The Blueprint: How the Left hopes to capture America
By James Simpson, Organization Trends, July 2013 (PDF here)
Summary: The Left’s strategy for unhindered political power continues to be refined. In this electoral juggernaut, an increasing role is played by statewide networks of nonprofits that battle in the fields of media, the courts, think tanks, and grassroots organizing. Colorado was one of the first states to fall, but now the Left has its sights set on no less than Texas.
The American Left has made no secret of its ambition to create a “permanent progressive majority” to transform our system of government. To this end, America’s radical Left hopes to have a working majority in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2014 elections. But perhaps its greatest ambition is to create an Electoral College map that will guarantee left-wing presidents for the foreseeable future and render the opposition irrelevant in national elections. They aim to accomplish this by turning the states of Texas, North Carolina, and Arizona Democrat blue.
Left-wingers are now pouring resources into Texas in hopes of capitalizing on favorable demographic trends (read: illegal alien amnesty). The newly formed left-wing organization Battleground Texas lays out their strategy:
Over the next several years, Battleground Texas will focus on expanding the electorate by registering more voters—and, as importantly, mobilizing those Texans who are already registered but who have not been engaged in the democratic process. And we’ll use the data-driven, people-focused approach that has helped win grassroots campaigns around the country.
That last sentence describes, at least in part, how Obama won the 2012 election. A post by Jonathon Moseley at the American Thinker website put it in perspective:
Democrats can now completely bypass the media with their new massive micro-targeting databases. Democrats are able to talk directly to voters, unfiltered, without having to beg reporters to cover the issues or people they want, while controlling the spin placed on each news tidbit.
Obama takes credit for the high-tech 2012 ground game, but a lot of the credit must go to groups like Democracy Alliance and other radical left funders, who quietly built the infrastructure that allowed Obama to win the day.
According to Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri, Democrats have been working on this plan for a while. It’s nothing new. Texas Governor Rick Perry calls Democrats’ dream of turning Texas blue with Hispanic voters a “pipe dream.”
But the recent moves by Obama’s permanent campaign apparatus—now functioning as the 501(c)(4) nonprofit Organizing for Action—portend a much more aggressive effort. Jeremy Bird, President Obama’s 2012 campaign field director, has taken the reins at Battleground Texas. Bird registered, “among a great many others, 361,000 left-leaning voters in Florida, 156,000 left-leaning voters in Colorado and 96,000 left-leaning voters in Nevada.” (Daily Caller, Feb. 27, 2013) After that, Bird had his pick of assignments, and he chose Texas.
Bedford argues that demographic trends alone will turn the state blue by 2040, but the Left plans to ramp up the effort, hoping to put Texas in play as early as 2016:
* Texas is home to 1.5 million unregistered Hispanic-Americans, 500,000 unregistered African-Americans and 200,000 unregistered Asian-Americans — all populations the Left intends to target.
* In 2010, while whites and blacks were registered at 67 percent and 62 percent respectively, only 53 percent of Hispanics were registered.
* Hispanics turn out to vote at a much lower rate than blacks and whites, something the Left intends to change.
* The Left plans to micro-target Hispanics in Texas, whose voting rate for Republicans in Texas is only slightly higher than the national average.
Another left-wing operation, the Lone Star Project, was founded in 2005 by Matt Angle, a former D.C. heavyweight who served as Chief of Staff to former Texas Congressman Martin Frost (D). A native Texan, Angle also leads Texas Democratic Trust. Lone Star was heavily involved in the attack on former House Majority Whip, Tom DeLay (R-Texas), and is the state party’s attack dog.
Texas has already witnessed left-wingers’ scorched-earth tactics. In Harris County (Houston), home to 25 percent of Texas’s electorate, True the Vote uncovered evidence of rampant ACORN-style voter registration fraud in 2010. The state Democratic Party joined a pile-on of multi-million-dollar lawsuits targeting True the Vote, its leader Catherine Engelbrecht and her husband, Engelbrecht’s Tea Party group King Street Patriots, and the Harris County Registrar. Democrats lost all those suits, but they got their message out.
Battleground Texas calls its agenda “a local effort with national implications.” Should Texas become a reliable blue state, its 38 electoral votes will virtually guarantee that future presidents will be Democrats. As Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has warned:
“In not too many years, Texas could switch from being all Republican to all Democrat,” he said. “If that happens, no Republican will ever again win the White House.… If Texas turns bright blue, the Electoral College math is simple. We won’t be talking about Ohio; we won’t be talking about Florida or Virginia, because it won’t matter. If Texas is bright blue, you can’t get to 270 electoral votes. The Republican Party would cease to exist.”
Former left-wing ACORN activist-turned-conservative Anita MonCrief adds, “Republicans have recently been engaged in a post-mortem on the 2012 election, attempting to recover from that major loss. If they go for amnesty, we will find ourselves doing a post-mortem over the GOP’s suicide. There is no recovery from that.” (Interview, April 2, 2013)
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano recently predicted her home state of Arizona would soon turn blue because of a large influx of immigrants. The same demographic forces are affecting the electoral complexions of Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada—and, the Democrats hope, Texas.
While some of these immigrants are doubtless legal, many are not. Left-wingers are pinning their hopes on amnesty, but these immigrants do not have to be legal in order to influence the outcome of elections.
Arizona is a case in point. In 2011, a firefighter named Daniel Valenzuela won a seat on the Phoenix City Council. This was a historic win that didn’t go unnoticed by the Obama campaign. According to Time (March 5, 2012):
Aides to Barack Obama, who had been watching the Valenzuela race closely, quickly dispatched Katherine Archuleta, a Latina voting activist from Colorado who now serves as Obama’s political director, to win Valenzuela over. They didn’t want only his support; they also wanted his network and his blueprint for changing the politics of this reliably Republican state and others like it. Their premise: demography is political destiny. (Emphasis added.)
Valenzuela recruited an army of illegals to promote his candidacy in Phoenix’s Latino district which he hoped to represent. Quoting Time again:
By Election Day in 2011, the group had made about 72,000 visits door to door, returning four or five times to many homes. Even so, the results stunned the experts: Valenzuela beat his Republican opponent by a ratio of nearly 3 to 2, with nearly 14,000 votes cast. Latino turnout in his district increased 480% from the previous off-year election, giving Phoenix two Latino members of the city council for the first time.
The Colorado Model
In 2004, a group of wealthy Coloradans (including software tycoon Tim Gill) and radical left-wing activists helped Democrats take control of both houses of the Colorado legislature. In 2006 they took the governor’s mansion and by 2008, Democrats held both U.S. Senate seats and a majority of House seats. In four short years, red Colorado had turned blue. They called it the “Colorado Miracle,” and it took Republicans completely by surprise.
This method has since come to be known as “The Blueprint.” Widely adopted by Democrats and left-wing activist groups nationwide, the Left hopes to use the strategy to turn Texas blue. A book about the Blueprint described the basics of Colorado’s 2004 electoral model:
* Build a powerful network of nonprofits to replace the Colorado Democratic Party (the Left thinks campaign finance reform hobbled the Party)
* Raise huge amounts of money from large donors to fund the network
* Recruit candidates with longstanding ties to their communities
* Develop consistent message about candidate strengths and opponent weaknesses
* Put aside policy differences to focus on winning.
(Adam Schrager and Rob Witwer, The Blueprint: How the Democratic Party Won Colorado and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care)
But in fact the Blueprint is much more than this. The true goal is to create a web of nominally independent media, as well as legal, think-tank, and watchdog groups that all work in concert to aggressively attack Republican candidates on every front. These groups promote false or hyped narratives through multiple media channels, while tying down the opposition candidate in lawsuits launched on the slimmest of pretexts. This crusade effectively overwhelms the candidate with negative publicity, while making it difficult if not impossible for him to spend any time promoting his message.
The 2004 Colorado victory was but a small bright spot for Democrats in what was otherwise considered a banner year for Republicans, who increased their margins in both houses of the U.S. Congress as well as re-electing President George W. Bush. In 2005, however, Democratic activist Rob Stein, a former Clinton administration staffer, began marketing a PowerPoint presentation titled “the Conservative Message Money Machine Matrix,” in which he showed how a “thriving network” of conservative organizations worked to promote conservative causes and candidates.
He proposed that Democrats build a similar model.
Actually, the resources of left-leaning organizations already dwarfed moderate to conservative ones by a factor of at least ten, but Stein made his point: Democrats would be wise to pool resources, organize more effectively, and work as a team. Colorado’s success pointed the way.
Stein’s idea impressed George Soros and other wealthy left-wing donors disappointed in the 2004 presidential election results, and inspired the creation of the Democracy Alliance (DA). Initiated with a group of 70 billionaires and millionaires, DA funded the creation and/or expansion of many organizations that today compose the activist Left, including America Votes, the Center for American Progress, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), EMILY’s List, Media Matters for America, ProgressNow, and the Sierra Club. DA has also established state chapters throughout the U.S.
How It Works: The 2006 Colorado Experience
In 2006, the Colorado model was promoted by a state-level subsidiary of DA, the Colorado Democracy Alliance (CoDA). Chastened from their 2004 experience, Colorado Republicans fought back, creating their own organization called “Trailhead,” but they were unprepared for CoDA’s slick, duplicitous public relations game and scorched-earth legal tactics.
Republicans backed promising candidate Bob Beauprez for governor. A favorite to win, Beauprez had been damaged in the primary by a Republican opponent who labeled him “Both Ways Bob.” Beauprez had vacillated on a tax refund proposal, then changed position on a ballot amendment to ease and expand Colorado’s petition process. Starting with a strategic article placed in the Rocky Mountain News, CoDA and allied organizations capitalized on that label.
The left-wing ProgressNow launched a website titled “BothWaysBob.com” and created Internet ads offering “Both Ways” flip-flops that featured Beauprez’s photo for $10. A left-wing Denver weekly newspaper further promoted the meme, writing, “proof once again that only a hypocritical stance and one false letter separate scandals from sandals.” (Blueprint, p. 151)
D.C.-based Citizens for Progress ran 15-second ads at the beginning and end of news broadcasts all day long for three weeks on Denver’s major television stations falsely accusing Beauprez of siding with insurers wanting to drop coverage for breast cancer patients and strip seniors of healthcare.
Meanwhile, Trailhead was confronted with a blizzard of lawsuits. Democrats filed criminal complaints on Trailhead ads and challenged them with civil suits on the slimmest of pretexts. Democrats used the legal process to learn of Trailhead’s plans, operations, and donors. Donors were attacked and targeted with threatening calls at midnight for supporting Trailhead. The numerous lawsuits became a campaign story in and of themselves, casting suspicion over Trailhead’s entire operation, and pre-emptively made counteraccusations by Trailhead seem questionable.
Ultimately, the Democrats lost or withdrew every single lawsuit. They didn’t care. Winning in court was never the goal. Their purpose was to intimidate and distract their opponents, force them to waste resources on defensive actions, and assassinate character. Most of the stories raising ethical questions about Trailhead and Republican candidates later turned out to be CoDA operations as well. Together with the lawsuits, they achieved their purpose. Democrat Bill Ritter was elected governor, and Democrats increased their margins by four in the state house and two in the state senate.
As the single major Republican operation, Trailhead made one large, easy target. For its part, CoDA was largely untouched. Actions by individual CoDA organizations could be plausibly denied if they made mistakes, while the CoDA network operation continued unimpeded. Unlike Trailhead, CoDA’s size and scope remained largely undetected and its donor base safely anonymous. Yet the CoDA operation was much larger, starting in 2006 with $11.2 million raised mostly from a few left-wing fat cats. Trailhead, supposedly a tool of the wealthy, raised less than half that: $5.3 million. (Blueprint, pp. 147, 149, 160)
The 2006 experience reveals a more accurate description of the Left’s tactics:
*Create a mass of apparently unrelated organizations that are in fact colluding on a predetermined goal;
*Fund these organizations with massive amounts of money;
*Use them to create a negative narrative about political opponents;
*Utilize and/or create sympathetic media to further legitimize the narrative;
*Launch endless lawsuits.
By filing lawsuit after lawsuit, a left-wing network:
*Creates a perception in the public mind that their opponent has ethical problems
*Makes the opponent squander resources defending against frivolous suits
*Forces the opponent into a defensive posture in public forums, rather than allowing the candidate to promote a platform
*Enables discovery of opponent’s plans and donor lists
*Intimidates donors, discouraging them from supporting the opponent
*And activists can further intimidate donors with anonymous, threatening phone calls.
Using these intense negative PR offensives to preoccupy the Left’s opponents, their candidates need do little more than show up and look reasonably presentable. It should be added that the leftists had no problem supporting Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ritter, even though he was pro-life. After one term Ritter was replaced by the reliably pro-abortion former Denver Mayor, John Hickenlooper.
And the Blueprint marched on.
Blueprint North Carolina
In 2010 North Carolina Republicans gained control of the state legislature with huge margins—a stunning victory. They gained a trifecta by electing a Republican governor in 2012. This is the first time since 1898 that Republicans have controlled both state chambers and the governorship. But undeterred by mere elections, Tar Heel leftists plan to make that victory short-lived using the same unscrupulous tactics that gained victory in Colorado.
North Carolina’s Civitas Institute (nccivitas.org) has been documenting the Left’s activities in the state for years. Recently Civitas revealed collusion between the Democrat-led State Board of Elections and the Obama administration in illegally registering voters online. North Carolina prohibits this form of registration, as do most other states, because of its vulnerabilities to fraud.
On the heels of that story, Civitas exposed the shady activities of a Democracy Alliance clone, Blueprint North Carolina. (Blueprint NC was profiled in the April 2013 Organization Trends by Susan Myrick of the Civitas Institute.)
According to Civitas, “Blueprint NC … is a partnership of over 40 progressive (liberal) state-level nonprofits” that were originally housed at the NC Justice Center. Blueprint NC is the North Carolina affiliate of State Voices, an umbrella organization claiming to connect 600 grassroots organizations nationwide. Affiliates in 22 states are called “Tables” and are themselves umbrella organizations for activist groups in the state.
A leaked strategy memo never meant for public consumption starkly revealed with shocking specificity how the Left’s North Carolina network intends to destroy Republican politicians. The memo recognizes that under the clear Republican majority, the best the Left can hope for is to “weaken our opponents’ ability to govern by crippling their leaders.…” Here they name Governor Pat McCrory, Speaker of the North Carolina House Thom Tillis, and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger.
The memo presents both a two-year plan and a “Potential Ten Year Vision.” Here are key points from the unedited two-year plan. See if they don’t sound familiar:
Eviscerate, Mitigate, Litigate, Cogitate and Agitate (“Lose Forward”):
Eviscerate the leadership and weaken their ability to govern
Mitigate legislative attacks on progressive values and set up legal challenges
Provide an alternative policy vision—what a progressive NC would look like
Build a base that eventually leads to a multi-racial ground up organizing structure.
Now ask yourself: if these “progressive” groups are willing to “Eviscerate the leadership and weaken their ability to govern” in order to push their own agenda when the North Carolina electorate has so decidedly voted against them, what kind of ethics would guide such a group if it gained unchallenged power? Note that the memo specifically calls for think tanks to develop leftist policies but be “careful to do so in a way that resonates with majority of North Carolinians.”
Lie, in other words.
The ten-year “vision” seeks to ensure that NC’s radical leftists:
*are prepared to influence the redistricting process in 2020
*have a leadership development pipeline in place
*own the issue environment
*build “a vibrant ground-up multi-racial organizing infrastructure”
*get underrepresented voters to “vote at the same rate as they are present in the population.”
Some of these activities may violate Blueprint NC’s 501(c)(3) status, which precludes involvement in partisan political activity. For example, the memo calls for “polling that identifies the weaknesses of our opponents,” creating a staff of video trackers who “follow the targets’ (McCrory/Tillis) every move” and “Pressure McCrory at every public event.” There is much more of this detailed in the memo. It is certainly partisan and deliberately focused on sabotaging a sitting governor’s ability to lead.
Another Soros organization, America Votes, is now claiming authorship of the memo. Initially, Blueprint Executive Director Sean Kosofsky equivocated about the memo’s source and defended his group’s discussions about it. Now, however, he claims Blueprint NC was victimized “by someone hoping to tarnish his organization.” This charge certainly should be thoroughly investigated by law enforcement.
The largest donation to Blueprint NC came, not from George Soros’s Open Society Institute (which contributed $100,000 in 2010, according to tax returns), but from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation ($1.7 million since 2009). The Reynolds Foundation’s contributions went directly to Blueprint NC and indirectly to it by way of NC Justice Center, which initially housed Blueprint NC. According to philanthropy databases, the Reynolds Foundation has given NC Justice Center $3,570,000 since 2009, with $850,000 of that total specifically earmarked for Blueprint NC. Reynolds also supports NC Action, North Carolina ACORN’s successor organization ($210,000 in 2010 and $50,000 in 2011). (Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation was profiled by Michael J. Volpe in the June Foundation Watch).
Media Aids Blueprint NC
Another donor is the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, which according to Civitas gave “$35,000 to Blueprint NC.” Fletcher has also provided over $300,000 per year for the past three years to the NC Justice Center, according to tax returns. The wealthy Goodman family figures prominently on Fletcher’s board, including the president, Barbara Goodman, and chairman, Jim Goodman. The Goodman family also owns WRAL, a major television/radio news broadcasting company in North Carolina.
WRAL has created a web page titled “Pat McCrory Promise Tracker.” This follows almost word-for-word action items on the memo’s page three, which calls for “Some kind of tracking site …” to “Track every campaign promise he made …” Chris Fitzsimon, a former WRAL reporter, now runs NC Policy Watch, a key member of Blueprint NC and subsidiary of the Fletcher-funded NC Justice Center. WRAL-FM grants Fitzsimon free air time to attack political opponents. Reynolds also funded Policy Watch ($75,000 in 2010). (See http://www.wral.com/Pat-McCrory-promise-tracker/11939528/)
The Race Card – Again
Note in both the two- and ten-year plans, Blueprint NC focuses on developing a “multi-racial organizing infrastructure.” This is code for race-based organizing that institutionalizes Blueprint NC’s use of the race card to promote its agenda at the cost of racial harmony.
The Left’s Center for American Progress underlines the Democrats’ strategy to mobilize enough voters from minority groups to attain permanent power. In a Dec. 5, 2012, blog post, the Center argues that:
Unlike Democratic victories of the past … President Obama was also able to achieve victory with a historically low percentage of the white vote. According to the national exit poll, President Obama achieved victory by carrying 93 percent of African American voters, 71 percent of Latino voters, 73 percent of Asian American voters, and only 39 percent of white voters—slightly less than former Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis’ share of the white vote in 1988.
Democrats plan to push this agenda relentlessly in an effort to turn red states blue. Democracy South is a network of organizations devoted to building a Democratic voter base in states throughout the Southeast. The group’s website at http://www.democracysouth.org/mvpmaps/mvpusa.html features an interactive U.S. map that shows the percentage of unregistered voters in each state. You pass your pointer over a particular state to reveal the percentage for that state.
Time will tell if left-wingers’ efforts to register voters, especially in states like Texas and Arizona, will have the success they hope for. If they do succeed, conservatives can kiss goodbye any hope for advancing a national policy agenda.
James Simpson is an economist, businessman, and freelance writer. His writings have been published in Accuracy in Media, American Thinker, Big Government, Washington Times, WorldNetDaily, FrontPage Magazine, and elsewhere.