On Tuesday, I posted an article making the point that it’s going to take more than just the work of the RNC for conservatives to take back Congress in 2010. After reading this fantastic post and book review by American Majority’s Ned Ryun over at RedState, I thought the two fit together well.
Ryun’s piece was spurred by his reading of an advanced copy of the book “The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care),” which outlines how Democrats (specifically major progressive donors) systematically overtook Republicans at all levels of public office in Colorado.
Ryun makes the point that Republicans (conservatives) can, and must, replicate the Democrats’ efforts in Colorado and take them nationwide, advocating for what he calls a “conservative privatized political infrastructure.”
This. Makes. Perfect. Sense.
Those of you who have worked with state and local campaigns (and in many cases, even Congressional races) will know what I’m talking about when I say that, by and large, political infrastructure systems simply don’t exist from year to year — with a few exceptions, of course.
Think of the advantage a GOP candidate would have if his or her campaign manager and field director could start on day one with access to a well-developed, fully-intact grassroots organization that operates in the localities they need to target? That’s a political dream.
I found it notable coming from Ryun because he’s actually the president of a group seeking to do exactly this.
American Majority, which is headquartered outside the beltway, describes itself as “a national non-profit, non-partisan political training institute whose mission is to train and equip a national network of leaders committed to individual freedom through limited government and the free market.”
This is a group that is expanding rapidly, and rightfully so. If they manage to accomplish their goal, they’ll be regarded among the most important political organizations in the country.
Anyway, check out Ned Ryun’s remarks on the Democrats’ work out in Colorado:
The 2006 and 2008 election cycles were unkind to the Republican Party, but what happened in Colorado was something altogether different and totally new. A group of four mega-donors decided to ignore the state Democratic establishment and start from scratch with a brand new, privatized political infrastructure. Of course they were aided by the new campaign finance reform laws, but what the “Gang of Four” (Rutt Bridges, Tim Gill, Jared Polis and Pat Stryker) did was replicate all of the essential functions of the Colorado Democratic Party–and added a few more for good measure.
From policy generation to leadership recruiting, coalition building to grassroots activation, the Gang of Four personally funded dozens of 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 527 organizations that worked in perfect harmony to take down the Republican establishment and install left-leaning policymakers in its place.
To understand what happened in Colorado is to understand the future of state-level politics, but I think the future of American politics as a whole: I’m convinced that what the Left did in Colorado at the state-level can be done on a national level by creating a conservative privatized political infrastructure. And it’s clear the Left is intent on doing that very thing on their side: the left is effectively exporting the “Colorado Model” to other states and then “stitching” together these local organizations, so really the Colorado narrative is also the story of how national politics is changing as well.
–Adam Dahlgren, Political Editor