The American Civil Liberties Union announced by far the largest fundraising campaign in its 88-year history Monday, eying a dramatic expansion of its work on social justice issues in relatively conservative states such as Texas and Florida.
"The purpose is to build a civil liberties infrastructure in the middle of the country — where battleground states are often under-resourced and our efforts are most needed," Romero said.
He cited issues such as immigrants' rights, gay rights, police brutality and opposition to the death penalty as causes that would be pursued vigorously as the ACLU expanded in heartland states. At present, the ACLU's biggest offices are in the Northeast, the Pacific states and Illinois; targets for expansion include Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico and Tennessee, with even the smallest ACLU affiliates in line to get extra funding to hire new attorneys and launch new advocacy programs.
"We're going to build these offices into vibrant, muscular civil liberties machines, in places where our issues matter most," he said. "We've done great work in those states, but we've always been the David to the government's Goliath."
Well, that's not exactly the Heartland. It's more a matter of moving into the "M" states (though I'm not sure how Tennessee fits in with the rest of the "M's").
To this I say, "Leave Montana alone! We like it the way it is--or was." My mom's Uncle Andy used to drive around Montana in his pickup truck with a deer-leg gun rack, similar to this one, mounted on the back wall of the cab.
Photo source: http://www.yellow28farms.com/rusticfurniture.htm
Sometimes those deer feet held guns. That's the way it should be, but I get the feeling that the ACLU would fight against his right to keep and bear those guns (if he were still alive), as they fight against other rights we have.
For those who are naive enough to still believe that the ACLU is an objective defender of everyone's civil rights and not just a tool of the left, I offer this quote:
"It's patently evident that the best fundraiser for the ACLU has been George Bush and his cadre of cronies," Romero said. "If the Republicans loses (sic) control of Congress and the White House, we can be sure (sic) religious right will be much more active on the state level — our work will be critical there."
They oppose the religious right, and they're starting to move into the right's territory. We'd better get busy.