merrill (Richard Heckler)


Comment history

Letter: ALEC agenda

ALEC propagates a wide range of “model legislation” that seeks to make it more difficult for people to hold corporations accountable in court; gut the rights and protections of workers and consumers; encumber health care reform; privatize and weaken the public education system; provide business tax cuts and corporate welfare; privatize and cut public services; erode regulations and environmental laws; create unnecessary voter ID requirements; endorse Citizens United; diminish campaign finance reform; and permit greater corporate influence in elections.

In order to draft and promote their “model legislation,” ALEC operates task forces that bring representatives from corporations together with lawmakers. Each ALEC task force is chaired by both elected officials and “private sector” members, who have an equal vote on introduced bills.

According to Jesse Zwick of the Washington Independent, “ALEC’s task forces are better known for crafting legislation that coincides, rather than conflicts, with the interests of its private-sector members.

Famous for hosting lavish conferences for state legislators who possess no staff of their own, the group pampers lawmakers while providing them the opportunity to collaborate on legislation often previously researched and introduced by the policy shops of its corporate members

August 28, 2015 at 4:43 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

KU Today: Major transformation of university's Central District now underway

What's the point in keeping KU students from shopping locally in Lawrence retail ?

When will decision makers ever realize there are only so many retail $$$$$ in Lawrence,Kansas?

These available retail $$$$$ have been over extended for several years so why does KU want to be a participant in economic displacement rather than economic growth?

Student Loan Debt cannot get written off to bankruptcy however reckless construction projects can ....... ism't there something wrong with this picture?

It seems so much of university economics is dependent on zillions in student loan money which is on a road to putting the USA economy on another round of recession.

Student loan debt backed by reckless big bank loan management may well the largest debt ever in American History. This is a debt that cannot be ever be forgiven by way of big bank bribes to congress during the GW Bush/ALEC GOP years...... nasty indeed.

The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia -student loan debt beyond reality.


August 28, 2015 at 4:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence Planning Commission recommends approval of SLT shopping center

Think Lawrence Chamber of Commerce appointed soldiers ......... the foremost authorities on Economic Displacement and wreckanomics.

August 26, 2015 at 10:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: ALEC agenda

Vouchers were promoted in the 1990s as a way to help poor black children escape failing schools. But that rhetoric has disappeared in Milwaukee.

Voucher supporters have expanded vouchers to middle-income families and have made clear they want to make vouchers available to all, including millionaires. Vouchers for poor children was just a first step.

For more than twenty years, I have listened to the voucher movement’s seductive rhetoric of “choice” and “parent power.” If I didn’t know better, I might proclaim, “Sign me up today!”

Milwaukee, however, has more than two decades of reality-based vouchers. The lesson from this heartland city?

Vouchers are a vehicle to funnel tax dollars into private schools. Using the false promise of “choice,” they are an unabashed abandonment of public education and of our hopes for a vibrant democracy.

August 26, 2015 at 10:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: ALEC agenda

Our nation spends about $500 billion in local, state and federal funds on public schools from kindergarten through high school. Most Americans view this as a wise investment in our nation's future.

Throughout the 20th century the U.S. was the clear leader in public education. We created the most vibrant economy the world has ever known. The record speaks for itself -- public education is a great investment.

But there are people who look at our investment in public education, and they see a treasure chest. Their first thought is, how can they tap into those funds for their own private gain?

If just one percent of education spending were diverted to private profit, it would mean $5 billion a year in someone's pockets. And that's just counting K-12; higher education is already a huge for-profit sector.

A simple fact of business: You have to spend money to make money. And those who want to privatize education are willing to spend lots of money and effort to push their agenda. One of the main ways they are doing this is through ALEC.

August 26, 2015 at 10:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: ALEC agenda

Private School Vouchers

Despite constitutional problems, negative impacts on public schools, bias against disadvantaged students, and comprehensive studies in cities like Washington DC, New York, Milwaukee, and Cleveland which demonstrate that private school voucher programs failed to make any improvements to the education system ALEC sees vouchers as a way to radically privatize the public education system.

Under the guise of “school choice,” ALEC pushes bills with titles like “Parental Choice Scholarship Act” and the “Education Enterprise Act” that establish private school voucher programs.

August 26, 2015 at 10:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Brownback to host town hall meeting on possible Gitmo transfer

As I said earlier Sam is trying to direct these prisoners to a privately owned prison that which is supported with our tax dollars which is a scam on taxpayers.

The Brownback administration is an economic scandal beyond reality. Scam scam scam the taxpayers for the profiteering industry. ALEC could well be the most corrupt political party the USA has ever known.

Having the Brownback administration terrorists leave Kansas would be synonymous with relief.

Gov Nikki Haley is among ALEC controlled governors in the USA.

August 26, 2015 at 10:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: ALEC agenda

Sign This Petition to Stop Kris Kobach from Purging 35,000 Votes

August 26, 2015 at 1:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: ALEC agenda

Voter ID and Election Laws

ALEC is directly tied to the emerging trend among state legislatures to consider voter ID laws.27 Using false allegations of “voter fraud,” right-wing politicians are pursuing policies that disenfranchise students and other at-risk voters -- including the elderly and the poor -- who are unlikely to have drivers’ licenses or other forms of photo ID.

By suppressing the vote of such groups, ALEC’s model “Voter ID Act” grants an electoral advantage to Republicans while undermining the right to vote. In addition, ALEC wants to make it easier for corporations to participate in the political process.

Their Public Safety and Elections taskforce is co-chaired by Sean Parnell of the Center for Competitive Politics, one of the most vociferous pro-corporate election groups, and promotes model legislation that would devastate campaign finance reform and allow for greater corporate influence in elections.

August 26, 2015 at 1:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: ALEC agenda

From the ACLU: As we speak....

Since becoming the Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach made it more difficult for Kansans to register to vote, cast a ballot, and have that vote count. As a direct result of his efforts, there are more than 35,000 Kansans who want to vote, but can't.

Secretary Kobach has put them on a "suspense list," demanding documentation from them before he will let them be registered voters. These applicants are in limbo, unable to exercise their right to vote because of onerous, unnecessary barriers in the registration process.

Secretary Kobach is stopping more Kansans from voting than the entire population of cities like Dodge City, Garden City, Junction City, and Emporia. The number of Kansans on the suspense list alone is more than the margin of victory in the 2014 governor's race.

Embarrassed by the fact that the suspense list has grown so large, Secretary Kobach has hit upon an easy way to reduce the size of the list. He has decided to simply toss applicants off the list if they don't supply documentation to his satisfaction within 90 days.

That's right — Kobach's solution to the problem of a large suspense list is to just throw people off of it.

It often takes months for citizens to track down the documentation demanded by the Secretary of State's office. Under Secretary Kobach's new proposal, that won't matter. They'll be thrown off the list after 90 days, and will have to start the process all over again.

Proposals like this one are about reducing embarrassment for the Secretary of State, rather than reducing the obstacles to voting.

August 26, 2015 at 1:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal )