|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 Chris and David 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. (BoldProgressives.org)
UPDATE: This post is now on the "most recommended" list at Kos. Feel free to also participate in the discussion there.