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ROBERT BOROSAGE Printer Friendly Page
Major Introductory Resources:

The Campaign for America’s Future: A Left-Wing Network Flush with Money (pdf)
By Joseph A. D’Agostino
July 2008

Campaign For America's Future: Liberal Group Battles Social Security Reform (pdf)
By Joel Mowbray
March 2002


Additional Resources:

The Apollo Alliance (pdf)
By Phil Kerpen
October 2009

No Lefty Left Behind
By David Hogberg
August 17, 2004

Click here to view a sample Profile.

Borosage's Visual Map
 

  • Former New Left radical
  • Co-founder of Campaign for America's Future
  • Co-founder of Institute for America’s Future
  • Former Director of the Institute for Policy Studies


A former New Left radical and onetime Director of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), Robert Borosage co-founded (with Roger Hickey) both the Campaign for America’s Future and the Institute for America’s Future. He also founded and currently chairs the Progressive Majority Political Action Committee, the activist arm of a political networking organization whose aim is to help elect as many leftist political leaders as possible. In addition, he is a contributing editor at The Nation magazine and a regular contributor to The American Prospect.

Borosage attended Yale Law School and earned a graduate degree in International Affairs from George Washington University. In 1974 he established the Center for National Security Studies, a civil rights / civil liberties organization that regularly accuses the CIA and the FBI of rampant abuses.

From 1979 to 1988 Borosage was Director of the Institute for Policy Studies. In 1988 he left IPS to work on Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign, for which he served as a speechwriter and an assistant in framing responses to policy issues.

Borosage also has worked for such political figures as Senators Paul Wellstone, Barbara Boxer, and Carol Moseley-Braun.

In 1989 Borosage founded the Campaign for New Priorities, which called for decreased federal spending on the military and greater allocations for social welfare programs.

In 1996 Borosage and Roger Hickey co-founded the Campaign for America's Future (CAF), and three years later they established a sister organization, the Institute for America's Future (IAF).

Each year, CAF holds a “Take Back America” conference which the organization describes as “a catalyst for building the infrastructure to ensure that the voice of the progressive majority is heard.” Speaking at one such event in Los Angeles in June 2001, Borosage characterized President George W. Bush’s policies as a mélange of “tax cuts for the wealthy,” “arsenic in the water,” and “salmonella in the food.”

Borosage objects to America's currently high levels of defense spending, which he attributes to the government’s unspoken but ever-present desire to guard against “the threat of peace.” “[I]t’s not an external threat that drives this budget,” says Borosage. “It’s not an expanded mission. We’ve defined a very bloated mission with this two-war strategy, essentially saying we’re going to be able to move troops instantly around the world, but we could do that at a much lower level of defense spending. So if it’s not the threat, and it’s not the mission, it is inevitably a kind of mobilization by a military industrial complex and a very large, entrenched bureaucracy that mobilized with extraordinary efficiency against the threat of peace, and that is the primary reason we’re spending at almost Cold War levels.”

In 2002, Borosage led the production of CAF's book StraightTalk 2002, which provided readers with leftist talking points on the major issues of the day. “The StraightTalk strategy,” Borosage wrote, “would help mobilize the Democratic base -- unions, African Americans, Hispanics, women, environmentalists -- while reaching out to seniors and working families.”

In a November 2002 L.A. Weekly article, The Nation editor David Corn quoted what Borosage had said backstage during a recent anti-war rally sponsored by International A.N.S.W.E.R.  According to Corn, Borosage stated: "This [rally] is easy to dismiss as the radical fringe, but it holds the potential for a larger movement down the road…. History shows that protests are organized first by militant, radical fringe parties and then get taken over by more centrist voices as the movement grows. They provide a vessel for people who want to protest."

In February 2005 Borosage wrote a piece condemning President Bush’s most recent budget:

“[T]he federal budget … offends common decency even as it cuts investment in our future. … [It] breaks [Bush’s] promise to fund reforms of our schools … America’s health care system is broken. … Yet the president’s budget would cut Medicaid … hurting the most vulnerable in our country … Poverty is rising … Yet the president’s budget will cut food stamps for some 300,000 recipients, eliminate child care for thousands of poor working mothers and slash support for affordable housing. Many Americans still don't have safe water, but support for sewage systems is to be slashed. … On the other hand, America … spends almost as much on its military as the rest of the world combined. The military is also the largest cesspool of waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government. But in Bush's budget, military spending will increase. America will police the world, even as the Bush budget cuts back support for policing its own streets. We now witness an inequality not seen since the Gilded Age. The wealthy capture more of the nation’s income and wealth, while middle-income and poor families are losing ground. Yet the president’s budget will extend tax cuts for the very wealthy, even as it cuts services for the many.”

In December 2006, a month after Democrats had seized control of Congress on election day, Borosage co-chaired the initial meeting of Change America Now, a national campaign of some 30 leftist organizations supporting the "100 Hour" legislative agenda outlined by the victorious party’s leadership. "Democrats ran the most populist elections in memory," Borosage told those in attendance. "We need to make sure the Democrats deliver on their promises, and that the 100 Hours Agenda is just the first step in creating an economy that works for working people."

In 2012, Borosage's CAF launched a new website called WageClassWar.org, which was aggressively promoted by the AFL-CIO and other labor unions. Borosage posted a piece on the nascent website deriding Republicans as a "stale, male, pale, Southern-based party in a nation of diversity"; praising the Occupy Wall Street movement for "driving America’s extreme inequality and rigged system into the debate"; praising Barack Obama for "defend[ing] contraception and pay equity" for women; charging that "the harsh anti-immigrant posturing" Republicans "drove Hispanics and Asians into Democratic arms"; and praised such political canddates as Barack Obama, Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, and Tammy Baldwin for using "class warfare" to their advantage. "A besieged middle class," said Borosage, "is increasingly aware that the rules are rigged against them.... [T]hey are looking for champions."

Borosage has co-authored two books -- The Next Agenda: Blueprint for a New Progressive Movement (with Roger Hickey), and Taking Back America: And Taking Down the Radical Right (with Katrina vanden Heuvel).

In recent years, Borosage has personally made campaign contributions to a number of congressional candidates, most of them Democrats, including Jesse Jackson, Jr.  He also has given money to Progressive Majority and 21st Century Democrats.

 

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