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This week we focus on business competitiveness in our commonwealth and the measures we use to determine how we compare to other states. Carl Marrara discusses Pennsylvania's ranking in the book, "Rich States, Poor States," with the book's author, Jonathan Williams of the American Legislative Exchange Council. In studio, PMA's David Taylor hosts Lowman Henry of the Lincoln Institute and David W. Patti of the Pennsylvania Business Council to examine recent reports from their respective organizations. The show concludes with "The Final Word," with PMA President & CEO, Frederick W. Anton, III. Follow the discussion on Twitter: #PMAperspective PMA Perspective© 2014 All Rights Reserved.+ More details
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Published on Aug 23, 2013 Even though it seems like we're working on different issues, we share common goals. People around the county are rising up, together. Join the rallies in North Carolina now! https://www.facebook.com/events/520279714711962/+ More details
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Moyers & Company presents "United States of ALEC," a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of -- ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. A national consortium of state politicians and powerful corporations, ALEC presents itself as a “nonpartisan public-private partnership”. But behind that mantra lies a vast network of corporate lobbying and political action aimed to increase corporate profits at public expense without public knowledge. Using interviews, documents, and field reporting, the episode explores ALEC’s self-serving machine at work, acting in a way one Wisconsin politician describes as “a corporate dating service for lonely legislators and corporate special interests.” In state houses around the country, hundreds of pieces of boilerplate ALEC legislation are proposed or enacted that would, among other things, dilute collective bargaining rights, make it harder for some Americans to vote, and limit corporate liability for harm caused to consumers -- each accomplished without the public ever knowing who's behind it. “All of us here are very familiar with ALEC and the influence that ALEC has with many of the [legislative] members,” says Arizona State Senator Steve Farley. “Corporations have the right to present their arguments, but they don’t have the right to do it secretly.” "United States of ALEC" is a collaboration between Okapi Productions LLC and the Schumann Media Center, headed by Bill Moyers, which supports independent journalism and public watchdogs including the Center for Media and Democracy, whose investigators are featured in the report. Also on the Moyers & Company broadcast -- making a timely return appearance -- is master media decoder Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center and founder of FactCheck.org. Jamieson joins Bill to discuss deception and truth in the 2012 campaign.+ More details
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Georgia Voter Suppression, Republican Buying of Southern Lawmakers Among Topics at PDA “Progressive Central: The Peoples Convention” in Charlotte, NC (Charlotte, NC) – Progressive Democrats and others must work like never before to get out the vote to re-elect President Obama as they fight Republican voter suppression and other illegal tactics like buying legislators, said the Rev. Terence A. Dicks, Progressive Democrats of America Southern Regional Organizer and PDA State of Georgia Coordinator. On Tuesday (Sept. 4, 2012) at the Democratic National Convention, Dicks outlined the Republican efforts to stop Democrats and other Obama supporters from voting whiling the right-wing wealthy work with some corporations to buy state and national elections: Republican Georgia lawmakers are bought off by right-wing special interests Voter suppression is rampant in the south The Latino and Asian American vote is vital to re-elect President Obama One of the first female members of the exclusive Augusta National Golf Club is a “war criminal” “The bottom line” in Georgia “is our legislators are bought and paid for,” said Augusta, GA progressive political activist Rev. Terence A. Dicks during a panel discussion in Charlotte, NC. It’s a political reality that right-wing corporations in Georgia are spending large sums of money to control politics and legislation in the Peach State, said Panel Moderator John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger. “When you give immense amounts of money – kind of like free reign to corporates interests to intervene in politics – they don’t just buy TV ads – they buy an infrastructure that favors them, Nichols said as he asked a question to Rev. Dicks. Dicks and Nichols made their comments during a panel discussion at the 2012 Democratic National Convention sponsored by the Progressive Democrats of America at an event entitled “Progressive Central – The Peoples Convention.” “The multi-millionaires of (Mitt) Romney and his gang” want to steal, buy or take the 2012 Presidential Election any way they can, Dicks said. “If they can’t buy it (the election) – they definitely want to take it by any means necessary,” Dicks said. Romney and his wealthy supporters “have no problem doing that – they have no conscience.” Dicks said many of Georgia’s Republican lawmakers “receive their marching orders” and training from the infamous right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC funneled right-wing legislative templates to lawmakers across the country thus making it easy for Republicans to pass these laws in their respective states and nationwide. ALEC is “a big 40 year old group” that is run by and “for corporations” whose “members are state legislators,” said Nichols adding ALEC has “more than 2,000 members” many of whom are state legislators. ALEC members and lawmakers “meet with corporate folks who give them specific marching orders” to create laws that favor corporations and right wing values, Nichols said. As one of numerous examples of ALEC-formed legislation that has swept America, Nichols mentioned the “Stand Your Ground” law that played a role in the February 2012 death of 17-year-old unarmed teen Trayvon Martin who was apparently hunted down and shot by a “neighborhood watch” gunman while Trayvon was returning from a trip to a nearby 7-11 store. Another example of ALEC-created legislation is the “voter ID law” that many say is a form of voter suppression and “deny the franchise (of voting) to millions of Americans, Nichols said. “What was done in Florida in 2000 – that is the goal to do the same thing in Georgia” and North Carolina,” said Dicks. Dicks was referring to the ballot controversy and other voter suppression issues during the 2000 Presidential Campaign that saw Al Gore win the national popular vote but lost the Electoral College numbers thus making George Bush President. “It is incumbent upon us” to work hard to re-elect President Barack Obama, Dicks said. Dicks said among the reasons he is voting to re-elect Pres. Obama is because of values and “the things we believe” as PDA members and are shared by other Progressive Democrats. “When we get so caught up on the emotion of it – the corporations win,” Dicks said. “When we get caught up in the emotion of it – the state legislators are getting close to these folks (right wing interests) and win.” “We cannot give them another win anymore – we can’t do it,” said Dicks urging Democrats to vote in all elections and get active in their state’s politics.+ More details
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DemocracyNow.org - After a massive corporate exodus prompted by growing scrutiny of its activities, the secretive right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has announced it will stop pushing so-called Stand Your Ground and voter ID laws. We speak with Lisa Graves of the Center for Media and Democracy, which built "ALEC Exposed," a website showcasing more than 800 model bills the group has pushed in states nationwide. We're also joined by Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of ColorOfChange.org, which has criticized corporations for working with ALEC to pass laws that hurt people of color, young people and the elderly. To watch the complete independent, weekday news hour, read the transcript and download the podcast, please visit http://www.democracynow.org. FOLLOW DEMOCRACY NOW! ONLINE: Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/democracynow Twitter: @democracynow Subscribe on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/democracynow Listen on SoundCloud: http://www.soundcloud.com/democracy-now Daily Email News Digest: http://www.democracynow.org/subscribe Please consider supporting independent media by making a donation to Democracy Now! today, visit http://www.democracynow.org/donate/VM+ More details
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