On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that could further expand the reach of its controversial ruling that political spending is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment -- and which could give the one percent even more influence over politics.
MADISON -- Texas Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott has issued an Open Records Letter Ruling rejecting an effort by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to declare itself immune from the state's public records law, after the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas filed briefs in the matter.
Some interesting emails were released as part of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's ongoing investigation of a $500,000 taxpayer grant awarded to the Koch-tied United Sportsmen's group. The grant was tailor-made for United Sportsmen and slipped into the budget by State Representative Scott Suder as one of his last acts as a state legislator. (Suder, who also served as ALEC's Wisconsin State Chair, was given a new job at the Public Utilities Commission and a $45,000 pay raise by Governor Scott Walker.)
This week CMD launched a new web resource, OutsourcingAmericaExposed, where we will detail the privatizers and profiteers selling out our democracy. The website will be populated with "rap sheets" or corporate profiles of America's top outsourcing companies.
The following is the Center for Media and Democracy's response to Senator Leah Vukmir's statement regarding CMD's public records case and her claim that she has "fully complied" with CMD's public records request. The following can be attributed to CMD General Counsel Brendan Fischer:
This week's cover story in the Nation Magazine features two friends of CMD, John Nichols and Bob McChesney, writing about the Dollarocracy, the title of their new book by Persius Books. Also this week, the authors start their Dollarocracy vs. Democracy book tour which entails hundreds of appearances across the nation.
Freedom Partners (FP) -- a funding group previously unheard of before it shared exclusive and highly selective details about itself with Politico last week -- has extensive hidden connections to Koch Industries and to charities connected to Charles Koch, according to new research by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD).
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.
Sallie Mae has dropped its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) after a student-led campaign demanding that the nation's largest student loan lender cut ties with the controversial organization. Sallie Mae is the 50th corporation to publicly drop its ALEC membership in the past year-and-a-half as the organization has come under increasing public scrutiny.
Last week, CMD reported that a small GOP lobby shop tied to the Tea Party and David Koch's Americans for Prosperity group was awarded a $500,000 grant in a backdoor, sweetheart deal cooked up by ALEC leadership in the State Legislature and sanctioned by the Walker administration.