Last week’s Netroots Nation gathering was billed as a “giant family reunion for the left.” The familial atmosphere generated by the progressive activists included one state network leader’s directive to “take down” conservative state policy networks nationwide.
Arshad Hasan, who moderated a break-out session called “Stink Tanks in Your State: Inside the State Policy Network,” called on attendees to attack state policy groups from Michigan’s Mackinac Center to Vermont’s own Ethan Allen Institute.
“The next step for us is to take down this network of institutions that are state-based in each and every one of our states,” Hasan said.
“Your Heartland Institute, your Mackinac Institute and my state’s Ethan Allen Institute, although they are ultra-conservative and lead us to a set of policies that would not be passed in a state as liberal as Vermont, pitch themselves as third-party validators — ‘Hey, we’re just here for research, and we want to help you figure out the best public policy.’”
Hasan, whose ProgressNow organization oversees left wing state advocacy groups in 22 states, seeks a network of policy groups that promote progressive ideas and causes. While Hasan railed against the money donated to conservative groups, the combined annual contributions to ProgressNow’s 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) units in 2012 totaled a remarkable $3,660,155.