Blogging will be light over the next couple days as I head off to Seattle for the Progressive Legislative Action Network conference. It promises to be a great event, challenging the right-wing dominance of state legislatures and building up a progressive alternative.
Couldn't be more timely or welcome, especially in the South.
For more on the event, visit the blog of David Sirota, one of the great driving spirits behind PLAN. There are also some good write-ups in The Nation and the Great Falls Tribune.
And for one of the many reasons we need PLAN, check out this revealing investigation by the Center for Public Integrity about the $1 billion that special interest lobbyists pour into state legislatures. State-level lobbying has skyrocketed to the point that it now averages five lobbyists and almost $130,000 in expenditures per state legislator.
The powerful interests have figured out that state politics is where the action is. Tomorrow in Seattle, progressives are getting organized for the battle.
Chris Kromm is executive director of the Institute for Southern Studies and publisher of the Institute's online magazine, Facing South.