Politics

Posted by Brendan Fischer on June 10, 2013

Republican lawmakers have squeezed a provision into the Wisconsin budget to reintroduce bail bondsmen (and bounty hunters) to the state, a corruptive practice that has been banned since 1979, faces nearly universal opposition from the state's criminal justice system, and is promoted heavily by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Posted by Brendan Fischer on June 07, 2013

ALEC Asserting Immunity From State Freedom of Information Laws

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 7, 2013

CONTACT: Brendan Fischer, Brendan@prwatch.org

Wisconsin Senator Leah VukmirMADISON -- The Center for Media and Democracy filed suit Thursday against Wisconsin State Senator Leah Vukmir, a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the treasurer of ALEC's national board, over her failure to disclose ALEC-related materials under Wisconsin's public records law -- possibly because ALEC told her to keep the documents secret.

Posted by Brendan Fischer on June 05, 2013

Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin are fast-tracking a controversial bill to keep political donors secret, enact voter ID, and limit early voting, among other measures, with a vote scheduled for next week. The only public hearing on the bill was held Tuesday, where a representative of the business lobby made several misleading assertions about the bill's disclosure provisions.

Posted by Brendan Fischer on June 04, 2013

The official at the center of the IRS mess, Lois Lerner, gave indications months ago that she was refusing to provide meaningful guidance about how to interpret and apply ambiguous rules for nonprofit political activity.

Posted by Brendan Fischer on June 04, 2013

A federal court hearing a challenge to Wisconsin's Republican-led redistricting sharply criticized the expensive, secretive, and "peculiarly furtive process" employed by the GOP in drawing and defending the maps, but announced a close to "this unfortunate chapter in Wisconsin political history."

Posted by Rebekah Wilce on June 03, 2013

Jobless benefitsWisconsin's unemployed are being subject to a double attack by the state legislature. In the state that fell to 44th in the nation in job creation in March, a bill introduced to the Wisconsin State Assembly on May 24 would make it more difficult for jobless workers to collect unemployment benefits. Then, in what Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison) called the "ultimate bait-and-switch," a hearing on that bill occurred at the same time as a meeting of the Joint Committee on Finance that passed yet more changes related to unemployment insurance, which critics called even more extreme than the first.

Posted by Brendan Fischer on May 30, 2013

A Wisconsin appellate court has overturned one decision by a lower court finding the state's voter ID law unconstitutional, but the legislation remains blocked, with a separate challenge to the law pending before a different appellate court. Despite upholding the voter ID law, the judge deciding today's case appeared to imply that there could be a different outcome for a challenge that provides more evidence of the law's burdens on the right to vote.

Posted by Brendan Fischer on May 29, 2013

A Wisconsin legislator has managed to bundle nearly all of the excesses associated with dirty elections into a single bill that good government advocates are describing as a "sweeping assault on democracy:" the legislation would try reinstating restrictive voter ID requirements, make it easier for donors to secretly influence elections, expand lobbyist influence, restrict early voting, and make it harder to register, among other measures.

Posted by Rebekah Wilce on May 29, 2013

GMO labeled tomatoIn the midst of a week of debates and speeches about the federal farm bill (S. 954), supporters of the right to know whether or not food products contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) suffered a setback on May 23. An amendment (S. Amdt.

Posted by Brendan Fischer on May 23, 2013

Governor Scott Walker seeks to "radically" overhaul Wisconsin's education system using several pieces of American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model legislation, and to do it through the budget process, meaning this privatization agenda could be enacted with minimal public discussion or debate.

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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.