FROM Sheila Krumholz
The American Legislative Exchange Council: Who Is ALEC? When George Zimmerman admitted killing Trayvon Martin but he was not arrested, Florida's " Stand Your Ground " law became a household word. Then it turned out that 24 other states had similar laws. How did that happen? The answer is the American Legislative Exchange Council . We hear the pros and cons of the group called ALEC.
A New Look at the Sausage Factory Where Laws Are Made The Trayvon Martin killing has sparked a national firestorm over Florida's " Stand Your Ground " law. Now it turns out that 24 other states have similar laws because of a little known group called the American Legislative Exchange Council. " ALEC " brought state legislators from around the country together with lobbyists for the NRA to agree that Florida's law would become a model for other states. What other measures has ALEC originated? Is it democracy in action, or a way to enact special interest legislation without public scrutiny? Note: ALEC declined our invitation to participate in this program.
The Convention at the Grassroots In today's Reporter's Notebook, we look at two less examined aspects of the convention. Presidential campaigns are governed by limits on financial contributions, but when it comes to party conventions, the story is very different. Corporations and labor unions can write checks for millions of dollars right out of their treasuries, and the money is tax deductible. That's according to Sheila Krumholz of the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics. In Los Angeles eight years ago, an appearance by Rage Against the Machine led to violence, tear gas and multiple arrests outside Staples Center, where the Democrats were in convention. Today, that same rock-protest band is performing in the Denver Coliseum, far across town from the Pepsi Center. In the 1960's Todd Gitlin, now professor of journalism at Columbia University, led protests against the Vietnam War. He was in Chicago for the infamous police riot at the Democratic convention of 1968.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.