The Cleveland Free Times takes a long, hard look at the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) operating methods in Ohio. As usual, it ain't pretty. The right-wing, corporate-funded network of state legislators is exposed quite thoroughly.
Facing state Supreme Court decisions demanding both equitable financing
of public schools and reforms to the state property tax, the special
session in the Lone Star State accomplished one big item
of business yesterday -- reforming the bizarre loophole-ridden state
franchise tax and actually applying it to a broad range of businesses,
thereby lowering the rate but also raising $3.4 billion when it starts
Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that with the federal government failing to act on immigration issues, states are taking the lead. Unfortunately, the Post
quickly turns the article into the same tired dichotomy of bills either
"get[ting] tough" or "making life easier" for immigrants -- failing to
consider whether any of the measures actually solve the problem.
The story of American democracy is one of heroes and disappointments.
Every day in this great nation, elected leaders make their constituents
proud by fighting for democracy, working families, and American
families. And then there are the disappointments: the elected officials
who play politics with people's lives and shill for special interests.
What was once a brilliant line from a screenwriter is now a solid rule
of politics: "Follow the money." And true to that adage, when the
federal government scaled back the estate tax, eighteen billionaire
families were behind it, as documented in a new report
by Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy. And that "billionaire
club" assault means that thirty-two states that peg their estate taxes
to federal law lose as much as $5 billion per year in revenues.