Public Diplomacy

"Won't Back Down" Film Pushes ALEC Parent Trigger Proposal

-- by Mary Bottari and Sara Jerving

Well-funded advocates of privatizing the nation's education system are employing a new strategy this fall to enlist support for the cause. The emotionally engaging Hollywood film "Won't Back Down" -- set for release September 28 -- portrays so-called "Parent Trigger" laws as an effective mechanism for transforming underperforming public schools. But the film's distortion of the facts prompts a closer examination of its funders and backers and a closer look at those promoting Parent Trigger as a cure for what ails the American education system.

Can Brats Build Bridges in Wisconsin?

Press and protestors outside the governor's mansion (source: Leslie Peterson)On June 12, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker held the "Beer and Brat Summit," touted as an effort to bring lawmakers from both parties together, although some lawmakers from both sides of the aisle found reasons not to attend this PR event. Brats are a Wisconsin tradition but even they have become politicized over the past year with one of the major brat makers financially backing Walker's political campaign.

Walker's PR Plan to Use Beer and Brats

Ninety-eight state lawmakers -- 60 Republicans, 37 Democrats and one independent -- said they planned to attend the event, which offered a spread of beer, brats, and other specialties from the Dairy State.

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.


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.

Military Matters and Public Diplomacy Urgent, Says GAO

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, has released its list of "urgent," "critical" and "time sensitive" policy concerns for President-elect Barack Obama and the new Congress. Several are military-related, such as the "U.S.



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