Just to begin, Lincoln County” State Representative, Jason Saine, was named ALEC Legislator of the Year. You don’t get that national award by voting against them. Let’s see what he and his cronies are up to.
As the News and Observer reported, the Bill of Rights Institute (BRI) was contracted to help create course material. What all of the state papers missed, however, was the BRI’s own connection with ALEC. According the Center for Media and Democracy, BRI was an ALEC member and part of ALEC’s Education Task Force. Documents obtained by The Guardian show that BRI’s ALEC membership lapsed in April 2013, though the institute was listed as providing research materials for the new curriculum in February of the same year.
Even papers that mentioned the Koch brothers influence failed to acknowledge the depth of the connection between the brothers and BRI. The institute’s board of directors includes Mark Humphrey, senior vice president of Koch Industries, Ryan Stoweres, the “director of higher education programs at the Charles G Koch Charitable Foundation,” Rob Testwuide, who also serves on the board of the Koch-funded Institute for Energy Research, and Todd Zywicki, a senior scholar at the Koch-founded Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
Though BRI is based in Virginia, major funding for the organization comes from one of North Carolina’s most influential conservative donors: Art Pope. According to a profile in The New Yorker, Pope has “given money to at least twenty-seven groups supported by the Kochs, including organizations opposing environmental regulations, tax increases, unions, and campaign-spending limits.” He also served on the board of directors for the Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity.
As the Institute for Southern Studies reported, Pope has been a major donor for the BRI, “giv[ing] at least $370,000 to the [BRI] since 2000.” Pope’s connection to BRI was also not included in the reports on the institute’s involvment in curating the new curriculum.
Here’s another ALEC proposal. Are you against having your groundwater contaminated by fracking? Too bad
A new bill proposed in North Carolina would make it a felony offense for first responders, doctors, or public safety officials to disclose the ingredients of fracking fluid. Fracking fluid is the mix of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, a process used by the oil and gas industry to break apart underground shale rock formations, releasing the fossil fuels held inside. Chemicals in frack fluid have been found to be toxic and carcinogenic. First responders found guilty of disclosing the contents of fracking fluid face jail time and heavy fines under the proposed legislation.
The three republican state senators that proposed the bill have close ties to the oil and gas industry and industry lobbyists McguireWoods. McGuireWoods, a lobbying firm that represents Halliburton, Koch Industries, and other oil and gas interests, donated to all three senators.
Do you want job creation and renewable energy at the same time? Jason Saine doesn’t.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a controversial and powerful group that brings together state legislators and corporate representatives to promote conservative policies, has been pushing to repeal state renewable energy standards — and now lawmakers affiliated with the group have filed legislation to do just that in North Carolina.
This week, the Affordable and Reliable Energy Act (H298) was introduced to repeal the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard (REPS), which currently requires 3 percent of all electricity sold in the state to come from renewable sources, with that portion rising to 12.5 percent by 2025. North Carolina was the first state in the Southeast to adopt a REPS law, with the General Assembly passing it with broad bipartisan support in 2007.
The move to scrap the REPS comes despite research showing that the law has been responsible for significant job creation in North Carolina, which was recently found to be among the top states for clean-energy project announcements.
ALEC Legislator of the Year, Jason Saine, apparently is doing a good job for his “masters.”
In a few months since taking over power for the first time in one hundred years, North Carolina Republicans have passed or introduced legislation that would: eliminate the earned income tax credit for 900,000; decline Medicaid coverage for 500,000 and privatize public healthcare in the state; end unemployment benefits for 165,000 in a state with the country’s fifth-highest unemployment rate; cut pre-K for 30,000 kids while shifting $90 million from public education to voucher schools; cut taxes for the top 5 percent while raising taxes on the bottom 95 percent; allow for guns to be purchased without a background check and carried in parks, playgrounds, restaurants and bars; do away with public financing of judicial races; prohibit death row inmates from challenging racially discriminatory verdicts; and on it goes. (Unlike in Wisconsin, North Carolinians have no collective bargaining rights to protect).
I could go on, but I think you see who Jason Saine represents and it is not you. #VoteThemOut