Corrente

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Does anybody know who funds "Bold Progressives"?

[Love the name. As if to be "progressive" somehow didn't require being courageous ("bold" being Versailles vernacular for the left end of the Overton Window).

Or possibly "bold" as opposed to being italic, say. "Italic progressive has a nice ring to it; maybe somebody with time on their hands could set up a parody site... *]

Anyhow, their website has all the marks of a D front organization, a Trojan Horse: the "Obama look," combining the Gotham font, blue, and gradients; no visible board; no explanation of funding.**

Now, danps reminds us that iffy organizations like Bold Progressives have their role to play, let's keep our eyes on the ball:

In the short term at least, and maybe beyond, DC (or national) groups might have a substantial role to play in state and local activism. The crucial piece of organizing that needs to happen right now is for the folks on the ground to develop enough native infrastructure to allow them to strike out on their own - perhaps with wobbly legs - and not be dependent on anything from On High.

So, if I were a non-D activist, and I encountered another activist who had bought into "Bold Progressives," I don't know if I'd share Corrente cynicrealism at full strength; but I'd certainly feel free to mention that while I liked some aspects of their program, and it's always good to pull Obama to the left, I really would like to know who was funding them, and who was really making their decisions, so as to have some idea, when push really comes to shove in 2012, where they'd come down.

And the single payer fight in 2009* tells me that "Bold Progressives": (1) talk a good game; (2) don't want anybody else to talk any game they're not talking; (3) will betray working people and the poor in need of health care at the drop of a hat, or rather a funding dollar; and (4) aren't that savvy, since, after all, Obama had sold them out on their precious fake public option sparkle pony from the very beginning. (Either they didn't know, in which case they have no savvy; or they did and went on advocating for it anyhow without telling what they knew, in which case they're the scum of the earth. Which is it? Decisions, decisions...)

I mean, think about it. If you were, say, David Axelrod, and you saw authentic grassroots and non- or even anti-party grassroots movements springing up in the heartland, what would you do? Obviously, you'd keep the national leadership (Obama and so forth), well out of it, since that would interfere with the project of creating a government of national unity with the Rs, and that has happened: Obama hasn't lifted a well-manicured finger to help. But you would also use your own well-honed Astroturfing capacities to infiltrate, betray, and decapitate the authentic left, exactly as happened in 2008. In other words, a straight replay, right from the playbook. Not saying "Bold Progessives" are in that mode, but the complete lack of transparency is a huge honkin red flag.

NOTE * Although I notice, from both personnel (Jason Rosenbaum) and policies (public option) this is exactly the same crowd that censored and betrayed single payer advocacy in 2008, as their funders desired. So I guess that makes people like us "strike-through" progressives....

NOTE Here's what, and all, they say:

Paid for by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee PAC (BoldProgressives.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. Contributions to the PCCC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

PCCC, 1630 R Street, NW, #703, Washington, DC 20009

OK, so who are the funders and who is the board?

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coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

I just got from Adam Green and his group tells me to contact Gabrielle Giffords' office to do something.

Now I live in Arizona and I am sorry that "Gabby" was hurt (as well as many others) but we all know that she is not working. So I concluded that this is just BS to gather sympathy and signatures. (BTW "Gabby" was an Obot from the first day and even voted against HRC and took Obot PAC money for her campaign even when real Democrats from the great state of Arizona voted for Hillary in the primary...my bet is that they are an Obama front.

Submitted by lambert on

My deeply paronoid spidey sense is tingling here, because I didn't get any such letter. So that tells me that they're running some kind of zip-coded operation here, able to target at least to the district level (as indeed they should).

So, let's imagine the Ds as the sort of parasite that works by mimicry. Let's assume that the Ds have, in fact, been listening to the blog that everybody hates and nobody reads about working at the local level (and all the other blogs like us, of which I have to assume there are several thousand). And let's assume that the Ds want to mimic and masquerade the authentic grass roots, kill them off, and then sink their probosci deeply into body politic yet again. What would they do?

1. In 2011, set up a front organization and gather a ton of local data. Not just email addresses, but local concerns and issues.

2. In 2012, use all that data for micro-targeting local issues below the district level.

This way, you'd have the central D organization doing the strategy and controlling the micro-targeting, but appearing to be local, or on the side of the locals, because they had stored enough local information in the database to appear plausible.

Rather like drones, if you think about it; supposedly surgical strikes that create a great deal of collateral damage, but having the great virtues of being centrally controlled from far away, and making a great deal of money for the consultants and contractors.

NOTE Naturally, an organization like Bold Progressives, or the cohort with which they are involved, would bill as contractors for the data gathering aspect (that's what the 2011 campaigns are for: information gathering. The fund-raising makes the operation self-funding, but it would become a side issue). They would also bill for the technical development of the database and the website.

Not that I'm paranoid...

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

My e-mail (I'm going to forward it to you Lambert) says "E-mail Gabrielle Giffords" while someone in Michigan gets their representatives name.

Interesting. Definitely an Obot move.

Keep tingling!!

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I was thinking of writing a similar post. I think that at one time they did have their board up there and Celinda Lake was on it along with Hamsher, Stoller, and Digby of all people. But maybe my memory is off.

Submitted by lambert on

Google cache?

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

beowulf's picture
Submitted by beowulf on

I think its set up as a way to shoehorn favored campaign workers (or "strategists" as Fox News would say) into paid campaign consulting gigs. They're not exactly Doctors Without Borders but it seems more or less above board (granted, for all we know the Koch Brothers are funding them, its a PAC so they should have financial data on file with the FEC).

Copied from Openleft, Jan 2009

Hi, this is Adam Green, one of the PCCC cofounders. First, thanks Chris and David for the strong endorsements. Truly appreciated.
In answer to your question, Populisa, the PCCC's main goal is to help progressive run effective campaigns and win. Here are the top 3 jobs in the short term:

Job #1 - helping them find super-competent, progressive campaign mangers.
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.

Job #2 - working with the campaign 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. Also, as I said in the Huff Post piece, paying TV consultants thousands of bucks for a YouTube video is a waste of money (especially if it just looks like a TV ad). Technology has changed, talent has devolved to regular people, and campaign spending should recognize that. Plus, our team is uniquely suited to help campaigns know how to use the Internet to run people-powered campaigns -- and work with partners in the blogosphere and overall progressive community.

Job #3 - economies of scale. Why do so many candidates spend weeks of staff time and thousands of dollars designing a C-rate 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.

Wanna do your part? We could use whatever you can afford in this tender start-up phase:
Donate here. Then, stay in the loop with us here. Still wanna help? Tell a friend! Seriously. Let's grow this thing
by: AdamGreen @ Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 00:52:00 AM CST

Submitted by lambert on

Nice riff I'll have to remember....

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Eureka Springs's picture
Submitted by Eureka Springs on

The first time the term "bold progressives" appears in my box is Dec, 2007 from Campaign for America's Future www.ourfuture.org . They are organizing for a "take back america march... I remember thinking then and now, "take back America" had a wingnutty meaningless sound to it.

In Jan '08 MoveOn used the term in an endorse Obama for prez letter.

A month later CREDO used the term in an email for the same purpose as CAF above.

Don't y'all just love the smell of veal in the morning?

Not much else until Oct. 7, 2008 I have a thanks for signing up with Bold Progressives letter, now please donate. Timing looks like they were thinking about their payroll post O election.

I wouldn't be surprised if we discover both labor and medical profiteer money involved.

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

From Wikipedia:
"In the past, PCCC has partnered with Democracy for America in running political advertising aimed at individual members of the Congress who have not supported the public health insurance option as part of U.S. health care reform, including Chuck Grassley,[5] Olympia Snowe,[6] and Max Baucus.[7][8] PCCC raised funds by encouraging Democrats to donate $1 for each day Norm Coleman refused to concede during the recount battle over the 2008 Senate election in Minnesota.[9][10]"
From "source watch":
"The organization is an offshoot of MoveOn and labor organizations according to Ryan Grimm reporting January 7, 2009, on the Huffington Post website: "A group of progressive operatives from MoveOn and labor circles have teamed with a prominent Internet pioneer to try to give the Sam Bennetts of the world the final push they need -- and send even more Perriellos to Congress. The organization will be the first of its kind exclusively to focus on electing progressive Democrats in congressional elections. It won't focus its energy on unseating conservative Democrats, but Adam Green, a cofounder, didn't rule out the possibility. Instead, it will prioritize competitive open-seat primaries and help general election candidates ... run effective campaigns. ... Aaron Swartz is another cofounder and the co-inventor of RSS, which has changed the way people consume information online. Swartz co-founded Reddit, a popular Web 2.0 site depends on user interaction. Staff from Perriello's campaign, as well as that of Washington's Darcy Burner, are also involved. Stephanie Taylor, who ran Perriello's field operation in the campaign's final month, is a former union organizer with over ten years of field and online experience at SEIU, the AFL-CIO, the DNC and MoveOn.org. Mudcat Arnold was Burner's field director and Michael Snook was data director and targeting analyst for Perriello. The group expects to raise and spend around $650,000 this year and more in the next. It has already gotten MoveOn backing and is meeting soon with other progressive-leaning organizations. The goal is to raise money from outside sources rather than to charge candidates, though some type of fee may be involved.[2]

According to the website ActBlue, "The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) is a new PAC set up to help bold progressive candidates run first-class campaigns and win. It is led by former MoveOn staff, union organizers, staff from Darcy Burner and Tom Perriello’s 2008 House campaigns, and the co-inventor of RSS and Reddit."[3]"

Oh yeah, a deep Dem sinkhole.

Time for Real Change

Submitted by lambert on

Pre-2008, I used to get a ton of hits from them....

* * *

But thanks for the info. Now, why is none of that information on their website?

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

Can you think of anything "bold" that you'd approve of over the past decade? It's meant either "with reckless disregard of facts" as in Bush's bold actions to bring democracy to the Middle East, or "anti-democratic" as in Congress's bold plans to reform entitlements despite the public's overwhelming support for Social Security and Medicare. "Bold" just means "FU, peasant!"

gizzardboy's picture
Submitted by gizzardboy on

From Darcy Burner (who ran for Congress in the Seattle area in 2008 and lost a close race:
"Many of you have been asking what I'm doing now that the election is over. I told you that I would never stop fighting for progressive ideals, and I won't.

I'm happy to announce that I've just taken a job in DC as the executive director of a 501c(3) non-profit organization called the American Progressive Caucus Policy Foundation, where I'll be spending my time bringing together progressives inside and outside of Congress to help advance the things we care about: peace and global security, energy independence, environmental sustainability, human rights, civil liberties and the health and economic well-being of us all.

It's a fledgling organization, but I'm incredibly excited about the opportunity to work every day for the principles we've been fighting for. (You can find more information about the organization at www.progressivecongress.org. If you want to help, contact me.)

In my personal capacity, separate from this non-profit, I'll also continue to be engaged in progressive political advocacy."

Then this is from Darcy in July 2009:
"I wanted to pass along some really innovative activism being done by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee -- a group for which I am an honorary chair, and which dedicated to electing more progressives to Congress."
(snip)
"I encourage you to sign up to stay in the loop with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee at BoldProgressives.org."

Darcy disappeared from the emails not long after that and Adam Green appeared.

thisolelady's picture
Submitted by thisolelady on

Hey, Folks, There is a lot of misinformation posted here about PCCC. Soooo, to start with…. the basic questions from Lambert regarding PCCC – and this is a quote – I really would like to know who was funding them (PCCC), and who was really making their decisions, so as to have some idea, when push really comes to shove in 2012, where they'd come down….their website has all the marks of a D front organization, a Trojan Horse…. Not saying "Bold Progressives" are in that mode, but the complete lack of transparency is a huge honkin red flag….OK, so who are the funders and who is the board?”

The responses posted to these questions included some inaccuracies and misconceptions, which I would like to correct. Firstly, regarding the board of directors, there were two posts directing you to websites that have nothing to do with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), regardless of the similarities in their names.

Admin.hipparchia suggested that further investigation into the board of directors was not necessary. All you had to do was….”just click on the links on their site, it's all out in the open, right at the bottom of their 'about us' page. can't get much clearer than that. http://action.progressivecongress.org/t/... To set the record straight, this is a link to the Progressive Congress Action Fund, a totally different organization. It has no connection to PCCC.

Secondly, Gizzardboy sent a link to the American Progressive Caucus Policy Foundation, http://action.progressivecongress.org/t/ An organization with which Darcy Burrows was associated. However, The American Progressive Caucus Policy Foundation has nothing to do with PCCC either. Even though there is, as Gizzardboy noted, an email from her in which she mentions PCCC. She is quoted as saying, “I wanted to pass along some really innovative activism being done by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee -- a group for which I am an honorary chair, and which is dedicated to electing more progressives to Congress." An “honorary chair” is just that. No official connection, just a friend of the family, so to speak. However, she is not on (nor was she ever on) any Board of Directors or in any way involved with PCCC operatively.

There is “no lack of transparency” as suggested regarding the Board of Directors. The answer is simple – there is no Board of Directors -- I repeat, No Board of Directors. There are no stealth organizations in the background pulling their strings. The only ones making the policy decisions and dictating the direction of the organization are Stephanie Taylor and Adam Green, the ONLY two co-founders. And, contrary to what Julia Williams posted, Aaron Swartz was not a co-founder, although he was one of the first hires, joining either late 2009 or early 2010. He was with them for just a very short time, just a year or so. .

Now, onto their funding….once again, they are what they say. The majority of their funding comes from small donors. Beowulf posted a link to open secrets http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/lookup2.php?cycle=2010&strID=C00458000 noting, “They look all right, I see the Soros family has put some bank in.”.... Thank you, Beowulf, for that information and to that, I just have to say, Yeah, two Soros family members donated all of $5,000 each – chump change compared to what has been given by individuals (the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, etc.) to conservative groups. You’ll note at Open Secrets, PCCC’s largest donations were in the $5,000.00 range. They have been above board and listed themselves as a PAC, unlike some organizations which call themselves “charitable (501C4) organizations”, but whose major activity is political….hiding all financial data. I know it is exciting to think that something scandalous has been discovered about this group – but, there is no mystery or scandal here. Taylor and Green started this on a shoe-string budget and continue to run it as such and it really is all right there at Open Secrets.

I would also like to clarify something for Julia Williams who wrote, “The organization is an offshoot of MoveOn and labor organizations”. It was an off shoot only in that both co-founders worked for MoveOn prior to leaving and starting PCCC. As far as being connected to the unions, the only connection is that Taylor had previously worked as a union organizer. Neither, MoveOn nor any union group, had input either technically, philosophically or financially in PCCC’s conception and organization – with the exception of a $5,000 initial donation from MoveOn in 2008. PCCC was the total brainchild of Taylor and Green (see) http://www.c-ville.com/pac-founded-by-young-local-democrats-helped-tip-s...

One final thing to Lambert – You hypothesized with your statement that “…They would also bill for the technical development of the database and the website...making a great deal of money for the consultants and contractors….” This is an interesting hypothesis, but totally off the mark with PCCC. Just in addressing the statement, “Making a great deal of money” if you go to http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/lookup2.php?cycle=2010&strID=C00458000
you can see that salaries and benefits increased dramatically from the 2010 campaign to the 2012 cycle. However, the number of employees more than doubled during that time. Secondly, looking at numbers, you can see that the co-founders salaries cannot be anywhere near those of say a Carl Rove or David Axelrod, etc….no big bucks here. To the second hypothesis -- that they are a front organization gathering data and information for some big, elusive, manipulative, behind the scenes national group – the Obama Campaign. They were not involved in the presidential election, thusly had no connection to the Obama Campaign. They are working with and for Congressional candidates. During the 2012 campaign, they did nothing for or with the Obama organizations. As a matter of fact, there’s not a lot of love lost between some of the Obama staff and PCCC, as evidenced by then-White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel referring to them as a “f---ing retarded” liberal group when they were standing their ground about the public option during the health care debate.

Hope this sets some of the record straight….Any other questions, I’ll be happy to answer.

Submitted by hipparchia on

As a matter of fact, there’s not a lot of love lost between some of the Obama staff and PCCC, as evidenced by then-White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel referring to them as a “f---ing retarded” liberal group when they were standing their ground about the public option during the health care debate.

anybody who is reviled by rahm emanuel is a friend of mine!

otoh, any group that's trying to rally support for "the public option" and "health reform" really ought to in all fairness rebrand themselves as "timid progressives." or perhaps "progressives", even the bold ones, are really just timid liberals, or maybe they're just pseudo-liberals. lbj admired canada's nascent medicare system so much, he tried to bring it to the us. he compromised and settled for getting medicare for old people, with the hope that it would eventually be extended to all of us. if the "bold" progressives were working on extending medicare to the rest of us, even if only incrementally, i'd be more impressed, and more supportive.

but i do thank you for taking the time to set us straight on the funding.