Tags: 2020 Vision | Democracy Alliance | state government | redistricting | liberals

Liberal Donors Aim to Put Democrats in Power Across States

By    |   Monday, 13 Apr 2015 07:51 AM

Taking a page out of the conservative political playbook, a group of deep-pocketed left-leaning donors are launching a five-year "electoral arms race" to resuscitate liberal influence at the state level, The Washington Post reported.

While Democratic donors have been particularly attracted to national issues, Republicans have methodically strengthened their power in state government. The GOP holds 30 state legislatures compared to the 11 controlled by the Democrats.

The liberal effort, dubbed 2020 Vision, is spearheaded by the 10 year-old Democracy Alliance, which was started with the help of financier George Soros, Quark founder Tim Gill, and the late insurance magnate Peter Lewis.

The alliance, now backed by over 100 major donors, focuses on building infrastructure for the left, according to The New York Times, and will encourage liberal donors to invest in groups working to help Democrats get back influence in state legislatures, the Post reported.

One key long-term goal is to influence congressional redistricting after the 2020 elections.

The alliance will recommend some 35 groups as worthy of support — including those working on specific policy issues such as the environment — that are committed to rebuilding liberal political power in the states, the Post reported.

"There is nothing like losing to get people's attention," said Nick Rathod of the alliance-affiliated State Innovation Exchange, which lobbies for liberal policies at the state level. The group wants to replicate what the American Legislative Exchange Council has achieved for conservative causes, according to the Post.

"People have gotten a wake-up call," alliance president Gara LaMarche told the Post. "The right is focused on the state level, and even down-ballot, and has made enormous gains. We can't have the kind of long-term progressive future we want if we don't take power in the states."

The Democracy Alliance will gather this week in a San Francisco hotel to discuss raising $50 million to carry out its vision. On the agenda will be a panel on "the electoral arms race."

Among those who plan to take part are Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Among the 35 alliance groups are labor unions, the Center for American Progress, which Podesta once headed, and Media Matters for America, the Post reported.

Besides Soros, other left-leaning mega-donors include environmentalist Tom Steyer and Houston trial lawyers Steve and Amber Mostyn, according to the Post.

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Taking a page out of the conservative political playbook, a group of deep-pocketed left-leaning donors are launching a five-year "electoral arms race" to resuscitate liberal influence at the state level, The Washington Post reported.
2020 Vision, Democracy Alliance, state government, redistricting, liberals
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2015-51-13
Monday, 13 Apr 2015 07:51 AM
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