Monday :: Apr 18, 2005

MoveOn PAC Tests the Waters

by rayman

As a follow up to a story mentioned Friday, John Byrne at Raw Story has an interview with Tom Matzzie, the director of MoveOn PAC, who are running radio ads in Steny Hoyer's district berating his vote in favor of the bankruptcy bill.

Privately, some Democratic strategists and congressional staffers have questioned the decision to run an ad attacking the party leadership, especially during a push to focus on the ethics scandals dogging House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX).

Matzzie, however, maintains the time is ripe—that it is always appropriate to question Democrats who vote against what he sees as core progressive values.

“We’re not the party,” he said, when asked about charges that the ads were poorly timed, “We are going to take positions on issues, and we’re going to be true to our members and to America’s middle class families before we acknowledge any sort of notion of Democratic fealty.”


“Mr. Hoyer has a good record on a lot of issues and we like him,” he added. “It’s probably okay for some Democrats to disagree with their party… but it’s never acceptable for a leader in the party… to disagree with the rest of the party on an issue connected to core values like justice for middle class values, especially when it’s such an obvious Republican bill.”

I was wondering how Establishment Democrats would respond to MoveOn PAC's gambit, and just as I expected, they're ticked:

Jim Kennedy, communications director for former President Bill Clinton, who says he’s speaking only for himself, asserts that the move to corral those who don’t vote along party lines is counterproductive.

Attacking Democrats who don’t vote on party lines is a “very Republican thing to do because it’s the Republicans who have been so strong in enforcing a doctrinaire [strategy],” Kennedy asserts.

“We as a party shouldn’t go down that same road, because I think our strength is in the diversity of our leaders and the greater willingness to tolerate different points of view,” he told RAW STORY. “And if we start trying to enforce one ideology, than we will go down a path that won’t help us win.”
So "tolerat[ing] different points of view" involves passively watching as the Democratic leadership whores itself to the credit card companies? I don't think so. Anyway, I'm intrigued that MoveOn has decided to test the waters in terms of its party influence, now that its fundraising and organizational prowess has been firmly established. Stay tuned.

rayman :: 12:01 PM :: Comments (18) :: Digg It!