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A New Organization for Democrats in Exile. Proposal for Formation K. Haas September 18, 2008. Why do we need a new organization?. Since the debacle in Denver, many Democrats feel alienated from their party There is a prevailing sense of dread and powerlessness

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A New Organization for Democrats in Exile

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A new organization for democrats in exile

A New Organization for Democrats in Exile

Proposal for Formation

K. Haas

September 18, 2008

Why do we need a new organization

Why do we need a new organization?

  • Since the debacle in Denver, many Democrats feel alienated from their party

  • There is a prevailing sense of dread and powerlessness

  • Several stop gap solutions have been initiated but the current trend is towards degeneracy

  • To be an effective force, we need to reduce chaos and disorganization

  • We need to define our goals to make sure we know what we stand for and don’t duplicate effort.

  • Hillary told us to “keep going”.

What went wrong with justsaynodeal

What went wrong with JustSayNoDeal?

  • JSND was created as stop-gap coalition to promote Hillary Clinton’s legitimacy at the convention

  • It was virtual in nature and not all groups had the same goals

  • It had no infrastructure other than a series of web pages and PACs

  • Self-appointed media spokespersons prevented other members from presenting a stronger or clearer message

  • Infiltration by racist and anti-semitic groups gave PUMAs a bad reputation by extension

  • JSND has strongly allied itself with the McCain campaign and have decided to not assist downticket Democrats.

  • Some coalition members have focused too strongly on retaliation and other negativity, like questionable opposition research. We need to think about getting even intelligently, not simply by lashing out.

We need to organize a new group

We need to organize a new group

  • This group should have a common set of goals

  • This group should have a robust infrastructure

  • Our goals keep us together, our structure keeps us efficient

  • Both are needed to make us a working mechanism

Goals what is our political nature

Goals- What is our political nature?

  • We need to define our political philosophy

    • We are Democrats

    • We are progressives

      • My definition: Liberal with moderating tendencies

    • We are long term thinkers, rational

    • We develop our policies based on our core values

    • We are inclusive

Goals long term broadly

Goals: Long term- broadly

  • We need to reform the party

  • We need to eliminate corruption

  • We need to prevent election fraud

  • Work towards a 30% Solution- 30% females in political office

  • We need to strengthen the social safety net in a global economy

Goals short term

Goals- Short term

  • We need to protect the Democratic majority in Congress in 2008

    • Add more progressives

    • Add more women

  • Get rid of Howard Dean, Donna Brazile, Chicago operation

  • Support challengers to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid

  • Promote Hillary Clinton as Senate Majority Leader

  • We need to maintain a visible and growing presence

    • Advertisements

    • Media

    • Community service

    • Campaign activities

    • Lobbying



  • First question: What kind of group are we?

    • Advocacy group

    • Watchdog group

    • Political action committee

    • Think tank

    • All of the above?

  • What is the legal identity under which we operate?

Infrastructure continued

Infrastructure continued

  • How are we structured?

    • School board style (Hey, it’s what I know)

      • Executive

        • Chairman

        • Chief operating officer

        • Expertise supervisors

        • Accountant (may be included with COO)

        • Secretary/Archivist

      • Committee memberships

Infrastructure continued1

Infrastructure continued

  • Committees

    • Finance

    • Policy

      • Think tank

      • Operating policies

    • Election reform

    • Community outreach

    • Media

    • Technology

    • Legal

    • Lobbying

    • Candidates

      • Vetting

      • Endorsing

      • Running

Infrastructure continued2

Infrastructure continued

  • Some of this will cost money

    • Proposed funding mechanisms

      • Big money donors?

      • Subscriptions have some advantages

        • Long term commitments

        • More stable source of funding

      • Advertising

    • Do we need paid positions to handle everyday work?

      • Bill in Portland Maine model

Infrastructure more money

Infrastructure: More money

  • Finance committee should be set up in early stages to keep track of funds

    • To keep it legal

    • To pay taxes if necessary

    • To audit for public inspection

    • To analyze where money is most productive

    • To plan for expansion

Rules of operation

Rules of operation

  • How are executive, administrative and committee positions determined?

    • Election

    • Appointment

  • What is the term of service?

    • Term limits

    • Disciplinary actions

  • Checks and balances

Rules of operation1

Rules of operation

  • Meeting schedule

    • Whole body

    • Committee

  • Robert’s rules for formal meetings? (blech!)

  • Documentation

    • Recording of meetings

    • Position papers

    • Archiving

      • Structure of archive

      • Accessibility and security

    • Public communications

Rules of operation2

Rules of operation

  • Interaction with the public

    • Taking public input

    • Liaison with various groups, ie PUMAs

    • Soliciting participation and ideas through ad-hoc committees

First steps

First Steps

  • Creation of google site

    • Allows for collaboration

      • Writing the charter

      • Position papers

      • Policy on infrastructure, rules of order, etc

      • Committee formation and collaboration

    • Accessible to new members by invitation

    • Repository for documents

    • Calendar

First steps continued

First steps continued

  • Online conference

    • Skype, WebEx or Second Life

    • Project planning

      • Mind mapping

      • GANT charts

    • Appointment/election of officers and committees

    • Commissioning the committees

    • Selection of organization name

    • Building web presence/acquiring domain names

    • Preparation of press releases

Shoot me now

Shoot me now!

  • It’s a lot of work but we will be able to work more productively once we have laid the groundwork

  • This is just a proposal. Do not shoot the messenger.

  • The floor is open.

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