Rebekah Wilce's News Articles

ALEC Sends Out an SOS to Breitbart Bloggers

Shortly after issuing a press release announcing that it was disbanding its "Public Safety and Elections Task Force" after 30 years, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) held a training for the right-wing blogosphere.

Ticketmaster Hot and Bothered About ALEC

Association with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is becoming so toxic that even being listed on ALEC Exposed as a former supporter of the organization is rattling corporate cages. The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has received a letter from the online ticket sales company Ticketmaster referring to the list of "ALEC Corporations" on our site

Ticketmaster's letter does not directly deny any current or former involvement with ALEC, but "advises" CMD to "cease and desist from including Ticketmaster on your site," objecting to "the suggestion that Ticketmaster is somehow affiliated with ALEC" and threatening to sue CMD for libel and defamation.

Mars and Arizona Public Service Dump ALEC

The seventh and eighth corporations to publicly state that they cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) are candy-maker Mars and the Arizona Public Service Company (APS), Arizona's largest electric utility. Mars had been an exhibitor at ALEC's 2011 annual meeting in New Orleans. Mars is the maker of Skittles, the snack Trayvon Martin had purchased before he was shot by George Zimmerman, whose arrest was delayed due to an NRA-backed gun law that became an ALEC "model" bill.

BREAKING: Intuit Out of ALEC; Coke, Kraft, Pepsi, too, while Koch Stands Ground

A stampede seems to be on the way as more and more groups break ties and dump ALEC. Intuit, Inc. (maker of Quicken and QuickBooks accounting software) told the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) that Intuit also decided not to renew its membership after it expired in 2011. That comment came from Bernie McKay, Vice President of Government Affairs. He gave this response when CMD identified that Intuit was no longer listed on the board and contacted the company. CMD began its effort to spotlight Intuit and other corporate funders and tie these corporations to the ALEC agenda when it launched in July 2011.

Kraft Foods also announced that it won't renew its membership in ALEC when it expires this spring, according to an email from Kraft Corporate Affairs Director Susan Davison. These announcements follow on the news that Coca-Cola and Pepsi are out.

Breaking News: Coca-Cola Dumps ALEC

Public interest groups campaigning to convince Coca-Cola to break ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) scored a major victory yesterday when Coke announced it had "elected to discontinue its membership with" ALEC.

According to a statement Coke made to the Washington Examiner, "Our involvement with ALEC was focused on efforts to oppose discriminatory food and beverage taxes, not on issues that have no direct bearing on our business. We have a long-standing policy of only taking positions on issues that impact our Company and industry."

Who is Zimmerman Defender Joe Oliver?

In the past few weeks, the shooting death of Trayvon Martin exploded on the national stage. George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who shot and killed Martin, kept his head down and did not do any interviews. Few spoke on his behalf, until Joe Oliver, a calm, compelling public speaker took to the national airwaves, prompting the question who is Joe Oliver?

Death by Delay: Obama Team Stalls on Chemical Regulation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has drafted a "chemicals of concern" list to restrict the use of certain chemicals and alert the public to their possible dangers. But the list remains secret and dormant because it's stuck at the Obama administration's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review.

OIRA is a division of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). According to Katie Greenhaw, Regulatory Policy Analyst at the government watch-dog group OMB Watch, OIRA has 90 - 120 days to review rules from a regulatory agency, before releasing the rule back to the agency to open it up for public comment. Rules then go back to OIRA for additional review before being published as final rules. This rule has been stuck at OIRA for almost two years. That means the public hasn't even laid eyes on it.

USDA to Serve Kids More "Pink Slime"

A product made by grinding up connective tissue from cows and beef scraps that used to be made into dog food is too disgusting to serve at McDonald's, Burger King or Taco Bell, which have all dropped it due to public pressure, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) thinks it's fine to serve in school lunches. The USDA plans to buy seven million pounds of the "Lean Finely Textured Beef" (LFTB) from Beef Products Inc. (BPI) and serve it to school children this spring.

Nebraska Court Rules "Alcopops" Should be Taxed as Liquor

Flavored alcoholic beverages like Smirnoff Ice and Mike's Hard Lemonade -- dubbed "alcopops" by public health advocates -- should be taxed at the higher rate of distilled spirits rather than as beer, according to the Nebraska Supreme Court. The lawsuit, Project Extra Mile v. Nebraska Liquor Control Comm., was brought by Nebraska taxpayers and nonprofit groups battling underage drinking. Now the Nebraska legislature is considering a bill, LB824, that would undo the state Supreme Court's decision.

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