A New York media mogul who’s a long-time donor to Democratic candidates is bankrolling a new start-up, a national group called “Jobs First 2012” and the “grassroots” effort is starting in Iowa.
Jon Murphy has been hired as “project director” for Iowa. “It’s starting in Iowa because Iowa has such a prominent role in presidential politics,” Murphy says.
Murphy, who was an aide to former Governor Chet Culver, was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for state auditor in 2010.
The goal of “Jobs First 2012” is to sign up “ordinary Americans” who will then pressure congress and the president to make job creation the nation’s number one priority.
“There’s been a lot of rhetoric and a lot of talk about creating jobs, but not a lot of action and so we’re hoping to mobilize folks at the grassroots level,” Murphy says.
The group’s new website, which debuts tomorrow, will soliciting ideas, but also will ask visitors to sign an on-line petition.
“Right now it really seems like policymakers, so to the extent that we can influence that debate, so much the better,” Murphy says. “It’s a great time to start this organization.”
The founder of this “Jobs First 2012” group is Leo Hindrey, a man who made his millions in the telecommunications industry. He was the head of nation’s second-largest cable TV company until it was acquired by AT&T, then Hindley took over briefly as chief of AT&T’s cable operation.
Hindrey wrote a book in 2005 titled It Takes a CEO and in the book he argued that “tax cuts for rich people only make rick people richer.” Also in 2005 Hindrey formed an investment firm with Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the former majority leader of the U.S. Senate. Daschle’s nomination to be part of President Obama’s cabinet was derailed after it was disclosed Daschle failed to pay taxes on the car and chauffeur Hindrey provided the former senator.
Hindrey, who describes himself as “from the progressive side” of politics, said in a Huffington Post editorial about a year ago that he and others on the “pro-worker” side of America have become “frustrated and cynical” about the Obama Administration because of the “jobless recovery.”