Co-published by AlterNet
A Supreme Court case that could topple the power of California’s unions has been a perfect storm gathering for 40 years.
When Bisbee, Arizona banned single-use plastic bags in 2014, leaders in the plastics industry worried Bisbee had sparked a trend. So they did what corporate lobbyists do in a reliably conservative state: They persuaded legislators and the governor to declare bans like Bisbee’s illegal.
As lobbyists and state legislators gathered at San Diego’s Grand Hyatt resort last week for the three-day annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the delegates seemed to barely glance at the several dozen exhibitor tables that made up a sort of carnival sideshow of right-wing groups outside the hotel’s second-floor warren of […]
“The biggest scam of the last 100 years is global warming!” thundered Stephen Moore to ALEC’s plenary breakfast club this morning. “It’s no surprise that when you give these professors $10 billion, they’re going to find a problem.” Moore then singled out North Dakota for its regulatory-free attitudes toward the fracking industry: “I just have […]
Scott Walker couldn’t have asked for more. When the Wisconsin governor took the dais Thursday at the American Legislative Exchange Council’s annual conference in San Diego, his audience was ravenous for any vision that included destroying unions and cracking down on America’s criminal underclass. See more of our coverage of the ALEC Annual Meeting The […]
For several tense hours yesterday San Diego’s plush Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel, located in the city’s Embarcadero district, felt more like Athens’ besieged Parliament than a resort on California’s laid-back shoreline. Around 2 p.m. the hotel, which is playing host to this year’s annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), sealed off all entrances […]
The 42nd Annual Meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) got underway in earnest Wednesday at San Diego’s Manchester Grand Hyatt resort hotel. The mood was convivial and the attire corporate casual: Brooks Brothers suits without ties, Dockers and sports shirts. Although this year’s star attractions — a GOP presidential frontrunner, Wisconsin Governor Scott […]
It’s become an unsettling fact of political life that as election turnouts dwindle, campaign spending skyrockets. Los Angeles’ recently concluded school board races, which drew a paltry 7.6 percent of potential voters, underscored this point. Ref Rodriguez, who unseated the District 5 incumbent, received most of the $2.2 million contributed by political action committees (PACs) controlled […]
In an excruciating example of bad timing, the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP was scheduled to bestow its Lifetime Achievement Award to Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, at its May 15 banquet. Sterling is now under fire for racist comments caught on a recording that surfaced on the TMZ […]
Sandy Hellebrand was concerned. She needed to find a school that could educate her son Gabriel, who has autism and was about to enter high school. Hellebrand thought she had found the perfect solution: She would enroll Gabriel and her two younger children in Sky Mountain Charter School, one of a rapidly-growing number of virtual […]
Benjamin Gamboa doesn’t know John Arnold, but they are linked by a shared concern over the fate of public-employee pensions in California. “I’m proud to have a pension,” the 30-year-old Gamboa says. “I believe every American should have a pension.” The two men live in very different worlds. Gamboa is a research analyst at Crafton […]
Writing on the building outside the Palmer House Hotel in downtown Chicago says “igniting passions since 1871.” The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) held its 40th anniversary conference at the hotel, igniting the passions of protesters who came out to inveigh against ALEC’s agenda during a demonstration August 8. Birthed in Chicago, ALEC first met […]
Last November unions won a resounding victory when voters defeated Proposition 32, a ballot measure that would have crippled labor’s political influence in California, partly by barring public-employee unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. The initiative, which enjoyed a huge lead in early opinion polls, was heavily funded by wealthy conservatives and far-right […]
Here’s a fun fact you probably didn’t know: Arizona’s notorious SB 1070 law was born in a Walmart. Yes, the inspiration for the most draconian anti-immigrant legislation in the nation, a measure that permits law enforcement to ask about immigration status, one that swings the door wide open for racial profiling—SB 1070—reportedly sprang from a […]