Continuing my series on the excellent book written by David Horowitz and Richard Poe entitled "The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party" in which I excerpt key portions to highlight the danger America faces from the new left.
In the first post I posted about the overview the authors gave of The Shadow Party, the second post was about the first of Seven Sisters comprising the Shadow Party, MoveOn.org and then onto Hillary’s thinktank – the Center for American Progress in the this post. The third sister, America Votes, was highlighted in this post and now I present the fourth sister, America Coming Together:
Only two days after the team from BeDuCi’s restaurant launched America Votes, George Soros held his 17 July meeting in Southampton, where he and his associates pledged $23.5 million to America Coming Together and $3 million to "the official Hillary Clinton think tank," the Center for American Progress. Internal Revenue filings give 17 July 2003 as ACT’s official launch date. However, the public announcement did not come until 8 August 2003, when the Washington Post announced the roll-out of a new political action committee, naming as its co-founders Ellen Malcolm and Steven Rosenthal.
On the surface, America Coming Together was simply one of 33 member organizations under the umbrella of Cecile Richards’ America Votes. However, ACT played a special role among the affiliate groups during the 2004 election. As the Wall Street Journal explained, affiliates such as Planned Parenthood and the NAACP pay $50,000 apiece for the privilege of joining America Votes, for which they gain access to ACT’s high-tech, get out the vote system.
The Journal describes an encounter between Rebecca Barson, an official at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and cyber-activist Rob O’Brien from ACT, whom it describes as a "tattooed young man sporting a black t-shirt and earring," with a laptop computer. Ms. Barson wants to canvass single, local young women, ages 18-30, who are registered Democrats and likely to respond to a pro-abortion message. Mr. O’Brien hits a few keys on his laptop and, voila, up pop the names of 812 local women answering Ms. Barson’s target profile to a "T", their addresses marked by dots on a street map. From that point, the Journal explains, "it was up to Planned Parenthood – and a host of affiliated liberal organizations working with ACT to divide up the terrain – to reach the voters, assess their political inclinations and cajole supporters to vote on Nov. 2."
"This is the first time we’ve really done field work on his level," Ms. Barson told the Wall Street Journal. "We would never be able to afford the voter file and mapping software on our own." It all sounds so exciting and cutting-edge – applying state of the art splinter-group marketing techniques to a political campaign. But columnist Craig McMillian of WorldNewDaily.com sees a more sinister dynamic at work. Voter registration drives are considered non-partisan, and therefore permissible to 501(c)(3) non-profit groups such as Planned Parenthood. Thanks to ACT’s software, however, Democrat activists such as Ms. Barson can now go through the motions of pretending to carry out a non-partisan voter registration drive while in fact targeting only single Democrat women who, if they can be prodded to vote at all, will surely vote only for Democrat candidates.
In McMillian’s view, the transaction between Ms. Barson and her be-erringed young friend from ACT constitutes but the tip of an iceberg of corruption. When they pay their $50,000 membership fees to America Votes, what those Democrat non-profit groups really appear to be purchasing is access to a cornucopia of "illegal coordination" via "private cell-phone conversations, within encrypted e-mails, and on password-protected websites." In short, their fees buy access to the Shadow Party and its resources.
During the 2004 campaign, America Coming Together claimed on its website to be running, "the largest voter contact program in history." America Coming Together coordinated, facilitated and provided foot soldiers for the Shadow Party’s "ground war" – it’s grassroots voter mobilization drives, using manpower both from its own ranks and from its "partner" organizations in America Votes. America Coming Together claimed to employ over 1,400 full-time canvassers during the 2004 election cycle, as well as thousands of volunteers working from 55 offices throughout the battleground states. Its website boasted that the voters it mobilizes "will derail the right-wing Republican agenda by defeating George W. Bush and electing Democrats up and down the ticket."
In order to ensure that the voters it mobilizes would cast their ballots only for Democrats, ACT canvassers focuses on "swing" voters (which it defined as "pre-retirement women" and "younger voters," whom its websites describes as less likely to be politically informed then other demographic groups). It also targeted "Democratic base voters" – such as African-Americans and Hispanics – "who vote Democratic but need extrea contact to persuade them to vote."
America coming together and its affiliate groups used intrusive, high-pressure tactics to register and mobilize voters, both by phone and by door to door canvassing. Not only did its canvassers register voters, but they compiled extensive personal dossier on them – including such private information as their driver license numbers, social security numbers, and favored candidates in the election – information that could be retrieved on demand through canvassers’ hand-held Palm Pilots. Follow-up was key to its get out the vote strategy. According to its website, its canvassers extracted firm "promises" from individual voters, then followed up to make sure that "promises are kept."
ACT’s website does not explain precisely how its canvassers went about enforcing the "promises" they exacted. However, the menacing demeanor of at least some ACT canvassers no doubt proved motivating to many voters. On 23 June 2004, the Associated Press revealed that an undetermined number of ACT’s fulltime canvassers were felons, convicted for crimes that included burglary, assault and sex offenses.
In 2005 ACT shut down….but Steve Rosenthal just switched names. When they got their asses kicked in the 2004 election there was no way to justify keeping ACT around so he formed a new group this year called They Work For Us and is on the board of the new PAC Working For Us.
Today, a new organization was born, They Work For Us.
Looking to instill discipline among Democrats, a coalition of labor, trial lawyers and liberal groups is launching lobbying and campaign organizations this week to keep Democratic lawmakers from straying on populist issues.
Democrats who don’t hew to this agenda could find themselves facing well-funded primary opponents _ an aggressive strategy to counter moderate and conservative blocs within the party.
They Work For Us is led by Steve Rosenthal, former labor organizer and head of ACT. Its members include SEIU, the United Steelworkers, MoveOn, the American Association for Justice (formerly the American Trial Lawyers Association), and this little ol’ website (I’m on the board).
Little more on the new groups:
If Working For Us decides a congressman is not adhering closely enough to Democratic principles on economic matters, the group will use its nonprofit organization –They Work For Us — to till the soil in the district by disseminating alternative policy proposals via e-mail, phone calls and other traditional grassroots means like door-knocking. They Work For Us, which can accept unlimited donations and is not required to disclose the identities of their contributors, already has raised $200,000 with a goal of collecting $3 million.
Should the targeted lawmaker not respond to the grassroots campaign to sway his or her vote, Working For Us — the PAC — will step in to recruit and financially support a primary challenger. "We’ll make sure they are well funded — and will do all we can to educate constituents about the true track records and beliefs of both candidates," Rosenthal said.
So while they changed the names the goal remains the same. Illegal coordination between non-profit groups to get voter registration and voter swaying drives to the right people.