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Featured Work

Facebook Plans to Cut Ties With ALEC

by Brendan Fischer

ALECexposed Logo CMD200px.jpg
Just one day after Google announced it was cutting ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), fellow tech giant Facebook announced that they are "not likely" to renew their ALEC membership next year.

“We re-evaluate our memberships on an annual basis and are in that process now,” a Facebook representative wrote in a September 23 e-mail to the San Francisco Chronicle. “While we have tried to work within ALEC to bring that organization closer to our view on some key issues, it seems unlikely that we will make sufficient progress so we are not likely to renew our membership in 2015.” Read the rest of this item here.


Google Says ALEC Is Literally Lying about Climate Change, Ends Membership

by Brendan Fischer

Google Dont Evil200px.jpg
Google chairman Eric Schmidt said Monday that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is "literally lying" that climate change is not a reality, and that its membership in ALEC "was some sort of mistake."

ALEC stated that it is "unfortunate to learn that the company had ended its membership." Over 80 companies have dropped their membership in ALEC since the Center for Media and Democracy launched ALECexposed.org in 2011.

Read the rest of this item here.


After Koch-Tied Judge Is Reversed, Walker Probe Rests with Conflicted WI Supreme Court

by Brendan Fischer

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
A federal appellate court has shut down Judge Rudolph Randa's decision halting the criminal probe into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and allied groups, rejecting Randa's interpretation of campaign finance law and declaring the investigation best resolved by state courts.

The investigation remains halted by a state court decision from January, and the probe's future now rests with Wisconsin appellate courts. However, some justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court could have a conflict of interest: the four-justice Republican majority was elected by millions in spending from the same groups under investigation in the coordination probe, calling into question whether they can be impartial.

Read the rest of this item here.


WI Election Officials and Advocates Scrambling After Voter ID Reinstated

by Brendan Fischer

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Wisconsin election officials and advocates are being forced to make an "extraordinary effort" to adjust to voter ID restrictions that were just reinstated by a federal appellate court. Thousands of absentee ballots have already been sent to voters, and the majority of Department of Motor Vehicle service centers that issue IDs are only open only two days per week.

On September 12, just seven weeks before election day, a panel of three 7th Circuit appellate judges -- all appointed by Republican presidents -- reinstated Wisconsin's voter ID law, which federal district Judge Lynn Adelman had blocked in April as unconstitutional and violative of the Voting Rights Act.

Around 300,000 Wisconsin voters don't have the forms of identification required to vote under the law.

Read the rest of this item here.


Tens of Thousands of WI Students Face New Voting Hurdles

by Brendan Fischer

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The last-minute reinstatement of Wisconsin's voter ID restrictions could create voting problems for over 32,000 students attending state universities.

University-issued ID cards from most public universities will not be accepted as proof of identification at the polls, and tens of thousands of students will have to go through additional hurdles before election day if they want to exercise their right to vote. University students tend to vote for Democrats, and the voter ID law was pushed by Republican legislators.

Read the rest of this item here.


WI ALEC Plagiarists Criticize Burke for Copying Jobs Plan

by Brendan Fischer

frameWisconsin SenatorsLeah Vukmir and Alberta Darling
Two Wisconsin Republicans who have copied-and-pasted model legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and passed the bills off as their own ideas are claiming that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke is not suited for office because her jobs plan contained language borrowed from other candidates.

Senators Alberta Darling and Leah Vukmir issued a statement on September 20 knocking Burke for lifting portions of her jobs plan from proposals by gubernatorial hopefuls in other states. Burke blamed the copy and paste job on a consultant, who had worked for those same candidates.

Read the rest of this item here.


Recent Articles from PRWatch.org

Google Refuses to Respond to Letter Questioning ALEC Ties

by Rebekah Wilce

The Center for Media and Democracy/Progressive Inc. (CMD) has joined more than 50 watchdog, advocacy, and labor groups in sending a letter to Google asking it to cut its ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Google has not responded, telling the trade publication Ars Technica, "we aren't going to be commenting on this letter" and refusing to respond to repeated requests for comment made by the International Business Times.

Microsoft recently cut ties to ALEC, as CMD reported, prompting many to ask, "Will Google be next?" Read the rest of this item here.


Anti-Fracking Message Fueled the Teachout Challenge

by Jessica Mason

An unexpectedly strong primary challenge from the left is forcing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reckon with public opposition to fracking.

Zephyr Teachout won over 34% of the Democratic primary vote, or 182,000 of the 330,000 votes cast in the New York gubernatorial primary. Teachout is a Fordham Law School professor and author of the new book Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin's Snuffbox to Citizens United. Teachout ran on an anti-corruption, pro-democracy platform that also included a strong stand on fracking. Her running mate, Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School, won a full 40%. The low-budget grassroots challenge to a well-financed incumbent was only expected to win around 20% of the vote. Read the rest of this item here.


US Chamber Attack on Wife of Walker Prosecutor Falls Apart

by Brendan Fischer

The investigation into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is led by a Republican special prosecutor, was unanimously approved by Wisconsin's nonpartisan Government Accountability Board, and includes the participation of elected county District Attorneys from both political parties.

But according to an outlet bankrolled by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the motivation for the "John Doe" probe can be traced back to a "weeping" teacher's union member married to Milwaukee County's District Attorney, John Chisholm. Read the rest of this item here.


Scott Walker’s Favorite Judge Rescues Voter ID

by Brendan Fischer

At a Federalist Society event in Washington D.C. last November, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker called 7th Circuit Judge Diane Sykes “one of our favorite jurists,” and joked about appointing her to the U.S. Supreme Court if elected president.

During Friday’s hearing on Wisconsin’s blocked voter ID law, Sykes didn’t disappoint.

“We are on the eve of an election,” Sykes said, indicating that she would like to immediately put one of Walker’s signature pieces of legislation in place for November’s vote. Read the rest of this item here.


Chamber of Commerce Should Apologize for Attack on Wife of Walker Prosecutor

by Mary Bottari

The claims were described as a "bombshell" and "colored with a bit of Macbeth."

On September 9, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Legal Newsline cited an unnamed source to claim that the criminal probe into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was a personal vendetta that can be traced back to the wife of Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm. Read the rest of this item here.


James O'Keefe Cronies Unveiled in Attempted Sting on CMD

by Jonas Persson

As Tea Party sentiment swept the country a few years ago, the media saw a new brood of young Republicans. Smooth and confident but also prone to anger and aggression, these budding "rock stars" of the movement held prominent positions in campus organizations bankrolled by the GOP. But it was an uneasy relationship. Their frat boy hijinks were often excused by party officials. After all, they were the future of the Republican Party. As for any misogynistic or xenophobic pranks, well, boys will be boys.

Sometimes, however, they went too far. Read the rest of this item here.


Walker’s Snow Job

by Mary Bottari

The governor’s race in Wisconsin between the Republican incumbent, Scott Walker, and his Democratic challenger, Mary Burke, is coming down to one issue: jobs, jobs, jobs.

This summer Walker launched aggressive ads against Burke, charging that her family’s giant bike company, Trek, had outsourced jobs. The Walker camp also dug out a failed economic development grant from the time she was the head of the state Department of Commerce.

The Walker team is cleverly trying to hit Burke where Walker himself is most vulnerable. Read the rest of this item here.


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Editors' Pick

Yelp, Facebook, Google Are Latest Tech Companies to Drop ALEC

by Mary Bottari

ALEC Members-4out200px.jpg
Grassroots campaigners are on a roll, as first Microsoft, then Google, Facebook and now Yelp have caved to public pressure to drop their membership in the controversial corporate bill mill called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Next in their sights: Yahoo and Ebay.

On Monday, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt told NPR that the company would end its membership with ALEC and that ALEC was “literally lying” about climate change.

On Tuesday, a Facebook spokesperson told the San Francisco Chronicle: “We re-evaluate our memberships on an annual basis and are in that process now. While we have tried to work within ALEC to bring that organization closer to our view on some key issues, it seems unlikely that we will make sufficient progress so we are not likely to renew our membership in 2015.”

On Wednesday, Yelp confirmed to Common Cause that it was no longer a member of ALEC.

ALEC, which generated or disseminated voter suppression legislation, “Stand Your Ground” laws, and measures to dismantle unions as well as preempt minimum wage and sick leave ordinances, is now in hot water for its “free market” agenda to promote fossil fuels and cook the planet. Read the rest of this item here.


Walmart’s Spin on Workers and Manufacturing Exposed

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In response to the increasing media interest around the business practices of America's largest employer and retailer, the Center for Media and Democracy launched a new web resource on Walmart that fact checks the company’s advertisements and statements. Using the model of AlecExposed.org, Walmart’s profile in SourceWatch details Walmart’s employee pay and policies, its PR on veterans, its lobbying and political contributions, environmental impact and its spin on domestic sourcing. The site also includes a section analyzing the impact that the company’s business practices on shoppers.

Read the rest of this item here.
Visit the Walmart SourceWatch page for more!


Follow the Money! Wiki Resource

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The Center for Media and Democracy, publisher of ALEC Exposed, brings you this unique wiki resource on the billionaire industrialists and the power and influence of the Koch cadre and Koch cash.

Read about Koch Funding Vehicles:

The Kochs' Anti-Civil Rights Roots

Vist Koch Exposed for more.

Watch the Video!

Watch Lisa Graves talk about her new article, "The Koch Cartel: Their Reach, Their Reactionary Agenda and Their Record."

Read the article here.


Featured SourceWatch Article

SourceWatch.org is an interactive wiki website that depends on readers like you to improve content. If you want to help us grow SourceWatch with well documented research and become a volunteer editor, click here for more information.

Generation Opportunity

Excerpt from a longer SourceWatch article on Generation Opportunity:

Generation Opportunity (GenOp) is a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization based in Arlington, Virginia funded by Freedom Partners, a multimillion dollar Koch-tied funding vehicle. On the group's website, its describes itself as "a free-thinking, liberty-loving, national organization of young people promoting the best of Being American: opportunity, creativity and freedom."[1] According to OpenSecrets, "[i]n the three years for which tax information is available, Generation Opportunity has raised almost 86 percent of its funds from just two Koch-linked nonprofits."[2] In 2014, Generation opportunity has spent big money in Senate races against three Democrats: Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Mark Udall (D-CO). Mary Bottari reported on prwatch.org that, "Gen Opp spent a total of $900,000 against Udall, $825,000 against Hagan, and $550,000 against Landrieu, bringing the ad buy to $2.275 million."[3]

2014 Election Cycle Ad Buys

”Shopping spree” ad that ran against Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado.
Generation Opportunity, a 501(c)(4) organization, has launched ad buys in several targeted Senate races in 2014, including ads against Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Mark Udall (D-CO), costing over $2 million.

The organization has launched two basic ads in multiple states. One ad, used against Landrieu and Udall, caricatures the senators. In the ad, the two are played by actors and are depicted as children in a shopping cart, who appear to be gleefully overspending on unnecessary items. The ad criticizes their votes on government spending, claiming they are footing younger generations with the bill.[4][5]

Read the entire SourceWatch page on Generation Opportunity here (including source citations).

References

  1. Generation Opportunity, Who We Are, organizational website, accessed May 24, 2013.
  2. Viveca Fox, "GenOpp, Too: Another Group Almost Wholly Funded by Koch Network," OpenSecrets, May 13, 2014. Accessed June 5, 2014.
  3. Mary Bottari, Koch-Tied Youth Group Weighs in on Senate Races, "PR Watch" July 3, 2014.
  4. Generation Opportunity, $900k Colorado Ad Buy Puts Grassroots Pressure On Senator Mark Udall, GenerationOpportunity.org, June 25, 2014.
  5. Generation Opportunity, Generation Opportunity Launches New Ad Campaign In North Carolina, GenerationOpportunity.org, June 11, 2014.


Web Resource on Outsourcing & Privatization

CMD Launches OutsourcingAmericaExposed.org to "Expose the Private Companies Behind the Corporate Takeover of Public Services"

by PRW Staff

Outsourcing America Exposed
The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), publishers of the award-winning ALECexposed.org, launched OutsourcingAmericaExposed.org, a web resource devoted to helping taxpayers identify the corporations seeking to privatize public assets and services in their communities: including their schools, roads, prisons, drinking water, court systems, and more.

CMD has unveiled corporate profiles of America’s most notorious corporations that are quietly working with state and local lawmakers to take over public services with little accountability, along with in-depth examinations of the CEOs personally profiting from this corporate coup.

Read the profiles on featured privatizers:




Read the rest of this press release here.



ALEC News

Reporters' Guide to Rex Sinquefield and the Show-Me Institute

by Lisa Graves and Brendan Fischer

A-Reporters-Guide-to-Rex-Sinquefield cover200px.jpg
The Center for Media and Democracy and Progress Missouri released a new report on April 29 entitled, "Reporters' Guide to Rex Sinquefield and the Show-Me Institute," that should be an eye-opener for Missouri residents and national press.

"Sinquefield is one of the top right-wing political funders in the country, and the single top political spender in Missouri, where he has spent at least $31.5 million since 2006 seeking to reshape Missouri laws, legislators, and policies according to his own ideological mold," said co-author Brendan Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy/The Progressive. 

Read the full report here


Featured Video

Outsourcing America, Privatization Bites Back

Outsourcing America, Privatization Bites Back


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