PROGRESSIVE LEGISLATIVE ACTION NETWORK….In a cover article in the current issue of In These Times titled “Forget D.C.?the Battle is in the States,” Nathan Newman and David Sirota write about the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative membership group focused on state legislators:

ALEC claims more than 2,400 state lawmakers as members ? roughly one-third of all state legislators ? and has become one of the critical fulcrums of conservative power in the United States.

….In 2004 alone, 1,108 ALEC model bills were introduced and 178 were enacted into law, a legislative assault that ALEC and its conservative allies have been repeating year after year. Given the prominence of its legislative supporters ? 34 state speakers of the house, 25 state senate presidents, 31 state senate leaders and 33 state house leaders are ALEC members ? this success is hardly surprising.

Read the whole thing to get the rest of the story (or read the full report the article is based on here). Basically, Nathan and David argue that state and local politics are often more important than national politics (see here and here for some recent examples), but that progressive legislators often don’t have the policy and analysis tools available to them that ALEC makes available to conservatives. They aim to change that with a new group called the Progressive Legislative Action Network, and it sounds like a helluva good idea to me. If you want to get involved, click here.

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