Showing posts with label American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Show all posts
Showing posts with label American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Show all posts

Dec 5, 2013

Koch Brothers, ALEC Are Political Sociopaths

Right as Dr. James E. Hansen introduces readers to a new report on Climate Change [in sum it does look good for our grandchildren], comes a report that the Koch brothers-funded ALEC plans legislative assaults including "proposals from six different states for cuts in public sector pensions, campaigns to reduce the wages of government workers and eliminate income taxes, school voucher schemes to counter public education, opposition to Medicaid, and a campaign against regional efforts to combat greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change."

See also New Guardian Docs Show ALEC Misled Press, Public.

Sep 17, 2013

Wisconsin Pays, Scott Walker Spends

Scott Walker on tape making pledges to billionaire, Diane Hendricks
Hendricks is Walker's largest donor, along with the Koch brothers
In March 2011, Scott Walker pushed and signed a law in which he gives himself the power to mandate Wisconsin taxpayers pay up cash for 37 new Walker political appointments. (See Stein, Marley. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, March 17, 2011; and Walker power grabs)

This was only the first in the train wrecks that do everything from paying off cronies with taxpayer money, to giving Scott Walker the power to sell off virtually any public land or facility to moneyed interests.

No consultations with the Wisconsin people, no campaigning on these radical policies; Walker is selling out Wisconsin and I would not be surprised to see Walker put the state capitol, what used to be known as the people's house, on the chopping block.

The examples of Walker's public corruption are legion.

The latest spend-thrift spree of Walker's is his tax-payer subsidy to Scott Suder, Walker's co-conspirator with ALEC and the Koch front group, Americans for Prosperity.

"In his new (Wisconsin Public Service Commission) job, Suder will earn $94,000 a year — an 88 percent increase over the $49,943 he made as a legislator. He'll be in charge of the agency divisions responsible for water compliance and consumer affairs," reports Uppity Wisconsinn.

All the while Suder and other Republicans continue to illegally ignore Open Records requests.

In the latest outrage, "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."

It's Republican rule; and the people for whom they work are not the Wisconsin people so Republicans and Walker keep their business secret from the people.

With disdain for the Wisconsin people, in favor of a small groups of moneyed interests and cronies, is it any wonder Scott Walker has created a structural (built in) deficit and ruined the state budget by amassing a state debt that reaches record levels in the 2013-15 budget, as noted by State Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma).

See also RE Sen. Vinehout's budget-deficit analysis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel simply refuses to take "yes" for an answer.

Schools, lakes, cemeteries for military veterans, the environment and people take huge hits while Walker and Republicans pocket huge pay-outs. The list of what Scott Walker is selling out is too long to fully note here.

As for that 250,000 new jobs promise Scott Walker campaigned on, Walker now says "it's really not about jobs."

The only people making out are Walker cronies getting paid by you.

Aug 2, 2013

Democratic Party Vows to Protect Right to Vote Against GOP Obstruction

Jimmy Lee Jackson was beaten, shot
and killed by racist police while shielding his
mother and father in 1965 during the
historic voting rights movement
Objective commentators note the Republican Party's grand appeal to racism in the 2012 election signaled a crossroads for the White Party.

Conventional political wisdom had it that ginning up white working class resentment against anybody black or brown ["dark ones"] could be attempted just one more time before changing American demographics of skin color forced a change in racist appeals and the Republican voter obstruction project launched jointly by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the GOP.

In 2013 Republicans made a few squeaks about being inclusive, and then proceeded to double-down on obstructing voters across the country.

This is the route the Republican Party has now chosen, and its course is set.

There are no more junctions, crossroads or turning back on this road of voter obstruction.

The lives of the struggle, the beaten, maimed and the murdered have been gist for mocking in GOP circles for decades now, with open GOP admiration for fascism and racism. It shouldn't be a surprise the GOP would engage in voter obstruction but it is anyway to many.

The contemptible history of mass murder and terrorism against civil rights workers echoes like a psychic anxiety spasm that the Scott Walkers and Rand Pauls will never understand because they and their Party are the perpetrators of voter obstruction and racist appeals today; besides bringing up civil rights murders just is not an effective PR message.

The golden age of NYT journalism covered the
terror campaign waged against the
civil rights movement of the 1960s
The new brand of the Republican Party are not history students anyway; they're after power and everyone in the GOP has their hands out to the Koch brothers and right-wing money, with no dissent tolerated even as the GOP takes the road to political nullification of the population way beyond blocking access to the ballot.

The Democratic Party is accelerating efforts to highlight the difference between the GOP that wants to obstruct and nullify voters and the Democratic Party working to empower and include.

Witness multi-generational voting rights markers laid by Steve and Cokie Roberts; Attorney General Eric Holder's repeated public statements affirming the right to vote; and President Obama's assurance to civil rights workers that the "federal government would vigorously enforce voting rights in the country despite a Supreme Court [five-to-four] ruling against a core section of a landmark 1965 [Voting Rights] law." (Calmes. NYT)

Republicans did not count on or perhaps did not care about the fact that black and brown folks would not appreciate losing the hard-won right to vote, especially in the wake of the GOP gutting of the Voting Rights Act after the reelection of the first black U.S. president.

Racist murders altered an American
president and the country forever
The Democratic Party is taking the high road of democracy as America simultaneously presents a historically diverse population against the greatest concentration of wealth this experiment in democracy has ever seen.

Amid this battle of democracy against vast wealth, the echoes of those murdered martyrs of the civil rights family live on, and so does the pain.

For Republicans, avoiding this history and denying contemporary voter obstruction, in the words of voting rights poseur Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin), is just "common sense."

He's wrong. Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia) is right.

Below is the statement of John Lewis on June 25, 2013, the day the U.S. Supreme Court did the unthinkable in striking down the Voting Rights Act:
"Today, the Supreme Court stuck a dagger into the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most effective pieces of legislation Congress has passed in the last 50 years.

These men never stood in unmovable lines.  They were never denied the right to participate in the democratic process.  They were never beaten, jailed, run off their farms or fired from their jobs. No one they knew died simply trying to register to vote.  They are not the victims of gerrymandering or contemporary unjust schemes to maneuver them out of their constitutional rights.

I remember in the 1960s when people of color were the majority in the small town of Tuskegee, Alabama.  To insure that a black person would not be elected, the state gerrymandered Tuskegee Institute and the black sections of town so they fell outside the city limits.  This reminds me too much of a case  that occurred in Randolph County in my own state of Georgia, when the first black man was elected to the board of education in 2002.  The county legislature changed his district so he would not be re-elected.

I disagree with the court that the history of discrimination is somehow irrelevant today.  The record clearly demonstrates numerous attempts to impede voting rights still exist, and it does not matter that those attempts are not as “pervasive, widespread or rampant” as they were in 1965.  One instance of discrimination is too much in a democracy.

As Justice Ginsberg mentioned, it took a Bloody Sunday for Congress to finally decide to fix on-going, institutionalized discrimination that occurred for 100 years after the rights of freed slaves were nullified at the end of the Civil War.  I am deeply concerned that Congress will not have the will to fix what the Supreme Court has broken.   I call upon the members of this body to do what is right to insure free and fair access to the ballot box in this country."

Jul 19, 2013

Obama Gives Pitch-Perfect Remarks on Race, Treyvon and America at News Conference

President Obama Speaks on Trayvon Martin
In the setting of a news conference President Obama spoke from the White House James S. Brady Press Briefing Room for17 minutes Friday afternoon about Treyvon Martin, the young, black teenager killed for being black and young.

Obama was brilliant, erudite and candid about what it is to be a young, black man in America.

In some ways, Obama will never be what most progressives and arguably to a lesser extent, what blacks want him to be:  A LBJ figure cursing out and shaking up George Wallace in 1965 in a private meeting in the White House before LBJ went on to became the greatest civil rights president in American history, which is to say the greatest president in American history.

The eye of our rage.

This simply is not who Barack Obama is.

What he is is effective, and he is the right person to meet the grave challenge presented by today's rightwing propped up by the Koch brothers and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Blacks along with the entire working class of America are under attack from GOP governors of today, more pernicious than George Wallace ever could be.

Civil rights monuments to justice and struggle enjoy no place of honor with these retrograde forces of corruption who enacted the very laws that protected Treyvon Martin's killer.

Scott Walker (Wisconsin), Rick Scott (Florida) and Tom Corbett (Pennsylvania) pursue a program against working families and minorities using the fear mongering and voter obstruction in an America worse than the segregationist south on the 1950s-60s.

It is in this context of the forces of reaction and racism working on the state level, that President Obama has again rose to the occasion on race and justice in America, addressing the country as adults who are wise enough to learn from today's youth and their personal histories. 

Said Obama:

It doesn’t mean we’re in a post-racial society.  It doesn’t mean that racism is eliminated.  But when I talk to Malia and Sasha, and I listen to their friends and I seen them interact, they’re better than we are -- they’re better than we were -- on these issues.  And that’s true in every community that I’ve visited all across the country.
Children, the saving grace of our humanity, and our country.

Remarks by the President on Trayvon Martin

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room 1:33 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  I wanted to come out here, first of all, to tell you that Jay is prepared for all your questions and is very much looking forward to the session.  The second thing is I want to let you know that over the next couple of weeks, there’s going to obviously be a whole range of issues -- immigration, economics, et cetera -- we'll try to arrange a fuller press conference to address your questions.

The reason I actually wanted to come out today is not to take questions, but to speak to an issue that obviously has gotten a lot of attention over the course of the last week -- the issue of the Trayvon Martin ruling.  I gave a preliminary statement right after the ruling on Sunday.  But watching the debate over the course of the last week, I thought it might be useful for me to expand on my thoughts a little bit.

First of all, I want to make sure that, once again, I send my thoughts and prayers, as well as Michelle’s, to the family of Trayvon Martin, and to remark on the incredible grace and dignity with which they’ve dealt with the entire situation.  I can only imagine what they’re going through, and it’s remarkable how they’ve handled it.

The second thing I want to say is to reiterate what I said on Sunday, which is there’s going to be a lot of arguments about the legal issues in the case -- I'll let all the legal analysts and talking heads address those issues.  The judge conducted the trial in a professional manner.  The prosecution and the defense made their arguments.  The juries were properly instructed that in a case such as this reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict.  And once the jury has spoken, that's how our system works.  But I did want to just talk a little bit about context and how people have responded to it and how people are feeling.
You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son.  Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.  And when you think about why, in the African American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.

There are very few African American men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store.  That includes me.  There are very few African American men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars.  That happens to me -- at least before I was a senator.  There are very few African Americans who haven't had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off.  That happens often.

And I don't want to exaggerate this, but those sets of experiences inform how the African American community interprets what happened one night in Florida.  And it’s inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear.  The African American community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws -- everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws.  And that ends up having an impact in terms of how people interpret the case.

Now, this isn't to say that the African American community is naïve about the fact that African American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system; that they’re disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence.  It’s not to make excuses for that fact -- although black folks do interpret the reasons for that in a historical context.  They understand that some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country, and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history.
And so the fact that sometimes that’s unacknowledged adds to the frustration.  And the fact that a lot of African American boys are painted with a broad brush and the excuse is given, well, there are these statistics out there that show that African American boys are more violent -- using that as an excuse to then see sons treated differently causes pain.

I think the African American community is also not naïve in understanding that, statistically, somebody like Trayvon Martin was statistically more likely to be shot by a peer than he was by somebody else.  So folks understand the challenges that exist for African American boys.  But they get frustrated, I think, if they feel that there’s no context for it and that context is being denied. And that all contributes I think to a sense that if a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, that, from top to bottom, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.

Now, the question for me at least, and I think for a lot of folks, is where do we take this?  How do we learn some lessons from this and move in a positive direction?  I think it’s understandable that there have been demonstrations and vigils and protests, and some of that stuff is just going to have to work its way through, as long as it remains nonviolent.  If I see any violence, then I will remind folks that that dishonors what happened to Trayvon Martin and his family.  But beyond protests or vigils, the question is, are there some concrete things that we might be able to do.

I know that Eric Holder is reviewing what happened down there, but I think it’s important for people to have some clear expectations here.  Traditionally, these are issues of state and local government, the criminal code.  And law enforcement is traditionally done at the state and local levels, not at the federal levels.
That doesn’t mean, though, that as a nation we can’t do some things that I think would be productive.  So let me just give a couple of specifics that I’m still bouncing around with my staff, so we’re not rolling out some five-point plan, but some areas where I think all of us could potentially focus.

Number one, precisely because law enforcement is often determined at the state and local level, I think it would be productive for the Justice Department, governors, mayors to work with law enforcement about training at the state and local levels in order to reduce the kind of mistrust in the system that sometimes currently exists.

When I was in Illinois, I passed racial profiling legislation, and it actually did just two simple things.  One, it collected data on traffic stops and the race of the person who was stopped.  But the other thing was it resourced us training police departments across the state on how to think about potential racial bias and ways to further professionalize what they were doing.

And initially, the police departments across the state were resistant, but actually they came to recognize that if it was done in a fair, straightforward way that it would allow them to do their jobs better and communities would have more confidence in them and, in turn, be more helpful in applying the law.  And obviously, law enforcement has got a very tough job.

So that’s one area where I think there are a lot of resources and best practices that could be brought to bear if state and local governments are receptive.  And I think a lot of them would be.  And let's figure out are there ways for us to push out that kind of training.

Along the same lines, I think it would be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see if it -- if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case, rather than diffuse potential altercations.

I know that there's been commentary about the fact that the "stand your ground" laws in Florida were not used as a defense in the case.  On the other hand, if we're sending a message as a society in our communities that someone who is armed potentially has the right to use those firearms even if there's a way for them to exit from a situation, is that really going to be contributing to the kind of peace and security and order that we'd like to see?

And for those who resist that idea that we should think about something like these "stand your ground" laws, I'd just ask people to consider, if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk?  And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman who had followed him in a car because he felt threatened?  And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws.

Number three -- and this is a long-term project -- we need to spend some time in thinking about how do we bolster and reinforce our African American boys.  And this is something that Michelle and I talk a lot about.  There are a lot of kids out there who need help who are getting a lot of negative reinforcement.  And is there more that we can do to give them the sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them?

I'm not naïve about the prospects of some grand, new federal program.  I'm not sure that that’s what we're talking about here. But I do recognize that as President, I've got some convening power, and there are a lot of good programs that are being done across the country on this front.  And for us to be able to gather together business leaders and local elected officials and clergy and celebrities and athletes, and figure out how are we doing a better job helping young African American men feel that they're a full part of this society and that they've got pathways and avenues to succeed -- I think that would be a pretty good outcome from what was obviously a tragic situation.  And we're going to spend some time working on that and thinking about that.

And then, finally, I think it's going to be important for all of us to do some soul-searching.  There has been talk about should we convene a conversation on race.  I haven't seen that be particularly productive when politicians try to organize conversations.  They end up being stilted and politicized, and folks are locked into the positions they already have.  On the other hand, in families and churches and workplaces, there's the possibility that people are a little bit more honest, and at least you ask yourself your own questions about, am I wringing as much bias out of myself as I can?  Am I judging people as much as I can, based on not the color of their skin, but the content of their character?  That would, I think, be an appropriate exercise in the wake of this tragedy.

And let me just leave you with a final thought that, as difficult and challenging as this whole episode has been for a lot of people, I don’t want us to lose sight that things are getting better.  Each successive generation seems to be making progress in changing attitudes when it comes to race.  It doesn’t mean we’re in a post-racial society.  It doesn’t mean that racism is eliminated.  But when I talk to Malia and Sasha, and I listen to their friends and I seem them interact, they’re better than we are -- they’re better than we were -- on these issues.  And that’s true in every community that I’ve visited all across the country.

And so we have to be vigilant and we have to work on these issues.  And those of us in authority should be doing everything we can to encourage the better angels of our nature, as opposed to using these episodes to heighten divisions.  But we should also have confidence that kids these days, I think, have more sense than we did back then, and certainly more than our parents did or our grandparents did; and that along this long, difficult journey, we’re becoming a more perfect union -- not a perfect union, but a more perfect union.

Thank you, guys.
1:52 P.M. EDT

Jul 15, 2013

"Lest we forget, the 'stand your ground' law which facilitated the dubious acquittal verdict in the Trayvon Martin case was an NRA and mostly Republican-sponsored law," notes
the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) laws across the nation.

Good point.

In Wisconsin, lest we forget, Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) voted for this ALEC idiocy, and families rarely get over the life-altering trauma of a murdered family member quickly, if ever.

Privatizing and encouraging murder is not the way forward for Wisconsin, the United States or any civilized society.

Perhaps Sen. Taylor who increasingly appears enthralled with the rightwing in America can announce a re-think in the wake of the Zimmerman trial.

Mar 10, 2013

Opposing the Common Good and the F-word—Fascism

An extremist, and if we're honest (and we should be), neo-fascist wing of the Republican Party now holds sway in many states, and in the U.S. House of Representatives.

And this network (often underground of course) is literally targeting everything community-minded, the formal structures of representative democracy such as voting (a tactical mistake for American fascism) and ... women.

This explains why the Catholic Church hierarchy has consolidated its alliance with the Republican Party: Misogyny, and convenience. Power is needed, and an alliance with religious misogyny is part of the fascist coalition with grandiose aims.

Public resources, sell them out to private interests, as is now on stark display in Wisconsin as mining interests seek $billions as they ravage pristine land. Writes Wisconsin resident, Jimmy Fawcett, commenting on a piece in Esquire entitled, Wisconsin Inc:  "I live in Ashland, WI and even the very notion of this mine being put in is an abomination. I've never seen a darker, more volatile time period in Wisconsin than the one I've lived in since Walker took office. There is a war going on, and it's only going to get worse. I wish I could say that was an exaggeration, but it truly feels this way." Native Americans have already made clear that  militant, violent opposition is an option.

As for public education, destroy it.

This neo-fascist movement has a ready array of instruments to rush into law to codify its objectives—for example, ALEC, the American Legislative  Exchange Council.

Fascist is the right word for the Kochs, Clines, and so on and their tools: Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, the Tea Party, the GOP, and the religious right; so many more as bystanders in America rush home to their televisions to view whatever reality shows are on TV now-a-days.

And we ought not be frightened of the word, fascist, for fear it is too harsh to describe people whom when we meet personally often turn out to be kind in person, not monsters.

This is the face of fascism: Normal people complicit in destruction.

Nativist, bigoted, superstitious, ignorant, rapacious, racist, misogynistic and narcissistic. Sure.

But we won't see the SS here; just a prison-industrial complex and militarized, local police forces (see for example, ACLU report; March 2013) that few question, but even this armed display won't touch most of us. If you're male and black (urban): Different story.

A passing thought, a lot more war coming out of view, if the fascists get their way.

If I had one book to suggest to America's youth, to anyone, it is Milton Mayer's They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45 (University of Chicago Press. ©1955).

Mayer, an American Jewish writer who had gone to Germany in the 1930s, made friends with some 10 people, all of whom were members of the NAZI Party. He found them courteous, funny, genuine human beings whom he called "friends." They were also fools and certainly were guilty.

Today's destruction of the planet's eco-systems, oppression of minorities, program of defunding of public education, attack on women's health and very dignity, the disregard for the common good, these features and more already define the American neo-fascist movement that declares itself the defender of liberty and family values against an array of external and internal enemies.

No, the neo-fascist, American movement is not the German NAZI Party, though its racism and militarism, its anti-human rhetoric on the worth of individuals ('takers') ought to remind anyone with a sense of history of what trends are accelerating.

Fascism is wreaking destruction upon the United States, and the world.

And right now, many merely 'sense' it; though most readers here will remain comfortable in our lifetimes; and if we choose removed from human, politicized concerns. Fascism never was inflicted uniformly upon populations, by definition.

Noam Chomsky has a piece out today on this critical moment in the history of the United States, though of course the domination of economic royalists of many types has been an ongoing concern since the birth of the United States.

Here's a paragraph:

For those whom Adam Smith called the "Masters of Mankind,” it is important that we must become the stupid nation in the interests of their short-term gain, damn the consequences. These are essential properties of contemporary market fundamentalist doctrines. ALEC and its corporate sponsors understand the importance of ensuring that public education train children to belong to the stupid nation, and not be misled by science and rationality.
Dark and volatile times, indeed.

Dec 6, 2012

Wisconsin's ALEC State Chair Seeks to Amend Constitution to Require ID at Polls

Republicans just admitted their voter ID obstruction law is unconstitutional.

So, naturally the remedy to keep unwanted voters [uppity blacks, Latinos and others passing themselves off as good Americans] from voting is to change our Wisconsin Constitution, the foundation that well protects our right to vote.

Brendan Fischer has the story at PR Watch.

Republicans continue their march, going Soviet.

Jul 25, 2012

ALEC Exposed, an Index on Neo Fascism

FitzWalkerStan - Resistance needed now
Update II: Think Wisconsin Tea Party and GOP, then apply to the national corporatist party: This is what America is facing, an underground movement fronted by rightwing radicals.

"Please send ALL ALEC material to the Representative's PERSONAL email . . . from now on," says a June email to ALEC sent from (state rep.) Jeremy Thiesfeldt's (Fond du Lac, Wisconsin) state account.

In flushing out how rightwingers have come to dominate the Wisconsin GOP, note also the exclusive piece revealing Monana, Wisconsin native, writer Stacey Singer, in February said here in her exclusive interview with David Koch that Koch boasted of the GOP's keeping State Senate control in the 2011 Summer Recall Elections, as well as keeping Scott Walker safe from Wisconsin voters. Democrats have subsequently (June 2012) won control of the Wisconsin state senate, heading into the 2012 general election.

Update: See Wisc. Rep. Mark Pocan: ALEC is feeling the heat (Raw Story) and Meet Mark Pocan, the Original ALEC Spy (Redden. The New Republic; July 25, 2012)

Combine a group of GOP-Tea Party activists for sale with the Koch brothers and other billionaires; the product is public policy crafted in secret and bigotry planned in "quiet rooms," as Mitt Romney said.

All aided by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Madison institutions are responsible for outing this neo-fascist, underground movement operating in a media world of make-believe.

Note the just-posted Index of PRWatch Articles about ALEC, and The Progressive's Magazine's August 2011 piece on ALEC by Mark Pocan.

Wisconsin and Scott Walker are warning signs of what ALEC is working for nationally. Mitt Romney will happily front for this most extreme rightwing movement of America targeting voting, women, gays and other minorities.

Scott Walker and his allies spent some $70-million in a relatively small state and had air wave supremacy for months. Given those financial circumstances, we could market the Ebola virus as a blood-thinning drug.

Popular resistance is strong. And that huge financial advantage and political power of the forces of rapacious bigotry are only temporary, as Pocan writes in The Progressive.
[R]emember, an occupation is only temporary. One day soon we definitely will be living in the state we love, Wisconsin. Until then, we are only temporarily occupied by Fitzwalkerstan.

Apr 17, 2012

ALEC Disbands Task Force Responsible for Bills Scott Walker Signed

By Brendan Fischer

Under growing public pressure and the departure of multiple corporate members, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has announced it is disbanding the Task Force that has been responsible for some of the organization's most controversial pieces of legislation. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker introduced several bills approved by that Task Force when he was a legislator in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Apr 10, 2012

Brian Austin on ALEC in Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground

"The world, that understandable and lawful world, was slipping away."
- William Golding, Lord of the Flies
Our neighbor from down the street had a dog that loved to run wild through the neighbors' yards, right as the kids are getting ready for school and the parents are getting ready for work.

It is no great surprise that the young man running with his younger brother to corral the dog often ended up in the backyards of neighbors. I told the kid to feel free to use our fenced-in yard, the next time his dog did what dogs do: Run.

Prior to that, what were our understanding neighbors and we to do? Shoot the young man for trespassing into our "castles?" Our neighbors watch out for each other.

We don't presume our neighbors are hostile until we know otherwise; its called a neighborhood, even a community.

Brian Austin of Cops for Labor has a superb piece on the idiocy of the Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground Laws, "promoted with such enthusiasm by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)."

Austin's piece is the best I've read on the topic so far.