Harriet Rowan's News Articles

New Report Shows ALEC's "Unprecedented Influence Over Florida"

As corporate lobbyists and state legislators from across the country meet in Salt Lake City for the 39th annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group of open government advocates have released a report called "ALEC in Florida" that sheds further light on ALEC's "unprecedented influence over Florida."

Studies Show More People Shot to Death with ALEC/NRA “Stand Your Ground” Laws

Two recent studies have found that so-called "Stand Your Ground" laws lead to more deaths. These findings contradict some claims made by right-wing politicians that have pushed these bills into law, such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the National Rifle Association (NRA). These laws have come under increased scrutiny since Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law was initially cited to protect Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman.

Who is Leaking Who? Charlie Sykes Named in John Doe Documents

If you listen to Milwaukee talk radio you have no doubt heard WTMJ's Charlie Sykes crying to high heaven about the outrageous, politically motivated witch hunt of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker being run out of the Milwaukee District Attorney's office. Milwaukee DA John Chisholm has been spearheading a secret "John Doe" criminal investigation of Walker's former staff and associates for two years now. Trials for four of Walker's associates are pending this fall.

According to Sykes, the DA's office is "leaking like a sieve" and is the source of a damaging article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel -- a serious charge, since people can be criminally prosecuted for violating the secrecy rules of the John Doe. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Dan Bice has broken most of the stories about the investigation, but has repeatedly denied that he is getting leaks from prosecutors.

Koch-funded AFP Launches Attack on Tammy Baldwin as U.S. Senate Race Heats Up

The Koch-funded astroturf group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), has launched a $3 million dollar ad buy in U.S. Senate races across the country, and is spending more than $400,000 on ads attacking Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). Baldwin is running for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by retiring Democratic Senator Herb Kohl. As a non-profit organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, AFP is not required to disclose their spending or funding, but in this case AFP Wisconsin issued a press release announcing the amount of its ad buy.

Palermo Pizza Workers Entering Fourth Week of Strike

  • Topics: Corporations
  • Workers at the Palermo pizza factory in Milwaukee, Wisconsin are entering their fourth week on strike, demanding recognition for a union and demanding the reinstatement of workers who have been terminated for organizing and participating in the union drive. Palermo Villa, Inc. prepares and markets frozen pizza under many brand names across the United States and Canada.

    Striking workers are joined every day by supporters on the picket line outside the factory, calling for a boycott of Palermo's pizza until it recognizes the Palermo workers union. Members of the AFL-CIO, Madison Teachers Inc. (MTI), Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association (MTEA), United Steelworkers Union (USW), and others have joined the striking workers, carrying umbrellas to keep the hot sun off their backs as they march back and forth in front of the factory. The "nuns on the bus" who are traveling around the country in opposition to Representative Paul Ryan's austerity budget, also visited the striking workers, sending a message of support and solidarity.

    Tom Morello and Jackson Browne Rock for the Recall at Madison's Labor Temple

    The Nightwatchman, Tom Morello, returned to Madison once more in an effort to help Wisconsinites recall Governor Scott Walker. While the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity group rallied the Tea Party crowd down the street at the Alliant Energy Center, Morello rallied labor and the grassroots for the final "get out the vote" push.

    A Sea of Robin Hoods Tell the G8, "It's Time to Tax Wall Street!"

    Thousands of nurses from around the world descended upon Daley Plaza, in the heart of Chicago on May 18, to demand that the richest nations in the world put an end to austerity politics and start asking the people who collapsed the global economy to do more to "heal the world."

    Wearing red National Nurses United (NNU) scrubs calling for "an economy for the 99%" and zippy green Robin Hood hats, made for them in Europe, the nurses were joined by Occupy Chicago and thousands of community activists in what may be one of the most colorful demonstrations in days of protests marking the G8 meeting at Camp David and the NATO Summit in Chicago.

    Michelle Malkin Complains About the "Lynch Mobs" Going After ALEC

    Conservative columnist and Fox contributor Michelle Malkin was on Fox News with host Sean Hannity recently complaining about the "lynch mobs" going after Republican donors and organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). According to Malkin, President Barack Obama is behind the grassroots efforts to push back on ALEC and on Rush Limbaugh for his offensive attacks on law student Sandra Fluke.

    Hannity complained to Malkin that Democrats are, "elevating controversies like the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case, Sandra Fluke case." Malkin lamented, "America has been collectively a slow learner when it comes to [President] Barack Obama." She added: "We were frustrated, you and I, trying to get the message out in 2008, and that is why we're trying overtime, redoubling our efforts to vet the president, not only his record over the last four years, but everything that led up to his grooming, the marinating in this leftist, progressive ideology."

    WI Rep. Mark Pocan Questions ALEC’s Non Profit Status

    Representative Mark Pocan is a Democratic legislator from Wisconsin and a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). He joined the organization in order to get an insider's perspective on how the organization worked. He blogged about his experience at ALEC's 2011 meeting in New Orleans for the Progressive Magazine.

    PCCC Pressures Democratic Members to Drop ALEC

    The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), an online activist group, announced that they will be putting pressure on the minority of Democrats who are members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to dump ALEC.

    ALEC claims that they are a nonpartisan organization that is "bipartisan" like the National Conference of State Legislators, but ALEC's leadership is overwhelmingly Republican as is its membership, a fact conceded by ALEC scholar and Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore in a recent interview. ALEC says it has 2,000 legislative members. The total number of Democratic legislators is unknown, but according to the PCCC, there are 26 states with Democratic lawmakers that belong to ALEC.

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