| So everyone seems to be wondering why I haven't offered a full response to the dozen random right-wing blogs piling on my fake grassroots operation.
Short answer? The posts in question address the past 5 years of my life, spanning work with at least 3 different organizations while raising questions about people who have or are indirectly paying my salary (even if Carol Minjares couldn't quite figure out who those people are).
The posts in question also raise issues ranging from theories of power building to the tax code and campaign finance law -- all of those are complicated topics.
In other words, if you haven't seen my response, that ain't surprising. Election Day is a week away. I'm working with dozens of volunteers, trying to hire a replacement for Forward Montana's first ever staff person, trying to raise money to keep the door open and the lights on, and planning for a much bigger operation in 2008. Dealing with pages of inaccurate accusations mixed with personal insults wasn't really how I planned on spending this week.
During John Adams' reporting, we went through a lot of this terrain -- in interviews that spanned probably 8-10 hours.
A full response would probably require a book, but as Ed Kemmick has asked elsewhere (in comments, which I didn't even see until someone directed me), why don't I point out the clear falsehoods?
Some clear half-truths?
- Forward Montana has never directly or indirectly to my knowledge received a dime of money from George Soros.
- Forward Montana has roughly 375 dues-paying members. Over 350 of those currently reside in Montana. All but a very small handful (7 or 8) have lived in Montana at some point in their lives.
- MontPIRG did not fund attack posters on Aaron Flint.
- Skyline Public Works is operated by Andy and Deborah Rappaport, not Jonathan and Peter Lewis. It also is not a "money laundering" operation for multiple large donors. It is the name by which a single couple run their political operation.
- Despite having seven or eight out-of-state donors who have never lived in Montana, with the exception of Skyline Public Works, none of them are major donors ($1,000+). The rest of our major donors live in Montana.
As for some of the other stuff about PSN's funding sources, I can't really speak to it. I was never really involved in the fundraising operation (as communications people rarely are).
- The Roosevelt Institution is not some super-powerful operation. Its budget is maybe a couple hundred thousand dollars. It was started by some students at Stanford who thought that just maybe some graduate students could use their research to craft new public policy solutions that could help this country out. In other words, it was an operation set up by a handful of punk kids at some college frustrated with politics as usual who found some angel donors to help them reach their dreams. Sounds familiar.
Heaven knows that this is only a partial response to the shotgun blast of accusations. But like I said, Election Day is a week away and I've got a job to do. If you're especially perturbed by any allegation and want to know what's up, I'm pretty easy to track down.
Forward Montana is, after all, listed in the phone book.