Tag Archives: Castle doctrine

Pennsylvania Republican: Voter ID Laws Are ‘Gonna Allow Governor Romney To Win’

Busted…

Think Progress

This weekend, Pennsylvania Republican House Leader Mike Turzai (R-PA) finally admitted what so many have speculated: Voter identification efforts are meant to suppress Democratic votes in this year’s election.

At the Republican State Committee meeting, Turzai took the stage and let slip the truth about why Republicans are so insistent on voter identification efforts — it will win Romney the election, he said:

“We are focused on making sure that we meet our obligations that we’ve talked about for years,” said Turzai in a speech to committee members Saturday. He mentioned the law among a laundry list of accomplishments made by the GOP-run legislature.

“Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

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Filed under Voter Disenfranchisement, Voter Suppression

ALEC Hit With IRS Complaint Filed By Common Cause

More bad news for this insidious organization…

The Huffington Post

Open government advocates accused a conservative legislative group Monday of falsely claiming tax-exempt status while doing widespread lobbying.

Advocacy group Common Cause said Monday it had filed an IRS complaint accusing ALEC of masquerading as a public charity. ALEC is formed as a nonprofit that brings together lawmakers and private sector organizations to develop legislation and policy.

ALEC says its work is not lobbying.

Common Cause disagrees. “It tells the IRS in its tax returns that it does no lobbying, yet it exists to pass profit-driven legislation in statehouses all over the country that benefits its corporate members,” said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, in a statement. “ALEC is not entitled to abuse its charitable tax status to lobby for private corporate interests, and stick the bill to the American taxpayer.”

Common Cause wants an IRS audit of ALEC’s work, penalties and the payment of back taxes.

A spokeswoman for ALEC did not return a call seeking comment.

ALEC has been active since the 1970s and has long drawn the ire of open government groups who question the secretive development of legislation and close relationship between private sector officials and lawmakers who meet at conferences to jointly develop model legislation. Liberal activists have seized on ALEC’s support of so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws, coordinating a campaign against the group in the wake of the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

George Zimmerman, who has been charged in Martin’s death, maintains he shot in self-defense. His attorney plans to cite the “Stand Your Ground” law, which gives people wide latitude to use deadly force rather than retreat during a fight.

Amid the backlash, several companies who have previously supported ALEC financially, including Coca-Cola Co. and McDonald’s Corp., said they are no longer members. And ALEC said it was disbanding its public safety task force that helped export the Florida law to other states.

Those task forces consume much of ALEC’s spending, and Common Cause believes they are simply forums for lobbying. Common Cause said its complaint was based on more than 4,000 pages of ALEC records, including talking points that ALEC workers provided to lawmakers in order to better argue on behalf of the legislation the group develops.

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Filed under U.S. Politics

The Unholy Trinity: Koch Brothers, ALEC, and the NRA

Veracity Stew

Much has been written about the shameful killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida. This article is not about his accused killer, George Zimmerman. Much has been written about him also. This article is about the unholy alliance that helped to create the ‘Stand Your Ground’ (or Castle Doctrine) laws that enabled George Zimmerman to get away with murder in Florida: The Koch Brothers, ALEC, and the NRA.

ALEC, also known as the American Legislative Exchange Council, is a not-for-profit entity whose goal is to rewrite laws and produce ‘model bills’ that govern our rights. It boasts a $7 million a year budget, and calls itself the nation’s largest group of state legislators but, in fact, the majority of its funding comes from corporations and special interest groups. So, it should be no surprise that its laws mostly benefit corporate America. Among the myriad corporations funding ALEC are Koch Industries and the National Rifle Association. ALEC has been instrumental in promoting the so-called ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws that are shielding Trayvon Martin’s alleged killer. There are now 24 states with sweeping ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws, just like the one in Florida.

WATCH HERE…

The Koch Brothers are billionaires who spend millions of dollars funding groups, like ALEC and the Tea Party’s Americans for Prosperity, to rewrite our laws in their own right-wing ideological image. Twice a year, the Koch Brothers invite conservative politicians and millionaires to a summit to discuss legislative agenda. Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are two of the past attendees. Ergo, we should not be surprised about theCitizens United ruling.  The brothers are not shy about spending millions to influence legislation and, perhaps, buy an election while they’re at it.

In the wake of the Trayvon Martin murder, the Koch Brothers sought to distance themselves from the  ensuing controversy by releasing a statement saying that they had nothing to do with it. This is an utter lie. Michael Morgan of Koch Industries has sat on ALEC’s Private Enterprise Board for 10 years, is the Kansas State Corporate Co-Chair, and was the ‘Vice Chairman’ level sponsor of the 2011 ALEC Annual Conference.

Not surprisingly, the driving force behind the ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws is the NRA. Why? Simple economics. The NRA championed the original Florida law in 2004, and hascontinued to push for these laws across the nation. In August 2005, NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer asked legislators and lobbyists at a closed-door meeting of ALEC’s Criminal Justice Task Force to adopt the Florida ‘Castle Doctrine’ bill as an ALEC model bill. According to the NRA, her suggestion “was well received” and was approved “unanimously.”

So, there you have it. The dots have been connected. It’s getting easier and easier to buy legislation without the direct input of the American people who, especially in this particular case, live and die by these laws.

Writer’s Note: An article just popped up on my screen regarding the ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws. The Congressional Black Caucus, an all-black, all-Democratic group of 42 Senators and Representatives have introduced a resolution to repeal the ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws in every state, including Florida.

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Filed under Koch Brothers, NRA

Marco Rubio Stands His Ground for Deadly ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws

Marco Rubio is the GOP favorite for the Vice Presidential slot.  They really want him to run along side Romney, hoping that his being on the ticket will magically bring them the Hispanic vote.  Rubio’s position on the Stand Your Ground law may not win Romney and Rubio  many votes outside of  their base…

The Nation

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was not the only prominent Florida official to back Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, despite repeated warnings that it would be seen as a “license to kill” by gunmen like the Sanford, Florida, neighborhood watchman who stands accused of slaying teenager Trayvon Martin.

The rising Republican star of Florida legislature at the time, a young state representative from West Miami who in the next session would become the speaker of the state House, actively supported the “Stand Your Ground” proposal.

That legislator, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, is now being boomed by Jeb Bush for a place on the Republican ticket as the party’s 2012 vice presidential nominee.

Rubio served in the legislature as an ally of the National Rifle Association and a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the shadowy group funded by the Koch brothers to craft and promote passage of measures such as the “Stand Your Ground” law. In reviewing Rubio’s tenure, the Miami Herald noted: “Rubio had an ‘A’ rating by the National Rifle Association. Rubio voted for major NRA priorities such as a 2005 ‘castle doctrine’ law allowing people to use deadly force if attacked in their home or any place a person ‘has a right to be.’ Rubio also supported a 2008 law allowing most employees to bring guns to work, as long as they held a concealed weapons license and kept the gun in their cars.”

Two other ALEC members, state Representative Dennis Baxley and state Senator Durell Peadon were the primary sponsors of the “Stand Your Ground” law. Now—as African-American legislators are calling for the repeal of the measure—Florida media outlets report that “Baxley says it is worth revisiting to determine whether the law should be amended.” And Florida Governor Rick Scott, Jeb Bush’s Republican successor, has appointed a task force to consider changes to the “Stand Your Ground” law.

Scott says that, in light of the Trayvon Martin killing, it is necessary to “thoroughly review Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law and any other laws, rules, regulations or programs that relate to public safety and citizen protection.”

But Rubio—who has felt pressure from the NRA in the past, at rare points where he has tried to balance public safety and gun rights concerns—knows he can’t disappoint the gun lobby if he wants a place on the GOP ticket.

Continue reading here…

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Filed under Marco Rubio