Thursday, February 20, 2003

This is what I get for not reading tapped: I missed a great bit of news:

First there's this report that a group of liberal donors are teaming up to create a lefty radio network. Tapped thinks this is a splendid idea. We also learn, via Roll Call's Mark Preston, that Tom Daschle has launched a series of "Monday Meetings" with outside interest groups, copying the Republican practice of many years (link not available):
Led by Democratic leadership staffers, the group meets each Monday on Capitol Hill for an hour to talk about current issues, and participants are allowed to discuss topics that are of interest to their constituencies. At the most recent meeting, for example, the judicial nomination of Miguel Estrada was discussed.

Participants so far have included Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; Monica Mills, political director of NARAL: Pro-Choice America; Ellen Nissenbaum, legislative director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; Sheila O'Connell, political director of EMILY's List; and Bill Samuel, legislative director for the AFL-CIO. Top staffers for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also attend the meetings.

This is the first time the Democratic leadership has held regularly scheduled, formal meetings with outside groups, which has long been a regular practice of the GOP. Senate Republican Conference Chairman Rick Santorum (Pa.) regularly meets with K Street brokers and the GOP leadership on both sides of the Capitol constantly participate in strategy sessions with lobbyists.

Also good. Although, being able to get out your message is secondary in importance to actually having a message. That's the hard part.
Not that hard, actually. Just replicate the close relationship that the "Wednesday meeting" types have with left/liberal counterparts to Heritage and AEI... the former for on-the-ground advocacy and lobbying, the latter for idea generation, policy formulation, and pie-in-the-sky stuff.

(Hell, on the latter point, this could be the chance to re-introduce academia into policy production.)

Once you've done that, you're on your way to the kind of information and advocacy production, concentration, distribution, and implementation that has made the right so damned effective this last while.

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