Podesta Starts Funding Town Hall Project for Upcoming Anti-Trump Events

The Center for American Progress Action Fund, the advocacy arm of an organization founded by Hillary Clinton‘s former campaign manager John Podesta, has partnered with a town hall protest group for upcoming anti-Trump events during the congressional recess and beyond.

The Town Hall Project, a group that has served as the central hub for raucous town hall events against Republican lawmakers, announced the partnership with CAP Action to amplify their efforts.

“So today I’m excited to announce a partnership between Town Hall Project and the Center for American Progress Action Fund,” an email from Town Hall Project said.

“With CAP Action amplifying our town hall event research, we can even better ensure that that all Americans have the tools needed to channel their organic energy to ensure their voices are heard and their elected representatives held accountable.”

“Let me emphasize that this is collaboration towards a common goal,” the email continued.

“Town Hall Project is 100% independent and will never waiver [sic] from our core values of grassroots research and citizen engagement. While we stay true to ourselves—and to supporters like you—we know the way we win is to build a big coalition of progressive groups: big and small, new and old, online and offline, all working together to fight back.”

The email urges readers to visit ResistanceNearMe.org, a re-launched CAP Action website run in conjunction with the Town Hall Project.

“In partnership with Town Hall Project, Resistance Near Me is a hub for progressive local #resist actions, designed for you to find any public event, rally, town hall, protest, and more, near you, as well as the information you need to contact your member of Congress,” the website states.

“It’s never been more important to raise our voices to resist Trump’s harmful agenda and the elected representatives who aren’t speaking for us.”

Jimmy Dahman, the founder of Town Hall Project, claimed on CNN in February that previous, explosive town hall events were “all organic and happening at the grassroots level.”

Dahman is a former staffer for the Clinton campaign in Iowa. At the time of his CNN interview, his group had already forged a partnership with MoveOn.org, a major progressive advocacy group, to encourage people to attend the town hall events. The group teamed up with Indivisible, a group that provides a “practical guide for resisting the Trump agenda” that contains information on how to organize in congressional districts.

Dahman’s group also uses the Action Network, a “progressive online organizing platform” that was involved with Walmart demonstrations and protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

The Action Network is located at the same Washington, D.C., address as Change to Win, a labor union group, and United We Dream, the “largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation.” United We Dream has received tens of thousands of dollars from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations and has been involved actively in protests against Trump and Republicans. Unbound Philanthropy, a private grant-making foundation focusing on migrants and refugees, and a handful of other liberal grant-making organizations have also funded the United We Dream Network since 2009.

The Action Network’s board of directors includes Mark Fleischman, a former vice president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU); Jeffrey Dugas, who worked for Podesta’s Center for American Progress and Elizabeth Warren’s 2012 Senate campaign; and Brian Young, who worked for John Kerry and Howard Dean.

The Town Hall Project website now acknowledges a partnership with NextGen Climate, an environmentalist super PAC founded by liberal billionaire Tom Steyer.

In the email announcing the CAP partnership, the Town Hall Project took credit for “some incredible victories” with their progressive allies. The group linked to a Yahoo article on how activists organized to defeat the Republican health care reform bill.

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