It's official -- the Progressive Legislative Action Network is now "live." They have been methodically building for a few months -- I went to an early conference they held in Seattle last August -- and now they are making their splash with a new website and blog.

They also have a sort-of manifesto explaining why a progressive presence is needed at the state level: "The Battle for America's States," in which long-time blogger Nathan Newman (which PLAN has brought on as Policy Director), says:

"For the past thirty years, conservatives of different stripes have had their efforts clearly coordinated with a long-term strategy in mind," says Nathan Newman, PLAN's Policy Director and Author of the Report. "The resulting policies in the states -- whether handouts to corporations, wedge issues to pit progressives against eachother, or structural plans to weaken progressive institutions -- are not an accident, but the result of years of engineering by powerful interests."

Newman -- who has a rich backround in labor organizing, public interest law, and progressive policy advocacy -- was an excellent choice and is a good sign for where PLAN is headed. Watch this group -- out of the various groups being erected as part of the "new progressive infrastructure," this one is going to be making a difference.