Rebekah Wilce's News Articles

ALEC Down 30 Corporations: General Motors and Walgreens Cut Ties

Two more large American companies, headquartered in the Midwest, have responded to their customers and cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC): General Motors (GM) and Walgreens. This brings the total to 30 corporations and four non-profits -- 34 total private sector members -- that have cut ties to the right-wing corporate bill mill.

EnergySolutions and Connections Education Are 27th and 28th Corporations to Leave ALEC

Two more corporations have publicly left the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC): EnergySolutions, a nuclear services company based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Connections Education, LLC, a private school entity based in Baltimore, Maryland, that contracts with charter schools, school districts, or governmental

WTO Not So COOL: Rules Against Popular U.S. Meat Labeling Law

The World Trade Organization (WTO) issued a final ruling today against the U.S. country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law. This popular pro-consumer policy, which informs shoppers where meat and other foods were raised or grown, enjoys the support of 93% of Americans, according to a 2010 Consumers Union poll. Now Congress must gut or change the law to avoid the application of punitive trade sanctions.

Farm Bill Passes U.S. Senate

The farm bill S. 3240, passed the U.S. Senate on June 21. The bill, which is renewed approximately every five years, dictates congressional spending on not only farm issues such as crop subsidies, but nutritional programs like food stamps and the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP), and conservation programs. Total spending controlled by this one bill is in the billions of dollars each year. In 2010, farm bill spending amounted to $96.3 billion, according to the Environmental Working Group.

Johnson & Johnson 19th Company, 23rd Private Sector Member, to Cut Ties with ALEC

Johnson & Johnson, a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council's corporate "Private Enterprise" board and its Civil Justice and Health and Human Services task forces, announced today that it has decided to "suspend" its ALEC membership.

Big Tobacco Cash Floods California to Defeat New Tax

Think Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and special interests supporting him spent a lot in the Wisconsin recall race, at $45 million? Well, tobacco companies spent even more to defeat the ballot measure to raise California's cigarette taxes. How much? $47 million.

The ballot measure, Proposition 29, would have raised California's cigarette tax from its current 87 cents a pack -- half the national average -- to $1.87 a pack. This would still only have been the 16th highest cigarette tax in the country. The revenue created would have financed cancer research and smoking prevention programs.

Feingold Campaigns Across the State for Barrett

  • Topics: Labor, Politics
  • Former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold told reporters and supporters of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett this afternoon, "If we get anywhere near [the election turnout in] 2008, or even halfway there, we're going to win. ... The momentum is exactly where we want it."

    Senator Feingold made three stops at "get out the vote" events in Wisconsin today to support Mayor Barrett in advance of the recall election against Governor Walker on Tuesday. He spoke in Madison on his way to Milwaukee and Kenosha.

    In Madison, he spoke at the local American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union headquarters. Wisconsin's public sector workers were hit hard by restrictions on their rights in the past 16 months.

    When asked if election turnout in the southeast corner of the state (Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, etc.) would be key to the results of the election, Feingold responded, "It's going to be huge. The working people of that part of the state were attacked by the governor. They know it."

    Plan B: Recalls will Determine Control of Wisconsin Senate

  • Topics: Politics
  • Most of the headlines in recent weeks have focused on embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's effort to ward off a recall, but four Wisconsin State Senate seats are also up for grabs in the June 5 recall elections. These four elections could swing control of the Senate to the Democrats. Last summer, six senators faced recall elections, and Democrats picked up two seats. If they pick up one more seat in the June 5 election, they win control of the Senate and put a halt to the Walker agenda.

    Wal-Mart 18th Corporation to Dump ALEC, Becomes 22nd Private Sector Member to Leave

    Wal-Mart, a member of ALEC's corporate "Private Enterprise" board and of the Public Safety and Elections Task Force that adopted Florida's "Stand Your Ground" as a "model" bill, announced yesterday that it is "suspending" its ALEC membership.

    Bill in Congress Could Limit Access to Drug Safety Information

    The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Wednesday, May 30, on the Food and Drug Administration Reform Act of 2012, H.R.5651. Groups advocating for open and transparent government have found a provision in the bill that would keep potentially important health and safety information away from the public. Section 812 would, according to a letter to leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee penned by several of these groups, deny the public access to information relating to drugs obtained by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from any government agency -- local, state, federal, or foreign -- if that agency has requested that the information be kept confidential.

    Patrice McDermott, Executive Director of, which works with the legislative and executive branches to encourage more open government, told the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) that the provision might blow a huge hole in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). It would give the FDA carte blanche with regard to drug information.

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