Progressives use nonprofit network to effect state elections

August 4, 2010 09:11

Led by Colorado strategists Ted Trimpa and Al Yates, progressives have made a major push to expand their “independent sector” strategy to other states. On the eve of the current election cycle, elements of the Colorado Model have been developed in California, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. – Weekly Standard

FULL STORY at The Weekly Standard

Earlier this decade, Colorado progressives pioneered a political strategy for electing Democratic majorities in what had once been GOP strongholds. Since then, the strategy has been quietly deployed in at least 18 other states in time for the 2010 election cycle. And while nothing may be able to prevent Democrats from losing ground this November, they are hopeful the Colorado Model will act as a levee against the coming storm, minimizing losses in a bad year—and laying the groundwork to maximize future gains.

In a nutshell, the Colorado Model is about infrastructure. Following the passage of state and federal campaign finance reforms in 2002, Colorado progressives recognized that the Democratic party could no longer raise enough money to fund the kind of organization necessary to sustain a long-term political movement. So with backing from a handful of large donors, they built a network of specialized, coordinated nonprofits to fill the void.

The results were stunning. In 2004, Colorado Republicans held the governor’s mansion, both U.S. Senate seats, five of seven congressional seats, and both houses of the legislature. After the 2008 election, the opposite was true.

FULL STORY at The Weekly Standard

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