Other Group

Progressive State Leaders Committee

Website:

progressivestateleaders.org/

Executive Director:

Sean Rankin

The Progressive State Leaders Committee is a left-leaning advocacy organization that focuses on providing resources and advocacy to convince Democratic state attorneys general to unilaterally enact left-of-center policies. [1]

The organization is closely tied to the Democratic Attorneys General Association, with which it shares an address and executive director and the National Education Association (NEA) government worker union. The organization focuses on a variety of issues that can be influenced by the independent actions of state attorneys general, such as working with local law enforcement to implement left-leaning prosecution practices, defending the Affordable Care Act in court, and enacting firearm restrictions and left-leaning electoral policies. [2]

Background

The Progressive State Leaders Committee formed in 2005. The organization is closely tied to the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA). The committee lists no paid staff on recent tax filings and shares an office address with DAGA. [3] [4] Sean Rankin, the executive director for DAGA, is also listed as executive director of the Progressive State Leaders Committee. [5] [6]

The committee is also associated with the National Education Association (NEA), the largest labor union in the United States which advocates for left-of-center education policy. [7] Carrie Pugh, a board member for the Committee, works as the senior director for the NEA’s campaign and elections department. [8]

Activity

One project of the Progressive State Leaders Committee is the Voter Protection Program. The program was organized by Norm Eisen, a former Czech Ambassador and Ethics Czar in the Obama administration who became a left-leaning political pundit after leaving government. Eisen started the Voter Protection Program in 2020 as part of a larger effort by left-leaning groups connected with the Democracy Alliance to prepare for a contested presidential election. The organization was profiled in a 2021 Time article about a coalition of left-leaning groups, including several Black Lives Matter organizations, that joined with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to oppose legal challenges to the results of the 2020 presidential election by the Trump campaign. [9]

During the 2020 election cycle, the Voter Protection Program encouraged Democratic attorneys general to advocate for an expansion of mail-in voting and use their powers to defend laws to expand access to voting. [10]

Aside from efforts in the 2020 election, the Progressive State Leaders Committee advocated for Democratic state attorneys general to advance left-of-center policies by using their powers to sue on behalf of their states. These include suits defending the Affordable Care Act from constitutional challenges, challenging the cash bail system, and challenging prescription drug pricing. [11]

Recent events hosted by the organization include panels praising Democratic state attorneys general for their advocacy during COVID-19 and their bringing of lawsuits in support of left-of-center policy to the U.S. Supreme Court. Event participants have included the Dean of Berkeley School of Law Erwin Chemerinsky, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy (D), and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison (D). [12]

References

  1. “Current Issues.” Progressive State Leaders Committee. Accessed March 4, 2021. https://progressivestateleaders.org/current-issues/ ^
  2. “Current Issues.” Progressive State Leaders Committee. Accessed March 4, 2021. https://progressivestateleaders.org/current-issues/ ^
  3. “Progressive State Leaders Committee IRS Form 990.” 2018. ProPublica. Accessed March 4, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/050623909/201933189349301218/IRS990 ^
  4. “Democratic Attorneys General Association, Inc.” CampaignMoney.com. Accessed March 18, 2021. https://www.campaignmoney.com/political/527/democratic_attorneys_general_association_inc.asp?rpg=11 ^
  5. “State Bytes: DAGA’s Sean Rankin.” State Side Associates. Accessed March 4, 2021. https://www.stateside.com/blog/state-bytes-dagas-sean-rankin ^
  6. “Progressive State Leaders Committee IRS Form 990.” 2018. ProPublica. Accessed March 18, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/050623909/201933189349301218/IRS990 ^
  7. “Progressive State Leaders Committee IRS Form 990.” 2018. ProPublica. Accessed March 4, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/050623909/201933189349301218/IRS990 ^
  8. “Carrie Pugh.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed March 18, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/carrie-pugh-509b516/ ^
  9. Ball, Molly. “The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election.” Time. February 4, 2021. Accessed March 18, 2021.  https://time.com/5936036/secret-2020-election-campaign/ ^
  10. “Carrie Pugh.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed March 4, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/carrie-pugh-509b516/   ^
  11. “Current Issues.” Progressive State Leaders Committee. Accessed March 4, 2021. https://progressivestateleaders.org/current-issues/ ^
  12. “Events.” Progressive State Leaders Committee. Accessed March 4, 2021. https://progressivestateleaders.org/events/ ^
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