Friday, February 10, 2006


Markos writes:

In my ideal world, blogs do some fundraising, yes, but we are better at focusing attention on certain races, raising the profile of obscure congressional districts and turning them into national events. MoveOn can then swoop in and raise the serious money with an assist from DfA. With the higher profile, it becomes easier for campaigns to do traditional fundraising. PACs return their phone calls, labor unions start taking them seriously, wealthy donors are more likely to write that $2,100 check to a campaign that looks alive.

Meanwhile, the blogs, MoveOn, DfA, and others can generate on-the-ground volunteers to help these campaigns build their ground game.

I'd love to get out of the fundraising thing, but there's no doubt that "raising the profile of an obscure congressional district" includes raising the early seed money. That grabs media, establishment, and donor attention more than anything else. We saw that with Hackett (which was a blog/DfA accomplishment, MoveOn sat that one out), and we're seeing it now with Ciro Rodriguez (all blogosphere to date). Hopefully, we'll see it in CA-50 next month as we try to help push Busby over the 50 percent mark in the first round special election.

But the netroots is bigger than the blogs. We've got our role in the ecosystem, but we can't do it all ourselves. The big money will have to come from other sources. I believe our chances in many of these races will depend, ultimately, in our ability to bring the full resources of the netroots to bear.

This is basically right. Raising money is great but the real impact is in generating attention which hopefully leads to other things.