ALEC's Top Five Anti-Environment "Model" Laws

ALECandCliateChangeThe American Legislative Exchange Council, a “stealth business lobbyist” that helps corporations write state and federal legislation supporting their interests, has taken major heat for backing controversial laws.

More than a dozen companies — including Coca Cola and Procter & Gamble — have pulled out of the organization over the last month due to ALEC’s support of voter ID requirements and the Stand-Your-Ground law blamed by many for the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

While the controversy around these laws has been widely reported, ALEC’s efforts to help corporate interests cut down climate legislation, renewable energy, and environmental protections are only now being heavily scrutinized. Funded by coal and oil companies, ALEC has made it a priority to stop any changes to the fossil-fueled status quo.

Below, we document the five of the worst anti-environmental initiatives being pushed by ALEC.

Stopping a Price on Carbon
While calling into question anthropogenic climate change, ALEC has been trying to block carbon pricing for many years.  In 2010, while receiving tens of thousands of dollars from Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil and other large energy companies, the organization adopted a model resolution stating that “a tremendous amount of economic growth would be sacrificed for a reduction in carbon emissions.” The resolution was introduced by lawmakers in at least six state legislatures around the country virtually untouched from its original form.

Stripping Targets for Renewable Energy
ALEC has already written a resolution that would discourage states from participating in a nation-wide renewable energy target. With the possibility of getting such a target passed in Washington so slim, ALEC officials now indicate they will move their battle to states with existing targets. These laws have helped spur tens of billions of dollars in economic activity and have put the coal industry on the defensive. Not surprisingly, Peabody Energy — the largest private coal company in the world — sits on ALEC’s Enterprise Board and served as chairman of ALEC’s 2011 annual conference, according to the Center for Media and Democracy.

Turning Over Public Lands to the States
Some state legislatures are considering laws that would require Congress to turn over millions of acres of public lands to the states — a move that could eventually open these lands up to extraction industries. The Republican governors of Utah and Arizona are currently considering such bills. The Associated Press reported that “lawmakers in Utah and Arizona have said the legislation is endorsed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that advocates conservative ideals, and they expect it to eventually be introduced in other Western states.” A similar bill was considered in Colorado, and there are rumors that the legislation will also come up in Montana, Idaho, and New Mexico.

Watering Down Public Disclosure of Fracking Chemicals
A number of states are considering new regulations to deal with the rush of natural gas drilling, particularly for hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.”  Many lawmakers and residents believe natural gas companies should be required to let the public know what chemicals are being pumped underground to help extract the gas. Some of the chemicals in facking mixtures are known or suspected carcinogens. In order to protect the industry from disclosure, ALEC has crafted legislation that would provide large loopholes for companies wanting to protect “trade secrets.” A disclosure bill currently being considered in the Illinois legislature uses ALEC’s language. According to the New York Times, the legislation was sponsored by Exxon Mobil.

Preventing Regulation of Toxic Coal Ash
In 2008, a storage pond filled with more than a billion gallons of coal ash spilled into a Tennessee community — decimating homes, polluting local water resources, and causing around $1 billion in damage. The incident sparked renewed calls for federal regulation of coal ash, a bi-product of burning coal that can contain high levels of arsenic and heavy metals. According to one investigation, coal ash can be more radioactive than waste from a nuclear power plant. But ALEC has crafted model legislation opposing any federal regulation of coal ash waste. And these efforts are reaching national politicians. Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing new rules on storage of this toxic waste product.

ALEC is a strong force working behind the scenes to stop any meaningful action on climate and clean energy. This is just a small snapshot of the pro-polluter bills the organization has crafted over the years. With the largest, dirtiest energy companies funding ALEC, it’s clear who these “model” laws are designed to help.

Link to original article from ThinkProgress

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The secret, dirty cost of Obama's green power push

The secret, dirty cost of Obama's green power push

The hills of southern Iowa bear the scars of America's push for green energy: The brown gashes where rain has washed away the soil. The polluted streams that dump fertilizer into the water supply. Even the cemetery that disappeared like an apparition into a cornfield. It wasn't supposed to be this way. With...

Jack Gillum and Chet Brokaw | Associated Press 17 Nov 2013 Hits:489 SGW Articles

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Liberals Should Fight Like Hell for Single Payer Health Care

Liberals Should Fight Like Hell for Single Payer Health Care

In my recent column in The Hill titled Obama's health care Katrina I took President Obama to task -- proudly -- for spending years telling Americans they would keep their insurance policies when he knew millions of Americans could not. I called for a solution to help these people and...

Brent Budowsky | Huffington Post 17 Nov 2013 Hits:953 HCA Articles

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The Single-Payer Signal in the Obamacare Noise

The Single-Payer Signal in the Obamacare Noise

Whenever scandal arises in Washington, D.C., the fight between the two parties typically ends up being a competition to identify a concise message in the chaos—or, as scientists might say, a signal in all the noise. This week confirms that truism, as glitches plagued the new Obamacare website and as...

David Sirota TruthDig 17 Nov 2013 Hits:942 HCA Articles

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ALEC Floats Legislation Chipping Away At The 17th Amendment

ALEC Floats Legislation Chipping Away At The 17th Amendment

The conservative American Legislative Exchange Council is wading back into election issues, as it considers supporting a bill that would increase the role of state legislatures in the election of U.S. senators, chipping away at the powers vested directly in the people under the 17th Amendment. ALEC circulates model legislation to...

Amanda Terkel The Huffington Post 15 Nov 2013 Hits:478 ECR Articles

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House Passes Bill Letting People Keep Their Health Plans

House Passes Bill Letting People Keep Their Health Plans

WASHINGTON — Defying a veto threat from President Obama, the House on Friday approved legislation that would allow health insurance companies to renew individual insurance policies and sell similar policies to new customers next year even if the coverage does not provide all the benefits and consumer protections required by...

Robert Pear and Ashley Parker 15 Nov 2013 Hits:467 HCA Articles

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Pot Push in D.C. May Spur Congress to Weigh Legalizing

Pot Push in D.C. May Spur Congress to Weigh Legalizing

A proposal backed by most District of Columbia council members to decriminalize small amounts of pot may spur federal lawmakers to consider marijuana regulation for the first time since two states legalized recreational sales. Congress has the power to block legislation approved by the Washington council. U.S. lawmakers can also stop...

Michael C. Bender | Bloomberg 08 Nov 2013 Hits:498 War on Drugs - Criminal Injustice

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Marijuana Legalization Wins Big in Elections, Is Federal Decriminalization Next?

JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. On November 5, voters in four U.S. cities decided to legalize recreational marijuana use. In the Michigan cities of Lansing, Jackson, and Ferndale, it will now be legal for anyone 21 years or older to possess...

Jessica Desvarieux | The Real News Network 08 Nov 2013 Hits:501 War on Drugs - Criminal Injustice

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Boxed In: How a Criminal Record Keeps You Unemployed For Life

Boxed In: How a Criminal Record Keeps You Unemployed For Life

This article was reported in partnership with the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute. ? Luis Rivera had some peace of mind for about five months, from late fall of 2010 through early spring of the following year. That’s the closest thing he’s seen to financial stability in more than...

Kai Wright | The Nation 07 Nov 2013 Hits:1582 EMC Articles

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Senate approves gay rights bill

Senate approves gay rights bill

The Senate passed historic gay rights legislation Thursday to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace, another victory for the gay rights movement that has been gaining favor in the courts and electoral politics. Senators voted 64 to 32 to approve the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The vote...

Ed O'Keefe | Washington Post 07 Nov 2013 Hits:539 ESJ Articles

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Pentagon to Spend $10 Billion ‘Modernizing’ Tactical Nukes

Pentagon to Spend $10 Billion ‘Modernizing’ Tactical Nukes

Plan Unaffordable, Unnecessary, Critics Note In a time of budget cuts, and with their leadership constantly insisting there isn’t enough funding to go around, the Pentagon is planning to “modernize” the B61 tactical nuclear weapons in a plan they estimate to cost at least $10 billion. “The B61 is the only weapon...

Jason Ditz | AntiWar.com 07 Nov 2013 Hits:403 EWO Articles

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Retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton advocates reduced military spending

Retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton advocates reduced military spending

Retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton comes from a military family. His three children are all soldiers, his wife is an Army captain, and his two brothers in-law are helicopter pilots. His father was M.I.A. for moer than 40 years in Vietnam. His opinions, he said on Wednesday in the Old...

Jake McCulley | The Daily Iowan 07 Nov 2013 Hits:543 EWO Articles

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Time to Tell the Truth About Food Stamps

Time to Tell the Truth About Food Stamps

Does it make any difference that families receiving SNAP benefits (food stamps) will have less to spend on food this month? Starting November 1, a family of four will lose $36 per month; or $29 for a three-person family. The loss of $30-$36 per month is a big deal to...

Deborah Weinstein | Huffington Post 06 Nov 2013 Hits:704 ESJ Articles

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Eyes on 2016, potential White House contenders flock with doves on Syria

Eyes on 2016, potential White House contenders flock with doves on Syria

Likely Republican presidential hopefuls who once expressed hawkish views on U.S. policy in Syria are pivoting with an eye on how the issue will play in the 2016 GOP primary. [WATCH VIDEO] With the conservative wing of the party now largely unified in opposition to military action, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)...

Alexandra Jaffe | The Hill 06 Nov 2013 Hits:445 EWO Articles

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Five Steps to Save America's Incredible Shrinking Post Office

Five Steps to Save America's Incredible Shrinking Post Office

The American people created the post office. The American people can still save the post office. But we need to do something right now. In July 2011 the United States Postal Service (USPS) management announced it would rapidly close 3600 local post offices and eventually as many as 15,000. And shutter...

David Morris | On the Commons 05 Nov 2013 Hits:510 ECR Articles

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Alabama inmates stage protest over free labor system

Alabama inmates stage protest over free labor system

For the second time this year, prisoners in Alabama are planning a nonviolent demonstration and work stoppage to protest conditions inside the state’s prisons. Melvin Ray, an inmate at the St. Clair correctional facility in Springville and founder of prison-based group Free Alabama Movement (FAM) says this weekend’s strike is an...

Nick Ramsey | MSNBC 20 Apr 2014 Hits:15 Alabama

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Clear leaders emerge in primary races in Northern Virginia, finance reports show

Clear leaders emerge in primary races in Northern Virginia, finance reports show

In the run-up to midterm congressional elections that both major parties see as crucial, Virginia is again a magnet for political donations as candidates vie for two open seats in the House of Representatives. Republicans and Democrats are steering money in a big way toward favored candidates in Northern Virginia’s 10th...

Antonio Olivo and Patricia Sullivan | The Washington Post 17 Apr 2014 Hits:38 Virginia

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Mary Fallin Signs Ban On Minimum Wage Increase

Mary Fallin Signs Ban On Minimum Wage Increase

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signed a bill Monday prohibiting cities across the state from establishing mandatory minimum wage and employee benefits, including vacation or sick leave days. Advocates of the new law contend that efforts to increase the minimum wage across various municipalities could potentially harm local business communities. "This bill...

Shadee Ashtari | Huffington Post 15 Apr 2014 Hits:307 Oklahoma

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Judge: Ohio must recognize out-of-state gay marriages

Judge: Ohio must recognize out-of-state gay marriages

Proponents of marriage equality have been on quite a winning streak in the courts, targeting anti-gay laws in states across the country. That streak continued this morning in Ohio. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black has formally ruled that Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states, but he put...

Steve Benen | The Maddow Blog 14 Apr 2014 Hits:70 Ohio

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Staffer Who Was Caught Kissing Vance McAllister Resigns, While Congressman Keeps His Job

Staffer Who Was Caught Kissing Vance McAllister Resigns, While Congressman Keeps His Job

The staff member for Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) who was caught on tape kissing the married congressman has been "taken off the payroll," the News-Star reports. On Monday, the Ouachita Citizen published a surveillance video purporting to show the Republican congressman kissing Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock, his married district scheduler. McAllister...

Molly Reilly | The Huffington Post 09 Apr 2014 Hits:427 Louisiana

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NC NAACP Filed Title VI Complaint against Health Provider for Closing Hospital in Rural County, Cutting Emergency Care for Th…

NC NAACP Filed Title VI Complaint against Health Provider for Closing Hospital in Rural County, Cutting Emergency Care for Thousands

BELHAVEN, NC - Citing a difficult financial situation partially due to North Carolina's refusal to expand Medicaid, a health care provider announced last week that it will close its hospital in the small town of Belhaven, NC, on April 1 in complete disregard of the community's staunch protests and for...

Jamie Phillips Cole | NAACP North Carolina 05 Mar 2014 Hits:418 North Carolina

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Wendy Davis Wins Texas Primary as State Veers Further to the Right

Wendy Davis Wins Texas Primary as State Veers Further to the Right

Far-right Texas Republicans prospered in the first US primary of the year as it was confirmed that Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott will square off in the battle to be the state’s next governor. Davis parlayed the national celebrity garnered from her epic filibuster last June into a high-profile bid...

Tom Dart | The Guardian 05 Mar 2014 Hits:222 Texas

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Ted Nugent brings bigotry and misogyny to Texas governors race

Ted Nugent, the old rocker from the Seventies, is now just plain old… and off his rocker. A political novelty act for the far right and a front man for the National Rifle Association, Nugent regularly spews venomous, vulgar, race-laced, abusive hate speech about liberals, Democrats, gun laws, and creeping communism....

Jim Hightower | Jim Hightower.com 05 Mar 2014 Hits:87 Texas

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Florida Is Illegally Limiting How Often Poor People On Medicaid Can Visit The ER

Florida Is Illegally Limiting How Often Poor People On Medicaid Can Visit The ER

Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) effort to save his state’s Medicaid program money on the backs of the poor just backfired. In 2012, the Scott administration lobbied the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to allow it to limit the number of times that Medicaid beneficiaries can frequent emergency rooms...

Sy Mukherjee | Think Progress 04 Mar 2014 Hits:274 Florida

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The power team of Cantwell and Murray

The power team of Cantwell and Murray

"Neither of our "power team" has signed onto the "Three State Solution" for ERA ratification. Please give them call and encourage them to cosponsor Senate Joint Resolution 15, "Remove the ratification deadline from the Equal Rights Amendment." -  Walt Kloefkorn, PDA Washington   A normally reserved Sen. Maria Cantwell was exchanging bear...

Joel Connelly | Seattle PI 03 Mar 2014 Hits:106 Washington

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Delegate opposes Mayor Jones for DPVA chair less he backs same-sex marriage

Delegate opposes Mayor Jones for DPVA chair less he backs same-sex marriage

Del. Patrick A. Hope, D-Arlington, said Saturday that he will oppose Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones as chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia if Jones still opposes same-sex marriage. “The chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia needs to reflect our values as a party,” Hope said in a statement...

Andrew Cain | Richmond Times-Dispatch 02 Mar 2014 Hits:200 Virginia

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Remembering Chokwe Lumumba

Can you be a revolutionary and a mayor? Chokwe Lumumba—who spent eight months as mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, before he died this Tuesday—did his best to be both. Chokwe Lumumba, an extraordinary leader with a vision of liberation forged in the 1960s Black Power movement, died on Tuesday after eight...

Laura Flanders | Yes Magazine 27 Feb 2014 Hits:127 Mississippi

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ERA to be Heard in the Virginia House Tomorrow

ERA to be Heard in the Virginia House Tomorrow

Thank you so much for signing the petition, making phone calls and sending emails; all your hard work has paid off. Tomorrow the Virginia House of Delegates will hear the Equal Rights Amendment in the Elections subcommittee. The bill was placed in this subcommittee so that a woman (Del. Margaret...

26 Feb 2014 Hits:228 Virginia

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The Mayor Who Brought an Economic Democracy Vision to Mississippi

The Mayor Who Brought an Economic Democracy Vision to Mississippi

Chokwe Lumumba maintained a civil rights commitment that was rooted in the moment when his mother showed her eight-year-old son the Jet magazine photograph of a beaten Emmett Till in his open casket. The commitment was nurtured on the streets of Detroit, where Lumumba and his mother collected money to...

John Nichols | The Nation 26 Feb 2014 Hits:178 Mississippi

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Judge strikes down gay marriage ban in Texas

Judge strikes down gay marriage ban in Texas

A Texas judge has struck down that state's ban on gay marriage. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia did not say gay marriages could be performed immediately. Instead, he stayed the decision, citing a likely appeal. "Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution," Garcia wrote in his decision. "These Texas laws deny...

Aaron Blake | The Washington Post 26 Feb 2014 Hits:158 Texas

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Arizona governor vetoes controversial bill allowing denial of service to gays

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) announced Wednesday night that she has vetoed a controversial bill that would allow businesses to deny service to gays and lesbians if they feel it violates their religious rights. Gay rights advocates have denounced the legislation, labeling it a form of legalized discrimination, and Arizona's two...

Aaron Blake | The Washington Post 26 Feb 2014 Hits:175 Arizona

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Longest-serving Rep. John Dingell to retire

Longest-serving Rep. John Dingell to retire

Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) will retire at the end of his current term, capping a historic career as the longest-serving member of Congress in history. In prepared remarks for his annual "State of the District" speech distributed by his office Monday afternoon, Dingell described his decision as personal and rooted...

Sean Sullivan | Washington Post 24 Feb 2014 Hits:122 Michigan

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Expanded Medicaid will be subject of forced vote by Republicans in Va. House

Expanded Medicaid will be subject of forced vote by Republicans in Va. House

House Republicans will force a vote Thursday on whether to expand Medicaid, briefly plucking the contentious issue out of a massive state budget bill in a move meant to show overwhelming GOP opposition to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s top legislative goal. The House will subject the expansion plan to an up-or-down floor...

Laura Vozzella and Michael Laris | The Washington Post 20 Feb 2014 Hits:243 Virginia

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Is Thomas Frank’s pessimism about the Democrats premature?

In the Salon article The matter with Kansas now: The Tea Party, the 1 percent and delusional Democrats,  Thomas Frank writes: It wasn’t until several years later that I began to understand what a fascinating, upside-down extravaganza it was to see the right eat its way through the good sense of the...

Walt Kloefkorn | Washington Liberals 18 Feb 2014 Hits:198 Washington

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Disgusting! GOP Tries to Bully American Workers Seeking Union at Tennessee Volkswagen Plant

Disgusting! GOP Tries to Bully American Workers Seeking Union at Tennessee Volkswagen Plant

The United Auto Workers are trying to organize a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but GOP lawmakers seem determined to thwart them. About 1,550 hourly workers are employed at the plant, which opened its doors in 2011. On Wednesday, workers began a three-day vote on whether to join the union....

Lynn Stuart Parramore | AlterNet 14 Feb 2014 Hits:373 Tennessee

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Meet Judge Arenda Wright Allen, who struck down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage

Meet Judge Arenda Wright Allen, who struck down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage

The federal judge who struck down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage Thursday is an appointee of President Obama and in 2011 became the first black woman appointed as a federal District Court judge in Virginia. Arenda Wright Allen, born in 1960, is a Philadelphia native who spent decades as a government...

David A. Fahrenthold | The Washington Post 14 Feb 2014 Hits:283 Virginia

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AZ Reps. Grijalva and Barber Back Extension of ERA Ratification Deadline

Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) has received bipartisan support in the Arizona Legislature, but Arizona’s Congressional delegation appears to be lagging behind. Of Arizona’s 11 Senators and Representatives, only two–  Southern Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva (D- CD3) and Ron Barber (D- CD2)– have signed on to co-sponsor legislation...

Pamela Powers Hannley | Tucson Progressive 14 Feb 2014 Hits:172 Arizona

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This Weekend's March in North Carolina May Be the Start of Something Huge

This Weekend's March in North Carolina May Be the Start of Something Huge

Nearly 100,000 people took to the streets in Raleigh, North Carolina on February 8 in a Moral March to say "No!" to the state's sharp right-wing political turn and "Yes!" to a new, truly progressive America. They weren't just marching for one issue or another. They were marching for every issueprogressives...

Ira Chernus | AlterNet 10 Feb 2014 Hits:533 North Carolina

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More than 80,000 March on the North Carolina State Capitol to Advocate for Moral and Constitutional Public Policies

More than 80,000 March on the North Carolina State Capitol to Advocate for Moral and Constitutional Public Policies

Protesting against the regressive laws passed by extremists in the General Assembly last year, upwards of 80,000 people marched on the state capitol Saturday morning, according to the march's logistics and planning experts. Called the Moral March on Raleigh, the event's multiracial, intergenerational crowd also advanced an agenda for moral...

North Carolina NAACP 09 Feb 2014 Hits:618 North Carolina

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Jumpstarting the vote in North Carolina

Jumpstarting the vote in North Carolina

In North Carolina, it's called the "Monster Law" -- the 56-page bill passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) last year that ushered in some of the most stringent voting restrictions in the nation. Among the wide-ranging law's provisions were a strict photo ID requirement, cutting...

Chris Kromm | Facing South 07 Feb 2014 Hits:315 North Carolina

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An Austerity Storm Hammers Georgia

An Austerity Storm Hammers Georgia

In this aerial view looking at I-75 north at Mount Paran Road, abandoned cars are piled up on the median of the ice-covered interstate after a winter snowstorm Wednesday. Officials estimate that more than 2,000 cars still litter the highways. (Photo: AP) Americans are surrounded by examples of the extent to...

John Nichols | The Nation 31 Jan 2014 Hits:285 Georgia

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NC NAACP to Implement Three New Initiatives to Fight for Fair Representation and Democratic Participation in North Carolina

NC NAACP to Implement Three New Initiatives to Fight for Fair Representation and Democratic Participation in North Carolina

RALEIGH-Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II opened the NC NAACP's annual winter conference today by declaring that its members were prepared to oppose any attempt by government officials to deny an equal voice and fair representation to the people of North Carolina -whether that involves tens of thousands of feet marching in protest...

Laura Ashton | North Carolina NAACP 25 Jan 2014 Hits:238 North Carolina

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Charniele Herring joins field for Rep. Moran’s seat, will step down as chair of Va. Democrats

Charniele Herring joins field for Rep. Moran’s seat, will step down as chair of Va. Democrats

Del. Charniele Herring said Thursday that she is running for the seat of retiring Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), adding to a crowded field and leaving a vacancy atop the Virginia Democratic Party. “If elected, I will continue the good works of Congressman Jim Moran to foster the economic development...

Ben Pershing | The Washington Post 24 Jan 2014 Hits:281 Virginia

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Va. Attorney General Mark Herring files brief opposing same-sex marriage ban

 Va. Attorney General Mark Herring files brief opposing same-sex marriage ban

RICHMOND — Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced Thursday that he believes the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, and he joined two same-sex couples in asking a federal court to strike it down. The action, which Herring (D) made with the support of Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), marks...

Robert Barnes and Laura Vozzella | The Washington Post 23 Jan 2014 Hits:276 Virginia

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Va. now projects Medicaid savings of $1 billion through 2022

Va. now projects Medicaid savings of $1 billion through 2022

Expanding Virginia’s Medicaid program to about 250,000 uninsured Virginians initially would produce savings of $1 billion through 2022, according to new estimates produced by the state Medicaid office. The estimate represents a swing of more than $1 billion from a Medicaid analysis a year ago, when state health officials estimated a...

Michael Martz | Richmond Times Dispatch 23 Jan 2014 Hits:257 Virginia

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McDonnell, former first lady indicted on multiple counts

McDonnell, former first lady indicted on multiple counts

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were indicted today by a federal grand jury on 14 counts stemming from the first couple’s acceptance and solicitation of thousands in gifts and loans from a wealthy businessman during McDonnell’s term. The indictment, spelled out in an extensive document filed by...

Jim Nolan | Richmond Times Dispatch 21 Jan 2014 Hits:297 Virginia

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Tom Coburn To Leave Senate At End Of 113th Congress

Tom Coburn To Leave Senate At End Of 113th Congress

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn will finish out the current congressional session and then resign from his seat nearly two years before his term is scheduled to end, he said in a statement released late Thursday. The 65-year-old Republican said he would give up his seat at the end of the current...

Sean Murphy | The Huffington Post 17 Jan 2014 Hits:298 Oklahoma

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Gov. McAuliffe emphasizes ‘progress over ideology’ at inauguration

Gov. McAuliffe emphasizes ‘progress over ideology’ at inauguration

Gov. Terence R. McAuliffe pledged to find common ground after officially taking the oath of office Saturday and becoming the state of Virginia’s 72nd governor on a rainy day outside the state Capitol building designed by Thomas Jefferson. “It is humbling, and the highest honor of my life, to stand before you today,” Mr. McAuliffe said before a crowd of...

Dave Sherfinski | The Washington Times 12 Jan 2014 Hits:248 Virginia

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North Carolina NAACP Responds to Governor McCrory's Decision to Postpone Until November a Special Election for Vacant 12th Co…

North Carolina NAACP Responds to Governor McCrory's Decision to Postpone Until November a Special Election for Vacant 12th Congressional District

Raleigh - The North Carolina NAACP State Conference today spoke out against North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory's recent announcement of a Writ of Election that would postpone until November the special election for the state's now vacant 12th Congressional District, causing an undue delay in the election against state precedent....

Rev. Dr. William Barber, II 10 Jan 2014 Hits:453 North Carolina

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W. Virginia Declares State of Emergency After Huge Chemical Spill

W. Virginia Declares State of Emergency After Huge Chemical Spill

Approximately 300,000 people have been told not to drink their water. Residents of nine counties in West Virginia have been told not to use or drink their water after a chemical used by the coal industry spilled into the Elk River on Thursday. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of...

Kiley Kroh | ThinkProgress 10 Jan 2014 Hits:231 West Virginia

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More Juvenile Judges than Public Defenders? The Sorry State of Justice in Georgia

More Juvenile Judges than Public Defenders? The Sorry State of Justice in Georgia

Georgia's 8th Judicial District underfunds its public defender's office so badly that its juvenile courts have more judges than public defenders, denying children the right to counsel, and sending adults to jail for months before trial, a class action claims in state court. Four children and four adults sued Georgia, Gov....

Iulia Filip | Courthouse News 10 Jan 2014 Hits:301 Georgia

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Election Scheduled to Replace Watt in North Carolina

Election Scheduled to Replace Watt in North Carolina

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory announced a Nov. 4 special election to replace longtime Democratic Rep. Melvin Watt, ensuring the contest coincides with previously scheduled elections in the Tar Heel State. The 12th District primary — which will mostly likely determine the next member of Congress from this deeply Democratic district...

Emily Cahn | Roll Call 07 Jan 2014 Hits:247 North Carolina

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Six Things You Should Know About Buying Pot In Colorado

Six Things You Should Know About Buying Pot In Colorado

January 1 marks a high point for Colorado’s Amendment 64 — the first day recreational marijuana businesses can legally operate in the state. A little more than a year after Colorado passed its ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana, individuals can for the first time sell, produce, and purchase marijuana...

Nicole Flatow | ThinkProgress 07 Jan 2014 Hits:489 Colorado

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Democratic Members Of Congress Slam Obama For Massive Cave To Republicans On Judges

Democratic Members Of Congress Slam Obama For Massive Cave To Republicans On Judges

Last November, Senate Democrats invoked a procedural maneuver that allowed them to confirm judicial nominees by a simple majority vote, thus cutting off the GOP’s ability to maintain control over a key federal appeals court by simply refusing to permit anyone to be confirmed. So it’s a bit odd that,...

Ian Millhiser | ThinkProgress 07 Jan 2014 Hits:316 Georgia

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Liz Cheney abandons Senate bid, citing family health issues

Liz Cheney abandons Senate bid, citing family health issues

Five months after shaking Wyoming Republican politics by launching an audacious bid to unseat the state’s senior senator, Liz Cheney on Monday called an abrupt end to her chaotic campaign, citing unspecified “serious health issues” that have arisen in her family. The announcement by the ­eldest daughter of former vice president...

Karen Tumulty and Sean Sullivan | The Washington Post 07 Jan 2014 Hits:211 Wyoming

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Louisiana expected to be a battleground in 2014 U.S. Senate race

Louisiana expected to be a battleground in 2014 U.S. Senate race

More than a year before the actual U.S. Senate election, the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity launched television attacks against Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., for her support of “Obamacare.” Then, a Democratic super PAC, the Senate Majority PAC, aired TV commercials beginning in December blaming U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton...

Jordan Blum | The Advocate 05 Jan 2014 Hits:253 Louisiana

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Messinger Joins First District Congressional Race

Messinger Joins First District Congressional Race

Democrat Leslie Messinger made it official on Friday that she will be running in the 2014 U.S. Congressional race for Georgia's 1st District. Messinger is running for the seat being vacated by 11 term Republican Jack Kingston, who is seeking a seat in the U.S. senate. The two faced each other in the 2012 election with...

Russ Riesinger | WSAV 29 Dec 2013 Hits:536 Georgia

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New Mexico Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Legal

New Mexico Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Legal

New Mexico's highest court ruled on Thursday that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry. "We conclude that the purpose of New Mexico marriage laws is to bring stability and order to the legal relationship of committed couples by defining their rights and responsibilities as to one another, their children...

Daniel Strauss | Talking Points Memo 19 Dec 2013 Hits:293 New Mexico

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Rep. Jack Kingston Proposes That Poor Students Sweep Floors In Exchange For Lunch

Rep. Jack Kingston Proposes That Poor Students Sweep Floors In Exchange For Lunch

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) wants kids to learn early in life that there's no such thing as a free lunch. To make sure they absorb that lesson, he's proposing that low-income children do some manual labor in exchange for their subsidized meals. On Saturday, Kingston, who is vying to be his...

Amanda Terkel The Huffington Post 19 Dec 2013 Hits:344 Georgia

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Obenshain concedes Virginia attorney general’s race to Herring

State Sen. Mark D. Obenshain (R) conceded the race for Virginia attorney general to Democrat Mark R. Herring on Wednesday, bringing the election to a belated end and giving Democrats a sweep of statewide offices — but throwing control of the state Senate into question. The move allowed Herring to claim...

Laura Vozzella and Ben Pershing | The Richmond Times Dispatch 18 Dec 2013 Hits:323 Virginia

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Hawaii Protest Declares Anti-GMO 'Tsunami' is Here

Hawaii Protest Declares Anti-GMO 'Tsunami' is Here

  Braving heavy rains, roughly one thousand Hawaiians traveled to the town of Hale‘iwa on the North Shore of Oahu Sunday to take part in a march against Monsanto, adding their support to the growing "tsunami" against genetically modified (GM) crops. The Aloha Aina (or "Love of the Land") March, organized by...

Lauren McCauley | Common Dreams 17 Dec 2013 Hits:277 Hawaii

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Frank Wolf to retire after 17 terms in Congress; Northern Va. seat to be a battleground in 2014

Frank Wolf to retire after 17 terms in Congress; Northern Va. seat to be a battleground in 2014

  Rep. Frank Wolf announced Tuesday that he would not run for reelection in 2014, ending a distinctive three-decade career in Congress and instantly making his bellwether Northern Virginia seat a prime November battleground. Though the 74-year-old Republican has been a perennial subject of retirement rumors, his decision came as a surprise...

Ben Pershing | The Washington Post 17 Dec 2013 Hits:321 Virginia

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Federal Judge Describes, Then Supports Plot to Rob Detroit Pensioners

Federal Judge Describes, Then Supports Plot to Rob Detroit Pensioners

  On December 3, United States Bankruptcy Judge Stephen A. Rhodes—to the surprise of no one—formally ruled that Detroit is “eligible” for bankruptcy. In other words, creditors will now wrangle over Detroit’s government assets with Rhodes as the referee. It is important to understand that at no point has Detroit declared or...

Frank Joyce | AlterNet 17 Dec 2013 Hits:332 Michigan

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Moral Monday Movement Coming to Georgia

Moral Monday Movement Coming to Georgia

Since August 19, 2013, a “Moral Monday” movement has been building in Georgia to take back our State government from the interests of corporations and wealthy people. The Moral Monday Georgia Coalition, which includes people of faith and citizens of Georgia, has been meeting every two weeks to plan for...

Kevin Moran | Atlanta Progressive News 13 Dec 2013 Hits:243 Georgia

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Watt’s exit will leave scrambled race for Congress

Watt’s exit will leave scrambled race for Congress

U.S. Rep. Mel Watt’s departure from Congress could trigger a complicated process to fill his seat for those who would replace him – a group that Monday grew by one. James “Smuggie” Mitchell, a former Charlotte City Council member who lost this year’s Democratic mayoral primary, announced his candidacy. He joins...

Jim Morrill | Charlotte Observer 12 Dec 2013 Hits:380 North Carolina

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PDA 10th Anniversary - Join us in Northampton on May 10th

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