The Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN) today formally launched its official website and its new blog, and issued its first major report that entitled "The Battle for America's States." The report is also in article form on the cover of this month's In These Times magazine. Click here to sign up for PLAN's new email newsletter, the Stateside Dispatch, designed to keep legislators and citizens informed on what's going on in state legislatures. This is an exciting day for progressives - we are taking a major step in building the infrastructure necessary to start taking back our states.
Just in case you need proof that the right-wing is waging a vicious war in the states every single day, you need look no further than today"s Atlanta Journal Constitution. The paper reports that on the heels of Congress passing the credit card industry-written bankruptcy bill, Georgia's "House Rules Chairman Earl Ehrhart (R-Powder Springs), the recipient of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the title lender who is pushing the new proposal, is offering changes that would lift the interest cap on loans backed by car titles, according to lawyers, lawmakers and consumer advocates who have reviewed the legislation." The legislation was formulated by Ehart with the specific help of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – in fact it is modeled off an ALEC model bill. Georgia's automobile title lending law — "already among the least consumer-friendly in the nation — could become even harsher under an industry-backed proposal being considered by the General Assembly, consumer advocates say."
This is exactly the kind of challenge progressives face today in the states - an aggressive, well-organized, corporate-backed machine designed to use state policy to enrich Big Money interests. That's what PLAN is going to be fighting against, while putting forward a positive, progressive agenda of our own. It's time to start winning the battle for America's states.