Secretive far left network uncovered
Mediatracker, a website that tracks media stories and works for transparency in government, has uncovered a heretofore unknowm group made up of some of the most powerful and influential leftists in the country.
The private Google group known as "Gamechanger Salon" features a veritable who's who of far left heavy hitting political activists:
Operating as a closed Google Group, much of what the network does is unavailable for public review. However, a document listing the network’s membership and a policy manual describing the mission and ground rules for the entity were accessible when Media Trackers discovered a non-password protected link in the emails obtained through an open records request of a University of Wisconsin professor.
Media Trackers also attempted to join the group but our request to join was denied.
Gamechanger Salon is comprised of “experienced change makers from different ‘worlds’ of the movement to share stories, honest reflections, interesting articles, and provocative ideas on how we build a stronger, more coordinated, more game-changing movement for the 21st Century” according to the policy manual.
The group has the self-described goal of creating a “more coordinated” movement for liberals across the country. Among those included on the membership list are:
Damon Silver, Policy Director for the AFL-CIO
Benjamin Joffe-Walk, Chief of Staff at Change.org
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK
Elizabeth Rose, Director of Communications at the Economic Policy Institute
Philip Radford, Executive Director of Greenpeace until earlier this year
Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL
Raven Brooks, Executive Director of Netroots Nation
Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee
Deirdre Schifeling, National Director Organizing & Electoral Campaigns for Planned Parenthood
The group’s policy manual directs members to abstain from forwarding emails to recipients outside the group. It does warn, however, that with 1,000-plus members, anyone emailing the group should not say anything “you wouldn’t want to be subpoenaed by a Grand Jury or broadcast on Fox News.”
Media Trackers’ open records request focused on the records of University of Wisconsin Professor, and director of UW’s Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS), Joel Rogers. Rogers, as the records request turned up, is a member of Gamechanger Salon.
Focusing on multiple “research” reports put out by COWS in coordination with Wisconsin’s labor movement, Media Trackers discovered the secretive national liberal network in an email sent to the group by Wisconsin Jobs Now organizer Peter Rickman.
Of course, there's nothing illegal about this kind of group -- at least, on the surface. Nor is the existence of a group like this even surprising. But, like the exposure of the Journolist group a few years ago, shining a light that exposes membership in a far left organization sends the leftists scurrying.
Like Journolist, the advantage of a group like this is that talking points and political attacks can be highly coordinated. Most of the biggies on this list are frequent media guests, and being able to closely coordinate responses to news of the days amplifies the message.
It wouldn't surprise me if there are similar groups on the right, but I've never heard a whisper that similar high profile conservatives are coordinating strategy. In fact, the lack of coordination by most conservatives would seem to indicate a need for such a group. It goes without saying that a group like this gives an enormous advantage to liberals in the media wars and conservatives might do well to emulate them.