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SEIU/MoveOn.Org’s HCAN Will Linger On

From a context-oblivious Politico:

Coalition plans to stick around to defend new law

Reform group alive and kicking

By: Chris Frates
April 13, 2010

Heath Care for America Now, the progressive coalition formed in the summer of 2008 to lay the groundwork for passing reform legislation, has decided not to pack up its tent and go home just yet.

With health reform now law, the group will join a long line of interest groups that hang around Washington after their original reason for forming has passed.

In the short term, the coalition will focus on shaping reform’s political narrative as both advocates and critics scramble to frame the issue ahead of November’s elections, which will have a significant impact on reform’s prospects…

“We want to make sure that now through November that the public understands that those people who voted yes, voted with the public and those people who voted no, voted with the insurance industry,” said Richard Kirsch, the group’s national campaign director.

“This will be one place where Democrats who voted no will get a message that they voted against their constituents,” he said…

The group will shrink by half and lose the 85 or so people it has had in the field during the heated reform debate. And Kirsch is leaving his post as campaign director to become a senior adviser.

The group will continue to facilitate strategic and message unity among its coalition partners, which include labor unions and progressive groups. HCAN will provide less direction and do more advising and coordination. The scope of its work will depend largely on how much funding those partners provide, a number that has not yet been determined. Since its formation two years ago, HCAN spent $47 million to help pass reform.

Kirsch said that the group was founded to pass reform and that now the coalition must ensure that “those same forces work together to make sure that it’s implemented in a way that delivers on the promise.”

Progressives are preparing to defend the law against legal challenges and legislative attempts to weaken it.

“You have to have some kind of infrastructure to be able to be out in the community making the case about why health insurance reform is so important,” said Lori Lodes, a spokeswoman for Service Employees International Union, which is a member of HCAN.

That education effort began in force during the Easter recess, the first time lawmakers were back in their districts since the legislation passed.

HCAN held more than 100 events in 30 states, including airport rallies to thank returning lawmakers for their support…

As we have noted time and again, the so-called Heath Care for America Now is just the latest incarnation of a SEIU/MoveOn.org America-hating ‘astroturf’ organization that has been around for some time.

In its prior incarnation HCAN was called Americans Against Escalation In Iraq (AAEI). And their noble mission was to make America lose the war in Iraq.

Specifically they fought the ‘Surge’ tooth and claw, even mounting a campaign back in 2007 to harass lawmakers back in their districts 24/7.

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


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


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

This is also the same ‘group’ who were behind the Democrat get out the vote (and lie about the Republicans) effort ludicrously called the ‘Campaign To Defend America.’

From (the leftwing) Source Watch:

Campaign to Defend America

Campaign to Defend America is, according to a 2006 filing (registration #23820) under "Charities and Trusts" with the Office of the Secretary of State in the state of Washington, a spin-off from Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, the Democratic Party-oriented anti-war coalition led by MoveOn and lobbyist Tom Matzzie. In March, 2008, the Campaign began running anti-McCain TV ads. Months earlier, in September 2007, Campaign to Defend America ran ads against a number of other Republican senators.

On March 5, 2008, the Associated Press reported: "According to FEC reports and filings with the Internal Revenue Service, the Campaign to Defend America has received at least $1.4 million from the Fund for America, a nonprofit group set up last year by John Podesta, a former chief of staff for President Clinton; Anna Burger, the secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union; and Rob McKay, a California philanthropist. The Campaign to Defend America is headed by Tom Matzzie, the former Washington director of the liberal activist group MoveOn. Among Fund for America donors are multimillionaire financier George Soros, who gave it $2.5 million last year and was a major contributor to an effort to defeat Bush in 2004. Burger’s union also contributed $2.5 million last year, according to Fund for America’s IRS records."

Also on March 5, 2008, the Center for Investigative Reporting noted the leaders of the Campaign to Defend America: Jeff Blum, president: Blum is also the executive director of USAction; Tom Matzzie, treasurer: Matzzie left his position as Washington director of MoveOn.org to become a chief operative of CDA; Wes Boyd, secretary: Boyd is a cofounder of MoveOn.org." …

2006 Contact information from Office of the Secretary of State, State of Washington

* 1825 "K" Street NW, Suite 400
* Washington, DC 20006
* Phone: (202) 454-6200
* Fax (202) 263-4530
* Email info@iraqcampaign.org
* Web Site www.noiraqescalation.org

Funny that the Politico would pretend not to know any of this.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, April 13th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “SEIU/MoveOn.Org’s HCAN Will Linger On”

  1. Mithrandir says:

    …..the group will join a long line of interest groups that hang around Washington…..

    Yeah, you mean SPECIAL INTEREST groups? The kind Obama and the Democrats swear up and down are not involved in their politics, just wholesome grass-root type of people correct?

  2. wardmama4 says:

    Aren’t those lovely pinkos in the AAEI picture – Code Pinkers? Does this not mean 1) all of these ‘grassroot’ liberal groups are just one group with many different names? and 2) that all the liberal ‘grassroots’ liberal groups are the same people? Thus we go back to my original thesis on this left/liberal agenda/activism – Should We The People be afraid or intimidated by the 1000 (or 10000 or 1000000) same people just changing their t-shirts and signs to fit the protest? It does not mean that they are the majority – It just means they are pretending to care about something and getting paid to do it by the same person (in the end – follow the money). They are not the majority, they are not a grassroots voice – and given that they are paid to protest – one has to wonder if they even care at all – they just need something to do to get dope, beer or fun money.
    Hey it’s a living – if you don’t give a damn about anything but being seen.

    • Right of the People says:

      That is one of the big problems in America today, the vocal minority has WAY too much influence.

      The only problem is We the People have jobs we have to go to every day and can’t go to DC to let our wishes be heard because we’re out there earning a living and paying taxes so these leeches can protest.

      Like the old saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease” we might need to start squeaking a bit more to maybe influence some of the silent majority.

  3. NoNeoCommies says:

    Leftist “special interest groups” are like taxes and bureaucracies.
    They never go away without supreme efforts and extraordinary sacrifice.

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