NYT: Since the early 1970s, the right has conducted a sustained drive to gain power and set policy in the 50 states. The left, by contrast, has been far less effective at the state-level.

The sustained determination on the part of the conservative movement has paid off in an unprecedented realignment of power in state governments.

The Koch brothers understand the importance of controlling state legislatures. The states, it turns out, are more receptive to the drive of the Koch Companies and their corporate allies to protect their business interests.

The Koch brothers’ have invested in such state-regulated areas as refining, chemicals, biofuels and ingredients; forest products; fertilizers; polymers and fibers. For the extractive industries, in particular, along with chemical, pharmaceutical, and lumber concerns, Republican-led deregulatory efforts can increase profits.

While the presidential race captures our attention – and as the left has withdrawn from low-level combat — conservatives have overseen the drawing of legislative and congressional districts that will keep Republicans in power over the next decade. In this way, through the most effective gerrymandering of legislative and congressional districts in the nation’s history, the right has institutionalized a dangerous power vacuum on the left.