Submitted by teddyrooseveltp... on Fri, 11/22/2013 - 8:03pm
Well, I have to admit that I missed a real doozy of a blog post/op-ed penned by one of our esteemed state Senators, Bill Cook back in August. Cook serves in the First District, which includes Beaufort. The Beaufort Observer has the op-ed online and a link to the full original on Cook's blog.
Submitted by teddyrooseveltp... on Sat, 11/16/2013 - 9:38pm
The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) on the State Policy Network is out with a report this week that deserves the attention of anyone interested in progressive and ethical government.
The idea is simple - Art Pope, the Koch Brothers, the Walmart Walton family and others are illegally using "think tanks", like Pope's Civitas and Pope Foundation, as direct lobbying organizations. Officially classified as non-profit educational groups, it's illegal for these groups to engage in lobbying activities.
Think about it for a minute. How many times have "reports" and "studies" by these groups been taken up as gospel by legislators in NC to justify particular laws? How many legislators have been involved in meetings, retreats or presentations for and by these groups?
Submitted by teddyrooseveltp... on Sat, 11/16/2013 - 5:09pm
The American Legislative Exchange Council, the group that coordinates authoring of extremist right-wing state laws around the country and works with the stink tanks and lobbying organizations funded by the Koch Bros and Art Pope, is floating laws that would do away with the 17th Amendment.
In early December, a group of ALEC members are scheduled to consider supporting a range of potential new model legislation, including the "Equal State's Enfranchisement Act," according to a memo posted on the group's website.
The bill would significantly increase the role of the state legislature in the election of U.S. senators, inching back toward the process used prior to the passage of the 17th Amendment in 1913. The 17th Amendment established the direct election of U.S. senators. Before this amendment, senators were chosen by state legislators.
Submitted by teddyrooseveltp... on Mon, 10/28/2013 - 5:35pm
Mother Jones is reporting on the complex network of non-profits the Koch bros used to funnel $15 million illegally into California elections. The monies were aimed at two ballot measures - one raising taxes on the wealthiest Californians and the other crippling unions in the state.
As part of the deal, two Arizona-based nonprofits, the Koch-linked Center to Protect Patients Rights and Americans for Responsible Leadership, admitted violating state election law. The settlement mandates that the two nonprofits pay a $1 million fine to California's general fund, and the committees who received the secret donations at the heart of the case must also cut a check to the state for the amount of those donations, which totaled $15.08 million.
They imply that their "business friendly" legislation creates jobs and improves the economy. They don't mention that the legislature passed 344 new laws this past session, and not one single law was a jobs bill. What they really mean by "business friendly" legislation is the stuff that ALEC and Art Pope want very badly -- things such as removing virtually all regulations (many of which were put in place to ensure the safety of workers and consumers), allowing environmental destruction in the name of profits, getting rid of taxes for rich people and corporations and removing all limits on corporations and rich people in terms of money and meddling in political campaigns and government.
I and my company have never given money to super PACs, and none of the organizations I worked with in 2010 did any election campaigning under Citizens United.
It was the voters, not Citizens United, who changed the face of North Carolina government. No matter how many times the progressive left repeats its lies about North Carolina, it is not going to change the truth.
Like many of his faux-Libertarian "experts" who write about various issues, Pope uses a small truth to conceal a much greater lie. By adding that "under Citizens United" qualification at the end of the sentence, he hopes to convince readers that this never happened:
Roses typically targets poor and minority communities as its consumers.
And critics of Pope, who happens to be Gov. Pat McCrory’s budget director, contend that this administration in general, and Pope in particular, has targeted poor and minority communities with a variety of policies: cutting jobless benefits, refusing Medicare expansion payments, pushing more restrictive voting policies that disproportionately affect minorities.
Statewide and even beyond, there have been calls for boycotts of Pope’s stores, which include Maxway and Roses.
Closer to home, the Carolina Peacemaker sounded the same call.
Wrote the local African American weekly’s editor, Afrique Kilimanjaro, in an Aug. 29 column:
Leaving many unemployed North Carolinians in limbo:
Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, complained that McCrory hasn’t named an independent Unemployment Review Board to review decisions on unemployment benefits made by the state Division of Employment Security.
“The General Assembly wouldn’t have taken action if we didn’t think it was important,” Rucho said. “You are expected to follow the law. The governor is expected to follow the law. We’ll have to take some action” to address the issue.
Considering many of the appointments DAG McCrory has already made, it might be better for the Legislature to empanel this Board itself. Never thought I would say that...
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