Progressive Trickery

01.11.13

An Actual Left-Wing Conspiracy

Matthew Continetti rages against the lack of attention paid to efforts by left-wing groups to promote major reforms allowing the progressive movement an easier time in American politics. For all my problems with the right-wing media bubble, this is a shameful lack of coverage from the traditional media. (And major props to Mother Jones' Andy Kroll for breaking this huge story.)

[I]t is a major story. The brainchild of Michael Brune, Phil Radford, Larry Cohen, and Ben Jealous, the Democracy Initiative, according to Mother Jones’s Kroll, is “the first time so many groups teamed up to work on multiple issues not tied to an election.”

These guys have pull. Brune is the executive director of the Sierra Club and former executive director of the more radical Rainforest Action Network. Radford runs Greenpeace. Cohen is the president of the 700,000-member Communications Workers of America, “the largest telecommunications union in the world.” Jealous is the president and chief executive officer of the NAACP. Their “conversations in recent years” about the malign influence of conservative donors in politics developed into the “invite-only and off-the-record” meetings in June and December, where representatives of “30 to 35 groups” pledged “a total of millions of dollars and dozens of organizers to form a united front” on the issues of “getting big money out of politics, expanding the voting rolls while fighting voter ID laws, and rewriting Senate rules to curb the use of the filibuster to block legislation.” The most recent meeting was held at the headquarters of the 3-million-strong National Education Association, which is less than half a dozen blocks north of where President Barack Obama works.