Archive for dick durbin

Group finds that ALEC falsified signatures on "stand your ground" letter to Sen. Dick Durbin



We've posted about ALEC a lot here at TPC. For example:

ALEC  (American Legislative Exchange Council) is an organization of state legislators which favors federalism and conservative public policy solutions. They literally write legislation for Republican Congress members, who then do whatever they can to pass it. The Nation:

Of all the Kochs’ investments in right-wing organizations, ALEC provides some of the best returns: it gives the Kochs a way to make their brand of free-market fundamentalism legally binding.

And as ALEC Exposed explains:

ALEC bills would privatize public education, crush teacher’s unions, and push American universities to the right. Among other things, these bills make education a private commodity rather than a public good, and reverse America’s modern innovation of promoting learning and civic virtue through public schools staffed with professional teachers for children from all backgrounds.

Now we have this, via Think Progress:

This week, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) sent Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) a letter that claimed the Senator’s investigation into ALEC’s involvement “Stand Your Ground” laws was a form of “intimidation.” The letter was supposed to have carried the clout of about 300 state legislators who signed onto it, but, according to an investigation by progressive group by ProgressNow, many of the signatures on that letter were falsified or duplicated. [...]

The group said it was signed by 293 elected officials. But, ProgressNow found, 55 of the signatures are “blatantly invalid.”

ALEC itself is "blatantly invalid," yet it still dictates legislation on behalf of Corporate America. Let's hope this tarnishes ALEC's image and helps more people to become aware of how they operate, eventually leading to its undoing.


Sen. Dick Durbin: Assault weapon ban won’t be in gun measure.


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Once again, our elected officials are listening with their wallets. Apparently, they forgot about this:

poll assault weapons ed show gun

The assault weapon ban is about to be, well, banned unless Dianne Feinstein can pull off a miracle and garner support for her amendment. Dick Durbin is saying that Senate gun-safety legislation won't include a proposal to ban assault-style weapons.

How’s that "gentleman’s agreement" workin' for ya, Harry? This could be why Durbin said, “We need to revisit” the filibuster rules.


Reid, a Nevada Democrat, told reporters he is working toward gun legislation that can get 60 votes to overcome Republican delaying tactics. He said Feinstein’s measure has fewer than 40 votes.

Expanding background checks, school safety measures, and tougher penalties for gun trafficking are still included.

 So is the ability to use the silent filibuster.


Sen. Dick Durbin: "We need to revisit" the filibuster rules


filibuster reform

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill), don't tease us, please don't tease us... unless you mean it. After my previous post, many of us got a Chris Matthews thrill up our collective leg: Senate Dems think Harry Reid should revisit filibuster reform if GOP continues to block Chuck Hagel.

Of course, Harry Reid never really wanted to change the filibuster. Dick Durbin said that he was uncertain whether the filibuster deal that Reid made with McConnell would make it easier to pass bills, saying, “It requires good will [and] good faith.” Well, at least he has a sense of humor.

But we've had enough. As Rachel Maddow put it, “How’s that ‘gentleman’s agreement’ going now that we’ve just had a filibuster of a cabinet nominee for the first time in American history?”  And it appears that Durbin is asking himself and Harry Reid the same question.

Durbin, via Roll Call:

“We have tried at the beginning of this Senate session to avoid this kind of filibuster confrontation. The last several years we have had over 400 filibusters — a record number of filibusters in the Senate... I hate to suggest this, but if this is an indication of where we’re headed, we need to revisit the rules again... We need to go back to it again. I’m sorry to say it because I was hopeful that a bipartisan approach to dealing with these issues would work.”  [...]

“We had the first filibuster in history of a secretary of Defense nominee, the first... And now we follow with this filibuster of this D.C. Circuit nominee. I don’t think we’ve achieved much in our rules reform. I don’t think our spirit of bipartisanship has shown much in terms of results.”

Bingo. He's referring to the fact that Senate Republicans just filibustered the nomination of Caitlin J. Halligan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She got 51 votes.

And GOP Sen. Rand Paul did actually take the floor to “actively filibuster” the nomination of John O. Brennan to be the next CIA director. He talked his fool head off. For hours.

Ironically, that's exactly the kind of filibuster that has been proposed. Under Jeff Merkley’s plan for reform, the filibuster wouldn’t have ended and the Dems would still be able to use the option to filibuster when they are the minority party. It would have taken more effort and transparency to voice opposition, but the filibuster would have remained intact.

Senators Durbin and Reid? Your move.


Quickie-- Sen. Dick Durbin: White House won't increase Medicare age


Today's Quickie is a welcome one:

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of President Barack Obama's top Senate allies says he's been assured by the White House that the president won't yield to GOP demands to increase the eligibility age for Medicare.

That was today's Quickie. Was it good for you?