ActBlue's Breakout Year

[by David S. Bernstein]

When I first wrote about ActBlue, the Cambridge-based web site connecting progressive contributors to candidates, it had processed about $250,000 of donations to 125 campaigns. (See "Two Schmoes," September 2004) Yet I wrote that it "may not be crazy" to think that ActBlue could, as its founders envisioned, move $15 to $20 million in the 2006 election cycle.

Guess what? ActBlue's co-founders, Benjamin Rahn and Matthew DeBergalis, say they have sent more than $17 million to well over 1000 Democratic candidates and committees -- including some $12 million in the six months leading up to election day.

That includes almost a quarter-million for state legislative leaders, which helped flip nine state chambers from R to D -- and earned ActBlue a grateful public acknowledgement from the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.

And now, ActBlue has won a ruling from the Federal Elections Commission that will allow it to begin raising money for potential Presidential candidates. So, you can, right now, set up an ActBlue contribution page for, say, "Draft Brack Obama," or whoever you prefer. If Obama enters the race, the donated money will go to his campaign committee; if not, it will go to the Democratic National Committee.

It looks more and more like the road to electoral success for Democrats runs through Rahn and DeBergalis. Nice job, guys.

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