Hawai'i has become "ground zero" in the controversy over genetically modified (GMO) crops and pesticides. The out-of-state pesticide and GMO firms Syngenta, Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, Dow Chemical, BASF, and Bayer CropScience have brought substantial sums of corporate cash into the state's relatively small political arena.
An internal tracking document-- obtained from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) by the Center for Media and Democracy/the Progressive Inc. under Texas public records law -- reveals the scope of ALEC's anti-environmental efforts in 2014.
The Guardian published a set of coordinated fundraising proposals from State Policy Network (SPN) members today that confirm many of these groups' intent to change state laws and policies, referring to "advancing model legislation" and "candidate briefings." These activities "arguably cross the line into lobbying," The Guardian notes. The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) highlighted these questionable political activities in its recent report, "EXPOSED: The State Policy Network: The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government," as well as in a recent follow-up article.
"The taxpayers have been left holding the bag.... As a result of this I think there is going to be a lot more oversight." Those were statements made by Nevada Assemblyman James Ohrenschall in an interview on Vegas Inc. September 21.
CONTACT: Alex Oberley, 608-260-9713, Alex@PRwatch.org
Madison -- Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has taken the unprecedented step of asserting that a state legislator cannot be held accountable for refusing to disclose public records in response to a lawful open records request by the Center for Media and Democracy.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) recently adopted a "model" bill from an oil-industry lobby group, that would limit the ability of states to negotiate regional "low-carbon fuel standards" (LCFS), a mechanism designed to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. If agreed by states, LCFS could have a significant impact on the sale of fuels derived from Canadian tar sands in the United States, regardless of any decision the Obama administration makes over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
With immigration reform advancing through Congress, an anti-immigrant network funded by a small group of right-wing foundations is trying to kill reform by pressuring moderate Republicans and appealing to the party's xenophobic wing. The groups could stymie efforts by some Republicans to appeal to the country's growing Latino population by moving to the center on immigration.
State Senator Glenn Grothman, Assistant Majority Leader of the Republican Caucus, is leading the charge to protect consumers from Wisconsin's rapacious rent-to-own industry. Governor Scott Walker's $68.2 billion budget bill contains provisions that would rollback common sense regulation of the industry, which has been in place since 1985.
Members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in the Georgia Legislature are pushing a bill to thwart locally-owned internet in underserved communities, an industry-sponsored effort that effectively reinforces the digital divide. (UPDATE: HB 282 failed on a 94-70 vote on March 7.) If Georgia had passed the bill it would have been the twentieth state to eliminate community control over internet access.
Since the Center for Media and Democracy's launch of ALEC Exposed in July 2011, CMD has known that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and its corporate funders are accelerating the race to the bottom in wages and working conditions for America's working families. ALEC has a raft of "model bills" to lower wages and slash benefits for workers, even one to repeal state minimum wage laws.