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May 12, 2006

Open Source Lobbying Kicks K-Street A**

Posted in: 2006 Election,Blogosphere,Congress,Democrats,FDL Book Salon,GOP ethics,Media,Roots Project

     Mike McCurry Never saw it coming. . . 

Signs of the Republican implosion are coming faster than even we bloggers can keep up these days.  Each day seems to bring with it major stories, crowding each other out throughout the news cycle.  Accordingly, I’m writing today more about you than about any given news event.

Here’s the short form of this post:  Things are changing so fast these days that establishment power brokers are frightened and frozen.  They can’t keep up and don’t know what’s happening.  To propel our shared values, we should seize this moment of indecision to organize.  By banding together with your peers here in smaller, activist groups for open source lobbying through the Roots Project, you can kick K-Street’s ass and take government back for the people.

To join this citizen "army," send an email now to stateproject at gmail dot com with the name of your state in the subject line (nothing else!).  We currently have 32 state groups, some more active than others, but our organizing model is working, and it puts you – not me or anyone else – in control.  More on the flip.

A lot of people around here were depressed after Ciro Rodriguez lost his primary in Texas.  We had pitched in with a nice chunk of money for him, collected in small donations from our own sweat, but we were a little late in the campaign cycle in getting it to him.  I wrote a couple of perspective posts for the community the next two nights, one taking the long view and one talking about  what each of you can do.

Since then, I’ve observed that you are the new Silent Majority in American politics, and through the Roots Project, you’ve been helping each other be silent no longer.  I’ve begun to read Rick Perlstein’s Before the Storm, a beautifully written and readable bit of historic storytelling detailing the rise of the conservative movement through Goldwater.  The politics and the technological tools are different, but the social and political dynamics are eerily similar.  This is your moment to rise and make a collective difference.  We will feature this book in our Sunday FDL Book Club this Sunday.

Roots Project chapters are limited only by their own time, talent, passion and willingness to work together to accomplish results that can change our collective futures.  Here are a couple of recent actions and successes, but so much has happened since these posts, I can’t even keep up with posting all the successes. CA is pushing DiFi on Hayden.  Boxer is coming to YearlKos after CA met with her staffers and told her they and she should go.  Hillary Clinton’s people held a reserved, polite, noncommital meeting with the NY group, but last time around, we shook up her operation to its highest levels with a video. IL, MD, WA and other groups are doing great things.  Some groups are waiting for you to jump in and give them the critical mass they need to take effective, collective action.

Open Source Lobbying is only one thing these groups can do.  There’s media action as well, and I’m intrigued by this comment from ccobb last night; it fits with this agenda I sketched out last week. Media actions can take the form of video actions:  You + Camera + Creativity + YouTube + Lame Politician = Power.  Local actions are as or more important than federal government actions.

We’ve already scared the crap out of Mike McCurry and his telco buddies on Internet Freedom (net neutrality).  We can hit them on cell phone spying and the great privacy sellout, too.  The point is, there’s so much you can do, but you can be far more effective in doing it together.  If the impeachment hearings ever come, don’t you want to be organized and ready to pressure our government to do the right thing?  The time to get started and get to know each other is now.

Please send an email now to stateproject at gmail dot com with the name of your state in the subject line (nothing else!).  Your neighbors are waiting to hear from you.  (please be patient:  we’re all volunteers, so if we get flooded it may take a little time to get back to you.)

UPDATE:  Our volunteers are definitely flooded.  Please be patient!  This is going to take a while.  The response is tremendous, but eagerly welcomed!


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