August 7, 2012

Amgen Leaves ALEC

The American Legislative Exchange Council, one of America’s most powerful corporate front groups, has been taking a beating since their role in promoting voter suppression and “Stand Your Ground” laws was exposed. Dozens of corporations have left. Today, the labor federation AFSCME, along with a group of socially responsible investors, informed Republic Report that drug company Amgen told them that it will not be renewing its membership in ALEC.

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July 12, 2012

Breaking: Senate Will Hold Vote On The DISCLOSE Act Next Week

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) has just announced this afternoon that Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has said that there will be a vote on the DISCLOSE (Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections) Act on Monday. The DISCLOSE Act helps make election spending more transparent, by requiring the disclosure of donors to certain groups that run advocacy ads intended to influence elections. As of its original introduction, the bill had only the support of two Republicans — Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Congressman Mike Castle, who has now retired. “Taking back our democracy from corporate money …

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July 10, 2012

John Deere, CVS Caremark, HP, MillerCoors, And Best Buy Drop ALEC

Today, five new companies have pledged to stop funding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). They include John Deere, CVS Caremark, MillerCoors, HP, and Best Buy.

According to the activist group ColorOfChange:

“Over the last few weeks, we have closely followed the issues surrounding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and have heard from numerous stakeholders expressing their views,” said Larry Burton, CVS Caremark Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, in an email to ColorOfChange. “As a result, after careful consideration of the available information, CVS Caremark has discontinued its membership in ALEC.”

“We’ve not contributed to ALEC this year, nor do …

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June 29, 2012

Senator Sherrod Brown Explains Why Big Business Owns Congress

In a piece about populism and the Democratic Party in Politico, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown (OH) explained how Big Business has, through its ability to tap into an extraordinary amount of campaign contributions, independent expenditures, and other electoral interventions, been able to own Congress:

“They own the Republican Party, and they have too much influence in my party, I mean there’s no question about that,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), a true-blue populist up for reelection who has had $8.3 million spent against him already by third-party groups, most of them allies of business . “That’s why wealth is so concentrated …

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June 25, 2012

The Supreme Court Just Struck Down Montana’s Law Banning Corporate Political Spending

SCOTUSblog reports that in a 5-4 decision, the court decided to reverse the Montana Supreme Court’s ruling that the state’s ban on corporate money in political campaigns is constitutional. In essence, the Supreme Court just struck down Montana’s ban on corporate political spending, in a move that is sure to have dire consequences for the state’s democracy.

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June 22, 2012

Dell Leaves ALEC

We’ve just received word that Dell has dropped its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a powerful corporate front group that passes off corporate-written bills to state legislatures. Here’s a statement from Dell:

Dell makes it a practice to review our memberships each year. We reviewed the value of our participation in the Education committee and decided that we will not be renewing our membership with ALEC next month. We provided our feedback to ALEC a few weeks ago when we told them we were not renewing.

Dell joins Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, and many other corporations and other organizations …

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June 19, 2012
Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL)

JPMorgan Is Spencer Bachus’s 2nd-Highest Donor As He Fails To Put Jamie Dimon Under Oath

Today, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is testifying before the House Financial Services Committee about his megabank’s stunning $2 billion loss. As during his testimony before the Senate last week, Dimon is being shown enormous deference by members of Congress, many of whom receive campaign contributions from Dimon’s bank. Take, for example the committee’s chairman, Spencer Bachus (R-AL). Bachus failed to put Dimon under oath during the hearing. While this isn’t an unusual practice for a congressional hearing, it is appropriate to require sworn testimony when a committee is pursuing factual questions and allegations of misconduct, as is the case …

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June 12, 2012

Johnson & Johnson Becomes The Nineteenth Group To Leave ALEC

This afternoon, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson announced that it will be leaving the corporate front group the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC):

“We have been in dialogue with ALEC for some time, and while we acknowledge ALEC’s recent decision to focus only on innovation and growth-supporting policies, we have decided to suspend our participation and membership,” Carol Goodrich, Johnson & Johnson’s director of coporate communication, said in a statement today.

Johnson & Johnson joins 18 other corporations, foundations, or other organizations that have left the group.

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