With millions of small business owners in the United States, why can multiple news outlets find only one small business owner to say that federal health care reform will negatively impact business?
By Will Dooling and Brendan Fischer
Democrats at the U.S. Conference of Mayors have recently backed "parent trigger" laws that allow parents to seize control of their public schools and fire the teachers and principal, or privatize the schools -- a policy also supported by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Heartland Institute.
Is the "Parent Trigger" a successful plan for empowering parents and promoting school reform, or is it a vehicle for the private takeover of public schools?
By Brendan Fischer and Laura Stiegerwald
The evening after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Wisconsin chapter of the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity held a "Hands Off My Health Care" rally to plan next steps in their effort to defeat "Obamacare." The plan apparently involves American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model legislation.
In a little-noticed ruling amidst clamor over the healthcare decision, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an Arizona law requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote, holding it was preempted by the National Voting Registration Act (NVRA). The law was adopted as a "model" bill by the American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEC] in 2008. For the second time in one week, the conservative U.S. Supreme Court has curtailed ALEC's anti-immigrant agenda.
Though evidence suggests laws requiring photo ID at the polls will suppress votes from Democratic constituencies like students and people of color, voter ID supporters have long claimed the laws are merely a nonpartisan, common sense effort to promote "election integrity." But recent developments in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin show that Republicans are counting on voter ID laws to deliver the presidency to Mitt Romney in 2012.
The lead plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the National Federation for Independent Business (NFIB), is a highly partisan front group masquerading as the "nation's leading small business association," critics say. The nation's highest court is expected to rule on the federal health care law Thursday.
The corporate exodus from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is testament to the power of citizen activism in preserving our democracy. Over the past few months, in response to public pressure, 20 corporations and more than 50 legislators have severed ties with the right-wing organization that brings together politicians and corporations to vote, behind closed doors, on controversial "model" bills that are then introduced in statehouses across the land. While a coalition of clean government organizations has been working to drag ALEC out of the shadows, citizens across the country have also been showing up at ALEC meetings with clever protest signs, uploading ALEC-related videos on YouTube and even organizing a national day of occupy protests to draw attention to ALEC's corporate agenda.
The U.S. Supreme Court has invalidated provisions of Arizona's controversial SB 1070 immigration law, which had been approved as a "model" bill by corporations and legislators at an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) meeting before it was introduced in the Arizona legislature. The Court held that striking down the law's controversial "papers please" provision would be premature, but narrowed the provision's application and made clear that it could be challenged at a future date.
Dell Computers confirmed today that they will not be renewing their membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council Education (ALEC). Dell, whose ads in the early 2000s included the slogan "Dude, You're Getting a Dell," was a member of the ALEC Education Task Force and is the twentieth corporate member (and the twenty-fourth private sector member) to drop their ALEC membership in recent months.
Although Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker survived his June 5 recall election, Democrats won control of the senate when John Lehman (D) prevailed over incumbent Sen. Van Wanggaard (R) by a 1.2% margin. But as the Center for Media and Democracy predicted, Wisconsin Republicans are raising the spectre of "voter fraud" to cast doubt on Lehman's victory and justify Wanggaard's request for a recount -- which could return control of the Senate to Republicans.