Archive for bad bill

“This event is emblematic of how corporate money undermines our democracy"

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corporate money america

Why hasn't this big, corporate money, corporate influence event already been canceled, especially after this from the Los Angeles Times: "AT&T wields enormous power in Sacramento"?

No other single corporation has spent more trying to influence legislators in recent years. It dispenses millions in political donations and has an army of lobbyists. Bills it opposes are usually defeated.

Here's a press release that just came my way:

Sec. of State Candidate Cressman Urges Lawmakers to Cancel This Weekend’s “Speaker’s Cup” Pebble Beach Fundraiser

Lawmakers Get Schmoozed By Lobbyists, Corporate Titans

Senate cancelled similar fundraiser in wake of Sacramento scandals

Sacramento, CA –

California Secretary of State candidate Derek Cressman today blasted lawmakers attending the Speakers Cup Weekend in Pebble Beach this weekend, saying the golf-and-schmooze event embodied everything that is wrong with politics in a state where three lawmakers were recently suspended from the Senate for corruption.

Cressman today called on Assembly Speaker John Perez to cancel the event, just as Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg had recently cancelled a Senate golf fundraiser with corporate interests.

Cressman, who is running on a platform of transparency and reducing the influence of corporate money, said the Pebble Beach event was just a legal version of the bribery and influence-peddling in the Golden State that has made headline news across the country in recent months.

“This event is emblematic of how corporate money undermines our democracy,” said Cressman. “Corporations like AT&T use campaign contributions to elect corporate Democrats who then deliver legislation that boosts their profits at the expense of California consumers,” he said.

“Frankly, it seems AT&T has California by the calls.”

As an example, Cressman pointed to SB 1161, authored by Senator Alex Padilla to deregulate phone service provided over Internet lines. Consumer advocate Mark Toney of The Utility Reform Network called it “the most anti-consumer bill ever introduced in California.” AT&T likes the bill so much that it has made a similar version a “model bill” of the American Legislative Exchange Council, better known as ALEC. ALEC is an organization that connects state legislators with corporate and right wing organizations that is best known for promoting the Stand Your Ground law implicated in the Florida shooting of Trayvon Martin.

Senator Padilla has received at least $108,732 from telecommunication interests, including $43,395 from AT&T and it’s employees during his time in the Senate.

Overall, AT&T has given California legislators $2,336,468 since 2006.

Cressman wants to get corporate money out of California politics by overturning the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC that struck down bans on corporate campaign spending under the reasoning that corporations should be considered people with constitutional rights. “AT&T is not a person and it shouldn’t be allowed to buy our elections,” said Cressman. He has led a national movement to place questions on the ballot giving voters the chance to call for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court. SB 1272, to be voted on in the California Senate Elections Committee on April 21st, would place such a measure on the statewide ballot in November.

AT&T has consistently been able to block legislation to remove monthly fees that it charges consumers to have an unlisted phone number, a basic privacy protection that reportedly nets telecom firms upwards of $50 million per year.

In another instance of telecommunications influence, just last week Senate bill SB962, which was sponsored by Senator Mark Leno in response to the high rate of stolen smartphones, would have forced electronics manufacturers to install a shut-off function in all smartphones failed in the state Senate. The so-called “kill switch” legislation would have required companies to manufacture smartphones with technology that would make them inoperable when not in the owner’s possession.

AT&T has lobbied heavily against the bill.

Note: Edited to correct error in original release.

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WI GOP State Senator not "willing to defend them anymore... There is no massive voter fraud."

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doonesbury jim crow voter suppression single panel WI GOP state senator

tweet voter suppression

Link

Per The Cap Times, WI GOP State Senator Dale Schultz was on on The Devil’s Advocates radio show discussing voter suppression, specifically bills that cut back on early voting. Schultz's own party, the party o' dirty tricks, has been doing whatever it can to make voting harder, because when turnout is high, it usually translates into Democratic wins.

So of course, rather than fighting for victories in the good old fashioned, all-American, patriotic, apple pie honest way, Republicans resort to cheating, because they know they'd never win by approaching elections, you know, fairly.

Democracy, schmemocracy. Endlessly long, discouraging lines rule!

This isn't the first time WI GOP State Senator Dale Schultz has bucked his own party. See: GOP State Sen. Dale Schultz Slams Walker, Calls Union-Busting "Classic Overreach". Now he's expressing his disdain and distaste for the way they're obstructing Wisconsinites from voting.

Schultz:

“I began this session thinking that there was some lack of faith in our voting process and we maybe needed to address it. But I have come to the conclusion that this is far less noble...

"We are not encouraging voting, we are not making voting easier in any way shape or form by these bills...

"I don't see how you can claim to be improving things by actually reducing hours... but maybe this is Never Never Land, who knows?

"It’s just, I think, sad when a political party — my political party — has so lost faith in its ideas that it’s pouring all of its energy into election mechanics. And again, I’m a guy who understands and appreciates what we should be doing in order to make sure every vote counts, every vote is legitimate. But that fact is, it ought to be abundantly clear to everybody in this state that there is no massive voter fraud.

"The only thing that we do have in this state is we have long lines of people who want to vote. And it seems to me that we should be doing everything we can to make it easier, to help these people get their votes counted. And that we should be pitching as political parties our ideas for improving things in the future, rather than mucking around in the mechanics and making it more confrontational at our voting sites and trying to suppress the vote...

“I am not willing to defend them [his colleagues] anymore. I’m just not and I’m embarrassed by this...

"[Voter suppression is] plain wrong...

"It is all predicated on some belief there is a massive fraud or irregularities, something my colleagues have been hot on the trail of for three years and have failed miserably at demonstrating.”

And that concludes another episode of "Republicans eating their own."

eating their own

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"Arizona: the American Uganda. It's not the hate, it's the stupidity."

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Arizona

Another guest post by the one, the only Will Durst who's having a little fun with Arizona, Arizona's governor, Jan Brewer, and her recent decision to veto a terrible bill that would have legalized discrimination in the name of religion.

Brewer is so totes adorbs that Will couldn't resist analyzing her and her reasons for signing SB 1062, as well as poking fun at the state as a whole. Enjoy:

IT’S NOT THE HATE, IT’S THE STUPIDITY

Alright. Woo- hoo. We’re partying now. With the kind of enthusiasm normally reserved for sorting Phillips head screws from flat head screws, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer publicly vetoed SB 1062, legislation that would provide legal cover to businesses denying services based on the operator’s religious beliefs. The return of Jim Crow with a cactus beat.

Yes, the finger jabbing governess banged down the brakes of the bigot bill. And the disappointment rumbling through the evangelical community caused snakes to be mishandled all the way to Eastern Tennessee.

Give the lady credit. She hemmed. She hawed. She deliberated. Took her time like a molasses coated snail slogging up Everest against the wind in the dead of winter. The right thing was done; for the wrong reasons. The same way deciding not to drink that 8th beer was a smart move whether the cause was self- restraint or misplacing the bottle opener under the front seat.

Mostly it was the threat of another state- wide economic boycott including the possibility of losing a second Super Bowl that did the trick. Once again, the NFL trumps religion. Of course, if those darn liberals hadn't put up such a stink, she would have signed it so fast it would make a roadrunner's head spin, mid beep- beep.

Ironically, Brewer’s painstakingly lackadaisical response was responsible for ratcheting up the backlash that inflamed the country. She inadvertently gave the press time to trumpet the story. And the resulting uproar bodes as well for the umpteen other states considering similar legislation as a dead gila monster- head in your Frosted Flakes.

This is what happens when the tourist industry, the business community, the state’s 2 GOP US Senators and even some of the bill’s co- sponsors turn against it. With friends like these, who needs enemas?

You’d think that vetoing a bill that sanctioned discrimination would be a no- brainer, but no- brainers aren’t quite the sure thing in Arizona. This is the state famous for voting against recognizing Martin Luther King’s Birthday as a holiday and encouraging local police to stop anybody with a tan on both their arms. Not to mention Alice Cooper.

Perhaps Arizona legislators are unaware that religions other than Christianity exist, because depending on the faith of the business owner, this bill would have allowed folks to refuse service not just for sexual orientation but for sporting nail polish, fastening pants with zippers or eating shellfish. The burning hunger for desert shellfish having been dealt with many millennia ago.

Not wearing a hat offends some gods. While the wearing of hats offends others. The gods, they are sartorially conflicted. Suspected of engaging in premarital sex, no ice cream for you. Divorced patrons can purchase their organic rutabagas somewhere else, thank you very much. Wear a turban? Don’t need a couch. Customers would need to take a urine test every time they dropped something off at the dry cleaners.

With every piece of ludicrous legislation, it becomes increasingly apparent that AZ- the postal abbreviation for the Grand Canyon State- stands for Angry Zenophobes. And yes, xenophobe is actually spelled with an X, but the insensible and intolerant denizens of Arizona are probably unaware of that. Arizona: the American Uganda. It’s not the hate, it’s the stupidity.

Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about his new CD, “Elect to Laugh” and calendar of personal appearances.

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Wisconsin state Dem senator expects "all out hell" on GOP abortion bills

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rachel maddow gop big government

Anti-abortion, pro-forced birth bills are moving right along in Wisconsin's state Senate, and Democratic Sen. Jon Erpenbach will do everything he can to prevent them... loudly and clearly.

If his name sounds familiar, it's because he was also very vocal during the enormous protests against Gov. Scott Walker a couple of years back.

The typically anti-choice, invasive, War on Women bills in question would:

--Ban abortions "that are solely based on whether the fetus is male or female,"  (AKA sex selection) but Democrats don't think Wisconsin needs a bill like that at all since there are very few, if any, of those procedures that are even performed.

--Prevent public workers' health insurance plans from covering abortions and exempt religious organizations from providing insurance coverage for contraceptives. Contraceptives would be available if they're needed for something other than birth control. This bill is the biggie.

Via Madison.com:

"Their morals are fine for them but not for the rest of the state," Erpenbach said after the hearing. "Government intrusion like this is shocking."... When asked after the hearing how he expected Tuesday's debate to play out, Erpenbach said, "All out hell. Seriously."

Republicans control the Senate 18-15. Gov. Scott Walker has said he supports both bills and will sign them into law once they pass.

Notice the report doesn't say "if they pass."

The hypocrisy by Republicans is astounding. They scream "Small government!" but their version of "small government" becomes hugely intrusive when it suits them."Governor Ultrasound" ring a bell? Sure, government is just small enough to fit into our vaginas.

Memo to Republicans: My body, my choice. Stay the hell out of my uterus and my birth control methods, GOP. Clear?

uncle sam gynecologist abortion

small government my ass

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VIDEO-- Dear GOP: What part of "Mommy, I'm hungry" don't you understand?

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gop spending farm bill v obamacare, stimulus

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Ed Schultz was rightfully enraged by GOP bills that put farms before families, as you can see in the video above. Typically hypocritical, Republicans sweartogod they're changing, but then they continue on their merry, self-serving, greedy way.

Today Michael Hiltzik covered the same topic in depth. Here are some excerpts from his Los Angeles Times column, but please read the whole thing. Michael hits on a lot of important points:

In the name of cutting $20 billion from the food stamp program over 10 years, the House bill would throw almost 2 million recipients off the food stamp rolls, as estimated by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Most of them are seniors or members of low-income working families with children. More than 200,000 children would lose their eligibility for free school meals. By LaMalfa's estimate, these are "modest changes" aimed at reform, but of course he and his family don't have to worry about being on the edge of destitution. (The Senate version would cut only $4 billion, which is why it's not favored in the House.)

LaMalfa's words reflected a familiar theme in congressional debate, which is that the recipients of payouts like farm subsidies are honest, hardworking folks while those getting food stamps (or other low-income relief) should be grateful at the help they get and shut up otherwise. [...]

The question for Rep. LaMalfa and his fellow food stamp hackers on the agriculture committee is: Why is it important for government to skip out on aid for families, but pony up for farmers like him?

Michael Hiltzik's column appears Sundays and Wednesdays. Reach him at mhiltzik@latimes.com, read past columns at latimes.com/hiltzik, check out facebook.com/hiltzik and follow @hiltzikm on Twitter.

outreach my ass reach out inclusive

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"Eight elected officials wear that 'Gang' moniker proudly. Why?"

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road staircase to nowhere entropy

Another guest post is by our pal and regular TPC contributor, David Garber, whose new book HOLLYWOOD HUCKSTER – A Memoir of Hysterical Proportions can be found at Amazon (Here’s his post about it.):

GANG OF EIGHT'S ROAD MAP TO CITIZENSHIP

So they call themselves the GANG of eight. Not the group, the band, the club, the association, the fraternity, the co-op, or the gaggle -- but the gang.

What do you think of when you hear the word, "Gang?" Drugs? Crime? Rape? Harassment? Extortion? Murder? Drive-by killings? It's hard to find a first or second thought that's positive, yet in the Senate, these eight elected officials wear that "Gang" moniker proudly. Why?

Maybe it's because they're really are a gang. Thugs, criminals, liars, and cheats. Maybe they're selfishly looking for unfair advantage by banding together to force others to succumb to their will. Sounds like a gang to me.

Marco Rubio is their ambidextrous spokesperson of late, chosen for his adroit skills at talking out of both sides of his parched mouth. Gang spokesman-- that's some title. He publicly supports his right wing, self-interest groups (see, even they're not called gangs) from of one of his mouths while sabotaging this muddled, patchwork bill out of the other.

'The Rube' has gone so far as to construct a bill with the other seven gang members, and then go to the ever weak/brainless Senator Kelly Ayotte (Senator McCain & Senator Graham's personal puppet) and lobby her to follow him and vote against it.

You got that right. He co-authors a bill, publicly heralds it and behind the scenes doesn't even support it himself.

What's wrong with this picture? Us. We voted these morons into office. And to borrow from Cliff Huxtable on the Cosby Show, "we brought you into this world, we can take you out!"

We want a real bill... protect the immigrant families, protect our borders, make it fair to the children who were brought here when young, don't be prejudiced against gays and lesbians, keep families together and for God's sake, give these folks a reasonable and fair path to citizenship -- not a 12 year, Escher-like road map that will never get these immigrants to their destination.

Dump these chumps. Remember their names. Vote them out!

For the past 25 years, David Garber has been serving as the show runner and or writer on some of television’s biggest hits… Saved By The Bell, Power Rangers, 227, Bill Cosby Show and many other network series. His writing and producing have also netted David two very prestigious awards:the PRISM AWARD and the TV CRITICS AWARD – TV SPECIAL OF THE YEAR. Currently he’s authoring a short story series called “A Few Minutes With…”

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GOP hates spending, so Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) intros bill to boost Pentagon war spending by $5 billion

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spend money guy

Via

Watch as Senate Democrats point at laugh at the House Armed Services panel's Defense authorization bill that would hike Pentagon spending by $5 billion.

Because, see, what we need now is to pour more cash into the Afghanistan war, which is exactly what Chairman Buck McKeon's (R-Calif.) legislation would do. Republicans want to "make up for cuts to training and maintenance" due to that thing we all love to hate called "sequestration."

Yes, the party that hates spending wants to spend-- spend-- an additional five. Billion. Dollars.

The Hill:

The sweeping Pentagon policy bill pushes back on a number of administration proposals and priorities.

The measure includes restrictions on transferring Guantánamo detainees to the United States, which President Obama proposed to re-start last month as he looks to close the prison. The bill also included funding for new barracks at Guantánamo to replace temporary facilities.

The committee rejected base closures and new healthcare fees for a second straight year, and also said no to a smaller pay raise for troops... On sexual assault, an issue that has generated a host of attention in recent weeks, the bill strips commanders’ ability to overturn guilty verdicts and establishes minimum sentencing guidelines for sexual assault cases.

It does not, however, go as far as some lawmakers are proposing to remove the decision to prosecute sexual assault cases from the chain of command.

Did I say that thing we all love to hate is called "sequestration"? I meant "the GOP."

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