We know that the Tea Parties are trying to accomplish change at the state level. We know that blogs, such as this one, are attempting to inform and educate. We know that there are many Conservative organizations that are attempting to save this Republic in innumerable ways. People are energized and active as never before. Better yet, more and more people are reading the founding documents, and are studying the ideas that are represented in our Republic. I think we’d all agree that these are excellent developments.
However, there is a dark side. There is a well-organized “progressive” organization that is currently in operation. The Progressive States Network coordinates efforts across states to pass “progressive” legislation. As with all “progressive” legislation, these tend to limit freedom, cost jobs, corrupt elections, and increase the power of government. They appear to be well funded, and they have a significant head start.
Some of the issues being undertaken by the PSN include:
- Paid Sick Days – Require employers to provide paid sick days to employees for them to take care of their own illness, that of a family member, or deal with domestic violence.
- Election Reforms to Help Drive Turnout in 2010 and 2012 – Enact legislation to increase voter turnout, including improved public assistance agency compliance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), allowing all voters to vote by mail, and making presidential elections competitive in every state by implementing a national popular vote for the President.
- Prescription Drug Reforms: Reducing Costs and Improving Quality – Enact an integrated prescription drug policy to curb costly industry marketing practices, promote generic medications and join multi-state collaboratives to pool state purchasing power.
- Corporate Transparency in State Budgets – Require full public information about how corporate interests benefiting from government contracts, economic subsidies and tax breaks are spending the money received.
- Green Buildings – Implement policies aimed at making new and existing buildings more environmentally friendly.
- Foreclosure and Predatory Lending Reform – Require lenders to use mediation, require proper maintenance of foreclosed homes, give homeowners right to rent former homes, increase state enforcement powers, and give whistle-blower protections to employees at lending institutions.
There are several bloggers that are going to focus on this organization, their ideas, their legislation, and their connections. I am obviously part of this group. For me, I think that any organization can be judged by who is at the helm. Consequently, my first post in this effort will focus on the board of directors of the PSN. Here are some highlights from their site. It is not complete, but you can see the entire list here.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Wes Boyd, President of MoveOn.org
Wes and his wife Joan Blades were the cofounders in 1987 of Berkeley Systems, a San Francisco Bay area software company. After selling the company in 1997, Boyd and Blades went on to found MoveOn.org, which has quickly become a major national political force by using cutting edge online methods to coordinate fundraising and advocacy for progressive causes and candidates.
David Brock, President and CEO, Media Matters for America
David is the author of four political books, including The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy. His preceding book, Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative, was a 2002 New York Times best-selling political memoir in which he chronicled his years as a conservative media insider. Brock serves on the advisory board of Democracy Radio Inc. and is the recipient of the New Democrat Network’s first award for political entrepreneurship.
Anna Burger, International Secretary-Treasurer, SEIU
Hailed by Fortune Magazine as “the most powerful woman in the labor movement” and named as one of Washingtonian’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2006, Anna is both a top ranking officer at SEIU, the nation’s largest and fastest growing union, and the first chair of America’s newest labor federation, Change to Win. Before moving to SEIU’s international office in Washington D.C., Anna served as the first full-time woman President of SEIU Local 668 in Pennsylvania.
Leo Gerard, President, United Steelworkers, Vice President, AFL-CIO
After starting his career as a nickel smelter at age 18, Leo rose quickly through the ranks of the United Steelworkers Union, becoming Director of USW District 16 in 1985, National Director for Canada in 1991, International Secretary Treasurer in 1994, and finally as President of the USW International in 2001. Leo also serves as Vice President of the AFL-CIO, where he chairs the organization’s Public Policy Committee. Has been instrumental in forging the Blue/Green alliance for sustainable energy and green jobs and was a central figure in the founding of the Apollo Alliance.
John Podesta, President and CEO, the Center for American Progress
Prior to founding the Center for American Progress, Podesta served as Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton from 1998 to 2001. He had served previously as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Clinton Administration and as Counselor to former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle. Currently, John is a Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center. He is considered one of the nation’s leading experts on technology policy.
Lee Saunders, Secretary-Treasurer of AFSCME
Lee serves as executive assistant to Gerald McEntee, the President of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. Previously, he served as administrator of AFSCME District Council 37 in New York.
As you can see, this is a laundry list of “progressive” causes. Given the connections to the unions, the Apollo Alliance, and the Soros funded operations; it is safe to conclude that this organization is a direct threat to liberty. Many of the organizations represented here are far left, if not openly Marxist. Complicating matters is the fact that they operate behind the scenes, and are little known. That is about to change.
Over the next several weeks, John from the Current, Steve, from Motor City Times, The CH 2.0, and others, will be covering the activities and agenda of the Progressive States Network. I would encourage everyone to share this information with their friends and family, as well as their state legislators. As the saying goes, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” It ‘s time to pull up the shades and let some sunlight in.