Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Saturday | February 15, 2003

Sending a grassroots message to DNC HQ

I've been kicking this idea around in my head all night, and it's got me excited to the point that I am up at 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning typing it out.

One of the dominant complaints on this site is that so many good ideas get floated, but it's clear none of it ever gets to the party leadership in DC. The only people who have the leadership's ear are the Big Donors and the Democratic special interest groups (unions, environmental groups, etc.). While I don't mind that they get to help shape the agenda, it still presents a problem for the rank and file that gets shut out of the system. The result? Look no further than the 2002 elections.

Yesterday I wrote a post about the big money advantage enjoyed by the GOP. McAuliffe is desperately trying to raise $100 million to help tide over the eventual nominee through the summer of 2004 in the face of a massive GOP barrage.

So, what if the "grassroots", at least those of us represented by sites like dKos, MyDD, Atrios, Talk Left, DU, and others, were able to pool the resources of their respective readers? Yesterday I pledged $25/month, or $300 a year. If 334 of my readers did the same (my daily readership is in the 6,000 range, Atrios is probably double that), that would be $100,000 in the DNC coffers -- real money. In the GOP, that would make this site a "Pioneer", with special access to GOP decision makers. I would expect the same from the DNC.

This would be a blog effort to make the concerns of our respective readers known to the party leadership. Each blog could handle it its own way, but I would take volunteers to represent the dKos donor group -- in special events, drafting memos, etc. Our individual $300 donations may mean little in the big picture (and garner little attention from the DNC), but things would change once we got into the tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands.

So how would this work in practicality? I would encourage the DNC to set up a Revenue Sharing-type program. You know the ones -- Amazon and CDNow and all those guys run them. You slap their books or ads on your site, and you get a cut of any sales they make originating from your site. In this case, the websites wouldn't get a cut of the proceeds, their donations would simply be tallied. The more donations each site amassed, the more influence it would enjoy.

Please provide ample feedback. If this idea appeals to you guys, I can then forward this entire post (with comments) over to some contacts I have at the DNC. Perhaps other blogs and partisan left-leaning websites can join this campaign as well. If the response is good, you guys can help put pressure on the DNC as well ("I won't donate until you implement this program" should resonate nicely).

We have to accept the fact that money buys access in this world, so it's time to pull together and get a seat at the table. It's the only way little ol' us, sitting at the bottom of the political food chain, will ever get to have our collective voices heard. And with the party's need for hard dollars (e.g. small donations), this could play nicely to our advantage.

Posted February 15, 2003 07:17 AM | Comments (102)


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