Archive for bad legislation

Wisconsin mining company helped write a Republican bill that would streamline regulations

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playing footsie

Anyone else sensing a familiar odor reminiscent of ALEC? No, not Baldwin, he probably smells pretty good. I'm referring to another ALEC  (American Legislative Exchange Council), an organization of state legislators that favors federalism and conservative public policy solutions. They literally write legislation for Republican Congress members, who then do whatever they can to pass it.

Which brings us to Wisconsin, where records made public by the liberal group One Wisconsin Now show that mining officials requested modifications on a bill before it was introduced. And naturally, those modifications would make life easier for themselves, their industry, and their wallets. Because you know how annoying those pesky regulations can be, the ones that provide for people's, you know, lives and safety.

America first!

Once again, under Gov. Scott Walker's watch, we see all kinds of footsies being played:

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Drafting records show a company looking to open a huge iron mine in far northwestern Wisconsin made suggestions on language in a Republican bill that would streamline Wisconsin’s mining regulations.

Paging Gov. Walker, Koch brothers on line one! Let's take a trip back in time to 2011: The ALEC-Koch pipeline to Wisconsin Legislators and the Mining Bill:

The Mining Bill released by Assembly Republicans late last week is clearly a case of Legislative patronage to a corporate sponsor-- in this case, Gogebic Taconite Mining, LLC. Not surprising, but more disturbing, are the covert links to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Koch Industries, and closer to home, Hamilton Consulting in Madison.

All three have created an expressway of influence to Wisconsin Legislation for co-opting state resources – creating record profits for themselves (which they will ultimately pay little tax on) and untold burdens on middle class taxpayers and the environment.

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Montana corporal punishment bill proposed by Republican legislator. Who knew the GOP was into spanking?

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spank

corporal punishment Montana

Land o' Goshen, Montana's getting kind of kinky! Or one of their legislators is, anyway. He's appears to be into... spanking. Okay, maybe kinky wasn't the right word. How about misguided? Or just plain nuts?

I mean, come on, flogging is so Les Miz ago.

Memo to GOP: Violence is not the answer. Guns are not the answer. Beating, flogging, spanking, or otherwise harming other human beings: none of these is the answer. Common sense laws are, reasonable punishment is, you get the idea.

The bill proposed by Rep. Jerry O’Neil (R-Columbia Falls) includes the following:

A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT ALLOWING A DEFENDANT TO BARGAIN FOR THE IMPOSITION OF CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN LIEU OF OR TO REDUCE THE TERM OF ANY SENTENCE OF INCARCERATION AVAILABLE TO THE COURT FOR IMPOSITION; AMENDING SECTION 46-18-115, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN APPLICABILITY DATE." BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:

NEW SECTION. Section 1. Corporal punishment in lieu of incarceration. (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a person convicted of any offense by a court in this state, whether a misdemeanor or felony, may during a sentencing hearing as provided in 46-18-115 bargain with the court for the imposition of corporal punishment in lieu of or to reduce the term of any sentence of incarceration available to the court for imposition.

(2) The court and the person convicted of an offense shall negotiate the exact nature of the corporal punishment to be imposed, which must be commensurate with the severity, nature, and degree of the harm caused by the offender. If the court and the offender cannot agree on the exact nature of the corporal punishment to be imposed, the court shall impose a sentence as provided in 46-18-201.

(3) The imposition of a sentence under this section must be carried out by the sheriff of the county in which the crime occurred if the sentence for corporal punishment reduced or eliminated the term of incarceration in the county jail or by the department of corrections if the sentence reduced or eliminated the term of incarceration in the state prison. Any imposition of sentence pursuant to this section must be carried out within a reasonable time.

(4) For purposes of this section, "corporal punishment" means the infliction of physical pain on a defendant to carry out the sentence negotiated between the judge and the defendant.

No, he's not kidding.

spanking

Corporal punishment, according to Merriam-Webster:

Infliction of physical pain upon a person's body as punishment for a crime or infraction. Such penalties include beating, branding, mutilation, blinding, and the use of the stock and pillory. The term also denotes the physical disciplining of children in the schools and at home. From ancient times through the 18th century, corporal punishment was commonly used in instances that did not call for capital punishment, ostracism, or exile. But the growth of humanitarian ideals during the Enlightenment and afterward led to its gradual abandonment, and today it has been almost entirely replaced in the West by imprisonment or other nonviolent penalties.

crazy

H/t: The Lowdown

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Just 10 multinational corporations control most consumer brands; which are on newly released list of ALEC members?

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(Click on image to enlarge)

@sonnylebythebay linked me to the above image, found at a French food blog here (via Grist), where they suggest that "the concentration of political power and the environmental irresponsibilities of these companies are cause for worry." 

Indeed.

Then there's this, via DefendWisconsin.org:

This 2011 list of corporations sitting on ALEC issue task forces, disclosed as part of the IRS whistleblower complaint, is available through Common Cause here. The full list of companies that have been involved in ALEC in recent years, updated with the new data, is available here through the Center for Media and Democracy. [...]

ALEC’s legislative portfolio combines an agenda that favors corporations over consumers and workers – lower corporate taxes, limited environmental protections, and the repeal of worker rights, along with the privatization of Social Security, Medicare, schools, prisons and other government institutions or services – with hot-button social issues.

It's just one big wealthy powerful greedy happy corporate family, isn't it?

Here is a list of corporations that have cut ties to ALEC. You can check them against the map above to see who's still hanging out with the snakes that are negatively influencing the way we live our lives.

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Civil rights groups file challenge to Arizona immigration law

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The people who wrote the horrible "Papers Please" law have said they made it impossible to challenge, airtight, bullet proof, as it were.

The sponsors of the bill went outside the state to get advice from the Immigration Reform Law Institute -- advice they said makes Senate Bill 1070 airtight.

However:

A broad coalition of civil rights groups filed a class-action lawsuit Monday challenging Arizona's controversial new immigration law, saying, among other things, that the measure violates the U.S. Constitution and will lead to racial profiling.

Stopping someone because they look illegal is racial profiling? Go on! Getouttahere!

It was just a matter of time. After all, it takes more than a few hours to organize, pull together, get legal papers in order, ready yourself for the onslaught of crazies who will attack you for being unAmerican:

The coalition includes the American Civil Liberties Union, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. [...]

The lawsuit claims that the Arizona law violates of the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause, under which federal statutes trump state laws. It also argues that the measure violates the Constitution's equal protection and free speech guarantees, as well as the prohibition of unreasonable seizures.

Doesn't sound like the Papers Please law is airtight to me.Then again, I'm partial to illegal shoes and hair styles.

There are a few more who aren't big fans of this fiasco:

In Arizona, the city councils of Tucson and Flagstaff also have decided to challenge the new immigration law in court. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently said the Justice Department is also considering filing alawsuit against the controversial measure.

No wonder conservatives don't like lawyers. They get sued by so many of them, and for good reason.

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