About OpenLeft

by: Chris Bowers

Sun Jul 08, 2007 at 23:09

OpenLeft is a news, analysis and action website dedicated toward building a progressive governing majority in America.  The three founding partners are Chris Bowers, Mike Lux, and Matt Stoller.

For more information on the term "OpenLeft," please see the article "What Is OpenLeft.com?" by Matt Stoller.

You can reach Chris Bowers at christopher_j_bowers@yahoo.com. For advertising inquiries, e-mail Adam Bink at adambink@gmail.com.

Chris Bowers co-founded Open Left in July of 2007.  He was a full-time editor at MyDD from May 2004 until June 2007, and has been the Treasurer of BlogPac since March of 2006.

Some of his projects have included the creation of the Liberal Blog Advertising Network in 2005, Use It Or Lose It and Googlebomb the Elections in 2006, strengthening the 50 state blog network, the BlogPac Entrepreneur Contest, Freeze Out Fox News and pushing against residual forces in Iraq in 2007, starting the Personal Paid Media campaign in 2008, and organizing the Senate public option whip count in 2009.  He has worked as a consultant for MoveOn.org, Media Matters, SEIU, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

He is also a fellow at the the New Organizing Institute, a fellow at Commonweal Institute, on the advisory board of The Democratic Strategist, and has personally joined in "the silent revolution" by winning a seat on the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee.  Chris is 35, and lives in Philadelphia with his wife Natasha Chart.  He can be reached at christopher_j_bowers at yahoo dot com.

Mike Lux is the co-founder and CEO of Progressive Strategies, L.L.C., a political consulting firm founded in 1999, focused on strategic political consulting for non-profits, labor unions, PACs and progressive donors.  Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Political Action at People For the American Way (PFAW), and the PFAW Foundation, and served at the White House from January 1993 to mid-1995 as a Special Assistant to the President for Public Liaison.  He also played a role in five different presidential campaign teams.  While at Progressive Strategies, Lux has founded, and currently chairs a number of new organizations and projects, including American Family Voices, and the Progressive Donor Network. Mike currently serves on the boards of several important organizations, including the Arca Foundation, Americans United For Change, Center for Progressive Leadership, and Progressive Majority, the last three of which he co-founded. He also was a co-founder of Ballot Initiative Strategy Center and Women's Voices/Women Vote, has served on several other boards throughout his career, and played a role in helping launch the Center for American Progress and Air America. He is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

In November of 2008, Mike was named to the Obama-Biden Transition Team. In that role, he served as an advisor to the Public Liaison on dealings with the progressive community and has helped shape the office of Public Liaison based on his past experience working on the Clinton-Gore Transition, as well as in the White House.

On January 14, 2009, Lux released his first book, The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be. Lux's book was published by Wiley & Sons.

David Sirota is a journalist, nationally syndicated weekly newspaper columnist, radio host and bestselling author living in Denver, Colorado. In reviews of his work, the New York Times called Sirota a "populist rabble-rouser" with a "take-no-prisoners mind-set," while the Philadelphia Daily News labeled him "a progressive powerhouse." His weekly column is based at the Denver Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Portland Oregonian and Seattle Times, and now appears in newspapers with a combined daily circulation of almost 2 million readers. In 2008 and 2009, Sirota was named best columnist by 5280 magazine - the largest general-interest magazine in the Rocky Mountain West and one of the nation's largest circulation regional publications.

Sirota, whose two books (Hostile Takeover and The Uprising) were both New York Times bestsellers, has contributed to The New York Times Magazine and The Nation and hosts the weekday morning talk show on Denver's Clear Channel affiliate, KKZN-AM760. Before becoming a full-time journalist, Sirota was a Democratic political strategist serving as a senior campaign aide to Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Montana's first Democratic governor in 16 years; a campaign adviser Connecticut's antiwar icon Ned Lamont, who defeated Sen. Joe Lieberman in the 2006 Democratic primary; the chief spokesman for Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee; the press secretary for Vermont Congressman Bernard Sanders, the longest-serving independent in congressional history.

Adam Bink Adam Bink is the Online Strategy Manager for Progressive Strategies LLC. He specializes in online communications and social networking strategies including new media outreach and using internet tools for creative action. Adam also coordinates research, travel and schedule for firm President Mike Lux. At OpenLeft, Adam principally writes about progressive and LGBT movement strategy and infrastructure. He provided on-the-ground coverage from the No On 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign to protect the state's marriage equality law, and wrote extensively about movement strategy questions around the National Equality March. Since 2007, Adam also manages advertising and collaborates on design, technical work and action alerts.

While at Progressive Strategies, Adam coordinated the research, editing, fact-checking, and publishing process for The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be by Mike Lux. He also planned and executed the 60-event, 29-city national book tour and traveled extensively to promote the book with Mike.

Prior to joining Progressive Strategies and OpenLeft, Adam produced reports on women elected to local governments and coordinated event logistics while working at the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership at the University of Rochester. Adam also interned with the HELP committee staff of Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and at campaign finance and public affairs firms. He has been active in organizing for LGBT rights, electing Democrats and other progressive causes since leading his first canvassing trip to Cleveland, OH during the 2004 election cycle.

Adam holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Rochester and an M.A. in Political Management from the George Washington University. He hails from Buffalo, N.Y. and, yes, actually enjoys the record-setting snowfalls featured on cable news. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, playing ultimate frisbee around town, and relaxing at quirky lefty independent coffee shops. He can be reached at adambink at gmail dot com.

Natasha Chart Natasha started blogging about environmental and social justice issues in 2002, as a returning college student looking for a new direction after getting caught by the dotcom layoffs.  Increasing political awareness and news saturation led her to work for her school paper, volunteer for political campaigns, and shift her environmental studies towards journalism and political action. She founded Pacific Views, has written for MyDD, and also currently writes at Our Future.

Matt Stoller is the senior policy analyst for Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida.  Before that, he was a political activist/blogger in DC, and edited MyDD from November 2005 until June 2007. He also consulted for the Sunlight Foundation, FreePress.net, and Working Assets as well as proactively networking other progressive bloggers/internet activists and progressive professionals.  In 2006 Stoller was very involved in supporting Ned Lamont's campaign to replace Joe Lieberman as senator from Connecticut, a project he undertook after he came off of the Jon Corzine for Governor in New Jersey, where he blogged for the campaign.  Stoller was one of the co-creators of The Blogging of the President, which explored the ongoing digital transformation of politics first in weblog format and later as a nationally syndicated talk radio show from Minnesota Public Radio. This represented one of the first attempts to bring the conversation in the blogosphere directly into the broadcast media.  In addition to his daily work, he has testified before the Federal Election Commission on the role of electronic media in politics, and is the co-author with Chris Bowers of a report on electronic communities in politics.  Stoller started blogging in response to the buildup to the Iraq War in 2002.  Stoller worked on the Draft Clark movement to bring Wesley Clark into the nominating race for president of the United States.


Chris Bowers :: About OpenLeft

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About OpenLeft | 8 comments
Hi guys (4.00 / 1)
Good luck with this site!

From FDL well-wisher...

blogroll (4.00 / 1)
your blogroll should add think progress

they are # 14 blog on technorati and have some of the best research.

glenn greenwald is another good one.

glad u went with soapblox.

I write at Plural Politics

Definately add Glenn Greenwald... (4.00 / 1)
...and Digby too.

"When the going gets Weird ... the Weird turn Pro" - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

[ Parent ]
Welcome! (4.00 / 1)
I'm glad I'll still be able to get my wonk on with Chris and Matt.

Western North Carolina and the world at Scrutiny Hooligans

Thank You (4.00 / 1)
I am excited to see a new site that is pushing a progressive agenda.  I have been very disappointed with the rightward march of the Democratic leadership in Washington.

We need to push them back toward "We The People."


What a joy to find like minded people -finally and at last (4.00 / 1)
I just read about OpenLeft on Firedoglake.  You guys rock!  You're on my list!  Thanks!

The God Controversy (0.00 / 0)
Atheism verses religion has become topical of late. Celebrated intellectuals engage in verbal fisticuffs over the existence or nonexistence of
God. I find the contest a fool's errand. God, as a concept, evolved as a universal artifact in virtually every society. To deny God denies history, as well as some fundamental human need. God, like all mythologies, addresses the ineffable questions and mysteries the intellect cannot fathom through means other than art. As such, it plays a vital part in the means people use to adapt. When it produces the epiphany of brotherhood, it serves the interests of survival.
Given the uncertainties surrounding the ineffable and the mysteries, God easily becomes a playground for charlatans. A priesthood that uses literalism to turn blind faith into fact for its own purposes exploits the believers. Theology becomes fantasy turned to the service of an elite. A science that denies the ineffable and the mysteries may function as another priesthood. That God has been more abused than honored does not prove that God does not exist. The spirit that resides in the nervous system may have no mass but it does carry a lot of weight.
Arguments for or against God are not amenable to proofs. Neither side adds anything useful to the narrative of survival. I see natural selection as the means of reconciling the conflict. The concept of God did evolve as a means of adapting to a problem that plagued humanity: tribalism. The common father enlarged the scope of the tribe. The tribes grew bigger and stronger through religions and nationalism. Unfortunately, so did problems when those groups sought hegemony.
Rather than deny God or deify dogma, we should be assessing what God must mean to us and how the concept can serve survival. Does our chosen God help or hinder our adaptation to reality? This may be seen as the religion of Darwin. What happens on the ground matters, not dogma. Murder remains murder even if you say your god approves it. Natural selection may not take sides but it is not neutral. The algorithm favors efficient use of energy, which requires a set of values that make the best use of resources and individual skills (for example, divisions of labor based on merit).
The ineffable and the mysteries exist, in part, as a consequence of natural selection's failure. I term the failure Natural Selection's Paradox: Natural selection does not distinguish short-term from long-term adaptations in the short term. The success of short-term adaptations can use up the resources needed for long-term survival. The failure is so obvious and simple that it has so far eluded science. Survival requires a long-term ethic, a God that addresses the failure and does not leave us at the mercy of the Paradox.
The obvious consequence of the paradox manifests itself through adaptations to the wrong thing, such as energy-wasting technology that destroys the environment the genes require. Our genes define the limits of our ability to adapt. We can easily create an environment where our genes can no longer adapt. Technology in the hands of the old gods has severely threatened survival of the children's children.
Another consequence of the paradox I term the Outlaw Gene: the exploitation of other peoples' labor. One can acquire energy in two ways. People can engage in divisions of labor based on merit where all share in the product or they can steal other peoples' labor. The permutations run from equality to slavery and in simpler times spawned tribalism. The methods of obtaining energy from others run from brut force to deception. Class stigmatization provides the most efficient means of socializing people into "their place in the food chain." Survival of the tribe may justify exploitation of other tribes. The tribal dynamic runs from ancient associations and races to modernity's Money Tribe.
God's answer for the self-destructive consequences of tribalism and the Outlaw Gene requires a transcendent value. Only 'survival of the species' will serve. Only that time frame and breadth of empathy, embraced by this value, can bring peace to the global community. Survival of the species also provides the basis for addressing adaptations to the wrong thing.
Richard Dawkins observed in The Selfish Gene that genes must reproduce themselves, and therefore carry on a war to beat the competition. Mark Ridley observed in The Cooperative Gene that divisions of labor often provide the most efficient way to acquire energy. Cooperation requires a social contract, which depends upon the genetic dispositions Matt Ridley observed in The Origins of Virtue. I observe, through the concept of the Outlaw Gene, that the short-term efficiency of stealing other people's labor may turn off the cooperative gene cluster and its instincts.  God must speak to us of a brotherhood that seeks survival of all the generations. If we borrow from the future, we mortgage our children to a world without resources. We could commit no greater sin under the genetic imperative observed by Dawkins
To keep the faith, humanity must believe that we can survive without making the earth or someone else pay the price. We are what we adapt too. We can adapt to the ecology that designed us and to the needs of justice. Or we can continue to adapt to our own artifacts, like money, and pursue individual interests at the expense of others. The concept of survival of the species embraces the greatest mystery. Only God can solve that mystery: how to survive in peace. Let us design such a God.
1. For a complete discussion of the related issue see the book "Natural Selection's Paradox."

Liberal politics is the target of those who still believe in white supremacy masked by claims government is evil. We have to fight.

carter stroud

Each fell from world over extension  on borrowed money
1% owned 20% Financial Wealth--43% today (80% own 7%-like bananas)
1% took 10% individual income-24% today
5% own 63% all net worth today

Tax Cut poor 2%
own 50% financial wealth
take 30% individual income
Include many of the 9 million in these income categories

Please help them send donations to Camp Butner for Mentally Deranged Republicans-waiting list in  millions-
clarence swinney olduglymeanhonest  room 106 camp butner
Achmed mad mad mad mad at Inequality in America Achmed Kill
political historian lifeaholics of america burlington nc comments welcome cswinney2@triad.rr.com  

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