Who Are The Progressive-Liberal Special Interest Groups in Washington state?
We hear so much nationally about powerful political lobbies in the U.S. and globally, George Soros, MoveOn.org, the now "defunct" (reorganized) ACORN, and others. Hundreds of millions of dollars spent to pressure Congress and other leaders. But who's doing the job here in Washington state?
By way of KPLU Public Radio, new light has been shed on the groups responsible for many of the online and mailbox items you receive blaming conservative political leaders for our budget issues. Even the budget showdown that occurred last spring in Olympia. These groups also help shape some of the recent controversial legislation that you might find rather alarming. They actively pressure legislators, recruit new members to help spread their word, sign-up new voters, and utilize social media to reach younger voters who might not be well-versed in the political system.
You may have never heard of Fuse Washington, but it's considered one of, if not the largest, progressive political action organizations in our state. The Seattle-based group is funded in large part by wealthy liberal benefactors, including venture capitalist Nick Hanauer. He's the one responsible for the upcoming gun initiative that would require universal backround checks on all gun purchases in our state, public and private - even between two citizens. He started up the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility (WAGR). From KPLU's website January 23rd:
'Fuse is a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organization that doesn’t have to disclose its donors. It’s part of a network of left-of-center nonprofits, most created in the last five to seven years in Washington. They include think tanks, a candidate recruitment and training organization and a bus that goes around to register and mobilize young voters." (bold lettering added for emphasis).
In response to such groups as Fuse Washington, a new online group has sprouted on Facebook, Shift Washington. Putting aside party politics and partisanship, the site says their goal is to shift the debate in Olympia. They seek to shed light on the wealthy financial forces and special interest groups that often shape politics in our state. ShiftWA.org has a mission statement that reads in part:
"...And that’s why we’re launching ShiftWA.org, to provide a forum for putting a spotlight on the excesses of the liberals who have been running state government for a generation."
So while you may not see or hear political activism or even manipulation going on television or other traditional media means, that doesn't mean the dicey activities of special interests are not going on right under your nose. It may be worth some time to look at all sides of these groups and issues, and decide for yourself what's right for Washington.