ALEC an Issue in Weston, CT Election

Hat’s Off to Leon Karvellis–Way to paint conservatives with ALEC’s legislation record.  After all, they pay to sell their votes to corporations and promote radical right wing legislation to the benefit of Corporations and the 1%

…The candidates were asked how special interests influence legislators, and particularly how they would deal with ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Mr. Shaban said he attended an ALEC conference but the group “hasn’t pitched a bill to me.” He compared it to the League of Conservation Voters, saying it is a special interest group like thousands of others “I’m not going to get steered by one,” he said.

Mr. Karvelis took umbrage with Mr. Shaban’s comparing ALEC with the conservation league.

ALEC is not an above-board lobbying group, he said. It “holds meetings behind closed doors” and then asks legislators to bring ideas and bills back to their legislatures, Mr. Karvelis said. These people do not have the public’s interests in mind,” he said, adding ALEC’s goals include privatizing education and prisons. He said it was “ludicrous” Mr. Shaban would attend such a meeting.

To read the entire account from the Weston (CT) Forum, please click here.

If you are a politician–take note of this strategy.  It’s a winner.

ALEC draws attention of the League of Women Voters

The League has supported transparency in government for years.

What is new is that the resolution names, specifically, the American Legislative Exchange Council.

The LWV adopted the resolution because some Casper members were concerned about legislators who received ALEC scholarships to attend its meetings and promote model bills, said Amy Williamson of Laramie, LWV president.

The LWV resolution says in part, “There is evidence that members and committees of the Wyoming Legislature sponsor legislation written by political, business and other interest groups that promote their agendas.”

“Efforts by any organization to direct the passage of laws in Wyoming’s Legislature must be transparent to citizens and legislators of Wyoming, consistent with the fundamental principles of openness and accountability,” the LWV resolution adds.

Please click here to read more about this important action by the League of Women Voters to fight back against ALEC.  And demanding transparency on all legislation is necessary to be sure our representatives in government are representing their real constituents and not out there selling their votes to organizations of any political persuasion. 

Wyoming LWV–you have our respect and admiration.


New ID Laws, More Voter Suppression. Will Obama Campaign Engage?

http://youtu.be/YnjJBTkXEIc  (click on this link to watch this video on the VLTPVideoChannel)

This is a composite of successive segments of the Rachel
Maddow Show on MSNBC 8/10/12

(1)  New ID laws, Purges, Reduced Access Advance GOP
War on Voting

Rachel Maddow reports on new Republican-set obstacles
to voting around the country, from Voter ID laws in
Pennsylvania, to voter purges in Iowa, to reduced voting
access in Democratic counties in Ohio


(2)  Will Obama Campaign Engage Ohio Voting Access

Ted Strickland, former Ohio Governor, co-chairman of
President Obama’s re-election campaign, talks with Rachel
Maddow about the Obama campaign’s reaction to the
Republican effort to make voting more difficult in 2012
and whether the Obama campaign plans to take action
against the new partisan voting access disparities in Ohio,


DISCLOSE Act: NRA Threatens Lawmakers Who Vote In Favor of Transparency

The NRA is getting pretty ballsy these days, meddling in affairs all over the place. During the hearings for the Fast and Furious “scandal” as well as the subsequent vote to hold Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, they threatened lawmakers with the notion of “keeping score” of those who voted against contempt. It’s a blatant form of political blackmail, and now they’re at it again, threatening lawmakers over the DISCLOSE Act, which would prevent foreign controlled companies from contributing foreign money to influence domestic elections, prevent independent expenditures for government contractors, and require disclosure of donors, among other things.

The law is meant to de-fang Citizens United to some extent, but the NRA thinks that is a bad idea and is now threatening vulnerable lawmakers who may be considering supporting the bill, which is no surprise, since the NRA has been one of the largest lobbying arms in Washington for decades.

To read more about how the NRA is flexing its political muscle, please click here

Framed: How Redefining Direct Democracy as Anti-Democratic Won Wisconsin

Now that the dust has settled following last Tuesday’s Wisconsin recall election, the most remarkable line of spin to have gained traction is the notion that Scott Walker won in large part because Wisconsinites did not like direct democracy…

Unfortunately for those who seek actual answers, it is wrong.

Or to be more precise, the anti-recall sentiment was manufactured by a very smart, very effective and very expensive campaign by Governor Walker and his allies…

….In addition to the ads, and a $5 million direct-mail push, the governor used dozens of appearances on television programs to drive home the anti-recall theme: “A minority of voters will get to force a new election in Wisconsin…costing millions of dollars to the taxpayers this spring,” Walker griped during a CNBC appearance last November. That appearance also saw him suggest he would win “because every week, every day, every week, every month that goes by, our numbers get better because our story gets out.”

That’s exactly what happened.

To read this analysis by John Nichols, please click here

Why Hasn’t Wal-Mart Dropped ALEC, Too?

Right now the country’s largest retailer and employer, Wal-Mart, and the Walton family, which largely controls the company, remain supporters of ALEC. Looking a little closer, we can see why. Encouraging gun possession and sales is good business for Wal-Mart and for the six Walton family members who inherited the company. Wal-Mart is the nation’s largest seller of guns and ammunition, and we know that gun violence has disproportionately affected communities of color.

Not only are Wal-Mart and the Walton Family Foundation members of ALEC, but the company also played an active role in helping advance the “Stand your ground” law. In 2005 Wal-Mart executive Janet Scott co-chaired ALEC’s Criminal Justice Task Force (it later became the Public Safety and Elections Task Force in 2009) when the National Rifle Association successfully lobbied the task force to support the “Stand your ground” legislation.

And this is not the only way that Wal-Mart and the Walton clan are using their wealth to encourage a culture of divisiveness and hate in our country. In other efforts through ALEC, Wal-Mart has supported the so-called voter-ID laws, which disproportionately keep communities of color from being able to vote.

To read the more about Wal-Mart’s radical right wing agenda, please click here