Press Advisory

Online Strategies in the 2006 Election

How the web was won

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With each election cycle, the internet plays a larger role in political campaigns. Most candidates now depend on the effective use of online tools for fundraising, communications, and organizing volunteers. Each election also provides an opportunity to test new online technologies and experiment with innovative techniques and strategies.

Please join the New Organizing Institute and the Center for American Progress Action Fund for a discussion of Online Strategies in the 2006 Election. Learn what worked, what didn’t, what to look for in the future, and how lessons from political campaigns can be applied to issue advocacy and non-profit communications.

Featured Panelists:
Megan Matson, Co-Founder, Mainstreet Moms Organize or Bust (
Tom Matzzie, Washington Director,
Benjamin Rahn, President,
Jessica Vanden Berg, Campaign Manager, Webb for Senate

Judd Legum, Research Director, Center for American Progress Action Fund and Editor of

Friday, December 01, 2006
Program: 12:30pm to 2:00pm
Admission is free.
Lunch will be served at noon.

Center for American Progress Action Fund
1333 H St. NW
Washington, DC 20005
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Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center

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Megan Matson is the co-founder of Mainstreet Moms Organize or Bust (, a grassroots organization specializing in entry level citizen actions at the local level nationwide, to get more new people hooked on participation and leadership. Started around a kitchen table and grown to 50 states, the MMOB’s launch project sent over 1/2 million personal letters with voter registration forms and absentee voting info to unregistered single mothers. With a for-profit background in branding and strategy as an ad agency creative director, Megan brings messaging, media, tools and actions together around nationally compelling issues. Since its inception, the MMOB’s brand of bite-size action campaigns have included, an election integrity project recruiting and informing a new breed of citizen pollworkers;, a family privacy project organizing parents and school boards against No Child Left Behind’s military recruitment requirements; HelpAmericaVote…ON PAPER, a citizen outreach effort addressing county election officials, and Vote@18, a how-to project assisting parents in registering their local high school senior class to vote. Next up is Moms-to-Mayors, a citizen campaign tackling the climate challenge at the city and county government level. Begun by moms, the MMOB is guilt-free and open to all.

Tom Matzzie is the Washington Director for MoveOn’s legislative advocacy on a range of issues including Social Security, the Courts, the Environment, budget and tax issues, the war in Iraq and other issues important to MoveOns 3 million members. Prior to joining MoveOn Tom was Director of Online Organizing for the Kerry-Edwards campaign managing an organizing program for the campaigns 2.8 million person e-mail list. From 2000 to 2004 he was Online Mobilization Director at the AFL-CIO building the union movements Internet program including the 3.2 million e-mail activists on the lists of the unions of the AFL-CIO. Tom (age 29) is also one of the top Social Security organizers in the country. From 1998 to 2000 he organized the coalition opposing Social Security privatization at the Campaign for America’s Future. He has appeared on network television, on syndicated radio and is cited by The New York Times, the Associated Press, The Washington Post and other major daily publications. Tom holds a degree in Economics and International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame.

Benjamin Rahn is president of ActBlue, which individuals, local groups, and national organizations used to raise $16.5 million for one thousand Democratic campaigns and committees in 2005-06. Ben is also a principal at Auburn Quad, Inc., which develops and deploys ActBlue’s fundraising platform, and is seeking clients to pioneer this software in the 501(c) sector. Prior to his political work, Ben was a physics Ph.D. student at Caltech.

Jessica Vanden Berg was the campaign manager for Jim Webb’s recent successful bid for US Senate. Vanden Berg has extensive experience leading campaign work on various levels. She began her political career in 1998 working as a field organizer for Rep. Leonard Boswell’s (IA-03) targeted congressional race, and continued working with him over the next four years as a finance director, campaign manager, and communications director. Vanden Berg was Deputy Director of the Iowa Democratic Party’s Coordinated Campaign in 2002, which helped re-elect Governor Tom Vilsack and Senator Tom Harkin. She then went on to help organize the Iowa Presidential Caucuses before becoming Senator Bob Graham’s State Director in Iowa. After Graham dropped his presidential bid, Vanden Berg was General Wesley Clark’s Oklahoma State Director (the only state he won during his bid) before she went on to run the North Carolina Democratic Party’s first centralized Coordinated Campaign in 2004. In the summer of 2005, she became Senator-elect Amy Klobuchar’s campaign manager. Vanden Berg is originally from Pella, Iowa, and graduated from Central College.

Judd Legum is the Research Director at the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the editor of Judd has a bachelors degree in public policy analysis from Pomona College and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. While in law school, he was a research assistant for former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta. His writings have appeared in The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Cincinnati Enquirer, The DC Examiner, The Nation, and Salon. Judd has also been a guest on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC and BBC television, and many radio programs, including NPRs Marketplace, The Al Franken Show, and The Radio Factor with Bill OReilly.