On Monday, September 12, Brad Hooker of the Center for Responsive Politics' Open Secrets blog posted an exposé of the money that the corporate members of ALEC's "Private Enterprise" Board (including AT&T, Exxon Mobil, Kraft, Coca-Cola and Koch Industries) spent to lobby Washington and fill the campaign chests of ALEC alumni in Congress (as well as other Congressmembers). ALEC alumnus John Boehner received the most from ALEC Board corporations, a total of "$368,200 from the people and political action committees associated with the companies on ALEC's private enterprise board during the 2010 election cycle." Second place goes to another ALEC alumnus, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who has been introducing ALEC's agenda to the House. He collected "$328,100 from people and PACs associated with 17 companies on the ALEC private enterprise board."
A Wisconsin worker was fired Thursday for reminding fellow workers that photo IDs required for voting are free under Wisconsin law.
A man identifying himself as Chris Larson called into "Sly in the Morning," a popular Madison radio program on WTDY-AM, and said he had been fired and escorted out of his workplace earlier in the day for sending out an email to remind employees to tell the public that they can obtain a state license for free. Larson said he worked for the Department of Safety and Professional Services, which is under Secretary Dave Ross.
The man was reacting to recent news stories that the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles may be hiding the fact that the IDs, which are newly required for voting in Wisconsin, are free. Hours after his dismissal, a small crowd gathered in front of his place of employment to protest his firing.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), an alumnus of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) which the Center for Media and Democracy has been investigating through ALECexposed.org, recently highlighted a memo on his "Upcoming Jobs Agenda." He described his agenda as "pursuing a steady repeal of job-destroying regulations ... that have tied the hands of small business people and prevented job growth."
His wish list was sent to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which announced on September 6th that Obama's forthcoming jobs plan should scrap its "aggressive and voluntary regulatory agenda and adopt an immediate moratorium on any regulation that will harm job growth." The committee has already approved the "Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation" (TRAIN) Act.
Leaked audio from the Koch brothers' June donor meeting in Vail, Colorado reveals connections between the Kochs and a wealthy Wisconsin funder whose hundreds of thousands helped elect Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson and Governor Scott Walker.
July 29 marked the one-year anniversary of Arizona's controversial immigration law, a year that has seen similar anti-immigrant bills emerge across the country. Thanks to the release of over 800 pieces of "model legislation" by the Center for Media and Democracy, we can now pinpoint the source of the outbreak to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a bill factory for legislation that benefits the bottom line of its corporate members. While it has been reported that more immigrants behind bars means more income for ALEC member Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), less discussed has been how immigrant detention benefits commercial bail-bond agencies, an industry represented in ALEC through the American Bail Coalition.
The Center for Media and Democracy is reposting Beau Hodai's examination of the privatization schemes advanced by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), as part of CMD's effort to report on, and gather reporting about this organization through our ALECexposed.org work. This story was originally published by DBA Press (pdf) and is also available for download through this link. (pdf) You can also jump to the article's source materials directory here.
The Center for Media and Democracy is reposting Beau Hodai's investigation of so-called "scholarships" funded by corporations to bring state politicians to gatherings of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), as part of CMD's effort to report on and gather reporting about this organization through our ALECexposed.org work. This story was originally published by DBA Press. You can also download this report in PDF format and you can view documents relating to ALEC scholarship fund activity here.
(The Center for Media and Democracy is pleased to reprint this illuminating article about the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and reactionary immigration policies pushed into law in Arizona, as part of our ongoing reporting on ALEC and gathering of reporting about this organization in our work on ALECexposed.org. This story was originally published by DBA Press in June 2010)
"Beside my brothers and my sisters, I'll proudly take a stand. When liberty's in jeopardy, I'll always do what's right. I'm out here on the frontline, sleep in peace tonight. American soldier, I'm an American soldier..."
So goes the ringtone on Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce's phone -- as performed by Toby "'cause we put a boot up your ass, it's the American way" Keith. Seconds into any conversation with Pearce on the issue of illegal immigration, you'll find the song fits. Pearce is -- in his mind -- the "American soldier." What's more, just as he sees himself a soldier, Pearce envisions his home to be none less than the front in a war which threatens the very fiber of the nation.
In the midst of corporations voting with state politicians on corporate wishlists to rewrite the law, some messages at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Annual Meeting in New Orleans got a little mixed up. Here are two examples.
Through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), corporations pay to bring state legislators to one place, sit them down for a sales pitch on policies that benefit the corporate bottom line, then push "model bills" for legislators to make law in their states. Corporations also vote behind closed doors alongside politicians on this wish-list legislation through ALEC task forces. Notably absent were the real people who would actually be affected by many of those bills and policies.
With legislators concentrated in one city, lobbyists descend on the conference to wine-and-dine elected officials after-hours, a process simplified by legislators' schedules being freed from home and family responsibilities. Multiple Wisconsin lobbyists for Koch Industries, the American Bail Coalition, Competitive Wisconsin, State Farm, Pfizer, and Wal Mart were in New Orleans, as were lobbyists for Milwaukee Charter School Advocates, Alliant Energy, and Johnson & Johnson. Corporations also sponsor invitation-only events like the Reynolds American tobacco company's cigar reception, attended by several Wisconsin legislators including Health & Human Services chair Leah Vukmir.