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, MoveOn.org staff, and labor organizers. It is also on track to raise $650,000 this year, and has MoveOn.org 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.