Past Press Coverage:
To See MoveOn.org Political Action Press, click here
Reuters, March 24, 2003
MoveOn group taking online activism to bookstores
NEW YORK (Reuters) - MoveOn.org, a grass-roots group that promotes liberal causes from its Web site, is reaching out beyond the Internet to the more traditional medium of books with a political how-to guide for local activists.
"MoveOn's 50 Ways to Love Your Country," to be published on April 1 by the small, independent Inner Ocean Publishing of Hawaii, was fourth on the Amazon.com list on Wednesday even though a promotional push for the book by group members had barely begun.
The book represents a "crossing of the digital divide" by moving from the Internet into bookstores that often serve as community centers, said the book's publisher, Karen Bouris, in a telephone interview from her office on the island of Maui.
MoveOn has attracted more than 2 million members and raised millions of dollars to back political campaigns and projects.
Sections of the book are introduced by former Vice President Al Gore, California Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi and author Gail Sheehy. The essays share personal experiences and practical advice ranging from "Write an Op-Ed Letter" to "Start a Petition," which chronicles a couple's quest to protect endangered wolves in Alaska.
"It's about participating in our democracy in a positive way, not bashing," Bouris said. "The more informed, the more we feel our voices and actions can and do make a difference, the better country we'll have."
Bill O'Reilly wants its nonprofit status revoked. Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie sees it as part of the "Democrat plan to subvert campaign finance laws." House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's office plays phone pranks on its staffers. A piece in David Horowitz's FrontPage Magazine worries: "It could bypass the mainstream media, sneak around campaign spending limits, and become its own powerful channel for Leftist communication, indoctrination and mobilization."
Clearly, MoveOn.org has arrived...
...MoveOn appears to be at the hub of a new political synergy that may give the Democrats their best hope for defeating incumbent Republican George W. Bush in 2004. All this has the right worried. MoveOn, they know, is part of a massive campaign gearing up to try to beat Bush in 2004.
"I think there are cranks on all sides," says (co-founder Wes) Boyd. "The cranks are running the show on one side. People who 10 years ago, 15 years ago would have been laughed off Capitol Hill have, through having a very strong, consistent voice in an environment in which there's a vacuum of integrity, have gained ownership of one team. But it's a very fragile alignment. If you look at Americans' issue positions, they don't align with the Bush administration. My view is that Americans are very centrist. When you go out and talk to people, I share views with a lot of people across the country." That center has been obscured by television, which thrives on rancor and outrage. But Boyd believes the Internet is beginning to counteract some of television's distortions. "The American people are smart, talented, resourceful, all of those good things," he says. "Right now with technology, we can tap into that resourcefulness; we can help play a catalytic role in helping to get these people to step forward. That's what you're seeing with MoveOn.
CQ Weekly 10/4/03
Capitol Hill again took note when MoveOn got behind a campaign to roll back new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules to relax media ownership limits. In three days, the group collected 351,600 signatures on petitions opposing the rules, which organizers delivered to the leaders of the Senate effort to reverse the regulations, Byron L. Dorgan , D-N.D., and Trent Lott , R-Miss.
Dorgan and Lott were happy to use the stacks of petitions as a prop at a news conference Sept. 11, piling them shoulder-high on each side of a lectern. The image reinforced their point that the rule change - far from an esoteric issue important only to industry insiders - matters to a wide swath of the American public. And five days later the Senate passed a measure ( S J Res 17 ) to block the FCC rules. (CQ Weekly, p. 2303 )
Dorgan and Lott, like Byrd, did not anticipate MoveOn's appeal and the boost it gave them. "It was a pleasant surprise," Dorgan said.
Washington Post 6/5/03:
In the season of their discontent -- out of power and on the defensive -- Democrats are looking for inspiration and leadership. A bunch of them found
Boyd and his wife, Joan Blades, made a fortune with their winged-appliance computer screen savers. Then, in 1998, appalled by the impeachment struggle in Washington, the Californians founded MoveOn.org, a modest online petition effort that has grown into the hottest political organization in American progressive circles.
From an initial e-mail to about 300 friends, MoveOn has, five years later, a "membership" of 1.4 million Americans, plus 700,000 more people outside the country. The MoveOn political action committee has raised $6.5 million for like-minded candidates and has hopes of doubling that amount in this election cycle. MoveOn generated a million phone calls and e-mails to Congress protesting the Iraq war and catalyzed thousands of candlelight vigils around the world. "Even we were shocked by the power of this," Boyd said. "We were bowled over."
SCHNEIDER: Democrats are keeping a list of grievances, call it the four "R's."
Let's hear it from one aggrieved Democrat.
GOV. GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: It started with the impeachment of President Clinton, when the Republicans could not beat him in 1996.
SCHNEIDER: First "R," removal.
DAVIS: It continued in Florida, where they stopped the vote count, depriving thousands of Americans of the right to vote.
SCHNEIDER: Second "R," recount.
DAVIS: This year, they're trying to steal additional Congressional seats in Colorado and Texas, overturning legal redistricting plans.
SCHNEIDER: Third "R," redistricting.
DAVIS: Here in California, the Republicans lost the governor's race last November. Now they're trying to use this recall to seize control of California just before the next presidential election.
SCHNEIDER: Recall. That makes four. That same list appears in a new moveon.org newspaper ad. Clinton, Florida, recall, redistricting.
The idea is to revive Democrats' outrage over impeachment and Florida and stoke it with new grievances.
Republicans say the four "R's" are really two "P's" pessimism and protest, a destructive kind of politics.
But Democrats see it as a way to rally the base for 2004. They see the hand of one sinister figure behind all those grievances, the fifth "R."
RODNEY ELLIS (D), TEXAS STATE SENATE: Karl Rove, a government employee, has made calls to members of the Texas Republican leadership saying, We want additional seats in Congress, so you all need to go through a redistricting again.
SCHNEIDER: Call it Rove rage. Democrats are counting on it to bring their supporters to the polls next year. Votes "R" us. How about that?
Historical Press Coverage: