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Blue America: Looking For That Old One-Two — A Progressive Kick And A Progressive Punch


Earlier this week Joshua Grossman, founder and president of Progressive Punch and Progressive Kick, wrote two posts explaining the importance of local grassroots political action and if you missed either, I urge you to read them (here and here) before sitting down for a q&a with Joshua this morning.

If you read our regular Blue America posts, you're already familiar with some of Joshua's work since we use Progressive Punch to track the voting records of all members of Congress. But prying the dome off the Capitol– providing the best information on Congressional votes anywhere (searchable by member's names as well as by 160 different issue categories)– is only one part of what the Progressive Punch team does.

Recently I asked Joshua to summarize some of the projects Progressive Punch is working on. I think you'll find his plans as exciting as I did:

• match Congressional votes to campaign contributions from Open Secrets database
• let people know how their members of Congress voted within hours of the vote including brief explanation of the vote + tools to communicate pleasure/displeasure with position taken by member of Congress
• automatically identify bills of interest to individuals in advance of vote + tools to communicate with members of Congress about the legislation
• identify likely co-sponsors of legislation to interested parties BEFORE measures come up for a vote
• provide blogs with super easy to use embedded links to allow them to cover individual members of Congress and/or hot issues of the day

Progressive Kick is a whole other ball of wax. Joshua and his crack team have created a massive database of US Congressional district demographic information broken down even further to the state legislative district level. They also executed a major study on 21st century messaging technologies for issue messaging purposes and they've already deployed campaigns in four congressional districts utilizing these innovative technologies. Joshua has high hopes for what he'd like to achieve with Progressive Kick. Again, I asked him to summarize some of his ambitious plans so we could discuss them with him today:

• identify for the progressive community the members of Congress and state legislators who are "underperforming"– i.e. voting much more conservatively than their districts
• feed sophisticated/detailed data on voting records to local blogs spotlighting unpleasant aspects of incumbents voting records
• create database of progressive state legislators matched to the congressional districts they're located in
• continue to assess cutting edge technologies for issue messaging campaigns
• create ActBlue pages for progressive state legislators encouraging them to run for higher office
• combine our access to sophisticated databases of congressional voting records with cutting edge issue messaging technologies to inform & empower citizens to hold their elected officials feet to the fire in tremendously effective ways

Progressive Kick has an Act Blue page and because it is a federally recognized 527 organization it can accept unlimited funds. And although Joshua is always grateful for $5.00 and $10.00 donations to help with his work, he, unlike most PACs and political committees, can accept a million dollars or even more… if anyone wants to dig deep. Just yesterday he sent me a brilliant plan to roast a reactionary incumbent… and asked me to help him raise $1,000,000 for the campaign. Meanwhile, I am going to match any donations at his Act Blue page made today up to $1,000.

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Howie Klein

Howie Klein

Howie Klein spent much of his life wandering around the world living in places like Afghanistan, Nepal, Holland and Morocco. He moved backed to America when Richard Nixon resigned and promptly helped start the first punk rock radio show in the country and then a DIY punk rock record label. His adventures in the music business ended a couple of years ago when he retired as president of Reprise Records. He began blogging almost immediately, starting Down With Tyranny. Jane taught him html while he held one of her dogs at a party. He is a raw foodist, lives in L.A., swims and hikes every day, thinks Howard Dean could be a president as great as FDR and will never be completely happy until Bush and Cheney are behind bars.