A Mother Jones article by David Corn released today details the work of a conservative outfit calling itself “Groundswell.” The group is comprised of conservative leaders “believing they are losing the messaging war with progressives,” and as such, have “been meeting privately since early this year to concoct talking points, coordinate messaging, and hatch plans for ‘a 30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation.’”
Additionally, Mother Jones has released some source documents detailing several of the group’s meetings and correspondence. Initial examination of these documents reveal several fascinating exchanges between nativists within the anti-immigrant and organized Islamophobia movements that go unmentioned in the original MoJo article.
Notes from a March 20, 2013 meeting indicate that noted Islamophobe Frank Gaffney referred to a current ACT! for America petition as a model for future action. The notes also indicate ACT! had been contacted by Groundswell members – presumably Gaffney – and “will partner on the efforts to do another petition.” The efforts likely led towards the creation of ACT!’s anti-immigration reform petition.
Another Groundswell member is none other than Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the John Tanton-founded Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). Notes from a March 6, 2013 meeting show Krikorian being honored with “Brownie Points” for employing the group’s theme, “politics over public safety” in media outlets. “In a display of Groundswell’s message-syncing,” Corn writes in his article, “members of the group repeatedly flogged this phrase in public.” Krikorian did his part for the group on Feb 28, blogging for National Review Online.
This document also reveals information about Groundswell’s organizational structure. It reads: “Because of the challenges of addressing the 30 front war, a division of labor has been set up to help Groundswell deal with so many issues.” Immigration is one such issue and Krikorian is listed as the leader of the Immigration “work group” to help frame the group’s messaging.
The continuing collaboration between the organized anti-immigrant and Islamophobia movements is nothing new. Recent revelations surrounding Groundswell only reinforce this.