Katherine Kersten: Wisconsin, Colorado & Minnesota Have Most Advanced Progressive Infrastructure


Katherine Kersten, a senior fellow at the Center of the American Experiment, looks at the way progressives carefully organize human and financial resources to push their political goals in states:

... today, a phalanx of left-wing influence groups -- heavily dependent on government union power and money -- is transforming Wisconsin politics. With lavish funding, hardball tactics and national connections, they are ratcheting up statehouse politics to a level of intensity seen before only in high-profile, targeted congressional races.

In the process, these organizations are drowning out authentic grass-roots issues and voices, and are increasingly assuming functions traditionally performed by political parties.

... One Wisconsin Now serves as a 24/7 communications hub for left-wing issues and organizations in Wisconsin. It coordinates messaging and strategy so the state's hundreds of progressive groups are on the same page.

But the network doesn't confine its efforts to election years, the traditional focus of outside influence groups. It uses the same aggressive, campaign-style strategy to pressure public officials on issues on a daily basis.

... We Are Wisconsin acts, in essence, like a parallel political party. It has field operations in every recall district, runs TV and radio ads, and oversees direct mail and phone banks. Kelly Steele, its spokesman, is a longtime national Democratic operative who is widely credited with turning around Sen. Harry Reid's campaign in Nevada in 2010, using tactics that allies have described as "cutthroat."

... In 2008, Rob Stein of the George Soros-funded Democracy Alliance declared that "progressive infrastructure" is most advanced in three states: Wisconsin, Minnesota and Colorado. By 2012, the left plans to have similar operations in 25 states. --Star Tribune