Podcast — November 12, 2018 at 6:15 am

How to beat corporate PAC money – with special guest Sean McElwee from Data for Progress


[T]he three main factors of the election last week seem to be (1) Trump repulsing everyone but billionaires, temporarily embarrassed billionaires and white people who’ve never slept in a dorm, (2) historic turnout for a midterm fed by massive  organizing efforts like the Women’s March and Indivisible and (3) Democrats magnifying their reach by donating everywhere.

The Cook Report’s Dave Wasserman tweeted, “[T]here’s a lot of evidence to suggest Dems’ massive $$ edge in battleground CDs ended up mostly offsetting their geographic disadvantage.”

Dems may ultimately have been outspent when you total up big donations like the $88 million Sheldon Adelson gave the GOP. And while the 38,666,868 contributions made through ActBlue, up from 21,194,898 in the 2016 cycle, may not get anyone a Medal of Honor, like the one the Adelsons have bought Sheldon’s wife Miriam, they may have made the difference in 2018.

Democratic consultant Jesse Ferguson called small donors Democrats’ answer to the Koch brothers, but they could also be the answer to Citizens United, and eventually Shelby v. Holder.

Progressive giving has been relentless, targeted and early. It started with the effort to win Tom Price’s old House seat with Jon Ossoff and that loss blossomed into dozens of similar efforts along with targeted efforts like Give Smart and Progressives Everywhere.

ActBlue made a lot of this possible with its sweet wallet that makes giving almost addictive, but that technology is easy to copy. What’s not easy to duplicate is the spirit of the site which matches this progressive moment and the democratic opposition to Trump.

Democrats are used to financing much of this nation with our tax dollars. Now we can do the same with smart funding of not just candidates but get out the vote programs, think tanks and other campaigns fueling electoral reforms like we just saw here in Michigan.

(Read the rest HERE.)

Someone who has been doing his damndest to make sure change happens fast is Sean McElwee. He’s a contributor at The Nation, an Overton Window Mover, founder of abolishice.org and co-founder of & Chief Meme Officer at Data For Progress. We wanted to talk to him about what happens next.

Sean McElwee on Twitter: @SeanMcElwee

Date for Progress website: DataforProgress.org

Data for Progress on Twitter: @DataProgress

The Good — Democrats didn’t leave campaigning to the professionals
Osita Nwanevu at The New Yorker: Indivisible, an Early Anti-Trump Group, Plans for a Democratic Future

Michelle Goldberg at The New York Times: The Resistance Strikes Back

Derek Watkins, K.K. Rebecca Lai, Larry Buchanan, and Karen Yourish at The New York Times: Sizing Up the2018 Blue Wave

The Bad — Voter suppression, part eleventy billion

The Shrugly ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ — House Democrats should focus on …. EVERYTHING!
Ronald Klain at The Washington Post: The first five things the Democrats should do with their House majority

Nick Hanauer at The Hill: Dear Democrats: Don’t be corporate stooges too

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Music clips
Intro and transition music: You Dress Like an Asshole by Not The 1s
Progressives Everywhere intro/outro: They’re Everywhere by Jim’s Big Ego
Flint Water Crisis Update intro: Unclaimed by Mike Wagner/Total Strangers
Outro music: Complain (from the movie Bob Roberts) by David Robbins & Tim Robbins