21st Century Democrats

Infobox Organization
name = 21st Century Democrats

image_border =
size =
caption =
motto =
formation =
extinction =
type = Political action committee
headquarters = Washington, D.C.
location =
membership =
language =
leader_title = Executive Director
leader_name = Mark Lotwis
key_people = Tom Harkin, Jim Hightower, Lane Evans, founders
num_staff =
budget =
website = [http://www.21stcenturydems.org/ Official site]

21st Century Democrats is a political organization founded by Senator Tom Harkin, commentator Jim Hightower and Congressman Lane Evans to help elect "progressive" or "populist" candidates in winning elections.Fact|date=January 2008Or|date=January 2008 The original founders are no longer particularly active in the organization.Fact|date=January 2008Or|date=January 2008


21st Century Democrats started out relatively small but has quietly grown in size and significance in the last few election cycles."cite news | last =Attlesey | first =Sam | coauthors = Lori Stahl | title =New Group Seeks to Re-Focus Democratic Message. | work =Dallas Morning News | publisher =Dallas Morning News | date =January 23, 1996 | url =http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=DM&p_theme=dm&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0ED3D675C2AB2952&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM | ] In 2004 election cycle, according to the Political Money Line, it was the 13th largest Political Action Committee (PAC) in the United States raising nearly $7 Million. Among progressive ideological PACs, it ranked fourth behind America Coming Together, EMILY's List, and MoveOn.org. The group's long time Executive Director Kelly Young left the organization in 2007. Former Executive Vice President Mark Lotwis took over as Executive Director in July 2007. Who| url = http://democracyforamerica.com/about ] Who| url = http://www.blueoregon.com/2008/01/sos-kate-brown.html ]

Unlike traditional PACs, 21st Century Democrats focuses on recruiting, training, and hiring field organizers to organize grassroots campaigns on behalf of candidates for local offices, statewide office, and even targeted presidential swing states. Who| url = http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/09/22/MNGLM8SQOI1.DTL ] The strategy enables the group to get a value added return on its investments, and 21st Century Democrats has proven to be successful, winning the majority of its races, even though they focus on tougher, competitive races up and down the ballot. Who| url = http://21stcenturydems.org/candidates/profiles/past-candidates ] , The group has strong ties to veterans of Paul Wellstone's campaigns, as well as Democracy for America, which grew out of Howard Dean's presidential campaign. cite news | last = Staff | first = | coauthors = | title =Democracy for America Website' | work = | pages = | language = | publisher =. | date = , | url =http://democracyforamerica.com/about ]

2008 election season

In advance of the 2008 Primary Season, 21st Century Democrats plans to officially endorse between 30 and 50 candidates in 2008. Each candidate receives a combination of field help and financial support. cite news | last = Staff | first = | coauthors = | title =21st Century Democrats Endorse Kate Brown | work =Oregonian | pages =Politics | language = | publisher =The Oregonian. | date =January 14th, 2008 | url =http://blog.oregonlive.com/politics/2008/01/21st_century_democrats_endorse.html | accessdate = 2008-01-14] Among the first candidates endorsed by 21st Century Democrats is Sen Kate Brown of Oregon who is running for the position of Secretary of State. In December 2007 candidate Chellie Pingree received an endorsement for her run for a US Congressional seat from Maine. cite news | last = Staff | first = | coauthors = | title =Pingree Announces Endorsements' | work = | pages = | language = | publisher =PolitikerME. | date =December 20th, 2007 | url =http://www.politickerme.com/pingree-announces-endorsements-410 ]

Partner Organizations

Since 2000 the number of grassroots progressive democratic organizations has grown. Through the use of the internet these organizations have been able to become better organized and form partnerships with other organizations. Among 21st Century Democrat's Partner organization are America Votes. Who| url =http://www.americavotes.org/coalition/detail.aspx?catID=8&itemID=924 ] , New Progressive Coalition LLC Who| url = http://www.newprogressivecoalition.com/ ] , ActBlue Who| url = http://www.actblue.com/page/21stcenturydemocrats ] ,

Religious discrimination lawsuit

In November 2007, 21st Century Democrats was sued in United States federal court by their former communications director, Kenneth Goldman. The lawsuit stated that three workers were fired in 2006 for refusing to attend "religious events," referring to the Landmark Forum. A formal complaint was filed in a Washington, D.C. court, stating that Landmark Education has "religious characteristics and theological implications." The lawsuit also stated that Landmark Education's influence could be felt in the 21st Century Democrats' "mission, business structure ... and communications."

The executive director for 21st Century Democrats stated he believed the lawsuit had no merits, and called it "frivolous." A spokesman for Landmark Education stated that the San Fransico, California based company "is in no way religious in nature and any claim to the contrary is simply absurd." Goldman stated that two other employees of 21st Century Democrats regularly discussed their unease with him over Landmark Education's influence over the company, and believed that former executive director Kelly Young treated the Landmark Forum seminars like a "religion." Landmark Education and the two other employees who were fired are not a party to the lawsuit between Goldman and 21st Century Democrats.cite news | last =McElhatton | first =Jim | coauthors = | title =Democratic PAC faces lawsuit for employee 'religious events' | work =The Washington Times | pages =Nation/Politics | language = | publisher =The Washington Times, LLC. | date =November 27, 2007 | url =http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071127/NATION/111270023/1002 | accessdate = 2007-11-27]

ee also

*Democracy for America


External links

* [http://www.21stcenturydems.org/ 21st Century Democrats main page]

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