Posts tagged koch industries

I like to shop at Costco because they treat their employees well, carry many organic products, and have good prices. However, I am very disturbed to find out that my money is supporting the Koch brothers through items such as Dixie cups and plates. I don’t want a dime of my money to go to any company they own or in which they have stock options.Please help cut off the supply that feeds those greedy, prejudiced, corrupt brothers.

An analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy shows the federal judge has ties to the Koch brothers and other conservative advocates who privately fund judicial seminars at George Mason University, reported The Progressive.

Randa attended these all-expense paid “judicial junkets” in 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012, according to publicly available disclosure forms.

The disclosure form from last year has been requested but has not yet been posted online.

These seminars are funded by the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Searle Freedom Trust, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and corporations such as BP, Exxon Mobil, and Dow Chemical.

Many of those interests have long opposed limits to campaign financing, although the analysis could not establish whether campaign finance reform was a topic at any seminars Randa attended.

The seminars, which are fully paid and typically held at swanky locations, promote corporate legal interests.

No other federal district judges in Wisconsin attended the events, according to the analysis.


Who are the Koch Brothers

Here are just a few excerpts of the Libertarian Party platform that David Koch ran on in 1980:

  • “We urge the repeal of federal campaign finance laws, and the immediate abolition of the despotic Federal Election Commission.”
  • “We favor the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs.”
  • “We oppose any compulsory insurance or tax-supported plan to provide health services, including those which finance abortion services.”
  • “We also favor the deregulation of the medical insurance industry.”
  • “We favor the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system. Pending that repeal, participation in Social Security should be made voluntary.”
  • “We propose the abolition of the governmental Postal Service. The present system, in addition to being inefficient, encourages governmental surveillance of private correspondence.  Pending abolition, we call for an end to the monopoly system and for allowing free competition in all aspects of postal service.”
  • “We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes.”
  • “We support the eventual repeal of all taxation.”
  • “As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately.”
  • “We support repeal of all law which impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws.”
  • “We advocate the complete separation of education and State.  Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.”
  • “We condemn compulsory education laws … and we call for the immediate repeal of such laws.”
  • “We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether profit or non-profit.”
  • “We support the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency.”
  • “We support abolition of the Department of Energy.”
  • “We call for the dissolution of all government agencies concerned with transportation, including the Department of Transportation.”
  • “We demand the return of America’s railroad system to private ownership. We call for the privatization of the public roads and national highway system.”
  • “We specifically oppose laws requiring an individual to buy or use so-called “self-protection” equipment such as safety belts, air bags, or crash helmets.”
  • “We advocate the abolition of the Federal Aviation Administration.”
  • “We advocate the abolition of the Food and Drug Administration.”
  • “We support an end to all subsidies for child-bearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children.”
  • “We oppose all government welfare, relief projects, and ‘aid to the poor’ programs. All these government programs are privacy-invading, paternalistic, demeaning, and inefficient. The proper source of help for such persons is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals.”
  • “We call for the privatization of the inland waterways, and of the distribution system that brings water to industry, agriculture and households.”
  • “We call for the repeal of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.”
  • “We call for the abolition of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”
  • “We support the repeal of all state usury laws.”

This needs tags.

A spokesperson for Xcel Energy — a $10.1 billion a year public company based in Minnesota — said that the company hasn’t been a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) since 2011 in response to a recent letter to the Boulder Weekly criticizing Xcel’s efforts to reduce homeowner solar “net metering” credits as a hindrance to transitioning to renewable energy sources. The spokesperson attempted to distance the company from ALEC, complaining, “if you’ve been affiliated once, then they’ll brand you for life.”

Xcel Energy was listed as a state co-chair in ALEC documents from the summer of 2011, but Xcel told Boulder Weekly that it last paid dues in 2010. It is not clear when Xcel actually stopped aiding ALEC.

In addition, responding to investor pressure, Endo Health Solutions — a $3 billion a year publicly traded company based in Pennsylvania — has cut ties to ALEC and stopped providing any funding to the group, according to a statement by Trillium Asset Management, which is engaged in shareholder advocacy with the company.
Xcel Energy and Endo Health Cut Ties to ALEC, Making 72 Corporations Out

Help Defund ALEC's Right Wing Agenda - People For the American Way

The Petition:

Dear President/CEO and Board,

Your company funds or participates in the activities of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group whose ideologically driven agenda has led to the reckless promotion of bills that harm consumers, endanger individuals and deny the fundamental, constitutional rights of millions.

ALEC pushes discriminatory voter ID legislation that suppresses the votes of minorities, young voters, low-income voters and the elderly by erecting barriers that could disenfranchise millions of voters across the nation. Bills based on ALEC’s model legislation in this area have been introduced in numerous states. Although proponents of voter ID laws claim the goal is to reduce voter fraud, there is no evidence that such fraud occurs with any regularity in this country.

Further, ALEC has worked with the NRA to aggressively spread passage of laws like the Florida so-called “Stand Your Ground” law which was implicated in the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin. Such laws, more aptly named Shoot First laws, encourage vigilantism that endangers whole communities.

I strongly urge you to withdraw from and cease supporting ALEC and its agenda. I am part of a growing number of Americans who are concerned about the role that ALEC is playing in the promotion and passage of laws that do real harm to individual Americans and will be taking note of which companies continue to support ALEC’s efforts.

Please do the right thing, and separate yourself from ALEC’s extreme political, and reckless, agenda.

Today’s misleading ad from the Koch brothers is just more evidence that even billions of dollars can’t buy integrity
Sen. Mark Begich spokeswoman Rachel Barinbaum from Latest Koch Brothers Trickery: Actress Fakes Testimonial in Anti-Obamacare Ad

"Yelp is…" evil



Yelp is a portmanteau of “Yellow Pages.””

Learn something new everyday.

Which reminds me, I should put up
some new Yelp reviews… it’s been a while.

On the contrary, there are several good reasons to abandon Yelp.

What Is The State Policy Network?

The State Policy Network (SPN) is a web of so-called “think tanks” that push a right-wing agenda in every state across the country. Although many of SPN’s member organizations claim to be nonpartisan and independent, an in-depth investigation by non-profit, non-partisan investigative reporting groups the Center for Media and Democracy and Progress Now reveals that SPN and its affiliates are major drivers of the right-wing, ALEC-backed agenda in state houses nationwide, with deep ties to the Koch brothers and the national right-wing network of funders, all while reporting little or no lobbying activities.

What Is SPN’s Agenda?

SPN largely pushes a right-wing, corporate-backed agenda aimed at attacking the middle class. SPN and its affiliates push for privatizing public schools, blocking expanded access to health care, lowering taxes for corporations and the very wealthy, undermining workers’ rights and unions, and a polluter’s agenda that attacks environmental protections. Some SPN “think tanks” have even advocated for voter suppression laws that make it harder for Americans to vote and opposed common-sense gun safety bills.


Who Funds SPN?

SPN has become an $83 million right-wing empire. SPN and its affiliates are not required to disclose their donors, and almost none of the groups publish a list of funders. Tax documents and other available records reveal that SPN is funded by large corporations, right-wing foundations, and wealthy conservative ideologues. Some of the most notable corporate funders of SPN and its web of “think tanks” include Big Tobacco companies (like Reynolds), Big Oil corporations (like the Koch family fortune), AT&T, Kraft Foods, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Facebook, and Microsoft. SPN and its “think tanks” are also largely funded by right-wing special interest groups and individuals, including the Koch brothers, the DeVos family, the Coors family (of Coors Brewing Company), the Walton Family Foundation (of Walmart), Richard Mellon Scaife, Art Pope, the Roe Foundation, and the Bradley Foundation.


How Does SPN’s Agenda Benefit Its Donors?

Funding to SPN in some ways resembles a client-based relationship. SPN groups promote legal changes that benefit their right-wing funders and partners. SPN think tanks often advocate for lowering corporate taxes, restricting workers’ rights, repealing minimum and living wage laws, and opposing government regulations on businesses – all of which could benefit their right-wing and corporate backers.

How Is SPN Related to ALEC?

SPN and many of its affiliates are members of the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), where corporate lobbyists and special interest group representatives vote as equals with state lawmakers behind closed doors on “model” legislation that in many cases ends up benefiting the corporations’ bottom line. SPN has played a major role in supporting ALEC, serving as a “chairman” level sponsor of the 2013 and 2011 ALEC Annual Conferences and acting as a voting member of several task forces. SPN affiliates push parts of ALEC’s agenda in their respective states, and ALEC is also an associate member of SPN. SPN and its affiliates have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to ALEC.


How Does SPN Push Its Agenda?

While SPN members call themselves “think tanks,” they rarely act as such. SPN groups often engage in extensive lobbying activities, even though nonprofits are limited in the amount of lobbying activity they may participate in by the IRS. SPN “think tanks” release “research” and policy reports, and there are numerous instances of SPN think tanks being accused of skewing facts and using faulty research to reach their policy goals. Many SPN think tanks also collaborate with the right-wing Franklin Center to launch agenda-driven “news” outlets, hawking right-wing talking points from behind a mask of journalism.

ALEC’s Latest Trojan Horse: The Attack on Standards and Safeguards Moves to the States | Center for Effective Government

States should be on the lookout for these proposals and oppose any regulatory process changes designed to delay, weaken, or block important agency actions. Where existing regulatory analyses and review requirements already impede state agencies’ ability to promptly issue and update standards, states should consider reforms that would address issues of delay, political and special interest interference, and inadequate transparency in the regulatory process. These positive policy changes could include:

  • Curbing undue political interference in rulemaking
    States should ensure that members of regulatory review bodies or committees disclose any conflicts of interest.

  • Limiting the agency actions that are subject to centralized regulatory review
    Review bodies have struggled to keep up with requirements to review all rules. Even if the review body has the discretion to select the rules it will review, there may be a tendency to assert review authority over a wide range of agency actions. Narrowing the scope of the review body’s authority can help conserve scarce resources.

  • Ensuring that centralized regulatory review does not result in unnecessary delay
    It is important that state agencies be allowed to move forward with rules without being subject to unnecessary and excessive reviews. States could prescribe time limits on reviews to prevent a centralized review body from holding up agency actions.

  • Reducing reliance on cost-benefit analysis
    Where agencies are required to conduct or rely on cost-benefit analyses, those analyses should only be informative, not determinative. States should acknowledge the limitations of cost-benefit analysis and the importance of considering qualitative factors in decision making. States should also explicitly endorse deference to the regulatory determinations of expert agencies.

  • Increasing transparency in the regulatory review process
    Transparency can ensure accountability in the review process. The public should be informed of regulatory delays and any changes that are made to an agency’s rule or analysis during review. States should require review bodies and agencies to document these changes, as well as any communications they have with outside parties concerning the rule’s cost-benefit analysis or substance.

Let’s not kid ourselves… #GOPShutdown
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) October 8, 2013