State Dem group played hardball to kill GOP election system plan
Carla Marinucci, Chronicle Political Writer
Sunday, October 7, 2007

They called themselves “The Lincoln Brigade.”

Even as Democrats feared having to spend as much as $40 million for a bruising, bloody fight expected to drag on for months, this makeshift group of California Democratic operatives needed just weeks to pummel a Republican-funded push for a ballot measure that threatened to change the outcome of the 2008 presidential election.

The ruthlessly effective battle plan of the California Democrats’ group raises the specter that, as the 2008 election looms, Republicans may have to confront a far more aggressive Democratic ground game that has revived the old “Clinton war room” philosophy.

“We need to fight back and not be reluctant – that if they come after you with a knife, to pull out a gun,” said California Democratic strategist Chris Lehane, former spokesman for President Bill Clinton’s White House and Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign.

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