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DPG Statement on Unveiling of Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. Statue

August 28, 2017

Atlanta, GA – Democratic Party of Georgia Chair DuBose Porter issued the following statement on today’s unveiling of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial at the State Capitol.


“Fifty-four years ago today, hundreds of thousands of Americans came together in Washington D.C. to hear the vision and belief of a better country from a Baptist minister from Georgia. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call for economic and social justice stirred the conscience of a nation, tapping into the best of this great country. 

“More than half a decade later, the State of Georgia has finally honored this great man with a presence on the grounds of our State Capitol. It is our hope that this memorial will serve as a reminder of our moral obligation to live up to his greater expectations for this nation—equality, fairness, opportunity, and justice for every single human being.

“Georgia Democrats commend DPG Chair Emeritus and state representative Calvin Smyre for his leadership in actualizing this monument and commend his distinguished career of fighting for Dr. King’s ideals.

“Monuments and statues alone are certainly not enough to truly honor the legacy of one of our country’s greatest patriots. It is incumbent upon all of us to wake up every day committed to the building of a future of inclusion and opportunity for all Americans. We must speak out against hatred, bigotry, and racism wherever they may dwell—for those un-American values spawn the senseless violence that continues to permeate and poison our communities. Dr. King’s legacy does not dwell in a monument, but in each and every one of our hearts. We help achieve that more perfect union Dr. King gave his life for by using our hearts to love and build and uplift and empower.”




Oregon votes to raise states Minimum Wage using a unique approach

Friday, 19 February 2016

Oregon lawmakers have passed trailblazing legislation that raises the state's minimum wage for all its workers to the highest rank in the U.S., and has done it in an unusual way using a tiered system based on geography.  While there are varying approaches to raising the minimum wage, the three-tiered regional system is uniquely Oregon's, making it the first state without a "one-size-fits-all" statewide minimum. Democratic Gov. Kate Brown has said she will sign it.

Fourteen other states have raised their rates over the past two years and a dozen more are considering taking up the issue this year either through legislative action or ballot initiatives.  The reason: issues of wage inequality and middle-class incomes have climbed to the forefront because of the presidential campaigns of Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton.

Oregon's plan implementsa series of gradual increases over the next six years. By 2022, the state's current $9.25 an hour minimum — already one of the highest in the nation — will climb to $14.75 in metro Portland, $13.50 in smaller cities such as Salem and Eugene, and $12.50 in the state's rural communities.

The measure was a compromise between what unions, businesses and farmers wanted and was an attempt to thwart more aggressive proposals that could have gone before voters in November. Those proposals called for a statewide minimum of $13.50 or $15 to be phased-in in half the time.

These minimums displace Massachusetts — where the statewide rate will climb to $11 an hour next year — from the top spot, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a D.C.-based think tank that tracks wage laws across the nation.  Other states that have boosted statewide minimums above $10 include California and Vermont.

Conservative states, such as Idaho, have blocked efforts to raise its minimum beyond the federal level. Arizona lawmakers are considering a bill that would block state funding to municipalities that set a local minimum wage above that of the state or federal minimum.

Oregon was the first state to actually have a minimum wage," said Rep. Paul Holvey, a Democrat from Eugene. The state is deeply divided between west and east by economic, cultural and political differences. The goal of the tiered approach is to balance the needs of the more urban west — where living costs have soared rapidly in growing Portland — and struggling farming communities in the east.

Division over the minimum wage — currently at $7.25 in federal law — is also often split along party lines and pits low-wage workers against business groups, as has been seen in Oregon this year. Republicans, the minority party in the Oregon Statehouse, opposed the increase.

Woodstock, GA on Money Magazine's "Best Places to Live" in 2015

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Citing a "lively downtown", Money Magazine just rated Woodstock as the 50th best city to live in in the United States.  No other Georgia city made the list.  Besides the downtown aspect, Money also cited affordable housing and strong job growth as factors in its decision.  Those factors included great jobs, strong economies, affordable homes, excellent schools, and that special something that makes it a great place to live.

The Iran Deal - Read all about it

Here is a link to The Iran Deal.  You can read it for yourself.  (Unlike the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, which now looks doomed.)

$15 minimum wage a surprising success for Seattle restaurant

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Menu prices are up 21 percent and you don't have to tip at Ivar's Salmon House in Seattle after the restaurant decided to institute the city's $15-an-hour minimum wage two years ahead of schedule.  Not only that, surprisingly, revenue has soared 20% and supportive customers are leaving tips even though they don't need to.  Servers and bartenders are on pace to increase their annual pay by thousands, with wages for a few of the best compensated approaching $80,000 a year.  For some of the restaurant's lesser-paid workers - including bussers and dishwashers - that's meant as much as 60 percent more.  "It's been a surprise.", President Bob Donegan said.  Donegan served on the mayoral committee that drafted the minimum wage law.

GA Democrats have more cash on hand than do the Republicans

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The AJC reported that as of June 30, 2015, the Georgia Democratic Party had more cash on hand than did the Republican Party.  Democrats had $180,000 in cash and $2,000 in debt.  The Republican Party had $105,000 in cash and $91,000 in debt, $55,000 of that owed to it's chairman.  The Democrats also had $76,000 in cash for federal races with $57,000 in debt while the Republicans had $33,000 in it's federal cash account and $13,000 in debt.  The Republicans paid Ronald Reagan's son, Michael, $12,875 to speak at its spring gala.

Florida Supreme Court Rejects Republican Gerrymandering

Thursday, 9 July 2015

The Florida Supreme Court struck down a congressional redistricting map drawn largely by the legislature's Republicans. The court ruled that the legislature intentionally drew the map to favor GOP incumbents and disadvantage Democrats. In addition, the justices found that Republican legislators coordinated with consultants in order to draw more Republican-leaning districts. The court ordered the legislature to redraw the map of as many as 22 districts within 100 days AND with the oversight of a trial judge.

This decision marks a groundbreaking vindication of the Fair Districts Amendment, passed by Florida voters in 2010 to stop gerrymandering. The amendment is one of several measures states have experimented with to reduce partisan redistricting.  In June, the U. S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Arizona's independent redistricting commission, \affirming the validity of anti-gerrymandering measures like Florida's amendment. The Florida Supreme Court approvingly quoted from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's decision in that case—which over the conservative justices' dissent, affirmed "the fundamental premise that all political power flows from the people.” 

Income in 2014 up for everyone due to solid job growth

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The AJC reported today that  because of steady job growth, income in 2014 for the bottom 99% of American workers rose 3.3% to $47,213.  This was the largest annual percentage gain in 15 years!  For the top 1%, their income increased 10.8% to $1.3 Million.  Economists credited the 3.1 Million jobs added in 2014, which was the most since 1999.  As a result of this hiring, the US unemployment rate dropped from 6.7% to 5.6%, which caused companies to have to pay more to at attract workers.

Governor "fast tracks" Millions of taxpayer dollars to major campaign contributors

Friday, 12 June 15

Sadly,this is hardly news.  The AJC reported today that the budget that Governor Deal signed into law contains $27 Million taxpayer dollars to fund nursing home rate hikes and $10 Million of those dollars will go to two of Governor Deals largest campaign contributors.  The inclusion of this money was questioned by the AJC and two members of the state's Department of Community Health and was then tabled.  The Governor replaced those two board members as their terms had expired and, surprise, the rate increase passed without any discussion.  Our legislators were told that only half of the requested money was actually needed, but being generous conservatives, they approved the full amount.  The money was requested to compensate companies who bought nursing homes from 1/1/12 through 6/30/14 for improvements they are going to make.  Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson (D, Tucker) said, "I would expect that there would not be a windfall for nursing homes that are not increasing care." [Ummm . . . ]  The nursing home industry contributed $1 Million to the Governor's re-election campaign and his PAC (which got roughly 40% of its contributions from the industry).  Not a bad rate on return, eh?

20 of 50 hospitals in the US that charge the most are in one state - Florida

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

A study included in the June issue of the journal Health Affairs stated that 20 of 50 hospitals that charge the most are located in Florida and all but one of the 50 are for-profit.  The 20 hospitals in Florida are all owned by Community Health System.  The study recommended that state and federal lawmakers pass laws that require hospitals to post health data and, more importantly, limit the amount hospitals can charge patients.  Currently, only Maryland and Virginia limit do this.  AS it stands now, uninsured patients in the other states are often charged the full cost for treatment, which ultimately leads them to either file bankruptcy or not get the medical care they need.    Interestingly enough, Rick Scott, Florida's Governor, who was the CEO of a for-profit hospital chain said the following, "All hospitals getting taxpayer funds should agree to share profits." because the state faces losing hundreds of millions of federal Medicaid funds due to its refusal to offer expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.  Share profits?  Why, isn't that communism????

Over 10 Million Americans buy health insurance that the GOP says "Americans don't want"

Wednesday,  3 Jun 2015

In what is clearly a defeat for the Obama Administration and the President himself, the AJC reported today that more than 10 million Americans signed up for health insurance "they didn't want" in 2015, meaning that now 9 out of 10 Americans have health insurance.  But, there are two things that could undermine this:  First, the US Supreme Court is expected to rule by the end of this month.  Their decision on four words in one line of the Affordable Care Act could mean that about 6.4 million Americans in 34 states could lose a subsidy that makes the insurance affordable for them and if this happens, many would be forced to cancel their insurance because they could no longer afford it.  Florida would be the hardest hit, followed by Texas, North Carolina and Georgia in terms of number of people affected.   Second, many insurance companies have asked for double digit percent premium rate hikes for next year, which if granted would make insurance more expensive.

The GOP's war on poverty (well, make that the poor) escalates

Monday, 1 Jun 2015

GOP legislators in several states have introduced bills that punish the poor for being poor by forbidding them from buying certain grocery items.  In Missouri, a Republican Representative has introduced a bill that would outlaw food stamp use to buy cookies, chips, soft and energy drinks, seafood, and steak.  In Wisconsin, a bill has been introduced that would require food stamp and unemployment applicants to submit to a drug test AND would prohibit food stamps from being used to buy shellfish and the following luxury items:  cheese, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, dried beans, and spices.  Finally, the Kansas Governor has signed into law a bill that forbids welfare recipients from withdrawing more than $25.00/day from an ATM AND also forbids them from going to movie theaters, swimming pools, and liquor stores.  [How in the world do you enforce this law?]  These bills carry the promise of reducing fraud and waste, but their actual intent seems to be to humiliate Americans who need public assistance to make ends meet.  And how many Americans are in need of public assistance in the richest county on the face of the Earth?  A lot!  About 45 Million people in the US live below the poverty line - nearly the highest it's been since the government started keeping records.  Additionally, the University of California at Berkley reports that a whopping 56 percent of working people are on public assistance, including 52% of fast food workers, 48% of home care workers, 46 % of child care workers, and 25% of part time college workers.  We can do better than this . . .

Two Cherokee Legislators threaten to sue state agency over Medicaid budget issue

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Jim Galloway ran an article in his Political Insider column in today's AJC Metro section saying that Michael Caldwell and Scot Turner sent a letter to the state's Medicaid chief in which they threatened to sue.  Why?  Because the budget that the Legislature (yeah, these guys) passed and the Governor signed into law contains language that authorizes the state's Department of Community Health to seek a Section 1115 waiver, which if granted, would give Georgia access to more Medicaid funds from the US Dept of Health and Human Services.  Georgia is/was planning on using these fund to set up a "spoke and hub" structure to help fund rural hospitals (including Grady in downtown Atlanta) with the hopes of keeping them financially afloat.  "Whoever slid that in was misinformed, or maybe they were trying to pull a fast one.", said State Representative Jason Spencer, who joined up with Caldwell and Turner in the threat to sue.  [Gee, maybe the Legislators should have READ the budget they were passing before voting!]  Spencer continued, "If we're going to do Medicaid waivers that could possibly lead to Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, then we need to have that debate."  More on this in next year's Legislative session.

Over 541,000 Georgians buy health insurance that the GOP says "Americans don't want"

Friday, 15 May 2015

The AJC reported on Page 1 today, "Health care enrollment soars 71% in Georgia", making Georgia one of the top states in Obamacare sign ups.  More than half were new enrollees and roughly 90% of them qualified for a subsidized rate, with the average monthly rate being $73.00  Even so, Georgia is second only to Texas in the number of uninsured people because it is one of 17 states where the leadership (?) refuses to offer Obamacare's expanded Medicaid,which would allow them to experiment with other options to fill in the Medicaid gap.  Some say that Georgia is exploring this option as well.

Deal sign bill supporting increased solar energy usage in Georgia

Thursday, 14 May 2015

On Tuesday, 12 May, Gov. Deal signed HB-57 (the Solar Power Free Market Financing Act) into law, which makes it easier for home owners and businesses to get financing assistance on the installation of solar panels.  Additionally, it allows for third-party installation and owner- ship of the panels on a person or businesses property.  The bill was backed by Georgia Power and other utility companies as well as environ- mental groups and, naturally, solar power installers.

ALEC's new initiative has a local flavor

Monday, 11 May 2015

In its June, 2015 issue, In These Times magazine ran an article that reported that ALEC has launched a new group called the American City Council Exchange (ACCE), which works like ALEC to propose legislation at the local level.  The reason for this is that states are finding that cities are introducing local legislation such as higher wage initiatives, anti-fracking laws, and conservation laws that are in direct opposition to laws ALEC got passed at the state level.  Some state legislatures, such as Oklahoma and Texas, have even introduced and/or passed laws that basically forbid cities from having local control (one of the mantras of the Republican party, oddly enough) over issues they have gotten passed into law at the state level.

The article goes on to say that big cities are typically Democratic strongholds and the bigger the city, the more blue it is.  Rural and suburbs, however, tend to be Republican and while they may be sparsely populated, the larger area and Republican gerrymandering have basically, at least for now, made change to the makeup of the US Congress very unlikely.  It stated that of the 435 House seats, 373 (or 86%) will likely be safe for the incumbents holding them in the upcoming 2016 election.  It mentioned that in North Carolina, due to Republican redistricting,  only 4 of 13 seats were won by Democrats while winning 51% of the popular vote, leading a Republican to call for a non-partisan redistricting process because the results were so skewed.  The problem is:  this has been the Republicans plan for a while now.  They injected $30 Million after the 2008 election to create Project REDMAP, who's aim was to win targeted state-level races in order to more assure a Republican favoring redistricting process.  $1 million was spent on six GOP candidates for the Ohio state House and five won. Before 2010, the GOP controlled 36 of 98 state Houses, but after the 2010 election, they controlled 57 and after the 2014 election, it was 68.  That's 69% of GOP-controlled state Houses of Representatives.

In a further attempt to solidify their position, Republican legislatures have undertaken ALEC initiatives to restrict minority vote by requiring state-issued photo id's and limiting the number of early voting days.  North Carolina passed their voter reforms one week after the Supreme Court struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act.  The article concludes by saying that real change will only occur when the people get tired of the status quo and rise up and vote for change.

Kicking out the Kochs

Monday, 11 May 2015

In its May 15, 2015 edition, the Hightower Lowdown reported on page 2 that a move is underway to get the Koch brothers removed from several museums that they basically bought Board of Director seats on.  In an attempt for credibility, David Koch donated $23 Million dollars to PBS to sponsor the science program Nova.  He also donated $20 Million to the American Museum of Natural History and he gave $50 Million to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, it's single largest donation in its history.  To reward his generosity, the Smithsonian dedicated The David H Koch Hall of Human Origins.  A move is underway by scientists, museum members and staff members, teachers and others to get these museums to "cut all ties with corporate compromisers of scientific integrity."  Other groups including The Sierra Club and Greenpeace have started a petition to "Kick Koch" off of the museum board seats that he has bought.  You can sign on the link to the left.

Public Teacher Pension Change Bill Withdrawn

Friday,  8 May 2015

Proposed legislation that would have changed the pension plan for Georgia's public school teachers has been withdrawn.  Sen. Hunter Hill (R-Atlanta) had introduced the bill in this year's legislative session, but it didn't go anywhere, so he put it in the hopper for consideration next year.  He has now withdrawn it.  It faced very strong opposition from teacher groups.  Sid Chapman, President of the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) said, "This shows the power of organizing.  Public educators are organizing more and more and we're not going away."  The bill would have split new teachers' retirement deductions with part going to the Teacher Retirement System of GA (TRS) and part going into a 401(k) plan.  Teachers have, for years, been able to contribute additional moneys into a 403(b) plan and many do.  After failing to get a second on action needed on his bill, Hill withdrew it, saying he didn't necessarily even support his own bill himself.

Goings-on at the Cherokee Charter Academy

Friday, 01 May 2015

The Cherokee Tribune reported that up to three teachers at CCA may have been fired on Wednesday, 29 April 2015, but the paper was unable to find anyone who would confirm or deny this, however, it appears a deputy was dispatched to the school at the principals request and was later told that he was no longer needed on-site.  The paper stated that 17 teachers left the school this school year.  The school's budget calls for 54 teachers, so if there were 54 teachers on staff, then the school lost 31% of it's staff.  Of the 17, 10 resigned after Spring Break, with others resigning at other points during the year.  The numbers provided ONLY counted resignations, not firings.

Republicans singing "We're gonna kill Obamacare" using children's tune

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Republicans are working on a 10 year balanced budget that cuts $5 TRILLION (0ver the 10 years) from domestic social programs such as food stamps and Medicaid below the currently reduced amounts AND totally repeals the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) which is the main focus of their budget planIf passed into law, 27 million citizens would lose their medical care insurance.  A separate bill they are working on would use these cuts to increase the Pentagon's budget.  Their goal is to get a veto-proof budget bill to the President's desk in July or August of this year that completely repeals the Affordable Care Act.

False Obama remarks force GA teacher out of job

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

A Dublin, GA middle school teacher has been removed from the classroom in advance of her retirement at the end of this school year for false comments she made to her students about President Obama.  She told them that Obama is not a Christian and that anyone who voted for him is also not a Christian.  Parents protested, especially after her husband (who is on the school board) attended a parent-teacher conference on this matter.  The parents reported that they felt intimidated by his presence.  They called in the NAACP, who ultimately forced the school system to remove her from the classroom.

ACA (Obamacare) spurs more people to apply for food stamps

Monday, 27 April 2015

One aspect of The Affordable Care Act is a streamlined process that makes it easier for people to apply for food stamps.  In some of the states, the increase was between 1 and 6 percent over two years except in Nevada, where enrollment was up 14%.  With the economy improving, most states saw a decrease in food stamp enrollment over the two years.  In 10 states, however, rates rose because of expanded Medicaid programs that the states adopted under the ACA.  Six of them used a new sign-up system that allowed people to apply for Medicaid and food stamps at the same time.  This increase appears to be an unintended consequence of the ACA that allowed roughly 632,000 people in these states to get food stamps. 

Obstinate Republicans not getting PAC money

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Around 25 Republican's who voted against re-election of John Boehner as Speaker of the House have seen PAC contributions to their campaigns dry up.  24 of them saw their PAC contributions fall over the last year and none of them have seen a dollar yet this year from PACs run by Boehner (wow, what a surprise!!!)   Tim Huelskamp of Kansas was told by lobbyists that he and the others are on a "do not donate to" list, but naturally, leading Republicans deny that such a list exists (so naturally, it does).  Huelskamp said that corporate donors understand that if they contribute to those on the non-existent list, they may not get what they want from this Congress.

GA Democrats oppose Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Sunday, 26 April 2015

US Representatives David Scott, Hank Johnson, and John Lewis have come out against passage of a Trade Promotion Authority bill, largely favored by Republicans, that if passed, would give President Obama "fast track authority", which would allow him to introduce the Trans- Pacific Partnership trade bill to Congress, but would not allow them to modify any of it's provisions.  Opponents of this bill have labeled it "NAFTA on steroids" and state that it is a very bad deal for the United States.  They assert that if passed, local, state, and the federal govern- ment would be liable to lawsuits filed by corporations if those entities have or pass laws that the corporations feel could negatively impact their business operations (i.e. profits).  These could easily include anti-pollution and wage increase laws.  These lawsuits would be "fought" in a tribunal system made of up judges that the corporations picked.  Lawsuits could be waged not just on actual, but also on anticipated losses caused by laws.  The news article stated that the Obama administration "escalated its public and private persuasion last week, combating labor unions and populist favorite Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) ahead of what could be a tight floor fight."    It could be a moot point, though, as a number of Republicans are opposed to giving Obama the authority he seeks because of their "visceral dislike" (a.k.a. hatred) of him.  Hank Johnson is also worried that by granting the President this authority, the power of the Congress is diminished, so he sees this as a separation of powers issue as well.  "Obama is going to be President for 20 more months.  Who's going to be the next President?  It could be a Republican."  Rep. Sanford Bishop has not yet made public his stance on all this.

Legislature gives last-minute tax break to private college

Sunday, 12 April 2015

As one of it's last acts in the 2015 Legislative session, Georgia lawmakers passed a tax break to a private Baptist college (Truett-McConnell in Cleveland) worth an estimated $350,000.  State Senator Bruce Thompson (R-White Co) wrote and supported the bill at the request of the school, of which he is a Trustee.  The act, if signed by the Governor, would exempt the school from paying sales tax on construction materials used to build a $13 million recreation center.  State Senator Nan Orruck, an Atlanta Democrat, said that no meaningful discussion on this bill was allowed in the final moments of the session.  The college's President, Emir Caner, wrote on their website, "Now, it is incumbent that we must radically transform the campus so we can radically transform many lives for Christ."  [And an aquatic center and running track is going to do that.  Riiight.]  

Democratic Successes in 2015 GA Legislature

Sunday, 05 April 2015

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on the front page of its Saturday, April 4th edition that some of the critical legislation passed in 2015 would not have been possible without help from Democrats.  (See "GA.'s GOP strays from party line" at the bottom of the page)

"The GOP-dominated Legislature raised taxes and shot down "religious liberty" efforts - all while working hand in glove with Democrats."

The Transportation Bill was listed as the most important legislation that passed in the House and Senate ONLY because of votes for the bill from Democrats, but the Senate Democrats were also able to get concessions from the Governor's office to get more money budgeted for and more emphasis in awarding contracts to minority-owned road contractors.  House Republican leaders were forced to get help from Democrats because members of their own party voted no to making roads better for Georgians.

One Republican activist posted on Facebook that he "would be voting for very few Republican incumbents".  Sounds like a great idea!!!  Why not vote for Democrats and move this state in the right direction, faster?  Despite the last election, it looks like this state may be turning purple after all.

Governor Deal ignores his own Executive Order

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Governor Deal took a "fact-finding" trip to Louisiana which was paid for by a pro-Charter school group who is also a top contributor to state GOP members.  The two day trip, valued at over $14,000 was paid for by StudentsFirst, a California non-profit and included travel, hotel, a charter bus, and meals for the Governor, five staffers, nine legislators and the State Superintendent of Schools.  In the 2014 election, the non- profit gave $250,000 to the Georgia Republican Party, which was the largest non-party donation it received, but in the last three years, it has given $1.3 Million in Georgia campaign donations.  The trip appeared to exceed the $25.00 limit Deal imposed via Executive Order his first day in office, which placed strict limits on lobbyist spending on executive branch staff.  StudentsFirst has been registered as a lobbyist since 2011 and has 10 registered lobbyists in the state.  Deal's office said that this trip was not a violation of the order as this was an "educational trip".

Georgia to embark on a three year program to move people from food stamps to jobs

Saturday, 21 March 2015

The AJC reported that a Georgia program to move people off food stamps and into jobs did so for only 304 people last year, which is 4% of the eligible people.  The state attributed the poor rate to start-up challenges and the nationwide problem of moving people from food stamps to jobs.  Two top Washington officials came to Atlanta and announced that Georgia would be getting $15 Million dollars to help 2,500 people spread out in  metro-Atlanta counties in the three year program.  The program provides recipients with job counseling and skills training, tuition costs, and if needed, substance abuse treatments.  Georgia has about 165,000 people on food stamps who have no children and are considered "able -bodied".  Those in the 10 county area will be required to participate in the program.  [Let's see, $15,000,000/2,500= $6,000, which seems a little low for all the counseling, tuition, etc.]

Obama slams Republican spending plan

Thursday, 19 March 2015

President Obama criticized the House of Representatives proposed spending plan as one that "offers a path to prosperity to those who have already prospered and no path to help middle-class people get ahead."  He accused them of being stuck in the past, embracing trickle-down economics and tax cuts for the wealthy "like a broken record" while at the same time cutting Medicare and other social programs that help many Americans get by.  He reiterated that Republicans are constantly saying that his "failed policies" would ruin the economy and stunt job growth, but the facts are that the unemployment rate has steadily gone down since he became President from double digits to just 5.5% now and that 12 million jobs have been created in the page five years.  He said, "Reality has rendered its judgement.  Trickle-down economics doesn't work, but Middle-class economics does."  He went on to say that the proposed Republican budget which would partly privatize Medicare and cut many social programs "doesn't just fail to embrace Middle-class economics - it's the direct opposite of it."

Survey shows record low confidence of government and Nobody likes Congress

Thursday, 12 March 2015

American's confidence in all three branches of government is at or near an all-time low since the survey was started 40 years ago.  The 2014 General Social Survey reported that only 23% of those surveyed have a great deal of confidence in the Supreme Court, 11% in the Executive branch, and 5% in Congress.  The 11% support level of the Executive is one percent better than the rating the Executive branch got in 1996.  By contrast, the 44% who say they have little to no confidence in the Executive branch is at a record high, mostly driven by Republican distaste for Obama.  Only 3% of Republicans surveyed say they have confidence in the President.  The Supreme Court confidence numbers dropped for all three political groups and confidence in the Supreme Court is also at an all time low.  Only 26% of Democrats and, surprisingly, 22% of Republicans said they have a high degree of confidence in the Court.  Congress' numbers were even worse - over half of those polled said they had little to no confidence in Congress.  Only 7% of Democrats, 5% of Independents, and 3% of Republicans said they had a great deal of confidence in Congress.  Surprisingly, Americans continue to send the same people back to Congress.

ALEC losing influence

Sunday, 28 September 2014

The following is from a mail message from our friends at www.moveon.org:

Earlier this week, after months of pressure and the signatures of nearly 115,000 people, Google announced it was ending its support for the American Legislative Exchange Council.  This is not just a victory for us, but for the millions of Americans whose lives are made more difficult by ALEC's anti-environment, anti-education, and anti-worker agenda.

Our voices are being heard—Google's exit followed quickly on the heels of Microsoft's departure from the group less than a month ago. And, in even more exciting news, Google's departure has led to an avalanche of other tech companies, including Facebook and Yahoo calling it quits as well!

Across the country, people are pushing back against back-room deals and "pay-to-play" politics. They know that ALEC and the crooked politicians they work with have no place in our state legislatures.  With your help, we've shone a light on ALEC's greed and power grabs. That's why more than 90 corporations and 400 state legislators across the country have pulled their support from ALEC in just the past few years.