Politics

Posted by Brendan Fischer on May 21, 2013

The Texas-based Tea Party group True the Vote is claiming they were one of the groups inappropriately "targeted" by the IRS since their application for charitable status has been delayed for years. Although many Tea Party groups were singled-out by the IRS for improper reasons, there may be good reasons for the agency to take a close look at True the Vote's application for charitable status, particularly given the group's involvement with the Wisconsin "Verify the Recall" effort.

Posted by The PRW Staff on May 17, 2013

by Jason Snyder

Gun safety advocates are not backing down after bipartisan legislation to expand background checks failed in the Senate, and are promising a new push to gain the five votes necessary to pass legislation supported by overwhelming public majorities. Are the political winds shifting in favor of gun safety?

Posted by Brendan Fischer on May 16, 2013

Florida Governor Rick Scott is under pressure from Florida moms to veto a bill that would deliver a "kill-shot" to local efforts to guarantee paid sick days for workers. The legislation, which can be traced back the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is backed by major corporate players with questionable labor records, including Disney.

Posted by Brendan Fischer on May 15, 2013

The controversy surrounding the IRS singling-out Tea Party-inspired groups seeking tax exempt status -- while inexcusable -- might be attributable, in part, to the agency's failure to create clearer rules for political activity in the post-Citizens United electoral landscape, and it being inappropriately tasked with enforcing campaign finance law, tax law experts say.

Posted by Rebekah Wilce on May 15, 2013

GMO Labeled TomatoIn an advance that makes history, Vermont's House of Representatives passed a bill on May 10 requiring foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be labeled. This is the furthest any such legislation has made it through the legislative process in the United States.

Posted by Brendan Fischer on May 14, 2013

Mark Pocan and Keith Ellison"The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected," wrote Thomas Paine in 1795.

Yet contrary to popular belief, there is no affirmative right to vote in the U.S. Constitution. This gap in our founding document has provided an opening for the wave of voter suppression measures that swept the country in recent years, and before that, the poll taxes and Jim Crow restrictions that disenfranchised millions. This week, two Congressmen -- both from states at the epicenter of today's voting rights struggles -- are seeking to fix that.

Posted by Rebekah Wilce on May 14, 2013

Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has vetoed a controversial "ag gag" bill that would hamstring citizen investigations documenting patterns of abuse of animals and regulatory violations.

Posted by Brendan Fischer on May 08, 2013

Dark money nonprofits spent hundreds of millions in the 2012 elections, but reported only a fraction of that thanks to an "issue advocacy" loophole that requires only limited disclosure for ads that don't explicitly urge viewers to vote for or against a candidate. Federal and state elections officials have rarely probed whether a group's so-called "issue ads" are really intended to influence elections -- but in Wisconsin, a politically-active nonprofit exposed its issue ad charade on its own.

Posted by Brendan Fischer on May 07, 2013

Shortly after the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) told the press "we really believe in transparency," new documents show the organization directing legislators to hide ALEC meeting agendas and model legislation from the public. This effort to circumvent state freedom of information laws is being called "shocking" and "disturbing" by transparency advocates.

Posted by Rebekah Wilce on May 06, 2013

Wisconsin ranks 44th in the nation for new job creation. Rather than rolling up their sleeves and finding new and innovative ways to help create jobs, the Wisconsin legislature is spending its time telling people needing food assistance what they should be eating. AB 110, which will be up for a vote in the Assembly on Tuesday, May 7, is geared toward limiting "the amount of food stamp benefits that could be spent on junk food." But some of the fine print of the bill, bizarrely, would ban people from choosing more healthy and less expensive options for their families. The bill is one of many being considered that are unduly punitive of the poor.

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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.