Progressive Activists Launch 2010 Accountability Campaign
Accountability Now, SEIU, Daily Kos, United Steelworkers of America, ColorOfChange, Working for Us PAC, Blog PAC and MoveOn.org Political Action to Recruit Progressive Leaders for Primary Challenges
Washington, DC— Accountability Now PAC today announced they will partner with allies at SEIU, Daily Kos, United Steelworkers of America, ColorOfChange, Working for Us PAC, BlogPAC, and MoveOn.org Political Action in a research project to find strong progressive leaders who want to mount primary challenges in 2010.
"Many Congressional incumbents are demonstrating that they are only interested in following the money, and have lost touch with their constituents. We want to help progressive leaders in their communities find the support they need to take them on," said Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake.com. "We want to identify viable challengers now for 2010, let them know we're here and help them to find the resources they need to run successful campaigns."
"We're supporting this effort because we need to find bold, new, progressive candidates -- the next Donna Edwards -- to make sure that voters are well represented in Washington," explained Eli Pariser, Executive Director of MoveOn.org.
The group will initially focus on finding and supporting community leaders across the county who are considering running in primary campaigns, and includes:
The coalition plans to expand the effort to focus on supporting online fundraising and promoting candidates within their respective membership organizations.
"Our elected leaders need to remember that they work for us, not the other way around," said Anna Burger, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer. "SEIU members and our coalition partners are putting the folks in Washington on notice: we are watching, and we are ready, willing and able to hold you accountable to the hardworking men and women who elected you.
This same group – and others – came together earlier this year and galvanized support behind recently elected Congresswoman Donna Edwards in her successful bid to oust Democrat Al Wynn.
"Donna is incredible, but she's not unique," said Steve Rosenthal of Working for Us PAC. "There are dozens of Donna Edwards's out there ready to stand up for working people and challenge the status quo. They just need to know that when they put themselves on the line, there will be progressive forces to back them up."
"The only thing that influences many Congressional incumbents is the fear of losing their seats, and having an organization that can recruit and support credible primary challengers is the most effective way, perhaps the only way, to make incumbents pay attention," said Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com.
The purpose of the effort is to provide voters with real choices in primary campaigns, and to make sure elected officials are listening to their progressive constituents rather than big money, business special interests and cautious party leadership.
"Too many people get to Washington and then come down with political amnesia, forgetting that they are there to serve their constituents," said Markos Moulitsas. "Power flows from the bottom up, and incumbents often need reminders of that basic fact. If elected officials -- liberal or conservative -- truly represent the interests of their districts, they have nothing to fear. But for those who have lost sight of the people they serve, we are here to support grassroots efforts fighting for representation that reflects the true local spirit."