Democratic Leadership Council
The Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) is an organization of self-described "moderate" Democratic politicians and fundraisers who aim to move the Democratic Party right-ward in an attempt to strengthen the viability of Democratic candidates.
Led by founder and CEO Al From, the DLC pursues a goal of moderating the progressivist platform of the Democratic Party in such a way that makes it palatable to large-scale campaign donors and corporate lobbyists, while still maintaining some ties to traditional Democratic values.
The DLC has become extraordinarily controversial in recent years by attacking prominent Democratic politicians that it perceives as standing too far to the left. In 2003 and 2004, DLC chief Al From issued a series of scathing attacks on Democratic primary candidate Howard Dean in e-mails to DLC members and in major newspapers like the Los Angeles Times. These attacks were widely criticized by both centrist and progressive Democrats.
The DLC enjoyed success in promoting candidates like Bill Clinton in the early 1990s, but has since found its influence lessened. Critics say that the DLC has not recognized the increased polarization between the political left and right in the U.S. and has continued to target a vanishing middle.
The DLC is currently (Jan. 2007) run by the following:
- Al From, CEO
- Bruce Reed, President
- Harold Ford, Jr., Chairman
- Thomas Carper, Vice-Chair
- Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chair, American Dream Initiative
- Jennifer L. Mann, Chair, State Legislative Advisory Board
- Michael Coleman, Chair, Local Elected Officials Network
- Holly Paige, Vice President for Strategic Development
- Ed Kilgore, Policy Director
- Debbie Cox, Chief of Staff