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Zack Exley
Zack works with organizations, companies and movements to increase response, build community, raise money. Currently he’s serving full time as Senior Advisor to the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.

Recently, Zack served as the Chief Community Officer and Chief Revenue Officer at the Wikimedia Foundation, where he built a fundraising program that allowed the organization to grow from 20 to 200 employees – while radically reducing how long you have to look at those banners on Wikipedia!

Zack was a pioneer in online fundraising and organizing. He helped bring U.S. politics online as’s first Organizing Director, advisor to the Howard Dean campaign, and Director of Online Communications and Organizing at John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. He was the Co-Founder of the New Organizing Institute, a technology and strategy training center for social justice organizations. He has appeared in national and international media as writer, commentator, topic and target.

He led the Organizing Practice at the global IT consultancy, ThoughtWorks, building tools for and advising NGOs, labor unions, humanitarian organizations and political campaigns including the 2008 Obama campaign.

He created, the first political parody website on the Internet, prompting George W. Bush to call him a "garbage man" and say, "There ought to be limits to freedom." (Really!) He has appeared on Glenn Beck's FOX News chalk board twice (as two totally different characters), and served as a featured target of Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and many other angry people.

He began developing tools for online political organizing in the 2000 U.S. election controversy, when he used a website to allow citizens to self-organize more than 100 rallies around the United States. He began his political career working as a union organizer for nearly a decade, and has also worked as a computer programmer, factory worker, short order cook, book binder and janitor. He lives in rural Missouri with his wife and daughter.

Entries by Zack Exley

Throw the Bums Out! (2.0)

(20) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 8:01 PM

I bet I know something about you. You're sick and tired of the idiots who run our government. How'd I know that? Because everyone is sick and tired of the idiots who run our government.

So why do we keep electing them?

That's easy: Because every election, we get the...

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Rebuild the Economy, Stupid!

(14) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 9:37 AM

There are those who can afford airline tickets and laptops, and those who can't. I'm talking about the 1% vs. the 99% -- the global 1%, that is. The funny thing is, just about everyone marching with pitchforks against the U.S. 1%, like me, belongs to the global 1%.


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The Shockingly Simple Way to Fix This Mess in Congress

(199) Comments | Posted September 28, 2013 | 8:47 AM

Congress is already the least popular institution in America. Apparently, though, the current members will not be satisfied until they're surrounded by an actual pitchfork-bearing mob. How much longer must we watch these bought-off lackeys play games while our country disintegrates?

There's something we can do to fix this. There's...

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The Unglamorous Truth About Ending Poverty: A Response to Peter Buffett

(658) Comments | Posted July 29, 2013 | 11:42 AM

Dear Peter Buffett,

My heart started pounding four sentences into your Saturday New York Times op-ed piece. You condemned "Philanthropic Colonialism," and told us about donor meetings where the people pledging crumbs to fight poverty are often the same people creating it. I used to go to...

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Replace Congress With Good, Normal People -- All At Once: Five Thirty Six!

(311) Comments | Posted March 26, 2013 | 9:22 AM

Saving one's country is a cause that attracts the kind of people who are actually capable of pulling it off: talented, practical, incorruptible leaders. Bickering party politics attracts the opposite kind: narcissistic, unimaginative slaves to special interest.

In the 1770's, the "Glorious Cause" of revolution attracted an amazing crop of...

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Glenn Beck Surprises at Dallas Cowboys Stadium Event 'Restoring Love' (PHOTOS)

(78) Comments | Posted August 2, 2012 | 3:50 PM

In my high school, the gym teacher doubled as the U.S. History teacher. We passed each class ignoring him as he read questions from the back of the teacher's edition, just like in the famous scene with Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I think most Americans...

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Thomas Friedman's (Slightly Maoist) Great Leap Forward

(28) Comments | Posted July 24, 2012 | 12:27 PM

The business press wins over its readers with stories that inspire -- above all, the story of the inventor in a garage and her company that will change the world. Thomas Friedman has inspired millions of readers with that story over the years. Recently, though, he's stepped out of the...

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America And The Parable Of The Silly Gardener

(128) Comments | Posted July 20, 2012 | 12:12 PM

After many successful seasons, a gardener decided he never wanted to get his hands dirty again and resolved to grow his garden without planting. He suggested to his neighbor that she could plant it and keep a portion of the produce, but she already had a garden of her own....

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America Stuck on the Couch

(8) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 2:03 AM

There is an easy way to get every willing American into a satisfying, prosperous living -- well, easy in the sense that it would work, it would be fulfilling, and we'd all have a lot of fun, but difficult in the sense that all of America would have to make...

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One More Film to Support on Kickstarter: Profiling America

(0) Comments | Posted April 12, 2012 | 8:05 AM

A guy named ‎Thom Stark is making a movie that you should support right now on Kickstarter. He's an amazing guy who I first tracked down when I was writing my blog Revolution in Jesusland (a project documenting how "last will be first" Christians are taking leadership of...

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Who's Scarier: Heath Ledger's Joker or Glenn Beck?

(100) Comments | Posted March 18, 2010 | 6:26 PM

2010-03-18-beckjokerfear.jpgGlenn Beck is Heath Ledger's Joker. I'm serious: same intonation, same delivery. It's terrifying because the guy actually exists in real life, and has millions of followers. Listen to the clips below and make your own comparison.

Americans are freaking out, as they should...

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Rahm, His Critics, and the American People

(348) Comments | Posted February 9, 2010 | 5:55 AM

A storyline is solidifying around the topic of the administration's failure to lead. One great example is Steve Clemons' post yesterday on Edward Luce's big White House article....

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The New Right's Secret Sauce

(524) Comments | Posted February 5, 2010 | 3:51 PM

The New Right is succeeding, despite being wrong about most things, because it has a comprehensive worldview. If you take the time to listen to Beck, Limbaugh, and any of the thousands of lesser-known hosts, you will hear them teaching a worldview that is well developed, comprehensive and, at least...

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Pray to the Gods of Capital, Or Build a New Economy

(83) Comments | Posted December 6, 2009 | 8:43 PM

Robert Reich was the right guy to follow to last week's jobs summit. Reich has devoted a career to waking America up to economic reality: Capital is liquid and it's flowing away from the U.S. to countries where people are more educated, more efficient and poor. The core of...

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Glenn Beck's Revolution, And Ours

(353) Comments | Posted November 24, 2009 | 4:04 PM

Two days before Thanksgiving, the top headline here in Kansas City is budget cuts. Kansas Governor Parkinson is telling kids to expect larger classes; patients, more overworked staff; poor neighborhoods, even less assistance. Meanwhile, evidence of the president's stimulus spending is all around us: Whatever direction you head out of...

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Depression Economics Explained, Part 2: The Credit Crunch

(39) Comments | Posted October 17, 2008 | 12:53 PM

People are desperate for an explanation of the economy that actually makes sense. They're not getting it from the experts. My talks with "Norm" are a composite of recent conversations I've had with friends and family about what's going on with the economy. The first installment dealt with "

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Depression Economics Explained, Part 1: Speculative Bubbles

(27) Comments | Posted October 13, 2008 | 11:24 PM

People are desperate for an explanation of the economy that actually makes sense. They're not getting it from the experts. My talks with "Norm" are a composite of recent conversations I've had with friends, family and neighbors about what's going on with the economy. This first installment deals with the...

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The New Organizers, What's really behind Obama's ground game

(147) Comments | Posted October 8, 2008 | 7:50 AM

Inside the Obama campaign, almost without anyone noticing, an insurgent generation of organizers has built the Progressive movement a brand new and potentially durable people's organization, in a dozen states, rooted at the neighborhood level.

The "New Organizers" have succeeded in building what many netroots-oriented campaigners have been dreaming...

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Roll Your Own Bailout, It's Easy!

(15) Comments | Posted September 22, 2008 | 6:14 PM

Have you actually read the bill that Secretary Paulson and his Goldman assistants wrote for Congress? Not the current version (I shudder thinking about it) with all its inserts from financial industry lobbyists, but the first version. It was beautiful in its simplicity and proved that revolutions can be initiated...

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More Q&A with Financial Writer Max Wolff

(3) Comments | Posted September 22, 2008 | 2:05 PM

This is a continuing Q&A on the financial crisis with Max Fraad Wolff. Max's work regularly appears in the Asia Times, The Prudent Bear and many other international outlets. His work can also been seen regularly on his site Based in NYC, he does contract research on international...

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