The nationally known Centrist Project has adopted a new strategy for 2018.
Here’s what the Centrist Project says about itself.
We are organizing a grassroots movement of Americans –– Democrats, Republicans, and independents –– who feel left behind by both parties and who want our leaders to work together to get things done. Through our Centrist Chapters and Membership Program, we are giving a voice to the silent majority.
We are building a vehicle for independent candidates to run for office unaffiliated with any political party. Our Centrist Election Engine provides candidates access to the tools, training, and talent they need to run competitive campaigns without traditional party support. We support candidates based on their personal integrity and their alignment with the Centrist Principles and approach to governance.
Our Fulcrum Strategy
We are leveraging our supporter base and our electoral infrastructure to strategically elect candidates to closely divided legislatures at a state and federal level. In these legislatures, like the US Senate, just a handful of independents (3-5) can deny both parties an outright majority and exercise disproportionate influence as a swing coalition.
Centrist Projects new 2018 plan
The Centrist Project is holding a series of meetings in Chicago at the end of March and early April for donors and interested parties to meet and brainstorm. Here is the Centrist Projects 2018 strategy as published on it’s website
1). We are organizing a campaign to draft a slate of 3-5 Centrist, independent candidates for U.S. Senate (stay tuned!). Recognizing the high barrier to entry at this level, we are focusing on potential candidates who would be instantly credible and viable based on their existing name recognition and fundraising capacity
2). For the first time, we are recruiting a slate of Centrist, independent candidates to run for state legislature in at least two potential target states, such as Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Oregon, Nevada, and Connecticut. Winning races at this level can serve as a proof of concept that can be scaled to other states and up the ballot in future elections, while simultaneously building a farm team of leaders to run for higher office in the future.
Will Oregon be a Centrist Project option for 2018?
Never before has the Centrist project played in State legislative races. Like many nationally recognized and well funded “moderate/centrist” movements, their leaders hoped to jump right into the big leagues and take a senate seat or two. But they are now convinced that growing a grassroots organization, and building an independent candidate bench is vitally important part of the process if they want to achieve their end goals.
Leaders of the Independent Party of Oregon (IPO) have been in regular contact with the Centrist Project, as well as other national election reform groups, and have advocated for a longer term strategy focused on forming state based independent political parties or organizations where statutes are favorable. These parties would act as a proof of concept for other States to follow. Sal Peralta, an IPO leader, has been invited to attend the Centrist Project conferences.
More on the Centrist Project: Funders
The Centrist project is a 501.c.4 non profit, so we don’t know where it’s funding comes from (Same for Our Oregon and The Bus Project). However, we know that in 2014 Greg Orman ran for the US Senate as a Centrist Project candidate and received $1 million from Independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and donations from GOP donors Peter Ackerman, Greg Penner, Jeffrey Binder and John Burbank. Mr. Orman continues to be active in the Centrist Project and On May 3, 2016, his book A Declaration of Independents, How We Can Break the Two-Party Stranglehold and Restore the American Dream, published by Greenleaf Book Group, went on sale. In the book Orman describes how hyper-partisanship, division and a win-at-all-costs environment in Washington have created a toxic culture of self-interest that has left the average Americans behind.