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.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
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.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Trump's new look at civil rights and global warming President Trump is reportedly ready to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We look at the possible consequences. On the second half of the program, we hear about cuts in Obama-Era civil rights programs called for by the Trump Administration's first budget plan.