News Articles By Lisa Graves

Wal-Mart Does Good by Leaving ALEC

It's big news when one of the largest corporations in the world changes its policy. And, today, the really big news is that Wal-Mart announced it was leaving the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which has been called "a corporate lobby masquerading as a charity."

ALEC Exposed - A project of CMDThe Center for Media and Democracy launched ALECexposed almost a year ago to shine a spotlight on ALEC. CMD's analysis and ongoing investigation have fueled hundreds of news articles and other reports exposing deeply troubling information about ALEC's operations and extreme agenda. And, CMD has served as a research engine that has helped empower hundreds of thousands of people to speak out against ALEC's agenda and activities. Through ALEC's task forces, corporate lobbyists are voting behind closed doors as equals with legislators on templates to change our laws.

CMD Special Report: New Documents Confirm Koch Was on ALEC Crime Task Force Led by NRA (Part One)

PART ONE: New documents show that Koch Industries had a seat on the controversial "Public Safety and Elections Task Force" of the American Legislative Exchange Council as of at least 2011. (Part two of this special report detailing the extent of the gun agenda over the past two decades is available here.)

ALEC Exposed - A project of CMDALEC announced it was dropping that task force in the wake of the controversy over the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin and so-called "Stand Your Ground" (SYG) laws. However, the co-leader of that task force, Rep. Jerry Madden (R-TX), revealed ALEC's announcement to be a PR maneuver when he reassured The Christian Post that his task force's work would continue through other ALEC task forces.

Right-Wing Operatives Take Up ALEC's Voter Suppression Agenda

Just as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) tried to distance itself from its role pushing parts of the NRA's gun agenda and making it more difficult for American citizens to vote, a controversial right-wing operation has announced that it will step in to help carry forward the "voter ID" agenda. The "National Center for Public Policy Research" (NCPPR) announced Wednesday that it will form a "Voter Identification Task Force."

This comes in response to ALEC's announcement Tuesday that it will dismantle its "Public Safety and Elections Task Force" through which corporate lobbyists and elected officials voted behind closed doors to approve "model" legislation that creates obstacles to American citizens voting through restrictive voter ID bills, as well as other damaging legislation, such as reckless gun laws that have been cited to protect violent vigilantes from being held accountable.

ALEC Politician Claims ALEC Meetings Are "Open to the Public." Really?

ALEC's Rep. Bill Howell (R-VA)Confronted with a report by ProgressVA stating that through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) corporate lobbyists get access to legislators "behind closed doors," ALEC politician Bill Howell dismissed the claim and told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that all ALEC meetings were open to the public.

Really?

That would be breaking news to both traditional press and the online media that have been blocked from ALEC meetings and are increasingly being threatened with arrest.

Bosma and Daniels Push "Right to Work" Amid Controversies over Financial Backers

Hoosier protests RTWGovernor Mitch Daniels (R-Indiana) and the state's Speaker of the House, Brian Bosma (R-88), are spearheading an effort to pass the controversial, corporate-backed "Right to Work" (RTW) bill, which has sparked huge protests by Hoosiers. The bill's opponents have called it the "Right to Work (for Peanuts)" bill, the "'Right to be Fired' Without Cause" bill, and other names.

Supremely Unseemly Conduct by Supreme Court Justices Spurs Call for Mandatory Ethics Rules

Madison, WI, January 9, 2012—The Center for Media and Democracy today joined a coalition of public interest organizations in calling for the United States Supreme Court to agree to follow the Code of Conduct for U.S. judges.

Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, Ginny (photo via FTWP)CMD joined the Alliance for Justice, American Association of University Women, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, Communications Workers of America, CREDO Action, Equal Justice Society, League of United Latin American Citizens, National Employment Lawyers Association, People for the American Way Foundation, and U.S. Public Interest Research Group in a letter to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. The letter calls on the Court to "take it upon itself to agree to be bound by the Code," and "do so unequivocally and publicly." (The coalition's letter to Chief Justice Roberts is uploaded down below.)

Indiana Workers Stand against the ALEC Agenda and the Anti-Labor Bill Called the "Right to Work" (for Less)

Thousands of Indiana workers rallied outside, and inside, their state capitol on Wednesday to speak out against Governor Mitch Daniels' renewed effort to force through so-called "right to work" legislation designed to undermine labor unions and workers' rights protected by collective bargaining.

Mitt Romney's "Super" Friends Take Aim Through the "Restore Our Future" Super PAC

Editor's note: This quick snapshot about who is behind the pro-Romney "Super" PAC is a summary of CMD's recent analysis of the problems with Super PACs.

In the Iowa caucus race, the pro-Mitt Romney Super PAC called "Restore Our Future" massively outspent the candidate's official presidential campaign on advertising. The Restore Our Future PAC spent over $3 million in ads, primarily negative ads against Newt Gingrich, who was the target of more than 1,200 negative ad spots from this PAC and others in the span of about a month.

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