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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. NPR's Peter Overby reports they've been asking this question for years, but things are so bad, they may finally be doing something about it.
PETER OVERBY reporting:
One sign of progressive stirrings came this week in Seattle, the kick-off of a new organization called PLAN, the Progressive Legislative Action Network. Its mission: Develop policies for state lawmakers who favor progressive politics. It's such a good idea, the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, has been doing it for conservatives since the 1970s.
State Senator JACKIE SPEIER (Democrat, California):
Move over, ALEC. Here comes PLAN.
(Soundbite of applause) OVERBY:
So progressives, such as California State Senator Jackie Speier, are once again playing catch-up. PLAN's co-chairman, David Sirota, says they need to start thinking like a movement.
Mr. DAVID SIROTA (Co-Chairman, PLAN):
And that requires different groups on the progressive side to come together and really understand and realize how to actually fight and win on a broad-based progressive agenda instead of single-issue politics.