we're in trouble.

Second, donate. Thanks to everyone who has given in the past few days, and thanks to the OpenLeft crew for adding us to the Better Democrats 2010 ActBlue page. Some people have given $10, while others have given $50 or $100 -- some even opted for monthly recurring donations. Every bit of support during this start-up phase really goes a long way. If you agree with the goal of helping progressive candidates run effective campaigns and win, please consider donating here.

Third, we need your thinking. Does the mission above seem on point? Do you know other examples of inefficiencies that we should be highlighting? Do you know of any amazingly competent and progressive campaign managers that we should be recommending to candidates? Are there any prospective 2010 candidates we should be thinking about? Do you know any progressive video makers, graphic designers, etc. who could help candidates without ripping them off? Do you want to just pitch in and volunteer with the PCCC?

Feel free to respond in the comments below, or email us any time.

The bottom line:
There's a lot of important work to do to get more progressive candidates elected. PCCC will be a vehicle for that goal, but it will take all of us to make it happen. It's totally doable. So, let's do it.


Originally posted to AdamGreen on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:00 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tipjar (173+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Susan S, slinkerwink, GOTV, AlanF, Gooserock, AdmiralNaismith, RunawayRose, Jim W, eeff, RFK Lives, Heart of the Rockies, shermanesq, concernedamerican, bronte17, Mary Julia, peace voter, buckhorn okie, roses, peraspera, Larry Bailey, oceanview, wonmug, dksbook, wader, tomephil, Dallasdoc, attydave, lcrp, alizard, Pohjola, Brian82, dkmich, bobnbob, Man Eegee, luvmovies2000, rapala, nailbender, greenskeeper, Fabian, chumley, Bluesee, Kewalo, betterdonkeys, panicbean, Simplify, MT Spaces, drewfromct, Jules Beaujolais, Stuart Heady, Wufacta, Ozzie, The Raven, Snud, sideboth, trashablanca, danmac, cybersaur, Themistoclea, borkitekt, earwulf, Naniboujou, mrcoder, va dare, airmarc, Granny Doc, ZenTrainer, seabos84, tegrat, dotsright, Fredly, possum, kath25, Matt Z, Jimdotz, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, Blue South, Orange County Liberal, Seneca Doane, akdude6016, mauro7inf, jnhobbs, Brahman Colorado, keikekaze, willb48, TomP, Empower Ink, fayeforcure, alkalinesky, rogerdaddy, christiana, Brandon Friedman, elwior, Cat Servant, DCBlue, Haplogroup V, Wek, pickandshovel, Populista, mofembot, noddem, KttG, tlemon, luckylizard, James Kresnik, CatJab, HoosierDeb, Democrashield, shortgirl, moondancing, HamillianActor, JGBfan, MTmarilyn, Clarknt67, fearisthemindkiller, sweeper, SciVo, Setrak, dRefractor, Framlingham, Angry Mouse, DClark4129, obscuresportsquarterly, allep10, JohnCos, Lava20, EmmaKY, deviant24x, Leftcandid, o possum, fatherofdragonwagon, lompe, Lazar, Razorblade, oohdoiloveyou, awcomeon, RevolutionRock, LaughingPlanet, Dark Ranger, amk for obama, MarkMarvin, fidellio, TheWesternSun, chrome327, freedapeople, Lady Libertine, peacearena, NYWheeler, addisnana, Floande, otter 8, LtMarechal, rossl, dmet, allenjo, alizarin, I love OCD, cranquette, indigoblueskies, derkar54, kevin k, princesspat, blueinmn, Murdershewrote, Vladislaw, thethinveil, vegjeannie, de porres, I said GOOD DAY sir, Prinny Squad, emf, IL JimP, enhydra lutris, Mumsty

    < tipjar >Any recommendations, most appreciated.</ tipjar>

    •  A medium to find excellent help. (18+ / 0-)

      Some kind of website that can recommend people.  Ya know, like a job-search site narrowed down to politics.

      "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves! Be ye therefore as wise as serpents, and as harmless as doves." Matthew 10:16

      by Setrak on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:50:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or where people can (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rapala, trashablanca, HoosierDeb

        sign in with a brief summary of their skills.

        "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." ML King

        by TheWesternSun on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 12:45:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  agreed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Someone had set up a small site two or so years ago where people could volunteer their services (editing, graphic design, web design, campaign ad actors, etc) to progressive campaigns.  It was a great idea, but the site wasn't very well publicized, so I don't think it really took off.

          The PCCC could be a good place to keep this kind of listing.

      •  Great idea (9+ / 0-)

        We need some new Democratic progressive blood particulary to get rid of our Democrats in office that roll over all the time.

        Progressives with backbone, that stay out of the backroom deals.

        Idealism just won't go away, will it?

        This is God, Do I have to come down there?

        by allenjo on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 12:58:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is there a way to get scouts (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alizard, sideboth, trashablanca, rossl, allenjo

          to find good low-level progressives (with little name-recognition) and persuade them to run for higher office? I think there are a lot of progressives that are reluctant to run because no one knows them or because the incumbent has ridiculous name recognition or power (I'm thinking Harry Reid). It's sad to see progressives lose races, but some promising ones never even start. And when the incumbent is a Spineless Capitulator (D-Everywhere) the DSCC and the DCCC don't find primary challengers for them. We need to scout for and encourage candidates to run, sometimes even AGAINST Dems.

          •  It is the money raising that is the problem (0+ / 0-)

            Unless they can raise the funds, it is tough.

            Term limits would help so much, so that those with the name recognition, that bring home the pork, then have the money and party behind them, could not run against our new progessives. Term limits would be the killer for the corrupt or do nothing politicans, only way perhaps to get rid of them.

            Allowing these 88/94 year old men (Stevens-is he in prison yet?)and Strom Thurmond slept thru his last years when he showed up. And our life Supreme court appointments, some of them are getting long in the tooth. :) I am all for term limits.

            But those of us truly committed can find a way.

            This is God, Do I have to come down there?

            by allenjo on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:36:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Term limits aren't a great solution (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              At the margins, shorter terms (and term limits) are a good idea, but there are big problems associated with them.

              California legislature has pretty severe term limits, and the end result is that it's decreased accountability, legislative oversight of the governor's office, and the expertise to screen out bad provisions in bills--all while having no effect on careerism or heavy dependence on fundraising.


    •  Rec List; good start! n/t (5+ / 0-)

      The best way to save the planet is to keep laughing.

      by LaughingPlanet on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:56:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We need this more than ever (30+ / 0-)

      as centrists dominate the Democratic Party apparatus.

      Great work.

      "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

      by TomP on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:24:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's a response to your plea: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      I love OCD, thethinveil

      It would be interesting to see your response to Arthur Silber's and Naomi Klein's points on this issue of electing"better Democrats."

      Click on:

      and scroll down to the post "You aren't going to beat the system, baby."

    •  A gift from on high (21+ / 0-)

      Thank you so much, Adam, for coming to us today.  This could be what the progressive movement needs desperately at this time.

      Our movement has a lot of interest, money, and people behind it.  What it has lacked up till now has been focus on a limited number of issues and an infrastructure that can leverage all that people power into an effective political force.

      MoveOn, while terrific in many ways, was never set up to be that infrastructure.  Your new organization sounds much more sharply targeted on progressive political power.  Count me in as an enthusiastic supporter.

      Now, we progressives will have to find some way to hash out what our movement's overall tactical and strategic policy goals should be.  MoveOn might be a good place to have this determination though not until a deeper conversation about the possibilities takes place.  The basic questions are these:

      1. Who is a Progressive?
      1. What do all Progressives stand for?

      Campaign season is over.  Barack Obama has harnessed progressive political power like no politician in our time, but his campaign is an entirely different thing from our movement.  Now that we have a government run by Democrats, it's time for us to grow up and learn to become a force to be reckoned with in national politics.  Our nation's future depends on our success.

      Our long national nightmare is almost over. Congratulations and blessings to all.

      by Dallasdoc on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:43:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  To your 2 good points, (13+ / 0-)

        I would add a third:

        1. How do we "monitor" candidates who run on progressive platforms and win?  Look at Chris Carney, who took ActBlue money by basically lying about some of his positions.
        •  create a list of critical votes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that reflects progressive priorities (including committee votes) and score politicians against the list.

          IOW, the same way everyone else does it. Note that creating and monitoring the list is going to be a full time job for someone.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 07:11:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly! What is a Progressive? (5+ / 0-)

        As I believe I am one. I was looking for a Presidential candidate that wanted to:
        1.end the Iraq and Afghan war
        2.Institute single payer healthcare.
        3.Supports the return of Glass Steagall

        While I think Obama has many great attributes, he did not support these yet is frequently labeled progressive. Same is true of HRC.

        -7.5 -7.28, What's a guy gotta do to get impeached around here?

        by Blueslide on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 12:56:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I had to look up the glass steafall act. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rapala, freakofsociety, HoosierDeb

          And this is what the repeal brought us:

          The argument against preserving the Act (as written in 1987):

          1. Depository institutions will now operate in "deregulated" financial markets in which distinctions between loans, securities, and deposits are not well drawn. They are losing market shares to securities firms that are not so strictly regulated, and to foreign financial institutions operating without much restriction from the Act.
          1. Conflicts of interest can be prevented by enforcing legislation against them, and by separating the lending and credit functions through forming distinctly separate subsidiaries of financial firms.
          1. The securities activities that depository institutions are seeking are both low-risk by their very nature, and would reduce the total risk of organizations offering them – by diversification.
          1. In much of the rest of the world, depository institutions operate simultaneously and successfully in both banking and securities markets. Lessons learned from their experience can be applied to our national financial structure and regulation.[5]

          The repeal enabled commercial lenders such as Citigroup, which was in 1999 then the largest U.S. bank by assets, to underwrite and trade instruments such as mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations and establish so-called structured investment vehicles, or SIVs, that bought those securities.

          This is God, Do I have to come down there?

          by allenjo on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:07:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  He didn't support an end to the Iraq (0+ / 0-)

          and Afghanistan war? Maybe I just daydreamed what I heard in those speeches then...

        •  Here are some big issues that separate the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          DLCers, and Blue Dogs  from progressives.

          1. Supports repeal of NAFTA and instituting Fair trade policies for protection of the Environment and Labor.
          1. Strongly opposes the Surveillance State (end suppression of political groups.)
          1. Doesn't believe the US has the right to determine another countries government (no more coups, no more support of Paramilitary groups)
          1. No more War on Drugs.
          1. Strongly in support of programs staying in the people's hand (NO Privatisation of public services, no privatisation of prisons and no public-private partnerships.)
          1. Media Reform (break up the media monopolies, give more public airtime to candidates and issues, journalism for information not entertainment, strong support of PBS and NPR)
          1. Strong campaign finance reform
          1. End corporate personhood.
          1. Cutting miltary budget by at least half and put more money towards humanitarian aid without strings.
          1. Use of military only in response to being directly attacked (There is a reason it is called the Defense department.)
          1. End War on Terror which defines no enemy.
          1. Free higher education - no body should be denied an education due to lack of funds.
          1. Education is for creating informed and thoughtful citizens not for free job training for business - if they want to train fine let it be on-the-job training provided by employers.
          1. Free home childcare
          1. Universal Healthcare.
          1. Ban Sprawl outright and begin planning americas cities according to sound environmental policies.
          1. The Living Wage tied to region.
          1. Ban tax encentivization that causes businesses to play and manipulate state Governments.
          1. Complete coverage of Women's health
          1. Equal pay for Equal work.
          1. Gay Rights.
          1. Immigration Reform - anybody here over five years earns citizenship.
          1.  National Rent control
          1. Repeal of recent changes in Bankruptcy law. Make pay day loans illegal. CAP interest rates on credit cards. Allow credit card contracts no longer than 3 pages long.
          1. BAN fine print on any product or contract.
          1. Set carbon goals along with the worlds most progressive countries.
          1. Free quality broadband to all houses. This is a free speech issue.

          28 Progressive taxation and elimination of regressive taxes or flat taxes.

          1. Change the farm bill to a food bill and only assist family farms.
          1. Limit or eliminate completely over reliance on pesticides.

          I am sure there are many more out there.

          Good Frames Won't Save Bad Paintings.

          by thethinveil on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:37:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Feet to the fire! (5+ / 0-)

        Now that we have a government run by Democrats, it's time for us to grow up and learn to become a force to be reckoned with in national politics.  Our nation's future depends on our success.

        This is God, Do I have to come down there?

        by allenjo on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:00:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Back to Reality (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Who is a Progressive?
        What do all Progressives stand for?
        Campaign season is over.  Barack Obama has harnessed progressive political power like no politician in our time, but his campaign is an entirely different thing from our movement.  Now that we have a government run by Democrats, it's time for us to grow up and learn to become a force to be reckoned with in national politics.  Our nation's future depends on our success.

        Two very great questions that have yet to have a consistant answer. Unless one goes by the CPC.
        The term has been co-opted by so many, that the def. and meaning has gotton lost or rewritten. How is one to identify a progressive candidate, if you don't have a measure by which to gauge? I don't consider Mr. Obama a progressive,though I did vote for him.
        I do however have my own gauge and it's not labeled DLC!

    •  My first suggestion: (7+ / 0-)

      A bumpersticker with a red circle and slash over an apatosaurus.

      No more DINOs.

    •  Just checked the recs on this diary-way to go! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Progressives unite!

      This is God, Do I have to come down there?

      by allenjo on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:11:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  DFA is pretty much in this business, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nudger, earwulf

      are they not?  They have to have learned a lot about effectiveness at the grass roots level.  I'd check in with them, if I were you.

  •  finding candidates to run (32+ / 0-)

    I think your mission needs to include finding people to run.I don't think we can rely on self selection ,someone needs to actively recruit and encourage people to try

  •  I'd like to help these campaigns (7+ / 0-)

    I think that the progressive campaign message can and should go out via different media, youtube, facebook, campaign website, and traditional media. There's no need to lock one's campaign to a traditional media outreach model.

    Also, what's needed are competent field hands--people that are assigned to each county in a congressional district for the congressional campaign. You can't get anywhere without a great field game, and figuring out how to reach voters.

    With respect to funding, the progressive blogosphere is great for that. I think we should have some variation of democracy bonds for the PCCC in terms of purchasing media market ad buys as that's what cripples a lot of grassroots campaigns with their inability to buy ads in expensive media markets.

    Anyone that joins the PCCC should have a portion of their donations set aside for the media marketing and the rest for field campaigns.

  •  Also, please recommend this diary! (6+ / 0-)
  •  Also, one additional point is to use the 2010 (12+ / 0-)

    census to figure out where the new House seats will come from. For instance, Texas is projected to gain three new House seats, with one of them from Travis County, which is home to Austin where most Texan liberals live. That would be a good target to aim for.

  •  Your best shot to start is probably (20+ / 0-)

    at the very local level. If you can get people you support elected to offices like city council, county clerk, sheriff, school board, mayor, dogcacher, county council, and state legislature, you will be building a backbench of candidates who can eventually contend for higher offices. That's how the Christian Right took over the GOP.

    •  exactly. School boards also matter too. (13+ / 0-)

      Right now, Texas has an fundie majority on their school board, and that's because Republican candidates had better funding and backing from their local parties than the Democratic candidates did.

      There tends to be a bit of a myopic focus on Democratic races at the state level, rather than at the local level and county level, and it's hamstrung potential Democratic candidates from running for local office.

      •  VA races (8+ / 0-)

        We are exploring some Virginia state legislative races. Virginia is one of the states will off-year elections. Imagine the best and brightest progressive operatives and activists chipping in to help a progressive candidate in a competitive state election. Fun just thinking about it...

        •  What districts are you looking (5+ / 0-)

          at running candidates in?

          •  good question (8+ / 0-)

            We have some really smart folks scouting them out. I'll know a bit more tomorrow actually. If you have some recommendations, would love to hear them.

            •  There are a couple in Fairfax and (6+ / 0-)

              Prince William County GOP incumbents who should be targets. Off the top of my head Tim Hugo, Tom Rust, David Albo, Jeff Frederick, and Danny Marshall are GOP incumbents in districts that Obama carried.

            •  Some Congressional Districts in FL (5+ / 0-)

              have been cnsidered low-hanging fruit, yet haven't seen the support for Democratic Candidates that is important to maintain the credibility of the Democratic Party and its branding in those congressional Districts:

              Press Release: 15 December 2008

              Democrats Organizing for 2010

              2008 Democratic Candidates Jay McGovern (FL-04), Tim Cunha (FL-06), Faye Armitage (FL-07), Doug Tudor (FL-12), and Steve Blythe (FL-15) are not sitting back after losses in their respective bids for Congress; they are planning for Florida's future.  The 'Florida Five' recognize the current financial crisis could have been avoided with better Congressional leadership and vision.  They are not content that Democrats enjoyed a net gain of only one congressional seat in the 2008 General Election despite the strong Democratic performance in the State. Moreover, they plan to do something about it.
              The former candidates have joined forces to share lessons learned and plan how they can enjoy economies of scale should they run again in 2010.  They will have their second group meeting since the election on Saturday, December 20th at the International Plaza Resort, Orlando during the Florida Democratic Party election of its state party officers.

              Organizing the 'Florida Five' is one aspect of organizing Florida statewide.  "Statewide Florida has been a tough win for Democrats; solidly Democratic South Florida is often viewed as 'too liberal' for the more conservative Democrats in North Florida, that perception gives the Republicans an advantage." says Tim Cunha, the first-time Congressional candidate, who garnered nearly 40% of the popular vote in November.  "The 'Florida Five' can link North and South Florida by emphasizing those values that unite us."

              "Sure we have some differences on issues and priorities," says Faye Armitage about the Florida Five, "but we share common values and guiding principles like our drive to return America to its leadership role in innovation in energy and medical research."

              Dr. Steve Blythe was narrowly defeated in a four way race last month.  Many political insiders believe financial help from the Democratic Party would have put him over the top in the open seat race.  "I'm a doctor not a career politician." says Dr. Blythe reflecting on his narrow loss, "We need solutions; today 1 in 5 Florida children have no healthcare.  You can't build a strong nation with sick children.  We need to fix it; I'm stepping up to the plate as a small businessman and doctor, not a politician."

              The Florida Five, individually with small staffs, vision, strong heart, and determination, surprised many and made everyone take notice.  They are formidable challengers in Republican held districts.  They ran campaigns that focused on the issues and gave a voice to those residents who were previously left out.  Doug Tudor, a retired Navy Master Chief, calls everyone "brother" and epitomizes servant leadership.  "Supporting our troops means a lot more than wearing a flag lapel pin, it means fully funding the VA and taking care of the families of our troops." Says Doug Tudor, "Giving a voice to those who have been left out by failed economic policies, is a natural extension of what I did as a non-commissioned officer in the Navy. It's just the right thing to do."    

              Jay McGovern also a veteran and professional engineer sees energy as job one to get our country back on track.  Jay believes, "Florida can be America's energy leader, and America can lead the world in new technology.  Floridians are under represented in Washington and we have not capitalized on our resources to create jobs and prosperity - specifically with local renewable energy like solar, wind, cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels. The Florida Five is a group of candidates as diverse as Florida itself.  We can literally and figuratively unite Florida, and lead our Country to energy independence through energy diversity."

              FAYE ARMITAGE, is a former Economics Professor in Orlando, and was the 2008 Democratic nominee for US Congress in FL-07. She worked in the healthcare and financial industry prior to moving to Florida in 1994. After her son's paralysis from a soccer injury Faye advocated on Patient Safety, Stem Cell Research, and Universal Healthcare in Tallahassee and Washington, earning local and national media coverage. The founder of Cure Paralysis Now, Faye raised five children on her own and continues to be a full-time caregiver to her now eighteen year old son. Her son-in-law is currently serving in Iraq.

              STEVE BLYTHE, a Melbourne family physician, was the 2008 Democratic candidate for Florida's 15th District. Dr. Blythe, a member of Physicians for a National Health Program, is a strong proponent of guaranteeing access to health care to all Americans. He has provided medical care in rural America, has served in academic medicine where he trained future doctors, and has made numerous medical mission trips to serve some of the world's poorest people.  With a solo private practice, Dr. Blythe understands the challenges facing small businesses. He is happily married and his children attend public schools.

              TIM CUNHA is a graduate of Rutgers University and Georgetown University Law Center. He has extensive experience in forming and managing entrepreneurial companies in diverse fields.  His business career has equipped him to understand and appreciate both the perils and potential of small business, and the constant struggle "Main Street" has competing with the special interests of "Wall Street."   He also has experience practicing law, teaching college, and conducting bio-science research. Tim and his wife Johanna, a former social worker, live in Ocala and are members of the Blessed Trinity Catholic Church. They have two sons.  Tim and Johanna continue to be avid hikers and campers, enjoying most outdoor activities.

              JAY McGOVERN is a Florida native, lives with his wife of 22 years, Carolyn, and daughters in Jacksonville.  Jay is a licensed professional engineer and small businessman.  After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, he served our country as a Navy Helicopter Pilot and Commanding Officer. He was promoted to the rank of Captain in 2005.  Jay was recalled to active duty following the terrorist attacks on 9/11, serving our country In Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom throughout the Middle East. He is also co-inventor and holds a patent on a process to recycle plastic.

              DOUG TUDOR is a retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer, and was the 2008 Democratic nominee for the U.S. House in FL-12.  During his active duty, Doug served as the Senior Administrative Assistant to three Commanders, U.S. Central Command - General Tommy Franks, General John Abizaid, and Admiral William Fallon - as they planned and prosecuted Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM.  He has deployed into the combat zones of Iraq and Afghanistan over 30 times each.  He and his wife, Paula, live in Riverview with their children.

              "Warning Democratic politicians against being "liberal" or moving "left" remains a time-honored - even compulsive - media ritual".~ Norman Solomon

              by fayeforcure on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:42:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  VA 59th HOD (0+ / 0-)

              Ask Michael about this one.

      •  Local office is very important (8+ / 0-)

        It opens the doors for higher offices. Also many important policies are decided at the local level too. Local elections are more important than people here realize.

        •   i posted a diary on this the other day (6+ / 0-)

          I'm going to be involved in some races in my city this year and may be running for office myself.   We are going to be working to change our city this year with challengers for many elected positions 15-20).   It would be great if there were a resource for the basics of running a campaign.  We have some people in our city who have the experience but they can't help everyone.   The interactive tools mentioned here certainly would be helpful.   Also, ActBlue doesn't offer their service to races on this level so online fundraising is something that people can use help with (Low cost solutions).  In addition to that I'm thinking about things to do with the day to day field operation:

          1 - Best software to use for your voter database

          2 - Examples of a typical media plan for a local race.

          3  - Paid staff vs. volunteer  - For local campaigns in smaller cities, it is unlikely you will have much paid staff (if any).  Examples and advice on this would be good.  Also, what people get paid to run campaigns would be very helpful.  

          4 -  Fundraising Basics - I recently watched the documentary Street Fight about Corey Booker.   He raised $3.5 million for his race in 2002.  I'm quite certain that didn't come from the people of Newark.  Since fundraising is so important any help for local campaigns on how it is done and some examples would be good.

          5 -  Number of voter contacts recommended.

          6 - Any of the metrics mentioned in the diary.  

          I'm sure there is plenty more.  And i'll be able to write in detail about this in 9 months based on personal experience, but this should be something that is developed.   You know the right wing has it.   They picked Sarah Palin years ago and helped her run for mayor.  

    •  Excellent comment (6+ / 0-)

      If you can get people you support elected to offices like city council, county clerk, sheriff, school board, mayor, dogcacher, county council, and state legislature, you will be building a backbench of candidates who can eventually contend for higher offices

      That bears repeating.

      Now please pardon my petty quibble:

      That's how the Christian Right took over the GOP.

      We need to stop referring to the Theocratic Wingnuts as the "Christian Right", imho. The Falwellian Dobsonites are not Christians, first of all, in the sense that true Christians base their thoughts and actions on  such concepts as love, forgiveness, tolerance, openness, inclusion, and grace, while the so-called "Christian Right" as we know them are the exact opposite of all these things. Secondly, what is right about hatred, intolerance, and hypocrisy? Bearing this in mind, we would do well to realize that there is no such thing as the "Christian Right", and we need to stop using this term to describe those who are neither Christian nor right.

      "Theocrats" or "TheoFascists" would be much more accurate and appropriate, imho.

      Just sayin'.

      Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

      by drewfromct on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:20:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. Long-term thinking. (4+ / 0-)

      The next great Democratic president might well be a community organizer.

      Hope you enjoyed it, Sarah, 'cause we just kicked your silly winking folksy lipsticked ass back to Alaska. Now shut the fuck up and stay there. Also.

      by Kaili Joy Gray on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:35:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  City Council Candidate Nov 3 2009 election (7+ / 0-)

      I am currently a Progressive candidate for Aurora Colorado City Council At-Large Member. "The Progressive Voice for Aurora"

      When I ran in 2007, I ran into so many national groups who told me they would like to help and support me but couldn't.  I had many local groups avoid me even though I was the only Progressive running in the city race and one of the few running in the state.

      I can always use monetary support.  The earlier the better because many organizations will provide monetary support if there is money in the bank account.  No money, then no money type thinking.

      I have to run a large race; 156,000 voters spread over 155 sq. miles, there are a lot of square miles of wheat so it is not as wide spread as you would think.  

      I need $25,000 to $30,000 minimum to win. The price of printing has shot up to the sky during the last several years.

      I need a campaign manager who can deal with the large size of this campaign.  The good managers cost money which I need to raise at the same time I am raising money for printing. One option is to have an outside group cover the cost of my manager and IT person.

      So far I have raised the ire of several right and far right groups with my stance supporting working men and women during the fight against "right to work"for less last year.

      In 2007 I came in a tight third in the race. The two incumbents won with me right behind them.  I needed only 1,500 more votes.  This year I will win, but I do need the money and volunteers to do it.
      Pam Bennett For Aurora dot Com is my website. It is currently being updated for the 2009 race so what you see is the 2007 placeholder front pages.

      If you want to win the top races you need to have quality candidates with proven track records at all levels of elected government.

      So the local races, city council and school board, may not get the attention the state and federal level races do.  But often times we are as large or larger in size and impact.

  •  I Reluctantly Recommended Your Diary (6+ / 0-)

    because you insist on the "progressive" evasion.

    NCEC had a mission the same as what you propose but to elect liberals.  They lost my support and that of many others when they were a factor in electing Joe Lieberman for the first time.

    Are you proposing to elect conservatives and wingers pretending to be Democrats that fear being libeled as liberals?  They will be anyway.  Only Democrats call themselves progressives.  No one else does.

    Just a sore point.

    Progressive has no meaning except for those radical progressives who are generally far to the left of the Democratic Party.

    Nevertheless I wish you well in your stated goal.

    Best,  Terry

    •  hmmm (14+ / 0-)

      The goal is to elect progressives. Not fake progressives. I think we all know what that means, despite the drawbacks of labels.

      Thanks for your support. Appreciated.

      •  One thing we as a movement will have (5+ / 0-)

        to be on guard for in the coming years are the corrupt, ambitious, self serving power seekers that become "Democrats" simply because the D's are in power.

        The SGA president from my time in college was a conservative Republican at the time (c. 2004). Now, according to my friend, he's a Democrat.

        That problem will only get worse as the years go on. But PCCC could serve an important role in weeding out those power seekers.

        If God hadn't wanted us to fly, he wouldn't have given us Bernoulli's Principle.

        by HamillianActor on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:12:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  My dear Adam, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, GOTV, Dems2004, thethinveil

        I think we all know what that means, despite the drawbacks of labels.

        You're kidding, right? You're on DailyKos.  We can't agree on what to have for breakfast, for Chrissakes.

        Listen to your locals. Try to listen to some locals who have been around local politics. Not exclusively, of course, but a few will be helpful to you.

        Otherwise, all the good ideas and technology in the world won't help you win elections.

        We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

        by Mary Julia on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:01:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  this is why I identify myself as a progressive: (4+ / 0-)

      "Progressives shared a common belief in the ability of science, technology and disinterested expertise to identify problems and come up with the best solution."
      Progressive Era.

      It is one of the reasons I try and push space issues.

      •  Interesting thought (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Consider that the "Progressive Era" came about during a period of great technological change. I'm sure a better historian than I could talk at length about the influence technological change had on the progressive movement or vice verse. But what if in this new period of fundamental technological change (with social media and other aspects), we could be experiencing the beginning of a similar period?

        If God hadn't wanted us to fly, he wouldn't have given us Bernoulli's Principle.

        by HamillianActor on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:34:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm More Interested in Electing Socialists (6+ / 1-)

      Who call themselves "progressives."

      I'm not interested in voting for any more "moderates," "liberals" or "progressives" who are apologists and advocates for Israeli War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.

      That's like supporting Dixiecrats in the Sixties, or worse.

    •  really? (4+ / 0-)

      Only Democrats call themselves progressives.  No one else does.

      Actually, lots of progressives abandoned the Democratic Party and joined local Green Parties.

      Then they come here to engage, and they get scorned, because they are not Democrats.

      Meanwhile, we will get to see how "progressive" our present crop of Democratic leaders is.

      Democrats have some work to do before they have the stature to claim the mantle of progressivism. Discussion of advancing progressive causes without examining why so many progressives have given up on the Democratic Party is useless.

      don't always believe what you think...

      by claude on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:07:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even Humpty Dumpty Would Have To Bow Down (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Democrats have some work to do before they have the stature to claim the mantle of progressivism.

        When Hillary Clinton says she is a progressive and denies being a liberal, she means she is a Republican Lite at best, a winger at worst.

        When Russ Feingold says he is a progressive, even the most liberal senator of them all is bragging rather immodestly of being in the Wisconsin tradition of progressive that makes a Berkleyite look very conservative.

        Democrats aren't Progressives and Progressives aren't Democrats.

        When language becomes imprecise and meaningless, Republicans profit because no one is better at manipulating symbols for deleterious ends.

        I am from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.  We are unabashed liberals who admire Progressives from a short distance but we ain't them.

        Best,  Terry

  •  Well the problem is (6+ / 0-)

    People don't know what the hell a progressive is. They call someone a moderate because they voted for 1 or 2 things they didn't like. Anyone besides Kucinich or Sanders is at risk of being called a moderate and it's a bit ridiculous.

  •  Just in case... (4+ / 0-)

    you haven't thought of this already, you should contact Wellstone Action.

    God, I miss Paul Wellstone.

    by Naniboujou on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:55:47 AM PST

  •  An obvious suggestion (19+ / 0-)

    One I'm sure you've already considered, but which I'll make nonetheless.

    Farm the Obama army. There are thousands of people with campaign experience that simply didn't exist before 2008/2007, a slew of which are ripe to become political professionals.

    I think that in thirty years from now, being a part of Obama's election will be invoked by Democratic candidates the same way McCain invoked his being "a foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution."

    The campaign managers and candidates of tomorrow will come from the phone bank coordinators and neighborhood captains of October.

    If God hadn't wanted us to fly, he wouldn't have given us Bernoulli's Principle.

    by HamillianActor on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:08:50 AM PST

  •  Social Infrastructure (18+ / 0-)

    Having worked a number of progressive election campaigns,  I think the thing that is generally missing from discussions about recipes for winning is what I call social infrastructure.

    Use of the internet to raise funds and create exposure is a new technology which ought to be employed to greater effect.

    But there is ultimately no real substitute for building up a local activism base that creates a pool of people with experience in how politics works.  In the old days, there were people in most every neighborhood who incorporated outreach to their neighbors in their everyday lives.  Thus, when a campaign started up, it wasn't from scratch.  A precinct coordinator could get a list of names of people who were good at pulling active neighbors together and they would start having meetings for the candidate to attend, and they would start calling for volunteers, money and to reach out into more groups and constituencies.  They could do this because they knew their communities through years of committed work.

    I was recently part of an attempt to start a Congressional campaign in an Arizona district where the previous campaigns were all consultants and media buys.  No grassroots.  The candidate floundered and then had to quit, despite being a good potential officeholder.  He was convinced that he needed to go by the book that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee insisted on and he had no confidence in a grassroots effort.  

    I think that is one of the key problems.  It is frightening to face the prospect of having to raise money for large TV ad buys, and if the orthodoxy can't produce, it is hard to have confidence in grassroots campaigning.  

    The overall impact of consulting cannot be overstated.  During the '90s, the rise of consultants coincided with a decline in participation at the local level which led to the election of Bush.  

    It was very interesting that the two candidates who emerged as the finalists in the Democratic Presidential contest were a '90s consultancy rooted one and a grassroots organizing rooted one.  

    The key to a progressive future is to build up local social infrastructure.

  •  Should your org have a list of people to NEVER (12+ / 0-)



    a public list of the campaigns they worked on and the money they got and the results the candidate got

    => people can judge for themselves

    IF New Candidate Josephine The Plumber is hiring losers,

    THEN Why are we giving time and money to Josephine?


    who were the parasites who sucked up 40 and 47 grand for the Same Old Shit?

    robert murphy
    precinct committee officier

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:11:49 AM PST

    •  ha (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie, seabos84, Jimdotz

      interesting idea...

    •  One word: consultants (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drewfromct, seabos84, Jimdotz

      While the vocabulary word itself doesn't necessarily come with baggage, a lot of people go into consulting because it is easier money than drug dealing and it is less risk.

      I would say that someone running for public office who is not smart enough to be able to evaluate who to work with, may not be qualified as someone who could work with the people an elected official must.

      •  rethink this (17+ / 0-)

        When people like Larry Lessig or Tom Geoghegan -- amazing intellects in the progressive space -- consider running for office, it makes sense that they wouldn't know who the right campaign consultants are. They've had other things to think about. The same with the regular mom or dad who was active locally and decides they are more in-touch with the needs of local families than an out-of-touch Congressman.

        I don't think we should look down on them for not knowing the whole political landscape. Some members of the citizenry in a thriving democracy should get involved in running for office through routes other than being political junkies. That's positive.

        The whole point of "Job #1" above is to recognize the fact that too many good candidates start from square one, and to have a piece of the progressive infrastructure aimed at solving this problem.

        That's where the PCCC comes in.

        •  Political Fact of Life (6+ / 0-)

          The problem with the model of intelligent people who are entirely naive about politics getting into politics is - that it is a political situation.

          To some extent, there is no substitute for political astuteness, kind of like there is no substitute for common sense.  However, having said that, anyone with decent social skills and the ability to be understood reasonably well can learn to be sufficiently astute to be adequate, especially if they really have some civic experience, like serving on committees or boards or something involving groups of other people.

          Having been through several dozen local elections and worked with people who were elected, some successful at being re-elected, some not, I think one quality that is pretty necessary is people judgement sufficient to allow a leader not to be tricked into trusting those whose purpose is to profit from steering a candidate or an officeholder wrong.  The most unfortunate fact of political life of all, is that there are lots of such people in the process at every level.  Some well meaning, some not.  If you can't tell the difference, you are cooked from the get go and will harm efforts that come after.

          •  Arguably the downfall of (0+ / 0-)

            of some of our presidents, George W. Bush included.

            If God hadn't wanted us to fly, he wouldn't have given us Bernoulli's Principle.

            by HamillianActor on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:36:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  um, w GWB Jr., NO. He don't give a f**k about any (0+ / 0-)

              anyone outside his social class,


              he wanted advisors who made life easy for the parasite class (rummy, cheney ...)

              AND / OR were just synchophants and toadies (alberto, rice... )


              Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

              by seabos84 on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:48:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It depends on how much (0+ / 0-)

                Machiavellianism you're willing to endow Bush himself with. I'm more inclined to seat it in Cheney et al who knew EXACTLY what they were doing.

                If God hadn't wanted us to fly, he wouldn't have given us Bernoulli's Principle.

                by HamillianActor on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:50:54 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Bush was the epitome of consultant politics (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TheOpinionGuy, thethinveil

                  Bush, Rove, et al should be a lesson for all time.  Bush and Rove were the product of consultant politics, which places the ultimate value on the game of electoral football over substance.

                  Bush was able to get elected because the consultancy/media system favored someone who understood that game - even if nothing else.

                  Governing?  He was still in campaign mode.  Thus, scandals all over the place which resulted from politicizing everything, blindly allowing cronies to do whatever the hell they wanted, and considering only election campaign sorts of values, particularly when they served the narrow interests of the Right Wing.

                  An example of how not to do it.

  •  "Emerge" in Massachusetts is preparing women (9+ / 0-)

    to run for office.  Have you checked them out?  We're a state that seems fertile ground for progressive legislators.

  •  I remember when the (9+ / 0-)

    Women's Political Caucus was running high, they had a teach in on how to run a campaign.  It was highly informative.  And yet, each woman that ran had to start from scratch.  She was expected to bring her own, if you will, to the campaign.  The caucus itself did have a pac and it vetted candidates, but I would have to say that its support was iffy at best.  It did provide a network of sorts to pull from a volunteer group and that was an asset.  And the network itself formed a donor list that was a start.  

    But, inherent within the boundaries of human nature, the caucus displayed its own flaws.  Cliques were rampant, possibly to hoard assets like donor lists and such.  One did not get a huge amount of knowledge about the political state of the state from that group (and I am speaking specifically of Missouri now).  Even though I recognize the humanness of such behavior it seem remarkably self defeating.

  •  How about electing a progressive President? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, Jimdotz

    We've never had one.

    Obama used to be for single payer before he came out against it.

    by formernadervoter on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:26:46 AM PST

  •  One of the most important things we need (12+ / 0-)

    is to have progressive messages spreading across America, NOT candidate dependent, so that candidates don't have to step into 'conservative' parts of the country cold, having to do all the heavy lifting of persuasion themselves.  Surely we all agree that progressive ideas will attract most people, if only they have the opportunity to be exposed to them consistently?  

    And we must, at some point, take on the Blue Dogs.  

  •  I don't know what the definition of progressive (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrcoder, TheOpinionGuy, addisnana, rossl

    or liberal is any more.

    Liberal, progressive, etc, I am getting lost in all the labels beause every time I buy that label it turns out to be counterfit merchandise.

    All I saw in the dem part of the economic bailout was incompetence. All I see in the dem part of the recent I-P resolution is total moral corruption and berayal of US interest.

    It seems the dem candidates are progressive until they get sworn and in the twinkling of an eye they fall lockstep into the old gang bizness as usual.

    I am on the verge of giving up. We should concentrate more, as Glen Greenwald suggested, on taking out the corrupted hacks in the dem party and not keeping them just becuase they are dems so they won't pollute the new ones we put in. Otherwise we are just feeding the beast.

    I will never forget Pelosi appointing Ryes and in his first press interview on Iraq he didn't know the difference between a Sunni and Shitte. The ignorance and incompetence in  running the congress as a seniority union or social club where friends do friends favors no matter how stupid they are makes my head reel.

    I think I will establish my own term limits and vote against term and they are out to me. Ring out the old,ring in the new, over and over, maybe they will get the message eventually.

  •  pragmatic politics (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fayeforcure, TheOpinionGuy, rossl, allenjo

    Wasted money and wasted motion are major impediments and I am totally on board at the level of principle.

    In this vein, on the shortest of the short list, if the voice of the people is to matter, belongs

    Term Limits.

    The office of the president has a two term limit. This is wise.

    But my own Representative Smith (NJ) has been in the same office for about twenty years; and the representative before him, from the other major party, the same story.

    Substantial familial dynasties are already evident in the House and the Senate.

    Who really admires dynasties?  Americans do not. Core, founding American values have never offered any misplaced love for dynasties of the sort so popular (or rather so suffered) in European history, much less familial dynasties in our own representative government.

    Particularly in the House -- the federal office intended to be most closely representative of the people they represent -- the current 98% incumbent reelection rate nationwide is evidence of a severe problem, a total disconnect from the intended design of the office, a 2-year (!!) nominal term.

    Term limits for the House must be on the short list for any progress in the quality of our representation, progressive or otherwise.

    •  Purpose is to limit progressives (6+ / 0-)

      Really what winds up happening is that term limits are pushed by people who are chagrined that progressives are staying in office longer than they would like.

      Local politics is a little different than state or national, in that people actually can become acquainted with office holders and local groups can easily gather enough strength to replace a stagnant officeholder with someone else.  

      If there are people who linger in office as dead wood, it is largely a sign that there isn't enough local activism.

    •  you're right that there's a problem (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      freakofsociety, Commoditize This

      but the solution to the problem of connections and cronies keeping a politician in office is campaign finance reform, not term limits.

      We want to keep the best ones around for their accumulated knowledge.

      The hopeful depend on a world without end, whatever the hopeless may say. --Rush

      by Leftcandid on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:42:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think the reelection in the house every two (0+ / 0-)

      years is a bit of a problem. How are they supposed to focus on what they are doing if they are thinking about running for reelection? It's a bit problematic. Again, election reform.

  •  SANE model (6+ / 0-)

    SANE was used as an acronym for Save Austin's Neighborhoods and Environment.  This was a vehicle for creating a coalition of political support that built up an ability for progressives to put candidates forward who could win various local elections, to support policy development while they were in office, and to continue the effort to create the dialogue throughout the community that could identify and deliberate issues.

    This started probably, with an election in 1981.  At that point, the city council had been dominated by a clique of oligarchical power brokers representing developers and big business leaders since around 1910.  They used the public's ability to go into debt as their bank, and took for granted that this allowed the elite to be the elite, to get rich.  This was taken for granted to the extent that it had driven the bonded indebtedness of the city to outstanding levels, relative to other cities.

    This formed the basis for chagrin with city hall among moderate to conservative home owners and electric rate payers.  There was a push to get away from the all-electric home model since the city owned electric utility forced homeowners, especially more modest income home owners to pay the freight for large scale businesses, rewarding usage over conservation.

    In a city with a sizeable black and latino population, minorities had been locked out of the decisionmaking process, just like middle class homeowners across the city.  

    Years of working at the neighborhood level to create various activist efforts had created hundreds of organizations in a city approaching at the time, a half million.  

    A series of issues came to a head, and in the election of 1981, three progressives got elected to the 7 member city council.  This wasn't enough to get the time of day.  So, a group began to form out of an ongoing series of meetings among activists in different groups to coordinate and communicate in some sort of unity of purpose.  

    The model is that a few people who saw a thread running through all this began to assemble a group out of frequent meeting attendees, then it became an organization with bylaws as a PAC, that allowed it to collect funds from a membership and use them for political advertising.

    We put together a tabloid because newsprint was the cheapest printing we could find, and then hand distributed copies using a system of neighborhood based, grassroots volunteers who at the core, were the members of SANE. We distributed between 8-10,000 and 20,000 copies.

    These were effective.  One election we tracked phone banking with a drop and the polling rose ten points in the two or three precincts we were able to track.

    Otherwise, we gathered the membership for candidate forums and then we voted on endorsements.  Endorsed candidates were backed by a series of actions.  We held press conferences to announce these.  We bought ads on radio.  We put out mailers to targeted precincts.  We worked with campaigns to target precincts to drop the tabloid.  

    I was involved for something less than 10 years.  At one point we ran into the problem that most of the leaders had been elected to public office at the city, county or state level.  Many others were appointed to commissions and boards.

    It took this much effort over several election cycles to get sufficient traction to really change the local paradigm and institute some progressive reforms.
    However, conservation economics applied to managing an electric utility along with alternative energy innovation, became something that public officials across the US could consider at conferences and in terms of studying economic performance over time.

    I would have to say that national policy in these areas will be affected as the next administration looks around to see what has worked and not, and cities are where the rubber meets the road.  

    So a lot more effect comes of all this in the end, than one might expect.  Thus, I think that this model should be considered by organizations attempting to achieve political success for progressive reform politics at the local or national level.

  •  Do you have Plouffe and Axelrod donating free (4+ / 0-)

    advice and mentoring?  The mission is on point for sure but those guys ran a totally tight and brilliant campaign for Obama.  We need ideas and management like theirs running many, many more progressive campaigns.

    •  Agree, what I think you're trying to get at (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ultimately, Adam, is a mentoring program. How to pass on institutional knowledge to newcomers to the political process.

      Find the winners of the last two cycles and start pairing them up with the progressive leaders of tomorrow.

      If God hadn't wanted us to fly, he wouldn't have given us Bernoulli's Principle.

      by HamillianActor on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 11:10:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Please define progressive for me... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because honestly, your endorsements aren't helping with credibility at the moment.


    •  Taking a crack at this... (0+ / 0-)

      From having worked this through a variety of election cycles, my primary take-away is that it is not received wisdom carved in stone like the Ten Commandments or the Bible.  Conservatives tend to need that, while most progressives are comfortable that they understand what it is about, based on more amorphous judgements like who they see standing in a room at an event.

      The pragmatism of it is that it hasn't worked as well to write manifesto copy as well as it has worked to get people together who are really community activists and leaders to forge or perhaps negotiate a common understanding.  People who, in that context, will identify themselves as progressive tend to succeed pretty well in getting themselves understood.  This is because for many people on a local level, actions speak louder than words.  What works is more important than empty rhetoric and posturing.  

    •  what do you mean? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kewalo, freakofsociety, CatJab, addisnana

      curious what you mean.

      but, fyi, as I wrote in the comments above, one of the questions we ask people who sign up at the PCCC site is what the #1 thing you look for is in a bold progressive candidate. I may do a blog post solely based on what people said. Please do share your thoughts on our site...

      •  Thanks for your efforts here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I saw the link above and signed in.  I think my one liner was that I look for candidates who demonstrate an awareness of what the local context is, and an ability to organize people towards goals.  To me, people who come from an abstract kind of manifesto approach, probably need to test theories in practice and prove they can work through community problem solving first, as a rule.

        I have been one who has attempted to draft progressive definitions for use in poltical organizing between campaigns and during campaigns.  I think a lot of bloggers want to see Presidential campaign like position papers and on a local level it just doesn't work.  People are face to face with each other and meet with each other frequently.  Progressive positions tend to be very specific on a local level and the ongoing negotiation about what "progressive" means as a result of this or that specific issue may get in the way.  Practical people don't usually have time for philosophical definitions.  They get it.  They just get it.  The problem is to have an ongoing process that people stay involved with.

      •  What I mean is... (3+ / 0-)

        Digby noted a few weeks ago that she'd prefer Specter to Matthews (if he decided to run). There's nothing progressive about either, but I'd prefer a bad Democrat to any Republican.

        Sirota bashes Democrats nearly every day of the week. Bowers is moderately better, but he gets his fair share of bashing without reason as well.

        I wouldn't consider any of the people you're saying have endorsed you as "progressives".

        Perhaps you could give me a sense of what you mean by naming a few progressives now in office? Or naming some who have run in the past?

        I've seen the netroots (and the folks who have endorsed your project) endorse candidates who are far from progressive (Webb and Tester, for example) and tout their greatness, but then I've seen the same people bash Nancy Pelosi (who has one of the most progressive voting records) for some of her votes, or her inability to get red state House members to vote for progressive causes.

        So, who exactly is a progressive? As far as I can tell from Sirota, it's whoever he has worked for...or whoever his wife has worked for - regardless of their political stances on any single issue. Do you share that opinion, or is there some other criteria?

        •  What the netroots are attracted to (6+ / 0-)

          are people who look like their fighting... if someone looks like like he/she is stylistically not a fighter, then, that person doesn't get the pass that a Webb or a Tester does.

          Basically, the netroots favor alpha Democrats.  If you're an alpha Democrat, you may get criticized from time to time, but there'll be one or two posts on it, as opposed to 10 over a span of 2 days.

          Truth be told, some of the best Democratic members of Congress aren't stylistically alpha Dems, but they don't get the coverage.

          •  Check out the maps. (0+ / 0-)

            CQ Politics map of party unity versus Bush Agenda.

            GovTrack Political Spectrum

            Where is your representative?  Do the outliers surprise you?

            These kinds of analyses tell one story.  The rhetoric, dissertations, and attitudes of the representatives tell another, and are often quite underreported.

            -7.75 -4.67

            "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

            There are no Christians in foxholes.

            by Odysseus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:32:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yes and there's nothing wrong (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          with being a moderate or conservative democrat either in my opinion. If the person isn't corrupted I don't see the problem with it. I consider myself a liberal, but I must admit that there are a lot of so called liberals who make it seem as though we have an exclusive club or something. I don't like that.

  •  I look for echoes of Paul Wellstone (6+ / 0-)

    In terms of clear principles and positions on issues, in terms of being "of the people" rather than better than the people, in being willing to speak truth to power...

    I also have a fond spot for old green buses and would love it it every progressive campaigned in one.

  •  Legal Component? (8+ / 0-)


    I think this is an awesome idea.  Although I have a question about the resources you are providing to the candidate.  Media, campaign consulting, etc. are all excellent but what I notice is missing is legal advice.

    I know from running my own PAC in 2004 that learning campaign finance law is a daunting task and there are not a lot of lawyers who practice campaign finance/election law exclusively.  As a matter of fact that's why I'm in law school right now (at 40!).

    Does your organization have contacts with or attorneys on staff that can advise fledgling candidates on reporting requirements, filing procedures, and the like?  Or, in the event of a tight election, represent them in court proceedings?

  •  The best way to get progressives elected, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, DHinIA

    at least judging by results: hire Dana Houle as your campaign manager.

  •  Speaking as a member of the GBLT community (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mediaprisoner, TheCid

    I was so looking forward to Clinton ending the ban on the gays in the military as he campaigned on, only to be handed DADT...

    Now, I worked hard for Obama, while getting sucker punched with Prop 8 and Warren.

    And so many of reactions here, re: Prop 8 and Warren, was, "So what," or much, much worse.

    That my future resource is going to be the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which supports openly gay candidates. Using this both as a resource to find out about candidates and where to direct my money and phonebanking.

    I'm coming to the conclusion that's the best use of my time and money. I've become suspicious of the progressive community and heterosexuals' commitment to issues of our equality.

  •  Another (redundant?) progressive group?? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mediaprisoner, TheOpinionGuy, allenjo

    Who is getting the backs of these progressive candidates? Who is helping them run competent, efficient campaigns so they can win? Right now, nobody.

    Off the top of my head I know that Democracy for America runs fantastic seminars on how to run a winning campaign. There is a Wellstone group that does something similarly. What about PDA? They must have something along these lines.

    Feels to me that Progressives keep splintering their energies and resources with all these different groups.

    •  An inherent problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      when on the non-authoritarian side.

      If God hadn't wanted us to fly, he wouldn't have given us Bernoulli's Principle.

      by HamillianActor on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:42:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  On point (4+ / 0-)

      Though for the most part these orgs only get involved in national races and not local. While there are good "nuts and bolts" seminars out there such as Wellstone and the DFA. The campaign or the candidate is left on their own to find the tools and money to put the "nuts and bolts" together, often times with well meaning but ineffectual volunteers and grossly over paid non-producing staff.
      I painfully saw this happen to several good local progressives in my state.

      Feels to me that Progressives keep splintering their energies and resources with all these different groups.

      I agree with your point to a degree. But this is exactly why we need to break free of the constraints of the DNC/DLC.

      •  not true AT ALL (0+ / 0-)

        DFA is all about local. They won't/can't even come into an area unless local people are doing the work.

        Yes, the candidate still has to find the tools and money to put the "nuts and bolts" together. And that would be a good use of an organization.

        I still sense there is too much splintering of progressive energies and monies.

    • opposed to the hundreds (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of right-wing political groups and PAC's with varying mission statements and different foci.

      They don't pay me enough to save, and they don't pay me enough to spend. So let 'em bail their own asses out and stop blaming me. -Joy Busey

      by James Kresnik on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 04:02:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Will you be working with any non-Dems? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mediaprisoner, rossl

    There are some great local progressive movements such as the VT Progressive Party as well US Sen Bernie Sanders.

    -7.5 -7.28, What's a guy gotta do to get impeached around here?

    by Blueslide on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:04:54 PM PST

  •  This is a great project (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jkb246, Snud

    Thanks for posting the announcement over here.

    Tired of violent language from right-wing pundits? Buy my book: Outright Barbarous

    by Jeffrey Feldman on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:25:07 PM PST

  •  We (still) need to do better with the MSM (6+ / 0-)

    at least, in my humble. The media still has the power to make or break a candidate, even competent, well-funded, well-organized, progressive candidates. Much of it seems to involve undoing the memes that republicans have so successfully put in so many people's heads. For example all progressive candidates are Godless, tax-raising, take-your-gun, "elites". Yes, we know it's bullshit but too many people still believe crap like that, thanks in large part to MSM propagating the myths.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:26:30 PM PST

    •  that's why the media marketing is so important (6+ / 0-)

      a lot of progressive candidates don't have the funds for a multi-media marketing campaign.

    •  Progressive candidates get ignored in TM (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Snud, James Kresnik, CatJab, rossl

      which helps incumbents because they already have plenty of name recognition.

      Incumbents also refuse debates. My opponent )in office since 1992) had not debated a challenger since 2002, and our debate in the 2008 election took place just one week prior to the election ~ if there isn't enough funding to get effective ads out in the TM, there is little name recognition for the Progressive candidate.

      Also there is the catch 22 of no DCCC nod which makes it hard to raise any significant funding, despite the district being just R+3.

      "Warning Democratic politicians against being "liberal" or moving "left" remains a time-honored - even compulsive - media ritual".~ Norman Solomon

      by fayeforcure on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:54:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mediaprisoner, fayeforcure, DHinIA

    I hope you'll coordinate with other recruitment/training-oriented groups as mentioned by others: Wellstone Action, PDA, DFA, etc. to build a national database for local use.  When progressives connect successfully, we win.

    The hopeful depend on a world without end, whatever the hopeless may say. --Rush

    by Leftcandid on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 01:48:10 PM PST

  •  What about third parties? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, jkb246, leema

    Will the PCCC support progressives in third parties?  There are plenty of great local Greens out there (the best are the ones who are in a race where no Democrat is running).  And there are successful state parties like the Vermont Progressive Party which has become a political force in Vermont, and in Vermont there's also independent Senator Bernie Sanders.

    Why focus only on Democrats, I'm asking, when there are plenty of quality candidates from other parties, as well?

    Vote for yourself at

    by rossl on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 02:16:56 PM PST

    •  When the Green party starts being serious (0+ / 0-)

      then I'll take them seriously. It seems to me that all they do is pop up every 4 years.

      •  Maybe you're not paying attention? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, mediaprisoner

        They do stuff between them, but maybe it's just not noticeable to you.  And there are more third parties than just the Green Party.  The Independence Party of Minnesota has some progressive people in it and it's been pretty successful.  At the local level in some places, the Green Party has been successful.  The Progressive Party of Vermont (pretty progressive, no?) has some state legislators and a lot of city council and other local officials.  They're also closely associated with Senator Bernie Sanders (that's right, there's an independent progressive in the Senate) and Anthony Pollina, who beat the Democrat but lost the election for governor in November.

        Then there is the case where only one major party (or neither) nominates someone for a seat.  In some states, this is the case with over 50% of the races for the state legislature.  In these races, third parties often get 20 to even 40 percent of the vote while barely fundraising or campaigning (simply because of lack of resources).  If they got some money and volunteers, they could win races like that where no Democrat is running.

        Vote for yourself at

        by rossl on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:09:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Missed opportunity: Bill Hedrick CA-44 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He came pretty close to winning in a deep red district. I wonder if he'll try a run next time?

    die welt ist shizer

    by Unbozo on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 03:13:13 PM PST

  •  If we aren't going to have real 3rd parties (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, mediaprisoner

    This is a great idea.  It's very clear that we need progressive Democrats. The Finesteins, Reids and Pelosi's of the world have to go ASAP.

    Obama will spend more time fighting his own Congress than getting things done. Just watch

  •  Very exciting. The incumbents need to be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    more vulnerable to the will of the people.  The PCCC effort will help challengers.

    I'm going to sign up.

  •  2 ideas for this worthy effort (and a caution) (7+ / 0-)

    Two ideas:

    1. Individuals not connected with campaigns often come up with great ideas for TV ads and mailers.  PCCC could be a clearinghouse for these efforts. Campaigns could ask for copy for an ad or mailer and people anywhere could contribute them.  Then others could critique them and make suggestions and campaigns could produce them almost at no cost.
    1. DCCC organizes (and pays for) hundreds of volunteers to travel to help with GOTV on the last four days of an general election, usually for special elections.  PCCC could organize people to come in from out of town to help a progressive defeat a conservative in a primary.

    And the caution.  DCCC has done a great job electing more Democrats to Congress, but many of us will never forgive them for working against great progressive candidates in primaries.  Unless PCCC limits its activities to helping progressive candidates where it is clear that there is only one progressive, there will be never-ending arguments over who was the most progressive, or the most electable progressive.

  •  Translating Daily Kos/MoveOn words into .... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, mediaprisoner, rossl

    Campaign team and structure.  Certainly the recent Obama campaign showed the way.  Impressive yes, but how realistic – given Obama, outraised his Repug opponent by 2x to build from scratch its campaign team and infrastructure?  (And what a great ride it was working with Obama’s campaign – empowering as hell)

    Frankly, real progressive change and candidates will always take root at the local level.  A level, at which, one cannot realistically afford to raise and dedicate thousands of dollars to solely building a first class progressive campaign team and infrastructure.  Most of us would be lucky just to have someone competent to file all the forms and record keeping on time.  

    Yes, as posters have pointed out there are training courses and great online fundraising tools like ActBlue (h/t to Howie).  

    Obama did however point the way.  Can we reproduce/co-opt/leverage Obama’s campaign infrastructure tools?  Can an "open" platform be built and offered online to any progressive campaign?  Can PCCC train field managers who could go in, implement the platform and train local campaign staff?

    Can PCCC help us turn words into progressive action?

  •  biggest impediment to progress is GOP talk radio (5+ / 0-)

    1000 stations with 24/7/365 attacks on anything or anyone progressive.

    one local blowhard reading chamber of commerce or GOP talking points can undo the work of thousands of citizen volunteers.

    "Who is getting the backs of these progressive candidates?"

    the talk radio monopoly is the backbone of the GOP. it enables RW/corporate domination and framing of the rest of the media through coordinated UNCONTESTED repetition that has no equal.

    when progressives finally figure this out and begin calling, complaining. boycotting, and picketing their LOCAL RW talk radio stations and their LOCAL sponsors on a regular basis they will actually be "getting the backs of these progressive candidates" in an effective way.

    ignoring the talk radio monopoly continues to be the biggest political blunder in decades

    by certainot on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 05:07:30 PM PST

  •  We need training (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mediaprisoner, earwulf, rossl

    I'd love to work on campaigns, run campaigns, provide strategic planning, etc.  It would be great to have a place to get the kind of training from seasoned experts, both nationally and on a statewide basis, so you have both systems to draw from.  

    Start teaching us how to fish, MoveOn, don't just fish for us.  

  •  A Recommendation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Stop bashing Israel.

    Here in New York there was a pro-Israel rally attended by 8,000 people and lots of politicians today.

    A pro-Palestinian rally yesterday attracted a few dozen.

    I can't speak for the rest of the country, but if progressives get identified as anti-Israel here in New York, that is the end of the movement in this state.

    Remember that New York City was attacked on 9/11 by Islamic terrorists. There is absolutely no sympathy for any terrorist group here even though there are hundreds of thousands of Muslims here.  Israel is seen as the victim of terrorism, not a bully. Also remember that New York City voted about 79% for Obama. (In the Bronx, it was 88% Obama.) So these are not neocons but mainstream liberal democrats.

    •  I'm as hard left as you can get (0+ / 0-)

      on every single issue on the list above. But I've been seriously questioning my beliefs since I've been reading all the Israel bashing, and sympathy for terrorists. If that's part of progressive territory, then that's not me.

  •  Another recommendation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, rossl, alizarin

    It is easy to get progressives elected in places like New York City. But not in areas that are not historically sympathetic. I would look to places that used to be staunchly Republican but aren't any more, and try to figure out what happened. For example, how in the world did Vermont become Obama's second best state? It never even voted for Franklin Roosevelt! Duplicate that all over the US and you will put an end to the wingnut influence forever.

    •  And understand where Democrats are failing. (0+ / 0-)

      CA and IL are two Democratic jewels that are both facing financial ruin.

      IL pensions are deeply underfunded.  This is the kind of thing that will produce a bitter and divisive fight in the future.  We cannot allow this kind of mismanagement.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 10:36:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe This is the ONE? (3+ / 0-)

    This is a really great idea, Adam!  With the proper help, perhaps a new party can form.  This can only be a good thing.

    One Question:  Is there room in the PCCC to support non-Democratic progressive, such as those found in the Green Party, or is this limited to Dems only?

    I gave you $25 (plus tip for ActBlue), by the way; always willing so support a good cause.

    I liked this line:

    Every relevant decision of the campaign will stem from the campaign management -- including whether to spend money wisely and whether to campaign progressively.

    How many candidates ever say, "No, let's not spend our money wisely this time."  And yet, by picking their brother-in-law to be the media consultant because he took Audio / Video in the community college is just that!

    Godspeed to you and your organization.  Our work is clearly not done.  We got a black man into the presidency, now we need to get a true progressive in there!

  •  CA-32 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Adam, in the initial HuffPo piece, there was mention of the PCCC playing in CA-32.  I think the ship has sailed on that front.  There are two pretty powerful candidates who have declared, State Sen. Gil Cedillo and state Board of Equalization member Judy Chu, who are pretty solid Democrats and have proven electoral successes inside the district.  Emanuel Pleitez from the Obama transition team is also running.  Are you planning to sign on with one of them, or someone else?

    D-Day, the newest blog on the internet (at the moment of its launch)

    by dday on Sun Jan 11, 2009 at 09:14:22 PM PST

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