America is witnessing the most corrupt presidency in its modern history.
The Independence Institute, a self-described “action tank” based in Colorado, wants us to celebrate fossil fuels on Earth Day, April 22. “Enviros celebrate by planting trees but they never celebrate the trucks that deliver the trees, or the gas that powers that truck, or the plastic handles of the shovels they use,” it said in a recent email to ThinkProgress.
The Center for Media and Democracy, a national watchdog group, has traced efforts to pre-empt local bag bans to December 2014, when a group funded by some of the largest plastics manufacturers in the country, called the American Progressive Bag Alliance, paid ALEC to present a workshop.
“The Independence Institute’s position on tackling climate change is about as independent as a fox’s view on protecting the hen-house,” Nick Surgey, research director at the Center for Media and Democracy, told ThinkProgress via email. “It’s really a corporate-backed fake think tank with a track record of opposing renewable energy development in Colorado.”
The Legislature spent a several days fussing with a female legislator who thinks the best way for a woman to progress in the legislature is to “spread her legs.” She should have included the males compromising themselves for the special interests and lobbyists. Their votes are often for sale on legislative bills written and promoted by ALEC. Here’s what the Center for Media and Democracy says about ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council): “ALEC is a powerful (group). Through the secretive meetings of ALEC, corporate lobbyists and state legislators vote as equals on ‘model bills’ that often benefit the corporations’ bottom line at public expense. ALEC is a pay-to-play operation where corporations buy a seat and a vote on ‘task forces’ to advance their legislative wish lists. Participating legislators then bring those proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas; without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills. ALEC has over 1,000 of these bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law.”
It’s the latest advance in an all-out battle many states are waging against local efforts to increase their residents’ wages and benefits. As more cities pass minimum wage increases and paid sick leave requirements, amid Congressional inaction on both issues, preemption bills stymieing their efforts have proliferated. According to the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), every year has seen more states consider such legislation, with 36 states in 2016, up from 29 the year before and 23 the year before that.
“This is legislative capture,” says Lisa Graves, the executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, which has long tracked the influence of ALEC. “Very special interests who oppose progressive policies are using state legislatures to advance their interests in ways that are deeply antidemocratic.”
The Center on Wednesday sued the Trump administration to safeguard the coal-leasing moratorium, and last week, along with noted conservation biologist Stuart Pimm and the Center for Media and Democracy, launched an effort to prevent hundreds of environmental data sets on government websites from being removed by the administration.
Gorsuch’s billionaire backers know exactly what they are getting, and the American people should too.
Despite its harmful provisions, “Trumpcare” failed to win support from most Freedom Caucus members.