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Featured Work

Tough Trade Talk Fades as Trump and Pence Toe the Koch Line

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When he was running for president, Donald Trump had very harsh words for deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the then-pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

He called NAFTA "the worst trade deal in the world" and "a total disaster." He said it had caused "carnage," lumping it in with other "terrible" trade deals like the TPP, which he also called a "disaster."

Trump withdrew America from the pending agreement upon taking office. But his administration is now resurrecting much of that deal's most troublesome provisions, along with its corporate-friendly drafting process, as it prepares to renegotiate NAFTA. Read the rest of this item here.


"Poison Papers" Snapshot: HoJo Transcript Illustrates EPA Collusion with Chemical Industry

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The world of independent chemical testing has a shiny veneer. The public is reassured that chemicals they're exposed to on a daily basis are certified by technicians in spotless white lab coats who carefully conduct scientific studies, including on animals in neat rows of cages.

But a federal grand jury investigation that ended with convictions in the early 1980s discovered that Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories (IBT), the largest such lab in the United States, conducted trials with mice that regularly drowned in their feeding troughs. The dead animals would decompose so quickly that "their bodies oozed through wire cage bottoms and lay in purple puddles on the dropping trays." IBT even invented an acronym "TBD/TDA" for its raw safety data, later discovered to mean "too badly decomposed." Read the rest of this item here.


Fierce Push Back on Trump "Voter Fraud" Commission

Kansas Secretary of State
Kris Kobach
The Trump administration has set up what Trump calls a "voter fraud panel." Billed as an official "Advisory Commission on Election Integrity Resources," the commission is being met with stiff resistance from many states, lawsuits by civil rights, and privacy watchdogs, and it is even prompting some worried voters to take the names off the voter rolls.

The origins of this commission come from Trump's unsubstantiated claims that "millions" of people voted "illegally" in the 2016 election, all of them for his opponent. In a November 27, 2016 tweet, Trump claimed, "In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally." Even though scientific studies have repeatedly shown voter fraud to be insignificant in campaigns and elections, a week later he claimed that 3-5 million had voted illegally, all against him. Read the rest of this item here.


Big Coal Burns Bright at ALEC Conference

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The best part of my 9th American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference so far was trying to get into the host hotel in Denver.

When I pulled up in my cab, it was surrounded by hundreds of protestors marching on the sidewalk and shouting some of my favorite chants. Any possible entrance into the hotel was blocked by yellow police tape or a barricade. So I marched with them for a bit, pulling my suitcase behind me, and then ducked under the tape to get into the hotel.

Now that's the way to start an ALEC conference. Read the rest of this item here.


Betsy DeVos and Issue of College Rape at ALEC in Denver

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Secretary Betsy DeVos headlined the 44th American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Annual Meeting being held at the Colorado Convention Center's Hyatt Regency Hotel July 19-21.

Other big names speaking at the event included Trump defender-in-chief Newt Gingrich, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Republican pollster Frank Luntz, and local mega-donor and light beer magnate Peter Coors, who chairs the right-wing Coors Foundation.

Read the rest of this item here.


Recent Articles from PRWatch.org

Watchdog Group Sues Utah AG for Withholding RAGA Documents

The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) filed suit in District Court against the Utah Office of Attorney General for its refusal to turn over emails and other documents concerning Attorney General Sean Reyes' dealings with the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) and its partner organization, the Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF) in violation of Utah's Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA).

RAGA and RLDF are cash-for-influence organizations that promote and coordinate actions by Republican attorneys general at the behest of its corporate members in the energy, telecom, financial, pharmaceutical, and other sectors. RAGA allows member companies to pay a premium of up to $125,000 for the privilege of holding private briefings with AGs and their staff. Read the rest of this item here.


Save the Ice, or Lose the Rice

Yes, Virginia, we still have time to restore our climate. But the Climate Time Bomb is undeniably ticking--and Trump has pulled out of the Paris Agreement. What should we do?

Trump climate policy is blind and deaf to the fact that the Climate Bomb can cause millions of deaths by mid-century. It is clear to me that Trump's rogue refusal to defuse the Bomb is an unfathomably heinous crime against humanity. Read the rest of this item here.


Trump Team, ALEC, Koch Industries Debate Gerrymandering the U.S. Senate in Denver

Now that GOP state legislators have control over 32 state legislatures (both chambers), thanks in large part to partisan gerrymandering, some extremists are preparing to use their clout to gerrymander the U.S. Senate.

In Denver, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) welcomed Republican state legislators and its corporate funders, including Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, K12 Inc., Peabody Energy, and PhRMA, to vote on corporate legislative priorities and create cookie cutter "model" bills in task force meetings that were closed to the press. Read the rest of this item here.


Koch-Trained Pundit Says London Fire Isn't Government's Problem. Tell It to the Victims.

The world looked on in horror as Grenfell Tower, a public housing project in London, became a near-biblical pillar of fire that burned at least 80 people to death. That horror was only made worse by revelations that government officials in the grip of the ruling Conservative Party's anti-regulatory, budget-slashing, "free market" mind set had resisted fire safety regulations and saved money by installing substandard--and highly flammable--'cladding' to the building's exterior. Read the rest of this item here.


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Exposed by CMD

Infighting, Legal Questions Slow ALEC Push for Second Constitutional Convention

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With Republicans in control of 32 state legislatures, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been actively pushing the idea of a second Constitutional Convention to rewrite the U.S. Constitution. The nation's first and only Constitutional Convention took place in Philadelphia in 1787 with George Washington presiding.

ALEC has cheered on the idea of a "Con Con" for years, passing multiple resolutions calling for changes to the constitution, hosting workshops and handbooks and even draft resolutions laying out proposed rules of procedure. Everything has been quite cordial and controlled.

However, documents obtained by CMD reveal for the first time the backbiting between several competing factions vying for state approval of their convention proposals. Read the rest of this item here.


The Poison Papers Expose Decades of Collusion between Industry and Regulators

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The Bioscience Resource Project and the Center for Media and Democracy released a trove of rediscovered and newly digitized chemical industry and regulatory agency documents stretching back to the 1920s. The documents are available at PoisonPapers.org.

Together, the papers show that both industry and regulators understood the extraordinary toxicity of many chemical products and worked together to conceal this information from the public and the press. These papers will transform our understanding of the hazards posed by certain chemicals on the market and the fraudulence of some of the regulatory processes relied upon to protect human health and the environment. Read the rest of this item 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.

Excerpts from longer SourceWatch article:

Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation

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The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation (LHBF), formerly known as the Allen-Bradley Foundation, was established in 1942, describing itself as "a private, independent grantmaking organization based in Milwaukee."[1] According to the foundation's 1998 Annual Report and a 2011 report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation gives away more than $30 million per year.[2][3] In November 2013, One Wisconsin Now and the Center for Media and Democracy reported that the Bradley Foundation had given over $500 million to conservative "public-policy experiments" since 2000.[4]

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "from 2001 to 2009, it [Bradley] doled out nearly as much money as the seven Koch and Scaife foundations combined."[5]

Read the entire SourceWatch page on the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

References

  1. The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Home, organizational website, accessed June 6, 2013.
  2. Media Transparency, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc. - Funder profile, archived by the WayBack Machine March 6, 2012.
  3. Daniel Bice, Bill Glauber, and Ben Poston, From local roots, Bradley Foundation builds conservative empire, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel November 19, 2011.
  4. One Wisconsin Now and the Center for Media and Democracy S is for Shill: Inside the Bradley Foundation's Attack on Public Education, organizational report, November 2013.
  5. Barbara Miner, Wisconsin's Progressive Tradition at Stake in the Recall Election, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 14, 2012.


Editors' Pick

The ALEC Swampland

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Though ALEC has an uneasy relationship with President Trump, they haven't hesitated in adopting his '"drain the swamp" rhetoric when extolling their plans to amend the federal constitution, repeal workers' rights or gut social safety net programs. Trump keeps filling his "swamp" with cronies, political insiders and the corporate lobbyists that also populate the ALEC swamp.

One of these lobbyists, working for the behemoth Chinese online retailer Alibaba, asked me to communicate information about his company to my (presumably male) boss. When I replied that I am a legislator, he looked me up and down incredulously until I replied "They let women be legislators now." He didn't speak to me again. Read the rest of this item here.


Featured Video

Days After Pruitt Becomes EPA Head, Newly Released Emails Show His Ties to Koch Bros. & Energy Firms

Days After Pruitt Becomes EPA Head, Newly Released Emails Show His Ties to Koch Bros. & Energy Firms
February 23, 2017 - Democracy Now! Thousands of pages of newly released emails reveal how EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt closely collaborated with oil, coal and gas companies backed by the Koch brothers to roll back environmental regulations during his time as Oklahoma attorney general. The documents were released just days after Pruitt was sworn in as the new head of the EPA, the agency tasked with curtailing pollution and safeguarding public health. Last week, Senate Democrats unsuccessfully attempted to postpone Pruitt’s final confirmation until the emails were released, but Republicans pressed forward and confirmed him in a 52-46 vote, largely along party lines. As Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt sued the EPA 14 times. The trove of new documents shows how energy companies drafted language for Pruitt’s Attorney General’s Office to use to sue the EPA over environmental regulations. We speak to Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, which successfully sued for the emails to be released.


Koch Exposed

Follow the Money!

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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:

Visit Koch Exposed for more.



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