A new website, Swing Left, began popping up on Twitter, claiming to get people in touch with their swing districts to support progressives in congressional races. However, there are numerous problems as Robert Cruickshank, a noted Dailykos writer, points out on Twitter with the website.
In addition to the incorrect information being given to people who give away their information to sign up on the website, the people behind the website are Ramin Hedayati and Josh Krafchin. I had sent them a message on Facebook asking who they were since the website does not list people on staff or who started the website.
Josh Krafchin recently left his marketing website, Clever Zebo, with his Russian partner, Igor Belogolovsky. Then he started up @swingleftorg, which has been collecting over 100,000 email addresses and information of progressive activists. This website is not affiliated with any traditional Democratic groups or organizations.
I would caution those to be very careful of giving away information to websites or organizations that do not list their founders, or a team or staff, or do not have any ties to existing Democratic organizations.
The end goal of Swingleft, and “new websites” that pop up for progressives could be to continue the ongoing party polarization by running unverified “progressive” candidates against registered Democratic candidates in primary races. Such intra-party battles are often to the benefit of conservative candidates and to the Republican Party.
UPDATE: Swing Left now lists who is on their staff:
Swing Left was started by Ethan Todras-Whitehill, a writer and teacher, Joshua Krafchin, a marketer and entrepreneur, and Miriam Stone, a brand strategist. The three brought in their friends, who in turn brought in their friends, to help build Swing Left in the wake of the 2016 election.
We’re not politicians or professional organizers. We’re a group of individuals from diverse industries, including tech, media, finance, nonprofits, and art. We have no formal affiliation with any party, union, or organization, though we’re not against such affiliations. We are citizens. And like many people, we've been sitting on the sidelines for too long. We don't have all the answers, but we know it’s time to channel our anger and despair in a positive direction.
In the words of Barack Obama, We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
People are of course free to give their information away to organizations like Swing Left, but always check to see who is on staff, and what the sources of funding are before you give such information away or donate. If there is no transparency, then exercise all forms of caution. It is far better to give or donate to existing progressive infrastructure since they have a demonstrated record of organizing, voter efforts, and have usually kept voter/activist information private.