As the price of gas moves toward $4 a gallon and oil company profits soar, US House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) declared that Big Oil should pay its fair share of taxes and the industry’s lucrative federal subsidiaries should be reviewed. That was Monday of this week. By Thursday, he was in retreat and echoing the industry line that the solution is more subsidized oil production. Perhaps he looked at his campaign account; he is the top recipient of the $285,500 dumped into federal campaigns by the five biggest oil companies in the first quarter of 2011. The irrational $4 billion annual subsidy for Big Oil is made possible because of our irrational political system. The blog entry in Politico begins with a parallel description of the increased “investment” that high-tech companies are making in lobbying and other political spending. “Corporate tax is not about millions. It’s about billions and trillions and when you’re talking about that kind of money, you now have the CFO and CEO’s attention,” said Ralph Hellmann, senior VP of government relations for the Information Technology Industry Council. “The companies’ headquarters are seeing that these issues have real bottom-line impact to their company and they’re going to make investments in Washington to help them get the best outcome.” Conservative bloggers and the mainstream media are afraid to report what honest business leaders say is a matter of fact: US politics, financed by private money, is a pay-to-play enterprise.
Archive for April, 2011
Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
NC House bill would give insurance companies and other special interests control over healthcare reform implementation
The NC House Insurance Committee has taken up a controversial bill (H-115) that gives insurance companies a large role in overseeing how consumers will be able to buy “affordable” insurance coverage through a state-level “health benefits exchange” to be created under the new national health reform law.
The bill’s biggest supporter is Blue Cross and Blue Shield, NC’s largest insurance company. It gets to help name at least one representative to the new exchange. Notably, sponsors of the Insurance Exchange Bill are top recipients of Blue Cross contributions. Other reserved seats on the Exchange are being earmarked for other special interests and big donors of the bill’s sponsors.
No consumer groups or public health or health-related organizations have been designated seats on the exchange.
Download the full report, including top donors of Blue Cross donations here:
Friday, April 8th, 2011
Help Us Fight Voter Photo ID! (HB 351)
Wednesday, April 13th at 11:00 AM
NC General Assembly Building
16 W. Jones St. Raleigh, NC
|As you probably know — along with protecting voter-owned elections and fighting against big money politics — Democracy North Carolina is opposing a hard-line bill in the General Assembly that requires every citizen to show a government-issued photo ID every time they vote. While we are dedicated to protecting the integrity of our elections, our studies show this provision will disenfranchise thousands of honest citizens while doing very little to address voter fraud.
We were hopeful when Republicans seemed poised to modify the bill’s harsh identification requirements to make it less restrictive and more in line with other states. Unfortunately, extremists prevailed and the bill Republicans are now backing would place North Carolina among only two other states with such restrictive voting barriers. In addition, House Bill 351 takes money from NC’s Voter-Owned Elections programs to pay for implementing its mandatory photo ID requirement — meaning this legislation would also erode one of the nation’s most successful reform efforts to decrease special interest influence and ensure the impartiality of our courts.
North Carolina deserves better. There are more effective and less costly ways to combat voter fraud than those proposed in HB 351. Democracy NC advocates taking measures like hiring additional fraud investigators for the State Board of Elections, making voting technology tamper proof, streamlining the process for challenging voters and better educating citizens on eligibility requirements.
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