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.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
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 is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.