RELEASE: CAP Action Announces New Leadership, Expansion of ThinkProgress.org
Washington, D.C. — The Center for American Progress Action Fund, a nonpartisan organization that is the advocacy partner of the nation’s leading progressive think tank, the Center for American Progress, announces Jennifer Palmieri as its new President, overseeing the expansion of its reporting and war room work. CAP Action is the home of the award-winning blog and newsroom site, ThinkProgress.org.
Permanent progressive communications war room
Staffed by more than 30 researchers, reporters, and communications experts, ThinkProgress.org is both a newsroom and a permanent progressive communications war room that is a one-stop shop for defining and driving issue debates.
"One of the lessons of the legislative battles of 2009 and 2010 was that the campaign for a progressive agenda never ends. It requires a permanent communications and coordinating effort that is constantly advocating for progressive policies and offering a thoughtful critique of conservative ideas. Rapid response is a dated concept. The combined forces of ThinkProgress—the newsroom and the war room—aren’t responding; we aim to define the debate and drive the debate," Palmieri described.
War room: Driving the debate
ThinkProgress.org’s “war room” team works to drive the debate by organizing around breaking news, keeping progressives abreast of the activities of the right and devising new ways to frame the debate in order to advance progressive ideas and push back on conservative policies.
Led by the highly regarded campaign veteran Tara McGuinness, the war room convenes key calls at 8:45 each weekday morning to help progressives get organized to move.
"We work every day to animate the differences between progressive and conservative policies," said McGuinness. "It is not enough to have ideas; you have to put those ideas in motion—our posts, reports, and communications efforts are daily chapters in telling the story about two very different visions for the country."
It also distributes clips, talking points, messaging memos, and the most complete futures calendar in Washington to nearly 500 progressive leaders, key Hill staffers, top pundits and consultants, and other operatives.
Newsroom: Making news and defining the debate
Each month, 4.5 million people visit ThinkProgress.org. But its real value for progressives is the influence of ThinkProgress.org’s research and reporting on opinion makers. Research that starts on ThinkProgress.org gets picked up and creates an echo chamber that helps define the debate.
Technorati, a website that ranks blogs by influence, has ThinkProgress.org ranked fifth overall of any blog in the world and number one among political blogs. “I don’t know what MSNBC would do without them,” Michael Goldfarb of the Weekly Standard wrote of ThinkProgress. In 2010 ThinkProgress.org reporters visited 20 states, interviewed 56 Democratic and Republican members of Congress, one Supreme Court justice (Samuel Alito), and David Koch, the billionaire funder of many right-wing efforts.
While reporters from ThinkProgress.org have been a staple at events in Iowa and New Hampshire for months, the team has broader plans for coverage and video work in for the remainder of 2011 and 2012, including coverage in critical primary states. This year, the team has already interviewed nine presidential candidates, including a stunned Michelle Bachmann who said Monday she didn’t have “an answer” to a question on whether she agreed with the hateful policies of her hosts, the right-wing organization The Family Leader, that homosexuality was a public health hazard akin to secondhand smoke.
The impact of the ThinkProgress team’s work shouldn’t be surprising; it boasts five former presidential campaign communication aides including War Room Director Tara McGuinness, ThinkProgress.org Newsroom Editor Faiz Shakir, and the return of former Hillary Clinton Research Director Judd Legum.
The war room has recently added a depth of major progressive communications talent including Lori Lodes, former SEIU health campaign communications director who has recently been named deputy director of the war room; Communications Director Josh Dorner, formerly of the Sierra Club; and Policy Director Tony Carrk formerly with the DSCC, Hillary Clinton, and McAuliffe campaigns.
Below are links to ThinkProgress.org’s recent newsmaking reporting:
- Giving Senator Kyl a time with his “notintendedtobeafactualstatement”
- Leaving Michelle Bachmann speechless
- Setting facts straight on how Ryan budget hits seniors to help CEOs