Wednesday, March 28, 2007
MoveOn organizes '08 cyberspace forums
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Over the past couple of months, Democratic presidential candidates have attended a handful of forums in Nevada and the nation's capital to present their plans to lead the country and discuss pressing issues of the day.
In April, some of these candidates will appear in cyberspace in what is being billed by Moveon.org officials as the "first ever virtual town hall." Watch video CNN's Jacki Schechner reports on a first-ever virtual town hall meeting sponsored by MoveOn.org)
Beginning Wednesday, members of the left of center organization can decide on which candidates to invite to the April 10 forum that will focus exclusively on Iraq.
Eli Pariser, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action, tells CNN that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, and former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, have all agreed to attend if invited.
The format calls for MoveOn members to submit and decide what questions to be asked and the candidates will participate individually from the "campaign trail."
Audio and video of the event will be streamed on the group's website.
At the forum's conclusion, members will be asked to vote for which candidate's Iraq plan they favor.
This event "brings out candidates to real people who will be voting and involved," said Pariser.
MoveOn is considered a liberal organization and has been known to criticize Democrats who espouse more moderate views on the Iraq war. However, with 3.2 million members it has also proved to be a powerful fundraising base, so participation in this event could prove lucrative for candidates.
Pariser said a decision has not been made whether to permit Republican presidential candidates to be invited.
Additional "virtual town halls" devoted to energy/global warming and health care are planned in the coming months.
-- CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson
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