History of Democrats.com
Democrats.com was first launched by David Lytel in 1996, following his departure from the White House Office of Science and Technology, where he was one of the creators of the original White House web site.
In 1996, Democrats.com became one of the first Political Action Committees organized on the Internet, and raised money to help Democratic candidates.
After the 1996 election, David left Washington and moved to Syracuse to head NYSERNet, the first major Internet provider in New York State. David subsequently created his own Internet consulting firm, Sherpa Consulting.
In 1999, David connected with Bob Fertik, who was a founder of Women Leaders Online in 1995 and had subsequently created his own Internet consulting firm, I-Progress.
Together, they re-launched Democrats.com in January 2000 with a two-pronged mission: to build the largest online community of Democratic activists, and to sell Web sites and Internet strategic services to Democratic candidates and progressive groups.
In the 2000 election cycle, Democrats.com provided Internet campaign services to 3 dozen Democratic candidates and progressive groups. Visit our campaign store for more details.
In March 2000, we acquired Internet Democrats from its founder, Jim Buie, who came aboard as Director of Candidate Services.
Our community site (www.democrats.com) was launched at the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles on August 14, 2000 with a "Hush-in" on Internet Privacy featuring leading champions of privacy in Congress and in the advocacy community. We soon began publishing the first daily news service for Democrats, and launched a major expose of Bush's mysterious grounding as an Air National Guard pilot at smokingjet.com
The growth of Democrats.com exploded on November 8, 2001, when George W. Bush claimed victory in Florida despite widespread voting irregularities, and fought to prevent a manual recount. We immediately launched a new site at TrustThePeople.com, starting with an Internet banner ad campaign to collect legal affidavits from Palm Beach voters who felt their votes were cast in error. We also helped organize hundreds of "Trust the People" rallies across the country protesting Republican efforts to steal the election. We later launched JusticeInFlorida.com to publicize the Seminole County voter fraud case, and filed a lawsuit in Texas challenging the legality of the Bush-Cheney ticket under the 12th Amendment.
When the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the recount and declared Bush the winner, we organized a massive grassroots effort to persuade Democrats in Congress to challenge Florida's 25 electors on January 6, 2001. We sent lawyers into several Florida counties to examine thousands of ballots for fraud. We wrote a legal brief for the Congressional Black Caucus and worked tirelessly to find a single Senator to join them. That effort failed when Senate Democrats cut a deal with Senate Republicans to share power in the 50-50 Senate.
When Bush was inaugurated on January 20 2001, we helped organize protests in Washington DC and San Francisco that turned out tens of thousands of protesters. Following Bush's inauguration, we launched AshcroftLied.com to expose Ashcroft's many lies to the public and to Congress, and worked tirelessly for a Senate filibuster. We also launched GoreWonFlorida.org to present the evidence of Gore's victory that has been accumulating through manual recounts conducted by various news organizations.
On February 18 2001, we celebrated "UnPresident's Day" by creating 200 chapters of Democrats.com across the country. And on May 19, we helped organize the second major protests of the Stolen Election in Washington DC and San Francisco.
Democrats.com is now the largest online community of Democrats, with over 4 million hits per month and 100,000 subscribers to our e-mail newsletters. Our single greatest accomplishment has been to sustain the widespread anger among Democrats over the Stolen Election in Florida. In June 2001, a poll by FOX News showed that 81% of Democrats are still angry - as are 58% of Independents.
We would like to see George W. Bush resign - or be impeached - for stealing the Presidency. But this is politically impossible at the moment, since conservative Republicans control the House of Representatives. We have therefore launched a pledge campaign to mobilize Democratic activists and voters to sweep ALL Republicans out of office in the next election.