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Dismantling Public Education - Like it or Not, Betsy DeVos Has Made a Mark in Six Months as Education Secretary

Valerie Strauss Washington Post
After six months, Betsy DeVos has taken some major steps to change education policy, and her very presence at the head of the U.S. Education Department signals something important about the past, present and future of public education in the United States. She faces protests at many public appearances, which is why she receives special protection from the U.S. Marshals Service, at an average cost so far this year of $1 million a month.


ALEC and the Minimum Wage

Seth Sandronsky Talking Union
“Taking away local control over wages (and a range of other pro-worker, pro-environment, and pro-civil rights policies) has become a major priority of ALEC, a corporate-backed group with extensive lobbying resources and influence in our state legislatures,” according to an National Employment Law Project statement. “ALEC drafts “model” minimum wage preemption bills for conservative legislatures to simply copy and paste.”

Class War in the Capital City

By Don McIntosh Northwest Labor Press
After compiling a five-year, 50-state, 30-issue database of corporate-backed legislation, political scientist Gordon Lafer has come to believe that business groups are waging a coordinated campaign in state legislatures to impose a deeply unpopular agenda on America.

New Anti-Protesting Legislation: A Deeper Look

Traci Yoder National Lawyers Guild
Trump’s three executive orders on policing, the large number of state legislatures dominated by Republicans, the pro-policing and pro-business attitude of the current administration, and the constant and growing spontaneous demonstrations protesting Trump all combine to produce an atmosphere in which many powerful interests have a stake in suppressing mass dissent.

With Help From ALEC and Bayer, Monsanto Is Poised to Take Over the Global Food System

Jamie Corey, Lisa Graves Alternet
A massive portion of the planet's seed stock could soon be in the hands of a single company. Bayer announced last month that it plans to purchase Monsanto, the controversial chemical corporation that has been sued around the world over its products. Nowadays, Bayer has a more consumer-friendly corporate reputation, but has a checkered past too.

Prison Strike's Financial Impact in California

Solidarity Research Center et al Solidarity Research Organization
Each incarcerated worker in California generates $41,549 annually in revenue for the prison system, or $10,238 in profit. The financial losses to the California prison system are as much as $636,068 in revenue, or $156,736 in profit, for every day of the prison strike. For every day of the prison strike at the Central California Women’s Facility, the prison system lost $24,132 in revenue or $5,946 in profit. Moderator Note: Go to original source for endnotes.

Revealed: AARP Is Funding ALEC

Nick Surgey and Calvin Sloan The Center for Media and Democracy
AARP, the non-profit seniors organization that exists to promote the financial security, pensions and healthcare of those over 50, is secretly funding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization whose bills have acted against the interests of ordinary Americans, including retirees and their families. What can you do? -- sign the petition below.

Meet ALEC's (Hoped For) Man in Washington: Scott Walker

Brian Murphy TPM
One of the group’s most high profile alumni is Scott Walker. It’s possible that no American politician who holds office today has worked harder to successfully advance ALEC’s agenda than Walker. And no previous candidate for the White House has ever owed so much to ALEC at the outset of his campaign.Walker’s longstanding association with the group dates back to his first days as a state legislator in the early 1990s.

ALEC Watchdog: Jane Carter on the Right-Wing Lobbyists Trying to Rewrite the Constitution

Bill Raden Capital and Main
At the recent meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), delegates barely glanced at exhibitors of right-wing groups. One booth promoted what may be the most extreme ALEC initiative yet — an attempt to trigger Article V of the U.S. Constitution in a historically unprecedented call for a national convention of states to amend the supreme law of the USA. Labor economist and veteran ALEC-watcher Jane Carter calls it “terrifying."

ALEC Confidential: Tales From the Supply-Side

Bill Raden Capital and Main
The 42nd Annual Meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) got underway July 22 in San Diego. The mood was convivial, attire corporate casual: Brooks Brothers suits without ties, Dockers and sports shirts. ALEC, (secretive rightwing bill mill funded by Koch Brothers and global multibillion dollar corporations), has been described as a legislative dating service that arranges hookups between mostly Republican state lawmakers and corporate lobbyists.
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