ABC News’ Jacqueline Klingebiel Reports: Seven liberal groups announced Tuesday that they plan to spend $350 million in 2008 on mobilizing voters and advocating on behalf of Democratic candidates.
"We believe that 2008 has the potential of creating not simply a change election, but a sea-change election, the kind of sea-change that we really haven’t seen since 1980 when Reagan was elected and conservatives were going to change the course of our country for the next few decades," said Robert Borosage, co-director of Campaign for America’s Future (CAF).
The spending plans were unveiled during the "Take Back America" conference, an annual gathering of progressives held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., the same location used for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
The cumulative $350 million figure includes political action committee (PAC) funds and other funds raised by various progressive groups.
With a projected budget of $53.4 million, the AFL-CIO plans to spend more than any of its liberal counterparts. Other spending amounts for progressive groups include: $30 million for online liberal group MoveOn.org, $30 million for Women Voices.Women Vote, $35 million for ACORN, $10 million for RockTheVote, and $4-6 million for National Council of La Raza.
The spending will focus on "registering people to vote, educating them about the issues of the election and organizing them to get out the vote," said CAF Co-Director Robert Borosage.
The ALF-CIO plans to targeting more than 13 million union-voters across 23 battleground states, saying the union vote "will be key in the 2008 election" as 24 percent of voters come from union-households, according to the ALF-CIO political director Karen Ackerman.
Missing for this year’s "Take Back America" conference was Sen. Barack Obama, (D-Ill.) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).
When asked why the Democratic contenders were absent from this year’s conference after having attended last year’s, Borosage said he didn’t feel passed over. "They are carrying the message that progressive groups have organized around and demanded that their candidates embraced."