The Democrats' Fifty-State Strategy

The Nation is advancing a copy of the article, "PURPLE AMERICA -- The Democrats' Fifty-State Strategy Stokes North Carolina's Grassroots" to post on MyDD. The full article is in the extended entry.

As a "first in a series of reports" that by Nation contributing writer Bob Moser, running through the 2008 elections, that "explore the evolving grassroots realities of so-called "red"-state politics in this time of political transition" to a national Democratic party, its a welcome exposure of the 50-state plan.

I recall the 50 state plan emerging very early during the Dean campaign, in 2003, when we talked about having a "BlogforAmerica" blog active in every state. The plan, at least in it's web incarnation, was ahead of its time, and iirc, we got about 15-20 states off the ground within the campaign before it ended. However, it was the start, and by the time the 2006 mid-terms rolled around, state blog communities were launched within nearly all of the 50 states.  Laura Packard is the admin here on MyDD for the State Blogs. We are now up to 44 states, with three states having multiple community blogs.

This Nation story is about North Carolina, and if you've read 'Crashing The Gate' then you are familiar with the story of Jerry Meek, and his leadership in the 'quiet revolution' takeover of the NC Party by progressive outsiders over insiders, its a story of what happened next. The article also focuses on Howard Dean, and his huge role of leadership in this effort at the DNC, and the battles that lay ahead for Dean and the 50 state strategy, particularly if one of the insider campaigns gets the Democratic nomination.

There's more...

Help Us Find Our Newest Staff Member

Cross-posted from BlueNC

Jerry Meek is Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party

Hey everyone! Exciting things are happening at the North Carolina Democratic Party and I need your help.

We're looking to hire a full time Director of Internet Communications. To check out the job description or get information on how to apply, click here.

If you know someone who would be perfect for this job, please encourage him or her to apply. Or, if you'd be willing to make a contribution to help pay his or her salary, click here.

I also need your input. If you have suggestions for creative things that our Director of Internet Communications should be doing, please let me know.

And once we've narrowed down the applicants to a few, I want you to help me interview them right here.

So, stayed tuned. And thanks in advance for your help.

A Few Thoughts on Yesterday's Bloggers' Conference

Jerry Meek is Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

Ok, so, I didn't know how yesterday would go. Two months ago I decided to invite some of the top progressive bloggers in the State to gather here at the State Democratic Party headquarters for a discussion. It took place yesterday. (Click here to see the agenda). And, I have to admit, not only did I find it productive and informative, I actually had a good time.

Twenty or so bloggers joined me for a day long (yes, from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm) discussion about - among other things - how to advance a common agenda, what the State Party can do differently to engage the blogosphere, and how the blogosphere can reach out more effectively to offline activists.

Joining us was Congressman Brad Miller. Many of you know Brad from his posts here and at dailykos. If you haven't gotten to know him offline, you should. Brad is one of the most thoughtful and sincere people I know in politics (and, I know quite a few). And he is a bridge between the traditional way of doing politics and the future, comfortably sprinting down both trails.

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North Carolina's Blogosphere Rising

Lots of traveling over the next five days.  Over the next four days I'll also be going to Iowa and New Hampshire with Andy Stern to blog his book tour.  Today though I'm in Raleigh talking with North Carolina progressive bloggers at the North Carolina Democratic Party headquarters.  

I don't know what they put in the water in NC, but the state establishment here is the most blogger-friendly in the country.  The party headquarters is a beautiful and historic building, and the party chairman, Jerry Meek, has read and commented on blogs for years.  He's a grassroots organizer at heart, and has terrific relations with everyone in North Carolina Democratic politics.  He's pushing county parties to have websites, and to connect with members over email.  It's not just Jerry - Congressman Brad Miller actually blogs on a fairly regular basis, commenting all over the place (including here) with useful and interesting comments.  

Both Jerry and Congressman Miller recognize blogging for what it is and why it's important.  It's not just another broadcast medium, it's a public space for activists to congregate and do the work of politics.  It's not the only place for that to happen, but it's the most public, visible, and open place.

The blogs in North Carolina are terrific.  It's a well-developed community that helped boost Larry Kissel to a near-win in NC-08.  BlueNC is fast becoming an institution in state politics, and they are learning and improving their ability to influence the political process.  North Carolina is a state to watch to flip in 2008 or 2012.  The progressive movement here is full of talented and committed activists who are working to leverage the new political power on the internet, and with some work on the national level and a little bit of funding and coordination, it will turn purple.

Here are the blogs represented in the room.

BlueNC
Interstate Q
The Political Junkies
The Southern Dem
Exile on Jones Street
Scrutiny Hooligans
Pam Spaulding
The Syntax of Things
Jerry Williamson
WNCNN (youtube)

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A North Carolina Blog Party

Now this is pretty cool.

State Democratic Chairman Jerry Meek has turned to the Web to get names of someone who can beat Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole in 2008. The plea is part gesture to the power of political blogs and part acknowledgment that he has no strong candidate in sight.

"Who Should I Recruit to Defeat Dole?" Meek asked in a Saturday posting, which in three days has drawn almost 100 replies in a lively conversation with suggestions ranging from Gov. Mike Easley to former UNC-Chapel Hill basketball coach Dean Smith to Elizabeth Edwards.

Meek writes that Dole may not seek re-election because she is battered by her unsuccessful effort to keep the U.S. Senate in Republican hands.

"But even if she does run, we can beat her," Meek writes. "So, who should I recruit to take her on? Don't limit yourself to politicians. Are there good business people or community leaders out there who share our vision and can win?"

The thread is on BlueNC here. Brad Miller's name pops up once or twice.

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Diaries

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