Who is MoveOn backing, specifically for president for 2008?
November 17, 2007 3:33 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know who Moveon is backing for the 2008 election?

I already checked their web site, and also sent them a q (i presume they are quite busy, but still, if they're attempting to raise $2 mil + to support a candidate, I'd like to know who that is if I'm going to think about supporting that person).

They say a "progressive" candidate, but much as I dig moveon, that ain't enough info for me.

posted by bitterkitten to Law & Government (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
They haven't actually made an endorsement yet. "A progressive candidate," in this context, presumably means "the eventual Democratic candidate." The extent to which certain Democratic presidential candidates can be called "progressive" is debatable, but probably the word is more applicable to any of them than to, say, Guiliani or Huckabee.
posted by Tomorrowful at 3:51 PM on November 17, 2007

I assume they're saving their ammunition for the general election, since they believe that any of the democratic candidates are better than what the republicans will field.

This also makes sense, because their member base is deeply divided, and they don't want to alienate many of their members/donors.
posted by chrisamiller at 3:52 PM on November 17, 2007

Dennis Kucinich
Mike Gravel
John Edwards
Barack Obama
Hillary Clinton
posted by dhammond at 4:37 PM on November 17, 2007

I don't know if MoveOn is a 501(c)3 entity or a PAC, but nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations are forbidden from engaging in any political activity in support or opposition of a candidate for public office. The Internal Revenue Code states that 501(c)(3) organizations must "not participate in, or intervene in (including publishing or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office." A 501(c)(3) organization that violates this rule may lose its tax-exempt status and face other financial penalties. The IRS allows 501(c)(3) organizations to undertake nonpartisan activities to educate the public about issues or encourage citizens to vote. In order to distinguish between illegal political activities and legal voter education and registration activities, note that the following activities are clearly prohibited by 501(c)(3) organizations:

* Formal or informal endorsement of a candidate for public office. Recruiting an individual to run for public office, or supporting an individual before he or she officially registers as a candidate is considered political activity.

* Publication or distribution of statements in favor of or in opposition to a candidate.

* Direct financial contributions or other support to a candidate, political party, or political action committee (PAC).

* In-kind contributions to a candidate, political party or PAC, including, but not limited to provision of facilities or office space, mailing, membership, or donor lists; or other resources for fund raising.
posted by HotPatatta at 8:14 PM on November 17, 2007

Apparently it operates as a 501(c)4 entity, so disregard my previous post.
posted by HotPatatta at 8:15 PM on November 17, 2007

I would be shocked if MoveOn is endorsing Hillary at this point, given her support of the war. Only recently has she distanced herself from it.
posted by HotPatatta at 8:18 PM on November 17, 2007

The MoveOn leadership knows that Clinton will be the nominee and that the membership if allowed to endorse would end up with Obama or Edwards. The only solution to this problem which maximizes the general-election influence of MoveOn is to have no endorsement.

By the way, that's also the solution that Hillary Clinton prefers. She doesn't need the endorsement to win the nomination on February 5, but she also doesn't want to appear to have "beaten" the netroots. She's going to have enough trouble with them as it is when she has her immaculately planned epater les sinistres moment in May or June. I wonder if she's having casting sessions now for the symbolic sinistre in question -- Sistah Souljah got herself a couple extra years of career out of it for herself.
posted by MattD at 8:00 AM on November 18, 2007

Incidentally, MoveOn is a 501(c)4, but there is also the MoveOn PAC, which would do any endorsing and contributing to a presidential candidate.

MoveOn tried to endorse a primary candidate for 04 by putting it to a vote among their members, but they couldn't get a clear majority, so they abandoned that. I suppose the great costs (more political than financial) of endorsing one candidate outweigh the minimal benefits.
posted by lunasol at 9:09 AM on November 18, 2007

Also, no one "knows" that Hillary will be the ultimate nominee, unless they have a crystal ball.
posted by lunasol at 9:10 AM on November 18, 2007

Lunasol, by "know" I mean "has a sufficiently high degree of confidence to drive all decisions." And it's not just everyone in the leadership of MoveOn but all political professionals everywhere who are that this level of certainty. Witness how zero people are going for Clinton's jugular; no big interest group, including ones with a natural affinity with one or more of her rivals, or ones with a justified antipathy to the Clinton family (free-trade afflicted unions, to name one) or to her pro-war votes.

Conventional wisdom at this level could be proven wrong, but it's unlikely. All the cards have been dealt. Hillary could have proven gaffe-prone or bad in the debates, Gore could have gotten in, Obama could have stayed out and permitted Edwards to develop traction, the anti-war contingent could have really rallied effectively against her -- but none of those things happened. There remains the possibility of an upset in Iowa, but all that will do is make Hillary's subsequent steamroller run look more impressive.

(And less you think I'm a cheerleader, I'd be completely excited by a surprise. For now though all the excitement is on the wide-open character of the race on the Republican side, where endorsements and the like really might matter.)
posted by MattD at 9:29 AM on November 18, 2007

In case this shows up in anyone's activity, MoveOn PAC has decided to poll its members to endorse a candidate. If 2/3 of the members agree, then they will endorse. Voting ends tomorrow at 11am.
posted by ALongDecember at 12:57 PM on January 31, 2008

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