Occupying Duke Energy

March 31, 2012:

Today a number of groups concerned with the way Duke Energy continues to pollute our planet, protested at ALEC member Duke Energy’s Offices at 550 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC  28202 (in case you feel compelled to send Jim Rogers a written message).  It was truly inspiring to be with a group of distinct organizations working together toward a common goal.

This post will try to share today’s events with you.  As the speeches given by many today are not on the web, we will print each of them in subsequent posts.

The Event was co-Sponsored by:
350.org
, Occupy Charlotte,
Action NC, Canary Coalition,
Clean Air Carolina, DemocracyNC,
Green Party-Charlotte Chapter,
Greenpeace USA,
NAACP-Charlotte Chapter,
NC WARN, SAFE Carolinas, & More!

To read more of this article about the Occupation of Duke Energy, please click here

American Legislative Exchange Council – Federal Government and Corrupt Practices

This is a report issued by VLTP in November of 2011.  This work represents more than 2 years of deep research involving a handful of researchers who belong to VLTP’s sister group, American Legislative Transparency Project (ALTP) at the Daily Kos.

This report provides an in-depth analysis of ALEC’s involvement and influences at the federal level of our government.  Some of the mechanisms used by ALEC to facilitate passage of federal legislation important to them and their corporate members are identified.  Beginning in 2005 ALEC created a tenth task force specifically for influencing the U.S. Congress through their “alumni” serving as Senators and Representatives.

Organizations, foundations and think tanks funded and controlled by individuals such as Charles and David Koch are identified as well as their roles in advancing ALEC and the Koch conservative agenda.  The mechanisms, individuals and procedures used to promote pro-corporate initiatives are all here in this report.

For those wishing to understand precisely how and why our Congress has been so dysfunctional and unwilling to work together over the past decade, this will serve as an explanation.  We encourage any ALEC research group or individuals reporting on ALEC to read this 77 page report that is filled with links, documentation and factual statistics, names and other important information on the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Below is a partial listing from the Introduction…

ALEC Alumni Forum
By 2001 ALEC had a large active membership comprised of state lawmakers and corporate representatives and lobbyists. They had been successfully developing and implementing legislation at the state level for more than a quarter century. Many of their members had moved on to positions within the federal government or had been elected to Congress over the years. In an effort to increase their successful influence, ALEC began to advance their initiatives at the federal level. To facilitate this, ALEC created a “Forum” where state (members) and federal (alumni) lawmakers could interact and work to advance ALEC’s conservative, free market, pro-corporate initiatives and legislation at the Congressional level.
Federal Forum Task Force
With success brought about at the federal level through their Alumni Forum ALEC created an actual tenth “Task Force” in 2005. This TF was officially co-chaired by two ALEC alumni: one Senator and one House member. Their duties are to advance the initiatives presented at the state level directly to the U.S. Congress and to lobby in both Houses on behalf of these issues. They have successfully brought about the enactment of federal laws through this TF utilizing ALEC‘s numerous alumni and lobbying.
Influencing and Corrupting the Federal Judiciary
Free trips for state and federal judges with pro-corporate seminars given by think tanks, corporate executives and associates is discussed with links, facts and names involved. Influence upon and associations with key SCOTUS Justices are divulged. Research reveals more than five hundred judges have willingly taken these excursions and attended the pro-corporate seminars.

Anyone wishing more information or have information they would like to share about ALEC/Koch, please contact us via info@vltp.net.

Trayvon Martin Killing Draws Hundreds to Protest Stand Your Ground Laws

From Policymic – article on the DC Protest against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) by numerous progressive, activist and civil rights groups and individuals for their involvement in the creation of the “Castle Doctrine” or stand your ground law.  ALEC has also been identified as the creator of the “Voter ID” legislation now being enacted nationwide to disenfranchise million in this and subsequent election cycles.

From the Article:     “A diverse coalition of advocacy organizations, watchdog groups, activists, and national leaders stood in front of ALEC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., to protest the “Kill at Will” legislation, which was written by ALEC corporate member the National Rifle Association (NRA). The groups protesting at the event included the National Urban League, the NAACP, ColorOfChange, the AFL-CIO, SEIU, ProgressNow, the Center for Media and Democracy/ALECexposed.org, Common Cause, People For the American Way, ProgressNow, Presente, Public Campaign, UltraViolet, Faith in Public Life, the National Council of Churches, USAction, Moveon.org, and others…”

Read full article here...

Protesters Rail Against Duke Energy

By Meghan Cooke
macooke@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Sunday, Apr. 01, 2012
  • Protesters gather outside the Duke Energy Center in uptown Charlotte Saturday, March 31, 2012. About 50 protesters came to voice their concerns about the environment and the company’s rate hike. Todd Sumlin – tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com

About 50 people gathered Saturday afternoon outside the Duke Energy tower in uptown Charlotte to protest the utility company’s recent rate hikes – an increase they say will be used to pay for dangerous coal-produced energy.

They held signs that read “Clean coal is a dirty lie” and “No rate hikes Dirty Energy,” and cheered as organizers using a loudspeaker railed against the power company.

“Our message is simple,” said Héctor Vaca, director of the Charlotte chapter of Action NC, which works on behalf of low- to moderate-income families. “Duke Energy, stop making us average North Carolinians pay to have you destroy our health. We average North Carolinians will not give you a stimulus.”

Greenpeace NC organizer Monica Embrey said the rally – organized by environmental and social justice groups, including Greenpeace, Clean Air Carolina, Charlotte’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Action NC, the Charlotte Green Party and Occupy Charlotte – was one of about 30 similar events across the state Saturday.

“North Carolina could be a leader in clean energy if Duke just put its money where its mouth is and started investing in clean, renewable energy,” Embrey said.

Read the complete Charlotte Observer article here

NRA/Florida ALEC Gun Model Most Closely Matches Michigan Bill & more OMG Gun Stuff

by Hector Solon in Blogging For Michigan

A new report shows that Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law in the middle of the Trayvon Martin tragedy was written by the NRA and pushed in multiple State Legislatures by ALEC finds that a Michigan 2005-2006 Bill most closely matches the controversial Florida law. Even as all that is happening, the Michigan ALEC member sponsor of that bill is pushing for guns in churches.

Over a Dozen US States are using the Florida ALEC/NRA Model
Which State has the most identical ‘Stand Your Ground’ Bill? The envelope please…

for more, please click here

and be sure to watch the video.  We will upload it to this site when we can (which should be shortly.)

Monica Embrey (Greenpeace) at Occupy Duke

Progressive Groups Ask ALEC Funders to Drop Out in Wake of Martin Death and ‘Shoot First’ Laws

Progressive organizations are finally coming together in small groups and unifying against ALEC and ALEC’s pro-corporate Private Enterprise Board member companies.  VLTP has been calling for a unification of progressives to begin an earnest ALEC pushback and eventual banishment from our state and national landscape.

This appears to be the first publicly seen response to that call.
Read the rest of the story here

ALEC Has Pushed The NRA’s “Stand Your Ground” Law Across The Nation

“…Florida’s statute on the use of force in self-defense is virtually identical to Section 1 of ALEC’s Castle Doctrine Act model legislation as posted on the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). According to CMD, the model bill was adopted by ALEC’s Civil Justice Task in August 2005 — just a few short months after it passed the Florida legislature — and approved by its board of directors the following month.

Since the 2005 passage of Florida’s law, similar statutes have been passed in 16 other states. This was no accident. In a 2008 interview with NRA News, ALEC resident fellow Michael Hough explained how his organization works with the NRA to push similar legislation through its network of conservative state legislators:

Read full article and watch NRA Video here

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels Picks Co-Author Of Strict Voter ID Law As New Secretary Of State

With the recent felony conviction of then-Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White (R), the task fell upon Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) to select a replacement for the chief elections officer of his state. Friday, he announced his pick: state Senator Connie Lawson (R).

Lawson, who served in the state senate since 1996 and as clerk of the Hendricks County Circuit Court for seven years before that, was one of the two original authors of Senate Bill 483. That law, enacted in 2005 and upheld by a divided U.S. Supreme Court in 2008, was among the nation’s first laws mandating strict photo identification requirements for voters.

Read Full article here

Following The Jindal, ALEC Money In Reforming Louisiana: Part I–Education

We’ve written quite a bit of late about the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and its undue influence on legislators in every state, including Louisiana. ALEC has spent untold millions of dollars in efforts to influence public pension reform, public education reform (some say destruction and they may not be too far off), privatization of state agencies and a laundry list of other so-called reforms.

Louisiana has not been immune from that influence as we shall see in the coming days and weeks…Read full article here.