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California

Investing in "Domestic Emerging Markets"

While investments in high technology get a lot of attention, a
number of these new state government investment strategies are also
looking to revive areas devastated by deindustrialization and chronic
poverty. Around the world, "emerging markets" are hotspots for
investment, so many states are treating these poor domestic areas as
"domestic emerging markets" that just need a bit of patient capital to
revive.

Taking on Private Toll Roads

We've written before about the new 75-year lease of an Indiana toll road to a Spanish-Australian partnership, and the bad deal for taxpayers and democracy that it represents. The state's largest consumer group filed a lawsuit yesterday saying that the deal was so bad that it violates the state constitution. The Citizens Action Coalition argues that the state constitution requires lease proceeds to pay down public debt, rather than diverting long-term returns from a lease to immediate public spending. The lawsuit highlights the core problem with this kind of privatization -- it's essentially a theft from future taxpayers and consumers to help pay for government spending today.

State Action on Global Warming, MD Acts as CA Wavers

Last week, the state of Maryland joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a consortium of states -- now eight with Maryland's membership -- that have committed to reduce emissions on four pollutants and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 10 percent by 2019.

Rethinking the Ways We Vote

The 2000 election sparked an interest in electoral reform. Paired with a rising tendency among voters toward self-declared independence from the two major parties and a new wave of reforms have started growing in popularity across the country. In statehouses and in voting booths, reforms are moving forward to give Americans more real options at the polls.

The Right Targets San Diego

While conservative organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have coordinated takeovers of state legislative agendas across the country�a reality documented in our report, Governing the Nation from the Statehouses � they are usually helped locally by a range of organizations and political networks that the rightwing have been funding for years.

Universal Vote by Mail

Following the 2000 election, everyone saw just how flawed an election could be. In 2004, even without the same closeness, America witnessed other problems including extremely long waiting times to vote: a sign that America was no longer even preparing for moderately high turnout elections. Meanwhile, one state was chugging along, doing just fine.

Net Neutrality: Keeping the Internet Open and Email Untaxed

Since the invention of the Internet, net neutrality has been a fundamental operating principle of the networks that maintain it -- all content is equal. Whether an Internet user wants to read an advertisement from ExxonMobil, an email from MoveOn, or a blog run by their neighbor, the decision about what to access has belonged to users and the network has responded equally to all requests.

Progress in California

The California Progress Report, a daily briefing on politics, policy, and progressive action. It should be a great resource for tracking the latest goings-on in America's largest state.

The Minimum Wage, Conservative Posturing, and Progressive Success

Fully aware that their anti-worker policies are anathema to most Americans, corporate conservatives often posture and position themselves on worker issues to avoid bearing the full brunt of the backlash from their noxious positions and to try to fix blame on their opponents, who really are working for the common interest.

Congress Eyes Preempting States on Food Safety

Hard-pressed to find something to do less popular than sell-out for campaign contributions or outsource port operations to foreign governments, the U.S. Congress is now considering a bill to gut state food safety protections.