MoveOn Grows Up -- What Started Online in '98 Has Transformed Liberal Politicking
MoveOn, the enfant terrible of online politicking, is growing up, turning 10 years old last month. And it has become far more than a purveyor of vituperative e-mail blasts. During the 2006 midterm elections, for instance, the online organization -- with a full-time staff of 23, most of whom work from home -- spent $28 million advocating for Democratic candidates through its political action committee, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. In contrast, the National Rifle Association, with a staff of about 500 housed in its expansive headquarters in Fairfax, spent $11 million through its PAC.
As the battle between Obama and McCain heated up this summer, MoveOn witnessed its largest increase in membership -- adding a million new members in three months, bringing its total to 4.2 million.
Not bad for a group that started off as an online petition to stop the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Created in September 1998 by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Wes Boyd and Joan Blades, the petition asked Congress to censure Clinton and "move on" to other domestic issues.