Recently, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), a political action committee (PAC), and in particular, its leader, Adam Green ,have been attracting attention from various bloggers. According to their home page, their mission is:
works to elect bold progressive candidates to federal office and to help those candidates and their campaigns save money, work smarter, and win more often.
Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? On their “sign up” sheet, there’s a lot of glowing recommendation, calling it “stunningly successful” (Sirota), and “the top progressive group in the country” (Ed Shultz). Which would lead you to think this is an outstandingly successful organization. There’s just a little problem when you look at their FEC filings for the 2010 election, and do some work over on Wikipedia regarding their actual results.
|Ball, Krystal (D-VA)||$1,945||Lost, 63.90% to 34.76%,|
|Geoghegan, Thomas Howard (D-IL)||$1,275||Lost in Primary|
|Grayson, Alan (D-FL)||$1,732||Lost 56% to 38%|
|Hedrick, Bill (D-CA)||$4,768||Lost 55.7% to 44.3%|
|Kilroy, Mary Jo (D-OH)||$1,235||Lost|
|Krom, Beth (D-CA)||$837||Lost|
|Kuster, Ann Mclane (D-NH)||$6,041||Lost 48% to 47%|
|Perriello, Tom (D-VA)||$954||Lost|
|Polis, Jared (D-CO)||$20||Re-elected|
|Potosnak, Edward III (D-NJ)||$1,757||Lost 59.4% to 40.6%|
|Segal, David (D-RI)||$1,198||Lost in primary|
|Shea-Porter, Carol (D-NH)||$198||Lost 53.9% to 43.4%|
|Conway, Jack (D-KY)||$2,591||Lost, 55.7% to 44.3%|
|Halter, Bill (D-AR)||$8,155||Lost primary, 52% to 48%|
|Hodes, Paul W (D-NH)||$700||Lost 60.1% to 36.7%|
|Marshall, Elaine (D-NC)||$3,196||Lost, 54.8% to 43%|
|Sestak, Joseph A Jr (D-PA)||$5,000||Lost, 51% to 49%|
For PAC which claims its mission is to “win more often,” it’s clear that in this past election, they were miserable failures. The candidate they gave a token amount to was the only one who won, and he was in a solidly Democratic district. But looking just at direct campaign contributions isn’t always a good picture. Maybe we should dig further through the FEC documents. Well, what do you know, it turns out they did do some work pushing other candidates. There’s phonebanking charges, ads for various issues and candidates. The problem? it looks like the ads or “efforts on behalf of” were all losing efforts.
It’s not just the questions about their fundraising methods or their tactics. It’s not even their expenditures. Any and all of which raise eyebrows. Those could be waved aside if the PCCC was actually effective. From the looks of what they’ve done so far, the quickest way to determine whether a candidate is going to lose is to see if the PCCC backs them. One of the oldest rules in politics is “First, you have to win.” It doesn’t matter what your ideas are, or what you’re planning on accomplishing, if you can’t get into office in the first place. If you’re pushing an agenda, and want to elect representatives who will support that agenda, you need to be able to get them elected. That’s “old school” politics, used by every interest group going back to the beginning of this nation. It’s also effective politics. Which is exactly where the PCCC falls down.
So Adam wants the PCCC to push a progressive agenda? Elect progressive candidates? First, they have to win. They haven’t. In fact, they’ve done everything but win. Sirota and Schultz may call that sort of thing “effective,” but I don’t. I call it a waste of money.