The Little-Known Group Pushing Leftist Policy to State and National Governments

Frank Franklin II

It seems as if the list of leftist groups pushing wokeness at the state and federal levels is never-ending. One of those groups is U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG).

Influence Watch previously summarized the origins and influence of PIRG:

Founded by left-wing activist and former Presidential candidate Ralph Nader, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group is a 501(c)(4) organization that oversees a federation of state progressive advocacy groups also known as “PIRGs.” As the national organization for these independent state-based PIRGs, U.S. PIRG coordinates resources among its 47 state affiliates to make the “biggest impact” for its liberal advocacy efforts. The U.S. PIRG also serves as the “federal lobbying office for state PIRGs” seeking to make left-of-center state laws into federal policy and turning unsuccessful liberal federal lobbying efforts into state laws.

If you read PIRG‘s own description of its network, there’s no clear indication that it’s leftist, though. The group calls itself “an advocate for the public interest” and goes on to babble vaguely about a “safer world” and “abundance” and “common sense.” Looking at its posts and updates, however, one starts to see leftist ideology emerge.

For instance, an Aug. 28 post from the Massachusetts PIRG (MASSPIRG) executive director, about sidewalk EV charging regulations, declared, “According to the EPA 29% of greenhouse gas emissions in the country come from the transportation sector, so moving from gas-powered cars to EVs is a top priority.”

In reality, a study last year found that fossil-fuel CO2 emissions were too low to cause global warming. Furthermore, EV batteries are extremely toxic to manufacture and dispose of, meaning that they are not in fact a better environmental choice. That even leaves aside all the issues of being dependent on an unreliable power grid. But PIRG’s decision to put the switch from gas to EV cars as a “top priority” is telling. That’s exactly what all the leftists and globalists are pushing for.

This post wasn’t a one-off for PIRG, either. For instance, a post from earlier this month pontificated: “Get Off Fossil Fuels: It’s time for power plants to clean up their act.” In fact, PIRG seems considerably preoccupied with climate issues. After all, one of its affiliate organizations is Environment America.

Yet another update from MASSPIRG proudly noted praise from radical Democrat Sen. Ed Markey. In June, PIRG was excitedly promoting Biden administration regulations of “water heaters, washing machines, dishwashers and other appliances”—regulations which are actually harmful, not helpful, to consumers.

That same month, under the heading “Good News,” Colorado PIRG happily announced, “Vice President Kamala Harris comes to Denver.” You get the picture. This nonprofit allegedly interested in “common sense” is shilling for radical Democrats.

Related: Who’s the Real Barack Obama? Things Are Finally Becoming Clear

Influence Watch had many interesting details in its report, including the leadership and affiliate groups of PIRG, lobbying activities, finances, and its various goals and efforts at the state and national levels. Barack Obama served as an “organizer” for PIRG following college and praised his training there years afterward, the report noted. One of the most interesting parts of the report besides the Obama association was how utterly hypocritical PIRG is in its alleged crusade to promote rights:

The PIRGs’ administrative and financial practices are highly controversial. The PIRG campus fundraising model has been sharply criticized for imposing hidden fees on students and then funneling those funds through the campus PIRG to both the state PIRG and the U.S. PIRG, leaving little money on campus where the funds were generated.2

Additionally, the U.S. PIRG is part of a larger network of like-minded and well-funded progressive organizations that seek to align themself with the PIRG network.3  The most notable of these organizations is the Fund For the Public Interest, which is seen as the fundraising arm of the U.S. PIRG and has been widely criticized for its abusive employment practices as it relates to students, being billed “the liberal sweatshop.”4 In 2016, U.S. PIRG was hammered as hypocritical for claiming to fight for progressive values while opposing the Obama administration’s expansion of employees subject to time-and-a-half overtime pay rules.5

Leftists so often turn out to be raging hypocrites despite constant virtue signaling, and PIRG is no exception.


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