The Progressive Change Campaign Committee

by: Chris Bowers

Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 00:58

An exciting new piece of progressive infrastructure is emerging to help progressive candidates in federal campaigns: The Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Rather than focusing on large, independent expenditures, ala the Club for Growth, it seeks to help progressive federal candidates, such as Tom Geoghegan, by providing them with expert staff, advice, strategy and connection to the netroots. The focus will be on open seat primaries, and progressives who face competitive general elections, but primaries against conservative Democrats might also come into play. From a Huffington Post story today:

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 Green, a cofounder, didn't rule out the possibility. Instead, it will prioritize competitive open-seat primaries and help general election candidates like Bennett and Perriello run effective campaigns.

The group's first forays are likely to be in the Illinois district vacated by Rahm Emanuel, who left to become Obama's chief of staff. Green says the group is in talks with a progressive labor lawyer, Tom Geoghegan, in that district. Another potential target: the California district emptied by Hilda Solis, who's been tapped to be labor secretary.(...)

The PCCC aims to be something of a guiding resource for first-time candidates like Bennett. By helping candidates find good campaign staff and make more effective use of the Internet, the group thinks candidates could save tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in consultant fees. Whereas consultants might charge thousands to record and pump out robo-calls, for instance, the PCCC could show a candidate how to do it in-house, online, for a fraction of the cost.

The organization is for real, composed of former campaign staff, staff, and labor organizers. It is also on track to raise $650,000 this year, and has backing. It should hit its fundraising targets no sweat, and it's experienced team knows what it is doing in a campaign setting. This is an exciting new piece of progressive infrastructure that should combine nicely with other emerging efforts, such as the primary project that I mentioned last month.

Organizing energy is clearly with progressives right now. Since noon Wednesday, 47 members of the Open Left community have raised over $2,200 $2,600 for Tom Geoghagen and BlogPac. Now, the PCCC has been added to Better Democrats 2010 as well. While it may seem shocking early to start a 2010 campaign page, the early bird gets to govern.

Chris Bowers :: The Progressive Change Campaign Committee

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The PCCC (3.50 / 2)
sounds really awesome.

I'm not quite clear on what they will be doing, providing advice to campaigns ala a consulting firm or providing trained staffers to achually work on these campaigns. But I'm sure that will come out in due time. Good people are working on it.

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

In answer to your question... (4.00 / 7)
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.

I love this initiative and I've put my money where my fingers are n/t (4.00 / 2)

[ Parent ]
Great work, Adam. (0.00 / 0)
I will help when I can.

[ Parent ]

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