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The left splits over immigration

Salon.com by Michelle Goldberg Originally Published April 20, 2006
One way for liberals to transcend the ideological impasse over immigration is to take on the larger problem of the upward distribution of wealth in America. As things stand now, American high school dropouts and illegal immigrants are essentially fighting over scraps at the bottom of the American pay barrel.

Stark Choices On Immigration

Forget the stalled debate in Congress. State legislatures are already barreling ahead on immigration legislation. And the choices could not be more stark.

While some states are embracing criminalizing undocumented immigrants, other states are embracing progressive policies that will boost wages for all American workers and solve the root causes of low-wage immigration.

The real fear by most Americans is that immigrants are driving down wages for existing American workers. However, rather than further punish exploited immigrant workers in the underground economy, many state leaders recognize that a better solution is to end the exploitive conditions that make hiring lower-paid immigrants so attractive for employers in the first place.

Just Who's Writing Wyoming's Laws?

Casper Star-Tribune Editorial March 17, 2006
As national “Sunshine Week” winds down, we thought we’d squeeze in one more commentary on what elected officials do behind your back. If you think Wyoming’s “citizen legislature” is strictly a homegrown outfit, writing Wyoming laws in response to Wyoming’s needs, think again.

Information hard to come by from Wyoming’s ALEC chief

By BRODIE FARQUHAR March 13, 2006 Caspar Star-Tribune (WY)
The odds are fairly even, that if you ask your state legislator whether he or she is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the answer will be “Yes.” (Of course, every member of the Wyoming Legislature and Legislative Service Office is a member of the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Council of State Governments, by virtue of being elected to or employed by the Wyoming Legislature.) The trouble is, ALEC itself and Rep.

Where Do Ideas for Legislation Come From?

By BRODIE FARQUHAR March 13, 2006 Caspar Star-Tribune (WY)
According to Wyoming legislators and legislative staff, there are several organizations out there that provide research, data and even model legislation to legislatures and legislators throughout the country. These include: [...]
  • The Progressive Legislative Action Network’s (PLAN) mission is “to pass progressive legislation in all fifty states by providing coordinated research and strategic advocacy tools to forward-thinking state legislators.” Headquarters is New York, NY.
  • Kelo Drives Multi-State Bid to Adopt Model Oregon Property Rights Plan

    Water Policy Report Originally Published March 6, 2006
    Backlash from a landmark Supreme Court case that increased local government eminent domain power is bolstering efforts by property rights groups to expand to other states a recently approved Oregon plan requiring state compensation for property value reductions due to environmental protection and land use regulations . But the Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN), a liberal group seeking to pass progressive legislation at the state level, is urging a grassroots effort to fight against these efforts, citing the Ore

    In These Times: Forget D.C. -- the Battle is in the States

    by David Sirota and Nathan Newman Feb. 20, 2006 In These Times
    Speaking to a packed room of 2,000 state legislators and business lobbyists gathered in Grapevine, Texas, last fall, George W. Bush thanked the crowd for its work on behalf of the conservative agenda. He wasn’t talking about work they’d done on Capitol Hill, but about their collaboration to push the corporate agenda forward in statehouses across the country.

    The American Prospect: Laboratories of Progress

    Originally published in on October 5, 2005 by Rep. Jim Marzilli [...] One of the hidden giants moving against climate-change initiatives in the states is the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, which calls itself “the nation’s largest bipartisan, individual membership association of state legislators” and is backed by conservative corporate funding.

    NPR: Progressives take a page from conservative networks

    Transcript of Morning Edition from NPR on August 18, 2005 SUSAN STAMBERG, host:
    This has been the summer of the Democrats' discontent. They're stuck deeper in minority party status than at any time since the early 1930s. Progressive leaders are wondering just how to get back on track.

    Capital Times: Progressives Launch PLAN vs. ALEC

    Published in the Capital Times (Madison, WI) on August 16, 2005 by John Nichols One need not be a student of Tom DeLay's dirty dealings to recognize that the corruption of Washington is very nearly complete.