This week, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a non-profit government watchdog group, released a report -- "The Worst Governors in America," and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker came in sixth in the top category. The report has an amusing circus theme and dubs Walker a "Ringmaster," but it is heavily documented and footnoted to reliable sources and primary documents. The criteria CREW used when assessing the nation's governors were the following: corruption, transparency, partisan politics, pressuring public officials, cronyism, self-enrichment, scandal and mismanagement.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced Friday that he will hold hearings this fall on the role of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the NRA in spreading "Stand Your Ground" laws across the country, which the Center for Media and Democracy uncovered last year, after launching ALECexposed.org.
-- By Brendan Fischer and Gabe Heck
Tia Lessen and Carl Deal are far from giving up after public television pulled funding for their film "Citizen Koch:" the filmmakers have launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowdsource the funds necessary to release their documentary on money, power and democracy.
The fast food burrito chain Chipotle, which advertises "food with integrity," became the first restaurant chain in the United States to label genetically modified ingredients in its food in March 2013.
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have sparked concerns about potential human health effects and confirmed environmental effects. Chipotle has 1,450 restaurants as of June 2013 and $2.7 billion in annual revenue, so the labeling is no small potatoes.
Despite widespread public opposition to the education privatization agenda, at least 139 bills or state budget provisions reflecting American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) education bills have been introduced in 43 states and the District of Columbia in just the first six months of 2013, according to an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy, publishers of ALECexposed.org. Thirty-one have become law.
At least 71 bills introduced in 2013 that make it harder for average Americans to access the civil justice system resemble "models" from the American Legislative Exchange Council, or "ALEC," according to an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy, publishers of ALECexposed.org.
-- by John Nichols, The Nation
The most under-covered political movement in the United States -- and there are a lot of under-covered political movements in the United States -- is the broad-based national campaign to enact a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court rulings that ushered in a new era of big-money politics.
The decades-long effort to privatize public services and assets is hitting some bumps, with state and local governments reconsidering whether for-profit companies should be allowed to indiscriminately profit off of taxpayer dollars with limited accountability.
Scores of investors working together through Ceres and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility are challenging companies that fund the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), reminding them that such support backs ALEC's anti-environmental agenda. In response, four corporations have confirmed that they have cut or are cutting ties with ALEC:
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).