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.
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.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.