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HCAN Stalked Congress In August 2007

As we noted back at the time of the Congressional recess of August 2007, the usual anti-American Democrat operatives put together an organization to stalk pro-war Congressmen at townhalls, at their homes, around the clock – to try to turn them against supporting the Iraq War in general and ‘the surge’ in particular.


Tom Matzzie, Washington Director of Moveon.org and Campaign Director of Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, talks about the "Iraq Summer Campaign" in Biddeford Maine 7-28-2007.

And guess what? This was organized by the very same people who are now leading the charge for Mr. Obama’s healthcare reform.

Here is how this development was reported by the ever discreet Reuters:

U.S. lawmakers get no respite at home on Iraq debate

By Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Anti-war groups knew U.S. Rep. Timothy Murphy was going home to Pittsburgh for this month’s congressional recess, so they baked him a cake.

“Rep. Murphy Welcome Home Bring Them Home,” was the Iraq troop withdrawal message written in green icing that greeted the conservative Republican at his district office on August 8.

For the 535 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, the August break traditionally is a time for family vacations, foreign travel, campaign fund-raising and meeting with voters.

For Democrats and lobbying groups working to end a war now in its fifth year, August has been a chance to challenge supporters of President George W. Bush’s war policy on their home turf and in the run-up to Congress’ war funding debate next month.

Congress is catching up with public sentiment against the war and Democrats have several times won approval of troop withdrawal plans only for them to be vetoed by Bush or tripped up by Republican opposition. Still, there is a bipartisan realization that tens of thousands of U.S. troops are likely to stay in Iraq for many years.

“Iraq is at the top of most voters minds right now,” said Doug Thornell, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which wants to expand the party’s hold on the House in the November 2008 elections…

For Tom Matzzie, Washington director of activist group MoveOn.org, it’s a clear choice for Bush’s party.

“The question in September is, will Republicans follow Bush off this cliff?” said Matzzie…

Moira Mack, a spokeswoman for Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, said her coalition of liberal groups has distributed at least 25,000 “support the troops, end the war” yard signs in states where Republican could face difficult re-election bids.

Sen. Norm Coleman, one Minnesota Republican who could face a tough campaign next year, arrived home in St. Paul to see one of the signs in his neighbor’s front yard, Mack said…

Doesn’t this article make it sound like our elected officials are facing the wrath of the people and that the system is working as it should?

Of course that is a total lie. The groups mentioned are paying people to stalk Congressmen who support the war and the surge.

[Note: many of the links to AAEI have been expunged from the internet. But some pages of their site can still be (for the moment) accessed via the Internet Archives Of The Wayback Machine.]

Check out the aforementioned Americans Against Escalation In Iraq:

Take A Stand Campaign

The “Take a Stand Campaign” is a nation-wide organizing drive to demand that members of Congress and the Senate take a stand with the vast majority of Americans who want a safe and responsible redeployment of American Forces from Iraq.

Across America, over 100 “Iraq Summer” organizers are working to involve thousands of ordinary Americans in an effort to pressure targeted members of Congress to vote to bring a safe end to the war.  This “Take A Stand Campaign” will culminate with “Take A Stand” town meetings to be held on August 28th, immediately before congress reconvenes.

There are lots of ways to get involved — from attending a Take a Stand town hall in your area to helping organize and spreading the word about the event.

Compare and contrast.

From HCAN’s website:

Health Care For America Now – About Us

What is Health Care for America Now (HCAN)?

Health Care for America Now (HCAN) is a national grassroots campaign of more than 1,000 organizations in 46 states representing 30 million people dedicated to winning quality, affordable health care we all can count on in 2009. Our organization and principles are supported by President Obama, Vice President Biden, and more than 190 Members of Congress.

We are building a national movement to win comprehensive health care reform by helping mobilize people in their communities to lobby their U.S. Senators and Representatives in Congress to stand up to the insurance companies and other special interest groups to achieve quality, affordable health care in 2009

Our Steering Committee includes: ACORN, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, AFT, Americans United for Change, Campaign for America’s Future, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Campaign for Community Change, Children’s Defense Fund Action Council, Communications Workers of America, International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), MoveOn.org, NAACP, National Council of La Raza, National Education Association, National Women’s Law Center, SEIU, UFCW, USAction, Women’s Voices, Women’s Vote and Working America

HCAN is related to Health Care for America Education Fund, a project of The Tides Center, a section 501(c)(3) public charity. 

From the AAEII’s website, via the Wayback Machine:

Americans Against Escalation In Iraq – About Us

Americans Against Escalation in Iraq is a national campaign comprised of a variety groups from across the political spectrum that are committed to opposing the Bush-McCain plan to escalate the war in Iraq and to work for the responsible redeployment of American forces.  Americans Against Escalation in Iraq includes Veterans, students, some of the nation’s leading anti-war voices, and progressive organizations which traditionally confine their activity to domestic issues.  Many of the organizations coming together to lead Americans Against Escalation in Iraq include those which successfully mounted a national campaign in 2005 to defeat President Bush’s effort to privatize Social Security.  Using that same campaign model, these organizations are joining with more traditional anti-war forces, Veterans and students to mount this campaign because the stakes are so high and because the future of a generation of Americans is on the line.

Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, which includes the Service Employees International Union, MoveOn.org Political Action, VoteVets.org, Center for American Progress Action Fund, USAction, Win Without War, Campaign for America’s Future, the United States Student Association, Working Assets, Americans United for Change, Campus Progress Action and Nation Security Network has banded together to launch a multi million dollar effort in thirty states to apply pressure through paid advertising and a firestorm of grassroots mobilization opposing President Bush on his plan for escalating the war and on Members of Congress who must stand up to the President and insist on a policy which responsibly brings our troops home.

And yes, you too can sign up for free housing and a nice salary, if you will devote your time to harassing an elected official 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

 

Jobs – Iraq Summer

There will be a major new organizing initiative to end the War in Iraq — Iraq Summer…

Americans Against Escalation in Iraq (AAEI) plans to deploy 110 organizers to the Districts of critical House and Senate Republicans who still support the President’s disastrous policy in Iraq.  There job will be to execute a national program to help fracture critical elements of the Republican base of support for the war by early fall.

Take A Stand

When the President announced his escalation plan in January, many Republicans said that we should give the policy six months to work. By late August the President’s escalation policy will be 7 months old – plenty of time for Republicans to “give the President’s policy a chance to work”.

Just as important, as they approach Labor Day, Republicans will begin to look right into the cross hairs of the political disaster that they face in 2008 if they continue to support this disastrous war.

AAEI plans to demand that by late August every one of these Republicans are forced to “Take a Stand”  — to break their ties with Bush’s war.

The Iraq Summer Project will organize that Take a Stand campaign on the ground.

Recruiting Organizers for Iraq Summer – An Opportunity to be Part of History

AAEI – together with MoveOn.org, USAction and Americans United for Change – are a currently recruiting the organizers to execute this project.

We are looking for the best of the best.

Candidates must be tough, ready to work long hours, go wherever they are needed, devote themselves completely to the task, have use of a car,  and be passionate about ending the war.  They need to report for training June 16th and be available through Labor Day (September 3rd).

Applications

As we have noted previously, the AAEI was created by the very same people who now lobbying for Obama’s healthcare plan.

Here is the contact information for the despicable AAEI:

Contact Info and Website

1825 K Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202 454-6200
Fax: 202 263-4530
Email: info AT iraqcampaign.org
Website: http://www.noiraqescalation.com/

Here is the contact information from Health Care For America Now, via their contact page:

General contacts:

Health Care for America Now
1825 K Street NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006
Main number: (202) 454-6200

info@healthcareforamericanow.org

For a little more background on the HCAN/AAEI, here are some excerpts from Discover The Networks:

AMERICANS AGAINST ESCALATION IN IRAQ (AAEI)

Established in January 2007 with the aim of bringing about an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq, Americans Against Escalation in Iraq (AAEI) describes itself as “a major, multi-million dollar national campaign to oppose the President’s proposal to escalate the war …”

After Democrats had won control of Congress two months prior to AAEI’s founding, President Bush did not, contrary to many leftists’ expectations, announce that he would end America’s military presence in Iraq. Instead he responded with a plan to deploy an additional 21,000 troops in an effort to quell the insurgency there. This prompted MoveOn.org’s Washington, DC Director Tom Matzzie to create AAEI. Says Matzzie: “We realized we needed a big campaign on the war because there was this mandate out of the election, but the Democratic majorities were thin and they hadn’t been united on the war, ever.”

Prior to his work with MoveOn and AAEI, Matzzie had been an Online Mobilization Director for the AFL-CIO. In 2004 he worked as Director of Online Organizing for John Kerry’s presidential campaign. In 2006 he worked on behalf of antiwar Democrat Ned Lamont, who was seeking to take a Connecticut Senate seat from Joe Lieberman, the Democrat-turned-Independent who favored America’s involvement in the Iraq War.

After forming AAEI, Matzzie quickly recruited a large team of leftwing activists to join his new organization, which is structured as a coalition of groups devoted to a consistent antiwar objective. Though AAEI claims that its member groups represent points “across the political spectrum,” its coalition members in fact hail exclusively from the political Left. These members include the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), MoveOn.org, the Center for American Progress Action Fund , USAction, Win Without War, Vote Vets, Campaign for America’s Future, the United States Student Association, Working Assets, Americans United for Change, Campus Progress Action, and the National Security Network.

From its earliest days, AAEI’s principal source of funding has been MoveOn.org. SEIU has also contributed heavily, as have a number of individual donors whose identities Matzzie refuses to publicly disclose. By September 2007, AAEI had spent $12 million on a combination of grass-roots organizing, polling (Matzzie hired the prominent Democratic pollsters Stan and Anna Greenberg), and television advertisements aimed at persuading the American public and Washington legislators that U.S. involvement in the Iraq War was bad policy. Matzzie states that shaping the media’s coverage of the war, and thereby “influencing the environment that the debate is taking place in,” constitutes “a huge part of what we [AAEI] do.”

In the summer of 2007, AAEI launched its “Iraq Summer” campaign, a three-month “organizing initiative to end the War in Iraq.” Explained AAEI, “Those of you who are old enough will remember Mississippi Summer that helped pass the civil rights laws, and Viet Nam Summer that helped end the Viet Nam War. Iraq Summer will be the 21st century edition of those historic projects.” Aiming “to help fracture critical elements of the Republican base of support for the war by early fall,” AAEI deployed 110 organizers who were trained at the Maritime Institute in Baltimore — a union training facility — to the 40 Districts of key House and Senate Republicans who steadfastly supported “the President’s disastrous policy in Iraq.” In all of these Districts the organizers used “field operations, coalition building, paid and earned media strategies, volunteer events and cutting edge online organizing to turn up the heat on Republican members of Congress who are blocking a safe end to the Iraq [W]ar.”

AAEI gives each of its organizers a $125 video camera — called “The Flip” camera — which can be plugged into a USB port on a computer. With this equipment, AAEI activists have produced (and posted online) hundreds of videos showing their confrontations with supporters of the war.

According to a September 2007 New York Times piece: “[AAEI] coordinates extensively with Democrats on Capitol Hill. Matzzie himself meets with Speaker Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, ‘maybe once a month,’ he says, adding that he talks to their staffs ‘once a day, or at least a couple times a week.’ (Senior Democratic aides sometimes even join AAEI’s conference calls.) This might entail discussions of political strategy or more substantive policy briefings by experts from AAEI’s member think tanks.”

AAEI’s modus operandi bears little resemblance to that of the Vietnam-era antiwar demonstrators, who adopted a counterculture “hippie” image and took to the streets in massive numbers. By contrast, AAEI heeds the advice of the late organizer Saul Alinsky, who advised radicals to adopt the dress and appearance of the middle class, so as not to make themselves vulnerable to the charge that they are nothing more than fringe extremists

But you see, the people who are opposing their strong arm tactics are the real thugs.

They are the astroturfing professional agitators representing special interests over the interests of the American people.

All of our watchdog media say so.

For the record, you can still find many of the video clips from this systematic paid stalking of Congress on YouTube.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Sunday, August 9th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

13 Responses to “HCAN Stalked Congress In August 2007”

  1. canary

    Obama has his militant gestapo all lined up and ready.

    • canary

      So, in the following weeks, his astro-turfers are the ones getting free passes with their cameras into the National Parks where he will give speeches to the masses. Obama’s security and Union thugs will be heavily armed hiding behind trees, and rocks. Most likely, Local Law Enforcement as extra security were hired.

  2. Colonel1961

    Our newly elected representative is a Blue Dog dem. And a former M.D. and entrepreneur. Yes, it’s an unusual combo. He is on record as correctly opposing this and any variant of Gubmint controlled healthcare. He has seen our health care system from all sides. He held a town hall meeting the other day and was reminded by his constituency that he will be a one-termer if he forgets his correct assessment of Obamacare. Thank goodness…

  3. retire05

    Seems someone got wind of the stellar detective work done by Sweetness-Light.com. Those links are disappearing faster than money from our wallets.

    So since I am just a stupid, average American trying to make a living, how does a group like AAEI immediately come up with millions of dollars to carry out their evil deeds? What is the money force behind these groups (we all know George Soros contributes millions) but there are some nefarious things going on in our nation.

    If you think I am off base, just remember that it was the Communist Party of America that funded the anti-war protests (complete with Hanoi John and Hanoi Jane) with money from Russia.

    So just who the hell is behind all these groups?

  4. But wait, there’s more!

    Richard Kirsch
    Current Position: National Campaign Director, Health Care for America Now

    n 1977, Kirsch went to business school at the University of Chicago; he graduated in 1980.

    Kirsch wanted to use his M.B.A. for the public good, so he took a job as financial director of the Illinois Public Action Council from 1980 to 1982. He worked with two young Illinois Democrats named Rahm Emanuel and Jan Schakowsky. Both would go on to represent Illinois as Democrats in Congress, and Emanuel is now Obama’s White House chief of staff.

    Illinois Public Action is affiliated with the national progressive group USAction, and in 1982, Kirsch returned to the East Coast to found another USAction affiliate, New Jersey Citizen Action. Kirsch’s primary areas of focus were progressive tax and housing policy, and he worked on elections and community organizing related to both.

    …. (and much, much more)

    So basically, HCAN is directed by a former associate of Rahm Emanuel. Talk about “astroturf”!

    • retire05

      Good work, Crosspatch, but I still want to know whose funding these people. A group doesn’t just show up and have $20 million to dump into organization and advertising like AAEI, or even HCAN did.

      So there has to be some pretty big sugar daddies (or mommies) that is backing these groups. And why would they be funding these groups? What is their purpose? Why does Soros fund these groups? He has enough money he can buy his own hosptial just for him.

      I still say there is a nefarious reason for all of this. Soros is a committed socialist and is friends with a Canadian named Maurice Strong. Soror and Strong were the two that funded Al Gore initial push for global warming legislation.

      It is my personal opinion that these forces have one goal; reduce the power of the U.S. and push for a global governance, just as Gore has said we should have a number of times. And Americans have been dumped down to the point they don’t understand they are lemmings being lead over a cliff.

    • retire05,

      Read this article the whole thing … particularly the reprint if the June column.

      But you won’t find Tides very far away. Ah, found it … on HCAN’s own website:

      HCAN is primarily [funded] by our member organizations, individual contributions, and foundations, including a major grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies. HCAN is a section 501(c)(4) issue advocacy organization. Members of the HCAN coalition include a wide range of nonprofit and advocacy organizations that are working to promote quality, affordable health care for everyone in America. HCAN’s members are tax-exempt public charities, advocacy organizations, and unions. HCAN and each member organization only conduct and fund only those activities appropriate to their tax and election law status. Additionally, HCAN is related to Health Care for America Education Fund, a project of The Tides Foundation, a section 501(c)(3) public charity.

      And so I would expect their “message” to be coordinated by Fenton Communications.

    • retire05

      Crosspatch, I had read Michelle’s article. But here is the crux, what is their goal? Is it socialism? These people have made their millions due to capitalism. Why would they want to destroy the very thing that makes them rich? Is it global governance? A one-world UN type of government? What? That is what I want to know.

      The Tides Foundation was one of the things that bothered me about John Kerry. His wife, Teresa, donates millions to Tides.

    • “Why would they want to destroy the very thing that makes them rich”

      As a barrier of entry to keep anyone else from becoming rich and challenging their place at the top of the hill. The laws would be written as to allow the sheltering of money that has already been obtained (there will always be “tax free” investments) but make the accumulation of new wealth by anyone else not already having it impossible. It is about control. Socialism is designed to appeal to the have-nots (there are always more than 51% of them) to keep a certain clique of “haves” in power and prevent anyone else from ever challenging their power.

      Old Russian saying: “Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man. Socialism is the reverse.”

  5. And check out this article from late 2008.

    And — Surprise! — it’s a brand-spanking new lobby comprised of some of our “favorite” Obama backers, formed just in time for the Obama administration’s health care plan. HCAN, established as recently as July 2008, is an unprecedented coalition led by:

    ACORN, AFSCME, Americans United for Change, Campaign for America’s Future, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Center for Community Change, MoveOn.org, National Education Association, National Women’s Law Center, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, SEIU, United Food and Commercial Workers, and USAction.

    As of July 7, 2008, Steering Committee members included:

    Richard Kirsch (Health Care for America Now), Maude Hurd (ACORN), Gerald McEntee (AFSCME), Caren Benjamin (Americans United for Change), Roger Hickey (Campaign for America’s Future), Elizabeth Edwards (Center for American Progress Action Fund), Eli Pariser (MoveOn.org), Reg Weaver (National Education Association), Marcia Greenberger (National Women’s Law Center), Cecile Richards (Planned Parenthood), Anna Burger (SEIU), Joseph Hansen (United Food and Commercial Workers), Jeff Blum (USAction), David T. Tayloe, Jr., MD FAAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), and David White (small business owner).

    Recall William McNary’s words that USAction “must avoid Citizen Action’s mistake of becoming a conduit for unions and trial lawyers’ money and messages”? What do you think the chances of that NOT happening will be?

    Blum, SDS, WUO?

    So now we come full circle to where RBO’s search started, the name responsible for this whole article — Jeffrey David Blum.

  6. Rusty Shackleford

    Obama says, “Yes we HCAN!”

  7. canary

    I could not find any video of AAEI activists being confronted by any supporters of the war either.




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