It doesn’t get any more inside political baseball than this, but it’s a hard hit for movement progressives and activists, some of whom have been serious movers and shakers.
The groups dropped by the Democracy Alliance tend to be those that work outside the party’s structure. Groups with closer ties to the party, such as the Center for American Progress and Media Matters, retained their status with the Democracy Alliance as favored organizations.
The decision to drop certain groups was delivered to those affected last week. Among the ones axed are Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Foundation, James Rucker’s Citizen Engagement Lab, Melanie Sloan’s Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (known as CREW), Third Way, the Center for Progressive Leadership, the Advancement Project, Democracia, Free Press and Simon Rosenberg’s NDN, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. Groups working on issues relating directly to people of color appear to be the most dramatically affected.
Inside Grimm’s reporting, the statements of gratitude for Democracy Alliance from strong progressive fighters being kicked out will give you an idea of DA’s power, but also the quickly regrouped attitude required of ousted groups to maintain their image and confidence as they seek independent funding in a very competitive financial climate this year.
Not being in the progressive movement community, but a liberal writer about all things political, I can’t help but see this as a corralling money moment, so that funds can be directed strategically, which means to those who already have power.
When you look at what Greenwald’s group has done on the Koch Bros., as well as Melanie Sloan’s group, but especially James Rucker’s work in helping to oust Glenn Beck, there’s been some real work done here to expose elements of the political world that are worthy of investigation.
Democracy Now! has been outside the DA circle for years now, I believe.
Media Matters, who has close Democratic Party ties, as well as Center for American Progress, which does as well, both remain inside DA.
But Deborah Sagner, a former member of the donor network, said that the decision was in line with the group’s unfortunate drift toward supporting only groups closely allied to the Democratic Party. “I was sorry to see that the DA has continued on the trajectory away from funding independent infrastructure that induced me to leave the organization two years ago. I will say that the DA was a great idea (the need was nicely expressed by Bill Bradley in this editorial written at the time the DA was incubating), did some excellent funding of good groups, and it’s really a shame that it has not been able to fulfill its promise,” she wrote in an email. – Ryan Grimm
This story is hitting hard across the
Democratic progressive activist world.
It’s another de-funding moment for movement progressives by an establishment money organization.