Tom Hiltachk, a California Republican political legal hack, apparently can't even throw a spit ball with a straight arm. He wanted to put a measure on the California ballot that would have taken twenty or more Electoral College votes away from the Democrats by changing the way we allocate those electors from winner take all to proportional by Congressional district.
So much for the sucker punch from the right hook of the Republican Party. After tens of thousands of people joined together in the netroots and grassroots to just say no, the initiative seems to have fallen apart. Courage Campaign worked with civilian leaders such as Brad Whitford (see his video here) and joined with the leading bloggers in California and across the country to make sure that if this got on the ballot, it would fail and that the conspirators would know that the more they cheated, the more they helped us to organize.
As Howie Klein says," It ('s defeat) has more to do with the grassroots action against it, the organizing efforts of the Courage Campaign and the fact that the shady Republicans behind it, Californians For Equal Representation are a bunch of cronies of David Dreier's from Missouri." Paul Kumar , Vice President of SEIU'S United Healthcare Workers West, one of the online community's best friends in labor, said, "Your work made it too hot for Schwarzenegger and other leading Republicans to handle and dried up our opponents' access to money. The netroots was way out in front of the party regulars and big institutional players on this one and you deserve the credit for it."
Courage Campaign and our online colleagues had support from a huge cross section of prominent leaders ranging from members of congress such as California Congressional delegation chair Zoe Lofgren, Hilda Solis and Jane Harman, members of the state legislature such as Karen Bass and Mark Leno, labor leaders such as Sal Roselli at SEIU and bloggers ranging from Arianna Huffington to John Amato and Jane Hamsher. We had folks from Hollywood such as Brad Whitford, Sherry Lansing and Judith Light as well as literally over ten thousand others.
It's not polite to toot one's own horn, but there's a lesson here. As Jane Hamsher noted here on HuffPost, the House and Senate took the time over the past week to attack MoveOn.org, the largest progressive on line organization in the country, for pushing them to end the war in Iraq. It's obvious that this attack, too eagerly joined by many supposed progressives, was meant to diminish the online communities. My guess is that those presidential candidates who joined in the condemnation on television or in votes or both were only too happy to feel that MoveOn was knocked down a peg or two in advance of what they hope will be their ascension to power. That way, when those who claim to be progressives act otherwise, they'll be able to say, "See? Those guys out there in the "blogosphere" are just not to be taken seriously. Both houses of Congress said so."
Not so fast. Had this initiative gotten on the ballot and passed, a Democratic White House victory would have been almost impossible. That explains why so many of Hillary Clinton's expectant operatives were hard at work on this (and they were very effective). And it explains why so many in the online community got on board so quickly. So let's note now that the online community is an ally to most Democrats in times of need. That's all good. Keep in mind what we do when you need us and keep in mind that we'll not be taken for granted.
We beat the right wingnuts on this one. As the Los Angeles Times reports this morning, we demonstrated that with discipline, organization and speed we can defeat the bad stuff. As we build power, we'll be there to support other progressives and remind those who claim to be what it really means to make progress.
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The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.