April 26, 2012- Americans for Prosperity announced its biggest ad buy yet on Thursday: $6.1 million attacking President Obama.
The ad will hold the president “accountable,” AFP says in a press release, for “sending billions of taxpayer dollars to ‘green energy’ companies overseas, even while Americans suffer with rising energy prices and a lack of jobs.”
“Billions of taxpayer dollars spent on green energy went to jobs in foreign countries,” the narrator says. The ad cites money that went to a solar plant in Mexico, an electric car company in Finland and to build traffic lights in China. “Taxpayers are paying to send their own jobs to foreign countries.”
The ad will run for two weeks in battleground states Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio and Virginia. AFP says it will also hold rallies and “educational townhalls” throughout the country.
-By Paul Blumenthal
April 27, 2012- A court ruling requiring non-disclosing political groups — including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity — to disclose their donors is one step closer to going into effect after a district court refused to stay its ruling in the face of an appeal.
On March 30, a district court ruled in Van Hollen v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) that a loophole in FEC rules that allowed certain independent group campaign efforts to keep private the names of donors was invalid and needed to be rewritten or reset to the original language.
-By Mike McIntire
April 21, 2012- Desperate for new revenue, Ohio lawmakers introduced legislation last year that would make it easier to recover money from businesses that defraud the state.
It was quickly flagged at the Washington headquarters of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a business-backed group that views such “false claims” laws as encouraging frivolous lawsuits. ALEC’s membership includes not only corporations, but nearly 2,000 state legislators across the country — including dozens who would vote on the Ohio bill.
One of them, Bill Seitz, a prominent Republican state senator, wrote to a fellow senior lawmaker to relay ALEC’s concerns about “the recent upsurge” in false-claims legislation nationwide. “While this is understandable, as states are broke, the considered advice from our friends at ALEC was that such legislation is not well taken and should not be approved,” he said in a private memorandum.
-By Julian Brookes
April 20, 2012- If the Koch brothers didn't exist, the left would have to invent them. They're the plutocrats from central casting – oil-and-gas billionaires ready to buy any congressman, fund any lie, fight any law, bust any union, despoil any landscape, or shirk any (tax) burden to push their free-market religion and pump up their profits.
But no need to invent – Charles and David Koch are the real deal. Over the past 30-some years, they've poured more than 100 million dollars into a sprawling network of foundations, think tanks, front groups, advocacy organizations, lobbyists and GOP lawmakers, all to the glory of their hard-core libertarian agenda. They don't oppose big government so much as government – taxes, environmental protections, safety-net programs, public education: the whole bit. (By all accounts, the Kochs are true believers; they really buy that road-to-serfdom stuff about the the holiness of free markets. Still, you can't help but notice how neatly their philosophy lines up with their business interests.) They like to think of elected politicians as merely "actors playing out a script," and themselves as supplying "the themes and words for the scripts." Imagine Karl Rove’s strategic cunning, crossed with Ron Paul’s screw-the-poor ideology, and hooked up to Warren Buffett's checking account, and you’re halfway there.
-by Rebekah Wilce
April 18, 2012- 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.
ALEC Director of External Relations Caitlyn Korb spoke yesterday at a Heritage Foundation "Bloggers Briefing," begging conservative bloggers for help while prepping "a very aggressive campaign to really spread the word about what we actually do." Korb appears to be a new ALEC employee who recently worked for the Cato Institute. Both ALEC and Cato have received funding from Koch family foundations. The Heritage Foundation is an ALEC member.
-By David Ferguson
April 17, 2012- A state senator from Georgia, Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta) has left the American Legislative Exchange Council, the controversial legislative organization better known as ALEC. In a statement to the citizens’ action group Better Georgia, Orrock denounced the group, calling it “radical,” “dangerous” and accused it of “impeding democracy.”
“As a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council for several years, having joined ALEC with the primary goal of better understanding the corporate-dominated organization, I know first-hand that ALEC is not the innocuous organization it claims to be,” Orrock said.