Lobbying

Wisconsin Attorney General Seeks to Vitiate Open Records Law to Protect ALEC’s National Treasurer

CONTACT: Alex Oberley, 608-260-9713, Alex@PRwatch.org

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (Photo credit: WI Center for Investigative Journalism)Madison -- Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has taken the unprecedented step of asserting that a state legislator cannot be held accountable for refusing to disclose public records in response to a lawful open records request by the Center for Media and Democracy.

ALEC Tours Tar Sands, Works with Industry Groups to Block Low-Carbon Fuel Standards

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) recently adopted a "model" bill from an oil-industry lobby group, that would limit the ability of states to negotiate regional "low-carbon fuel standards" (LCFS), a mechanism designed to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. If agreed by states, LCFS could have a significant impact on the sale of fuels derived from Canadian tar sands in the United States, regardless of any decision the Obama administration makes over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Scaife-Funded Network Works Hard to Kill Immigration Reform

-- By Katie Lorenze

With immigration reform advancing through Congress, an anti-immigrant network funded by a small group of right-wing foundations is trying to kill reform by pressuring moderate Republicans and appealing to the party's xenophobic wing. The groups could stymie efforts by some Republicans to appeal to the country's growing Latino population by moving to the center on immigration.

Community-Owned Internet, Long Targeted by ALEC and Big Telecom, Under Fire in Georgia

Members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in the Georgia Legislature are pushing a bill to thwart locally-owned internet in underserved communities, an industry-sponsored effort that effectively reinforces the digital divide. (UPDATE: HB 282 failed on a 94-70 vote on March 7.) If Georgia had passed the bill it would have been the twentieth state to eliminate community control over internet access.

New Study by National Employment Law Project Documents ALEC’s Attack on Wages

Since the Center for Media and Democracy's launch of ALEC Exposed in July 2011, CMD has known that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and its corporate funders are accelerating the race to the bottom in wages and working conditions for America's working families. ALEC has a raft of "model bills" to lower wages and slash benefits for workers, even one to repeal state minimum wage laws.

What Is Visa Hiding? Majority Shareholders Thwart Effort to Require More Disclosure of Money Spent on ALEC

ALEC brochure lists VISA as a major underwriterA majority of Visa shareholders rejected an effort to require the company to provide more disclosure about its role in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and related lobbying activities. Boston Common Asset Management, an investment firm focused on socially responsible investing, and the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA), a religious organization that affirms the inherent capacity for good in human beings, filed a resolution to require the company to disclose all payments used for lobbying purposes, including payments to groups like ALEC. In all, over 100 million votes were cast in favor of the resolution -- 37% -- but that substantial outpouring of support for greater transparency accounted for less than a majority of the votes cast by Visa shareholders.

Five Days Before Latest College Shooting, TX Legislator Introduced ALEC/NRA Bill to Allow Guns on Campus

Just days before three people were shot in an altercation on a college campus in Texas, fourteen Texas State Senators co-sponsored a National Rifle Association-backed bill to prohibit colleges from restricting concealed handguns on campuses. The legislation closely resembles a "model" adopted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

The NRA's Deadly Spin: "Arm the Good Guys"

When George Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February, Zimmerman -- who considered himself a neighborhood watchman -- almost certainly thought of himself as a "good guy."

In November, 45-year-old Michael David Dunn likely thought he was playing the role of the "good guy" when he confronted a vanload of teenagers for playing their music too loud, then fired nine shots into their vehicle after claiming he saw a shotgun barrel. 17-year-old Jordan Russell Davis was killed, and neither Jordan nor anyone else in the van had a gun.

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