Michael Podhorzer

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Michael Podhorzer

Michael Podhorzer was married to former Obama "Energy Czar" Carol Browner.

The pair met when Carol Browner both worked for Citizen Action in Washington DC in the early 1980s. they married in 1987, but later divorced.


Michael Podhorzer is the Deputy Director of the Political Department of the AFL-CIO. Since 1997, he has developed and directed the Federation's strategic, targeting, opinion research, communication testing and long term planning programs. He was responsible for designing the strategic and targeting framework that supported the dramatic transformation of the Federation's political program in the 1990s. Mr. Podhorzer most recently designed and managed the AFL-CIO's pioneering 2004 "swing voter program" which combined voter file database analytics and clinical trial-style message testing for direct mail, telemarketing, email and neighborhood canvassing. Mr. Podhorzer has worked in politics for the last twenty five years. As Associate Director of Citizen Action, he managed the organization's extensive electoral activities, including successful congressional, state and local campaigns. He also helped found Advocate Development, a company that was formed to create database fundraising management software for Citizen Action's four million members.[1]

Take Back America

On March 17, 2008, Michael Podhorzer, Matt Stoller, Gloria Totten and Kristina Wilfore spoke in a session entitled "Election 2008: The Map", at that year's Take Back America conference.

Take Back the American Dream Conference 2011

Michael Podhorzer was one of the 158 speakers who addressed the Take Back the American Dream Conference 2011 . The Conference was hosted by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future, [2]


As of 2011, Michael Podhorzer was serving on the Board of managers of Catalist.[3]


Podhorzer will become the new political director for the 12 million-member AFL-CIO, driving one of the largest independent campaign operations in the country, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka announced June 29, 2011. “There’s no one better to direct the political work of the labor movement than Mike Podhorzer,” said Trumka. “Mike is both a brilliant strategist and a passionate advocate whose commitment to building political power for working women and men is unrivalled. The rigor and energy he brings to our efforts are exactly what we need to counter the relentless attacks on working families – and union members in particular – financed by Wall Street and legislated by the politicians they elected.” Podhorzer becomes director after having served at the AFL-CIO as deputy director of the political department since 2005. He came to the AFL-CIO in 1997, and helped establish Working America, the community partner of the AFL-CIO which has grown to 3 million members nationwide. [4]


The AFL-CIO will create a "SuperPAC," a separate campaign finance committee that can communicate with the general public - and raise money without any contribution limits - as part of an overall revamp of its political operation, Michael Podhorzer, the federation's new political director, said in August 2011.

In an interview with reporters covering the AFL-CIO Executive Council meeting in Silver Spring, Md., Podhorzer said that although details of the SuperPAC remain to be flushed out, the aim is clear: the labor movement is seeking to expand its influence in the political arena beyond its own membership.

"It's the legal vehicle to talk to the general public in campaigns," using paid media and other communication methods, he said.[5]