The leader of a group hoping to improve liberals' fortunes at the state level revealed on Friday plans to start tracking conservative state legislators based on the assumption that "someone’s going to say something about black people" or women.
The comments came at the first ever conference of the State Innovation Exchange (SiX), the Left’s attempt to counter conservative policy successes that have followed Republican victories at the state level.
“We’re working with David Brock and Media Matters and American Bridge who have trackers that we can send out to monitor the debate on some bills that you all might be running," Nick Rathod, executive director of SiX, said. "I think in many legislatures my understanding is that a lot of legislatures stream their floor debates but don’t necessarily transcribe it or capture it in any kind of way. And so we want to start capturing them on that. I think we know, someone’s going to say something about black people. Someone’s going to say something about women. Someone is going to say something.”
The SiX Legislator Conference is being held in Washington, D.C. from Thursday to Saturday. Over 200 state legislators are attending the conference from approximately 41 states.
SiX is a response to the success of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative group that provides model legislation to state legislators and hosts multiple conferences and meetings every year. SiX already has a library of legislation on its website.
American Bridge is a liberal opposition research organization aims to unearth embarrassing information about Republicans. According to their website, they "monitor public appearances to prevent the cynical pandering that results in a candidate taking different positions depending on the audience they are in front of."
Media Matters for America is a liberal group that tries to monitor the conservative media.
The formation of SiX comes at a time when Democrats are on their heels in the states after getting pummeled in the 2010 and 2014 elections. After this November's losses, Democrats fully controlled the governorship and state legislatures in just seven states, compared to 24 states for Republicans. The group was formed by the merger of three progressive groups: the American Legislative & Issue Campaign Exchange, the Progressive States Network, and the Center for State Innovation.