The orchestration of press, radio and television to create a continuous, lasting and total environment renders the influence of propaganda virtually unnoticed precisely because it creates a constant environment.
The Weekly Standard reported on The Colorado Model as something new, but the rough framework for it has been in the works for a while. It is a scheme to collect from rich liberal donors and target specific candidates to eventually capture every election through front organizations, media, harassment and so on.
It has been used most effectively in Colorado where Democrats are third behind Republicans and Independents in registration but swept the governorship, both houses of the state legislature, a U.S. Senate seat, and two U.S. House seats in the last two election cycles.
When Long Island’s CD-1 Congressional was up in 2010, donations mostly poured in from off the Island, from places like NYC, Illinois, California and so on. The election was targeted and a predominantly Republican area re-elected Tim Bishop, a left-wing rubber stamp for Obama. NYC donations were the most frustrating because they use Long Island as their personal bank account through taxation.
Paid bloggers, far-left organizations with nonpartisan fronts, training schools for trumping up and ferreting out Republican foibles, targeted money from around the country, even outside the country, is aimed at whittling away the Republican leadership. Republicans have no such infrastructure. This is nothing new, but Colorado has formalized it into a successful attack-mode campaign strategy. It uses an Alinsky-style methodology with the end justifying the means.
The Colorado Model is formed of several large, well-funded organizations which focus on seven “capacities” that are required to drive a successful political strategy and keep it on offense: the capacity to generate intellectual ammunition, to pursue investigations, to mobilize for elections, to fight media bias, to pursue strategic litigation, to train new leaders, and to sustain a presence in the new media. Colorado liberals have now created institutions that possess all seven capacities. By working together, they generate political noise and attract press coverage. Explains Caldara, “Build an echo chamber and the media laps it up.”
Two of these Colorado organizations pretend they are nonpartisan, but they are clones of MoveOn and Media Matters. They harass journalists and editorial writers they believe are not liberal enough.
The other five are a “public interest” law firm, Colorado Ethics Watch (established in 2006), an online newspaper, the Colorado Independent, with reporters who look for wrongdoing by Republicans, much of it trumped up wrongdoing (it was established in 2006). And there is a school to train new liberal leaders, the Center for Progressive Leadership Colorado. There are new media outlets with bloggers sharing online news and gossip, which includes ColoradoPols.com and SquareState.net. That makes up the seven capacities.
Republican secretary of state Mike Coffman was hounded for months by Colorado Confidential, now the Colorado Independent, for allowing a state employee to run a side business and not reporting a supposed conflict of interest too microscopic to be worth explaining. The mainstream media eventually picked up the story, and Colorado Ethics Watch filed a formal complaint. Later, an official audit found no wrongdoing, but only after Coffman had been publicly pilloried. The episode didn’t help his current campaign for a U.S. House seat.
Caldara, too, has been targeted by the liberal groups. He used the phrase “bitch slapped” on his late-night talk radio show. Colorado Media Matters complained, and Caldara says ProgressNowAction.org sought to get advertisers to drop his show. “They tried to find a way to Imus me,” Caldara says. He’s still on the air. Read more: Propaganda organizations