Bee populations have been declining rapidly worldwide in recent years -- in the U.S., they have declined by almost 50 percent just since October 2012, according to The Ecologist. The problem is complex, with possible culprits including certain parasites (like Varroa mites), viruses, pesticides, and industrial agriculture. But two studies published in early 2012 in the journal Science suggested a particularly strong connection between the use of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids and the decline of both bumble bee and honeybee populations.
When the Philadelphia City Council passed a paid sick days bill on March 14, it was the second of three wins in a two week period for the movement to let workers take a sick day without losing pay or their jobs. But the Council then fell one vote short of overriding a mayoral veto, providing a case study in how special interests aligned with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) work to oppose these common-sense bills.
Do you know how much the average CEO in the United States makes in comparison to the average worker? Do they make 40 times what workers make? Not even close, the ratio hasn't been that low since 1982. 200 times as much? Not since 1992.
With President Obama fielding cynical cuts to Social Security to appease the Fix the Debt crowd and reach a budget deal, groups are teaming up to point out that there would be a lot less concern about the budget deficit if corporate America did what average Americans have to do and actually pay taxes. Taking advantage of loopholes, tricks and deductions, many U.S. companies pay far below the required 35% tax rate, and some, like General Electric have a negative tax rate. New web resources are shining a light on the firms and individuals that manipulate the U.S. tax system to their benefit, putting more of the burden on America's middle class.
A spokesperson for Darden Restaurants, which operates Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and other chain restaurants, contacted the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) to ask that a recent article be corrected to reflect that the company has dropped its membership in American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Philadelphia is the latest front in the battle over workers' rights, with a coalition of paid sick day advocates urging city council members to override a veto by Democratic Mayor Michael Nutter against a bill passed last month that would allow almost 180,000 workers to take a sick day without losing pay or their jobs. As has been the case around the country, corporate interests associated with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have lined up in opposition to the legislation.
By Brendan Fischer and Mary Bottari
In a victory for working families, New York is poised to become the largest U.S. city to require businesses offer paid sick days to workers. Community activists and labor leaders struck a deal with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to allow a vote on a paid sick leave ordinance that would cover almost 1 million people. But workers in more than 700 other large American cities must choose between spreading their illness and getting paid.
If you are going to the National Conference for Media Reform (NCMR) in Denver, CO on April 5-7, 2013, please join the Center for Media and Democracy for a special session "Exposing ALEC: How Corporate Special Interests Control State Legislatures." The workshop will be on Saturday, April 6 from 2:00 - 3:30 pm in the Plaza Ballroom E.
A Nevada politician has introduced a bill that would bar the city of Las Vegas from enacting tougher gun laws than the state as a whole, including language that would specifically protect "machine guns" from being barred on the Las Vegas strip if the legislature did not bar machine guns across Nevada -- and it is tied to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) have introduced a new constitutional amendment to overturn the damage done by Citizens United, Buckley v. Valeo, and other judicial decisions that have diluted the role of ordinary people in American democracy.