Jolly Old St. Nick made his way to Capitol Hill this week to encourage members of Congress to support President Obama’s plan to raise taxes on the nation’s top income earners. Somehow, Chris Kringle managed to track down GOP Rep. Paul Ryan to let him know that he’s landed on the big guy’s “naughty” list this year for opposing the president:
This “Santa” was sent from TakeAction.org — a progressive coalition of activist groups continuing with Obama’s campaign following his reelection last month. Wrap your mind around this one: Here’s Santa Claus. Having a press conference. On Capitol Hill:
Obama surrogate Kal Penn wrote about the group just days after the November election:
Some of the Obama campaign’s top organizers are joining a coalition of progressive groups — the Common Purpose Project — to launch “The Action.” It’s a campaign to end the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000 a year. They’ll be making a historic amount of noise — let me rephrase – very targeted, driven, motivated, respectful, and purposeful noise — to support the president in bringing about some real change and letting Congress know that letting the wealthiest Americans off without paying their fair share is a non-negotiable demand. It’s one of the things that America voted for on Tuesday.
The Common Purpose Project has been around for a while now, hosting regular meetings with top officials from left-leaning organizations around Washington, including groups like MoveOn.org who support the Obama White House’s agenda. They are also instrumental allies of the Center for American Progress and Media Matters and work directly with the Obama administration. Ben Smith profiled the group in Politico in 2009:
The group’s founder, political consultant and former Gephardt aide Erik Smith, described it in general terms after others had confirmed its existence.
“The goal is to convene a group of people that identify the most effective progressive messages and to advance a progressive policy agenda,” said Smith.
“One of the reasons you’re seeing as little party infighting as you’ve seen in the past is that people are talking with each other more,” he said.
Common Purpose is formed as a 501(c)(4), which leaves it focused on policy, rather than electoral, work. Its political director is another former Obama aide, Miti Sathe.
Apparently the one thing these progressives can agree on is that Santa isn’t a Republican. Glad we sorted that out.