SALT LAKE CITY -- American Legislative Exchange Council legislators, corporate lobbyists, and special interest group staffers awoke Thursday morning to bad news about ALEC delivered to every room at the "five diamond" Grand America hotel. Although the print edition of the Salt Lake Tribune's headline read "ALEC says it won't be threatened," the news story in the state's leading paper featured two prominent critiques of ALEC.
As the race for Wisconsin's open U.S. Senate seat heats up, China has taken the spotlight. Republican candidate Eric Hovde has launched an ad blaming the outsourcing of U.S. jobs on the corporate tax rate.
The ad appears to be in response to Democratic candidate Tammy Baldwin's recent ad on China. Baldwin slams China, for violating trade rules by dumping paper on the U.S. market and harming the Wisconsin paper industry, which employs some 50,000 workers.
Two things will happen today in steamy Wisconsin, where temperatures are set to break 95. One election will be certified, while another will be recounted. The confluence of events have some wondering if a window of opportunity has been created to allow the Wisconsin GOP to pull a fast one.
Tucker Carlson's website, the "Daily Caller," recently posted a story claiming that a Florida state legislator had rebutted a purported claim by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) "drafted" Florida's "Stand Your Ground" (SYG)/"Castle Doctrine" law.
Two months after it was first announced, the "I Stand With ALEC" website supporting the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has finally gone live -- and it is underwhelming.
For the past year, ALEC has been under intense public scrutiny, starting in July 2011 when the Center for Media and Democracy launched ALECexposed.org. Since then, Common Cause has filed complaints with the IRS challenging ALEC's charitable status, groups like People for the American Way and Progress Now! have helped produce reports about ALEC's influence in individual states, Color of Change has been privately and publicly urging corporations to leave ALEC because of the ALEC agenda's negative impact on the African American community, and labor unions and shareholder groups have put increasing pressure on publicly traded companies to drop their ALEC membership. CMD has continued its investigation of ALEC, its operations, and its members through reporting on PRWatch.org, and documented ALEC's role in ratifying as a "model" bill the Stand Your Ground law cited initially to protect Trayvon Martin's killer from arrest or prosecution.
Last year, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker set his sights on getting Illinois businesses to move to Wisconsin, and one of the few corporations to take him up on the offer received millions in grants and tax credits. That largesse might have translated into big contributions to Walker's campaign.
It's big news when one of the largest corporations in the world changes its policy. And, today, the really big news is that Wal-Mart announced it was leaving the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which has been called "a corporate lobby masquerading as a charity."
The Center for Media and Democracy launched ALECexposed almost a year ago to shine a spotlight on ALEC. CMD's analysis and ongoing investigation have fueled hundreds of news articles and other reports exposing deeply troubling information about ALEC's operations and extreme agenda. And, CMD has served as a research engine that has helped empower hundreds of thousands of people to speak out against ALEC's agenda and activities. Through ALEC's task forces, corporate lobbyists are voting behind closed doors as equals with legislators on templates to change our laws.
This piece was first published by Connor Gibson at GreenPeace and is being cross-posted by the Center for Media and Democracy.
Wake up and smell the frack fluid! But don't ask what's in it, at least not in Ohio, cause it's still not your right to know.
Ohio is in the final stages of making an Exxon trojan horse on hydrofracking into state law, and it appears that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) connected Exxon's lawyers with co-sponsors of Ohio Senate Bill 315: at least 33 of the 45 Ohio legislators who co-sponsored SB 315 are ALEC members, and language from portions of the state Senate bill is similar to ALEC's "Disclosure of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Composition Act."
...disclosure of fracking fluids? On behalf of ExxonMobil?!
Many are wondering if making Wisconsin a "Right to Work" state is next on Governor Scott Walker's agenda if he wins the recall election on June 5. Right to Work laws weaken unions by allowing members to opt out of paying dues. Workers get the benefit of working in a union shop (higher wages, better benefits), but are not required to pay their fair share for union representation. Right to Work laws have been used effectively in the South to bust unions and keep wages low, which is why they are dubbed "Right to Work for Less" laws by opponents. The recent push for this legislation is emanating from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), where corporations and right-wing legislators vote as equals behind closed doors on "model" legislation.
Two Wisconsin newspapers published front-page stories this week about the state's recall elections, suggesting that both Democrats and Republicans are evenly matched financially, and have even received the same level of support from out-of-state donors. But what is the real story?