Just last week conservatives who suggested these kids seemed to be getting a lot of outside coaching were ignored or treated like conspiracy theorists. But as Buzzfeed reported yesterday, partisan politics was involved from the beginning. In fact, this snippet actually gets buried pretty far down in the story [emphasis added]:
Democratic US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Broward County resident for nearly 30 years, told BuzzFeed News she has been in touch with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas since the day after the shooting, helping them connect to state legislators and plan their trip to Tallahassee last week.
Wasserman Schultz said that because this is the first time many of the students have interacted with legislators, she advised them on communication strategy. She also said she [had] been in contact with Mark Kelly — Gabrielle Giffords’ husband and one of the founders of the Giffords foundation…
The American Federation of Teachers, which helped bus students and parents to Tallahassee multiple times last week, are now assisting with the March for Our Lives rally. The federation’s president told BuzzFeed News that they are also helping support next month’s march as well as helping to shape the vision and mission for the group once the rally is over.
So Schultz was in contact with the students and with Mark Kelly, apparently on “communication strategy.” Left-wing unions have been involved for a while already providing buses and that’s really just the start. Now that the group has an upcoming March on Washington planned for next month, a whole litany of progressive groups are joining in:
Since then, major players and organizations — including Everytown, Giffords, Move On, Planned Parenthood, and the Women’s March LA — told BuzzFeed News they are helping the students with logistics, strategy, and planning for next month’s March for Our Lives rally and beyond. Much of the specific resources the groups are providing to the Parkland students remains unclear — as is the full list of supporting organizations — but there are broad outlines.
Giffords, an organization started by former US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords that fights gun violence, is working with Everytown and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to plan the main march on Washington — as well as sister rallies across the country…
So the big gun control groups are planning the march. What are the students doing?
The students and their parents have also brought on 42West, a public relations firm in the entertainment industry, to help “the March for Our Lives group manage the flood of media inquires that their campaign has attracted,” a spokesperson for March for Our Lives told BuzzFeed News.
42West is not providing the students with legal advice or financial advice, the spokesperson said, and refused to provide details on who is helping manage the millions of dollars in donations they have received.
The students are the fresh public face for a bunch of existing progressive gun control groups. And the Buzzfeed story makes clear the goal of activists isn’t just to change laws but to keep the issue going through November: “activists intend for gun control and student safety to be a major platform and key issue for voters in the midterm elections.”
CNN turned these kids into progressive heroes by putting them on the air (and the home page) every day, all while claiming they were just normal kids, not partisan activists. Now we find out the kids had a lot of behind the scenes help from progressives looking to capitalize on that free publicity for an explicitly partisan purpose. I’m so shocked I may faint.