One of the top progressive activists groups in the country is launching an aggressive grassroots initiative in New Hampshire and Iowa this morning aimed at urging Democratic presidential candidates, including likely candidate Hillary Clinton, to adopt a “bold” Elizabeth Warren-style agenda.
On board with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee’s “Ready for Boldness” Granite State initiative are former U.S. Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Paul Hodes, state Sens. Martha Fuller Clark and David Watters, former state Sen. Burt Cohen, NEA-New Hampshire president Scott McGilvray as well as about 100 current and former state representatives, local officials and activists and other organized labor leaders.
There is a two-state total of 190 signatories to “Ready for Boldness,” and the Iowa list is headed by former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin.
Click here for the project’s web site, which contains a full list of supporters.
Unlike the joint effort of MoveOn.org and Democracy for America, the PCCC project is not aimed at drafting Massachusetts Sen. Warren to run for President, but rather to push Clinton and any other Democrat who may run to focus on Warren’s populist agenda.
The group issued this joint statement:
“We want the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee to campaign on big, bold, economic-populist ideas that tangibly improve the lives of millions of Americans. We urge all candidates for president to campaign on big, bold ideas — such as establishing a national goal of debt-free college at all public colleges and universities, expanding Social Security benefits instead of cutting them, creating millions of clean-energy jobs, reducing big-money influence in politics, breaking up the ‘too big to fail’ Wall Street banks that crashed our economy, and ensuring that working families share in the economic growth they help create.”
The web site notes, “The more momentum we get, the more Hillary Clinton and others will take notice.”
The group also highlighted a nationwide poll conducted in January showing broad support for what I calls populist initiatives such as allowing the government to negotiate drug prices, giving students the same low interest rates as big banks and universal pre-Kindergarten. And it said it intends to email its 1 million members nationwide urging support for the “Ready for Boldness” message.
PCCC says it has been organizing in New Hampshire and Iowa since December and is currently recruiting volunteers in early primary states “to attend campaign events and ask candidates whether they support economic populist ideas.”
Shea-Porter, who was an early supporter of then-Sen. Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential primary campaign, said in a statement issued by PCCC:
“Our Democratic nominee will have the best chance to win New Hampshire and other swing states in the general election if they campaign on a bold economic agenda that impacts kitchen table issues like jobs, wages, college affordability, and retirement security. That’s why I signed this important letter. Bold progressive economic policies are not only popular and necessary, but affordable especially with reforms like closing tax loopholes for the wealthiest individuals and corporations, making millionaires and billionaires pay the same rate into Social Security as the rest of us, and finally allowing the federal government to negotiate with big drug companies.”
Hodes, who also endorsed Obama over Clinton in the 2008 primary campaign, said:
“Progressive leaders understand that Democrats need a clear economic agenda and message which they haven’t had since the 1990s. Populist economic proposals with broad voter appeal like debt-free college, expanding social security and clean energy jobs can lead the Democratic presidential nominee and Democrats up and down the ticket to victory in 2016.”
The group said it will hold a telephone news conference on Wednesday featuring many of the signatories.