Ending the Progressive Starvation Diet
by Matt Stoller, Fri Jan 26, 2007 at 08:55:32 AM EST
Chris and I write about money in progressive politics quite a bit because money is a statement of our priorities, and priorities and not voting records or rhetoric are the basis of political power. One of the main reasons, in fact perhaps the reason, that the Progressive Caucus in the House (which is the largest single caucus) has almost no power, and the Blue Dogs have a fair amount, is that the Blue Dogs are funded. This goes for progressive activists as well - the response to Chris's discussion was remarkable, both here and on Daily Kos. We need to end this starvation diet. It's very basic - Hillary Clinton's strategy is to cut off money to parts of the party she doesn't like, and that means the progressive wing.
Blogpac is almost at 10K raised for Blogpac's 50 state blog network. Laura Packard is defining the criteria for the blogs who qualify, and Blogpac is going to pay for their hosting for a year. The idea is to support community forums in each state, where activists can congregate. After this network is put together, we'll hopefully be able to find additional ways of serving these local blogs, through training, additional money, or networking with other organizations (like unions that are really keen on figuring out alliances with the netroots).
Blogpac also channeled $2k and a citizen hero award to Lane Hudson, who pushed the Mark Foley scandal into the news. We want to keep giving small but critical amounts to progressive heros so they can get back on their feet. This is going to be an open process, one you will own. Eventually we're looking to get up to 200 recurring donors of $10 each, so we can give out one prize a month and change the culture of progressive politics away from single-issue nonsense and towards rewarding people who make change.
Chris and I are opening up Blogpac to make it a vehicle for the progressive activist world to take care of those making change. We're going to try to be as transparent as possible, and push as many decisions to you as possible. It's also not a one-stop-shop, since Blogpac ought to fit in with what other organizations are doing. It's not about ownership and control, it's about generating a consistent stream of revenue and institutional security for those making progressive change. And it's certainly not a total solution - there needs to be a lot more than Blogpac changing the one-way flow of progressive money.
Anyway, Actblue has implemented recurring donations. If you'd like to make it a priority to increase progressive power on the internet, and if you'd like a place to give money that you know will be used well (and with your input), sign up to give $10/month until November, 2008. We're going to continue this conversation about money and priorities. Blogpac will be pushing money to progressive activists that no one else will fund, and it will begin working to support the local blogs that provide a platform for change all over the country.
Oh, and there's one more thing. We're kicking the crap out of the right on the internet right now, but don't underestimate what a well-funded infrastructure combined with a starvation diet for progressives can do to kill our advantage.