Activism

Posted by Sara Jerving on February 25, 2012

On February 29th, Occupy groups in over 70 cities will be targeting corporate members of the highly-influential American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is best described as a "bill mill" for corporate special interest legislation. Through ALEC, corporations vote behind closed doors with state legislators on changes to the law they desire that often directly benefit their bottom line. Along with right-wing legislators from across the country, corporations are given "a voice and a vote" on "model" bills to change the law in almost every area affecting people's rights. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces. They fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They have their own corporate governing board. They vote as equals with legislators to pre-approve legislation. Participating politicians then bring these bills home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations—without disclosing their origins in ALEC. ALEC boasts that it has over 1,000 bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law. ALEC describes itself as a "unique," "unparalleled" and "unmatched" organization. It is as if a state legislature had been reconstituted, yet corporations had pushed the people out the door. This is not what democracy is supposed to look like.

Posted by Brendan Fischer on January 20, 2012

U.S. ConstitutionJanuary 21 marks the second anniversary of Citizens United v. F.E.C., where a narrow majority of the U.S. Supreme Court asserted that the Constitution prevents Congress from limiting the amount of money that can be spent influencing our elections. The Center for Media and Democracy is working with a constellation of groups in support of amending the Constitution to reverse the decision and address the distortion of the democratic process.

Posted by Emily Osborne on January 19, 2012

Lori CompasLori Compas is the Fort Atkinson woman who almost single-handedly led the grassroots petition drive to recall 17-year incumbent and Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau.

The Decision to "Recall Fitz"

Compas started the "Committee to Recall Scott Fitzgerald" after growing frustrations with Fitzgerald's role as top lieutenant to Governor Scott Walker and due to his lack of concern for Wisconsin's middle class families.

"None of Walker's controversial policies would be in effect today if he didn't have a buddy in the legislature pushing it through," said Compas. With its ALEC Exposed project, CMD determined that Fitzgerald was the former state chair of ALEC and is a member of the ALEC Public Safety and Elections Task Force, which crafted the controversial Voter ID bill. As Senate Majority leader, Fitzgerald has played a key role in implementing the Walker agenda, including Wisconsin's version of Voter ID and dozens more from the ALEC playbook. Jeff Fitzgerald, his brother, is the Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly.

Posted by Mary Bottari on January 18, 2012

Stop the passage of the Internet blacklist bills.Thousands of websites across America have gone dark this week in protest of supposed anti-piracy bills in Congress.

I first noticed when I went to MichaelMoore.com to see how he was covering the Wisconsin protests, but his site was black with an eerie image of a mouse-controlled light that revealed the message "This site has gone dark today in protest of the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate... We need to kill these bills to protect our right to free speech, privacy and prosperity."

Posted by The PRW Staff on January 18, 2012

January 20 marks the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's disastrous decision in Citizens United v. F.E.C., where a narrow majority of the Court asserted that the Constitution prevents Congress from limiting the amount of money that can be spent influencing our elections. A series of events are planned this week to mobilize opposition to the decision and to generate support for a constitutional amendment to reverse it.

Posted by Anne Landman on January 06, 2012

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder A group called Michigan Forward is working to gather nearly 200,000 signatures between now and March to get a measure on the ballot to repeal Michigan's new strict emergency financial manager (EFM) law.

No
Posted by Rebekah Wilce on January 02, 2012

Recently, a group of farmers and neighbors in Salmon Valley, near Prince George, British Columbia, successfully blockaded Wright Creek Road and turned back a truck full of sewage sludge headed for a 117 acre parcel of farm land contracted as a dump site by the City of Prince George. One neighbor brought a snowmobile towing a portable fire pit on a sled so that they were able to keep warm while they blocked the road. As of this writing, the trucks have not returned.

Posted by Anne Landman on December 22, 2011

All-American MuslimThe travel website Kayak.com and Lowes Hardware stores pulled advertising from TLC's reality show All-American Muslim after the right-wing Florida Family Association (FFA) complained that the show presented Muslim-American families as ordinary people. FFA, disturbed by the normative portrayal of American Muslims, complained on its website that "The point of the show is to depict Muslims as ordinary folks just like you and me who are subjected to unjust suspicion," and saying the show is "propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law." FFA maintained that the show was an attempt "to manipulate Americans into ignoring the threat of jihad." The group started pressuring advertisers to drop their sponsorship of the show. The CEO of Kayak.com, which dropped its ads, claimed that no third party had influenced their decision to discontinue advertising on the show. A Kayak.com executive claimed TLC had misled them about the nature of the show, and added, "...Mostly, I just thought the show sucked." Lowes responded to FFA saying the show did not "meet Lowe's advertising guidelines." The chain issued a more ambiguous public statement saying the company had a "long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion," and saying the show had turned into "a lightning rod for people to voice complaints from a variety of perspectives - political, social and otherwise."

After Lowe’s made it public that it had pulled its ads, boycotts have been called, protests planned, 200,000 petitions have been delivered by local religious leaders, a spoof Lowes TV ad has gone viral and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons offered to buy the remaining advertising on the show.

No
Posted by Anne Landman on December 20, 2011

As winter sets in and Occupy Wall Street (OWS) encampments contract, the three-month old movement continues to have a big impact on the campaign trail. President Obama as well as some GOP candidates have adopted OWS concerns and language, while big bank lobbyists and GOP spinmeisters work hard to hold the line, defending U.S. economic institutions and the American "free market" system against what they fear could be a broad-based populist uprising.

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Bill Moyers presents "United States of ALEC," a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of -- ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.