, 32 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
But the Center for American Progress and its leadership have opposed Bernie Sanders's politics since he announced in 2015. The wounds are well and open. Sanders' team just isn't refusing to respond to attacks this time. This time, they're a real campaign.
ThinkProgress has many independent minded writers but it is not editorially independent.

wikileaks.org/podesta-emails…
The larger issue is that corporations and foreign governments get access to CAPs policy making process, and CAP has high govt access. Stories I wrote for The Intercept demonstrated how the UAE used CAP staff to lobby the Trump admin, as it was funding CAP.
The head of CAP, Neera Tanden once scolded me for writing a blog post noting that Michael Bloomberg partner was drawing a salary for Zuchotti park. She noted that CAP was soliciting Bloomberg as a donor.
I'm far past personalizing differences with this institution,its not about me its about what kind of country we want to live in, one where debates are open and honest or one where elites have disproportionate influence over the world we live in via private institutions.
Center for American Progress also helps short circuit debate amongst Democrats because despite its 501c3 status many of its staffers want to work in administrations. They, for instance, reined me in on Afghanistan because Obama White House opposed my view washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-co…
It was a regular occurrence when I worked at CAP for corporate donors or party elites to complain to our leadership and get us chewed out for what we were writing. How can a think tank "think" when it isn't free of influence from corporations, foreign govts, and party elites?
A *lot* of people know this is how CAP operates. But because it's a clearinghouse for Democratic presidential administrations (and access to government more generally) most people are unwilling to publicy about it. Washington's access culture is suffocating them.
This has been going on for years. A 2005 story from when David Sirota, who now works for Bernie Sanders, was grilled over writing mildly critical email about some pro-big business Democrats who supported tightening bankruptcy law. thehill.com/homenews/news/…
To be truly independent, a think tank and the nation's intellectuals have to be able to speak freely without interference from corporate donors, foreign governments, or party elites. They are supposed to be independent institutions, not political operations.
CAP recently engaged in an internal investigation about who leaked information about the think tank's ties to the United Arab Emirates, a repressive foreign power. It fired 2 staff, one who was on paternity leave (Ken Gude, who I worked with). theintercept.com/2019/01/16/cen…
After CAP invited Benjamin Netanyahu to offer an address with little critical interrogation or debate, CAP president Neera Tanden wrote in an email that it "may have sealed the deal with a new board member." wikileaks.org/podesta-emails…
CAP national security staffer Brian Katulis, who would surely work for most future Democratic presidents, helped set up a back channel for the UAE to lobby the Trump administration both to support the UAE and manage policy on Egypt theintercept.com/2017/07/30/uae… theintercept.com/2017/10/04/egy…
Brian Katulis, top staffer at Center for American Progress, advised the UAE on how to tamp down on bipartisan human rights concerns in Congress about Egypt's repressive government. The UAE was funding CAP as he did this. theintercept.com/2017/10/04/egy…
Meanwhile, Katulis organized bipartisan think tank and influencer trips to the UAE so its government could fete and persuade them of its agenda. This is a tremendous level of influence for a foreign autocracy to have over a domestic think tank. theintercept.com/2017/07/30/uae…
One time I was on a call with Sherrod Brown about opposing Free Trade Agreements, and a CAP senior staffer informed me that CAP supports the FTAs and so I just didn't write anything about it.
I was once authoring think tank newsletter about school privatization and included references to the Waltons they asked me to take out because CAP was soliciting money from them
The Walton Family is regularly cited by Bernie Sanders for its concentrated wealth, while it has maintained a business empire based on low wages and monopolization of local economies. Can Bernie Sanders staff his White House with a think tank who solicits money/advice from them?
My objective isn't to demonize CAP or anyone else. Politics is mostly good people with different convictions. However the model of political organization they have pursued prevents robust debate and tilts policy towards corporations and foreign govts
Current ThinkProgress staff say they have editorial independence. If that were true it would be beneficial for them to report on how corporations and foreign governments influence their employer, considering they'd just have to walk down the hall and ask. They're better sourced.
Thinkprogress however is the less important component of the issue, which is that CAPs policy documents and advocacy are hemmed in by corporate money, foreign governments, and partisan political considerations -- and they're top of the pick to staff next WH
Working at CAP is considered by many to be a sort of shadow white house, and that's why I think they don't consider this model of operations to be odd or unethical -- this is how decision-making in the US government operates, too. Sanders would do well to change this.
There is considerable personal and political cost to speaking up about these issues in DC. Please read Bens thread and thank him for the bravery to talk about this difficult period
Please read Lee on this issue as well. And why should think tank perestroika stop at CAP? Everyone in government And the nonprofit sector should be able to tell these stories. The fear of professional consequences is all too real
It's not about me or CAP alumni speaking up. Long after I'm dead and gone we still deserve a country and political system that is transparent and democratic, not guided by the whims of only a few due to their political access and money.
My first month working there the development team was upset one of our articles criticized a CAP corporate donor. We had a meeting about how to push back (they wanted heads up on articles we wrote hitting donors). Matt was in the meeting and upset. Matt, stand by your values.
Verizon was upset at the Center for American Progress and Faiz stood by and said it wouldn't be right to be deferential to donors. Matt saw all this happened and agreed. Matt, stand by your values. thinkprogress.org/verizon-sponso…
One day hopefully we can have a civil politics where insiders don't use threats (and it looks like in this case violence) to intimidate journalists or dissidents within their political party nytimes.com/2019/04/15/us/…
We have to ask ourselves whether it's possible to have real discussion about the future of our country's foreign policy when foreign governments and elite interest groups often set policy in secret and outside the purview of transparent debates. jewishcurrents.org/leading-libera…
Interesting natural experiment over past three days. CAP argues money has no influence over it. CAP initially defends video attacking Bernie Sanders. After billionaire board member objects to it, CAP apologizes for the video. Does money not have influence over CAP?
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