Last updated on March 27, 2020
Received this e-mail today from the progressive group, Indivisible:
A few days ago, we wrote to tell you about a newly-formed plan: the Payback Project. We told you we’d get the details to you as soon as possible, and today we’re ready to unveil our initial plans.
Before we get into all the nitty-gritty details, let’s look at the big picture for a moment. We’ve seen throughout the impeachment process just how willing Republican senators are to throw our democracy under the bus to protect their president.
But they’ve done a lot more damage than just refusing to remove him. They’ve voted time after time to consolidate power in the hands of a few and to make our society less democratic so they can keep their jobs (because, let’s be honest, they know their policies are unpopular, so they need to cheat to win).
We’re tired of it. And we’ve spent the last three years building the kind of movement that can take these senators — and the money machines behind them — head on. So it’s time for payback.
Our Payback Strategy
How are we going to pay these senators back for years of destroying democratic norms and voting against their constituents’ interests? We’re going to vote them out of office — and we’ve got a million-dollar strategy to do it.
We’re going to target nine of the worst Republican senators, who’ve spent the last three years enabling Trump and holding back progressive change:
McSally, AZ Collins, ME Gardner, CO Tillis, NC Perdue, GA Graham, SC Ernst, IA Cornyn, TX McConnell, KY
And we have a four-step plan to defeat them. We’ll tell you a lot more about how we’re going to accomplish all this in the coming weeks, but here’s our strategy:
- Build awareness and accountability. When senators take bad votes or do something else awful, we’ll be in their states to broadcast it and hold them accountable for refusing to listen to constituents. And we’ll keep reminding voters of their stances on the Affordable Care Act, abortion bans, climate change, and all our other top issues.
- Boost local political power. We’ll do the work to get as many people involved in the election as possible, growing the size of our local groups and increasing logistical support for their election activities and recruitment efforts.
- Organize to win. Our nationwide network of organizers will work directly with groups on the ground to leverage their power with voters, the candidates, and the media to build support for strong progressive challengers.
- Get out the vote. We’ll run a robust GOTV campaign to turn as many people as possible out to the polls. Remember — these senators thrive on disenfranchisement, so it’s our job to make sure voters show up to kick them out.
Our Tools to Win
Making those four steps into reality will mean we’ll have to use every tool at our disposal — and we might even have to find some new ones.
- Traditional media — things like billboards, newspaper ads, you name it. These tools get information about candidates out to broad groups of people, not just our “base.” We’ll also provide support and trainings to local groups interacting with the press.
- Digital organizing tools — our event map points people directly to all the ways they can engage in these races. And we’ll also be providing access to voter rolls to help groups canvass, calling and texting platforms, and more.
- Communications tools — emails (like this one!), text messages, social media posts, and all the ways we communicate with activists and supporters to get you the latest info, explain the news, or help you get involved.
- Staff time — whether it’s our organizers helping groups plan their canvass days, or our political staff doing research to identify candidates’ positions, or our press staff reaching out to the media in these states, we are dedicated to helping the movement engage effectively with these Senate races.
These are just the tools we can predict right now we’ll be using. But the core goal of the Payback Project is to hold these senators accountable for years of bad votes, bad politics, and bad practices.
That means our plans are going to be dynamic. We’ll respond when they take bad stances or further prove why they shouldn’t be in office — and we might need new, effective ways to do it. We’ll update you every time we come up with a new idea to hold these senators accountable.
How We Make It Happen
This is a huge plan. And we’ll be honest — defeating these nine Republican senators, with their entrenched power and millionaire donors, is not going to be easy. To win these races, we’ll have to give it everything we’ve got. We simply can’t afford to cut corners if we’re going to win.
We’ll be keeping you in the loop over the next several months with all the ways you can support and get involved in our efforts, but the number one best way you can get it off the ground right now is with a donation to support this and all our work. Right now, we’re anticipating spending a MILLION dollars on this project, and we’re committed to being funded by the movement so we stay accountable to the movement.
Our movement might have started as a reaction to the 2016 election, but we know that what ails our democracy is about more than just Trump. It’s about a system that has allowed a few super-powerful, super-wealthy interests to completely dominate the national conversation and hold policymaking hostage for their own gain. It’s time we got to work dismantling that system.
The early days of our movement were about mitigating the damage a bad administration could do. We’re so proud and excited to be in a position to push for real progressive change — and none of it would be possible without you. Thank you.
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