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Each Saturday, this feature links and excerpts commentary and reporting from a dozen progressive state blogs in the past seven days around the nation. The idea is not only to spotlight specific issues but to give readers who may not know their state has a progressive blog or two a place to become regularly informed about doings in their back yard. Just as states with progressive lawmakers and activists have themselves initiated innovative programs over a wide range of issues, state-based progressive blogs have helped provide us with a point of view and inside information we don't get from the traditional media. Those blogs deserve a larger audience. Let me know via comments or Kosmail if you have a favorite you think I should know about. Standard disclaimer: Inclusion of a diary does not necessarily indicate my agreement or endorsement of its contents.
At Left in Alabama, mpmarus writes Taking Back the People's House:
Left in Alabama logo
Folks, the news about Jim Barton resigning his legislative seat is all over - even here at LiA.

What's not being mentioned is that this is a prime opportunity for us to get a head start on defeating the super majority held by the GOP in the Statehouse.

See, we all know that Barton is a Republican - so if a Democrat wins that seat, when they run again they have the advantage of being the incumbent. Remember, we need 5 additional seats in the House to defeat the super majority and win back a place at the table. Do the math—this one's easy.

At Progress New Mexico, Pat Davis writes Tell these legislators to DUMP ALEC NOW:
Progress Now New Mexico
These state legislators outed themselves as ALEC members when they signed a letter to a US Senator.

In just the past two elections, ALEC dumped more than $1,000,000 into the campaigns of New Mexico legislators and the ALEC caucus in the Roundhouse is growing.

CALL THESE ALEC MEMBERS AND TELL THEM TO DUMP ALEC NOW: Rep. Yvette Herrell (R- Alamogordo): (575) 430-2113; Sen. William Burt (R-Alamogordo): (575) 434-6140;
 Sen. Lee Cotter (R - Las Cruces): (575) 525-3200 and ALEC State Chairman Sen. Bill Payne (R- Albuquerque): (505) 293-5703 [...]

Common Cause New Mexico has already asked our attorney general to
investigate the secret ALEC “scholarship” slush fund but until he does
they keep using it to fund lavish trips like this for some speed dating
with big corporate funders.

The first thing we have to do to take back our democracy is get our
legislators out of ALEC.

At Progress Illinois, Ashlee Rezin writes Seniors Say They Endure Deplorable Conditions, Inept Management At South Side CHA Housing Complex:
The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) is allowing roughly 250 residents of the Judge Slater Senior Apartments and the Judge Slater Annex to live in deplorable conditions with hostile management, according to a group of residents who are calling for agency officials to halt contracting with the building’s management company, the Woodlawn Community Development Corporation (WCDC).

The residents, backed by the grassroots advocacy group Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), allege the building is infested with mice and bugs, and many of the apartments have mold and holes in the walls. The tenants, who pay 30 percent of their income toward rent while the government pays the rest, also claim management often subjects seniors to a “culture of intimidation.”

“We want the WCDC out,” said Alphonso Jones, 67, who has lived at Judge Slater for five years as a care-giver for his 69 year-old brother. “It’s ridiculous what we’re put through ... The conditions we are forced to live under are disgusting, the building is infested with mice and roaches from wall to wall.”

More progressive state blog links and excerpts can be found below the fold.

At Indy Democrat Blog, Jon Easter writes Massa Stays on Rockport Case Despite Controversial Connections:

Mark Massa had no judicial experience before he was tapped to become Indiana Supreme Court Justice Mark Massa by Governor Mitch Daniels.

Then-Governor Daniels passed over hundreds of qualified judges across the state and picked his personal friend and his former Chief Counsel to be a Supreme Court appointment.  Many people thought it was a personal payback for Massa's candidacy for Marion County Prosecutor in 2010.  Even some Republicans whispered to me that Massa's heart was never really in that campaign and was only running to help cover the then-Governor's behind as the Marion County Prosecutor's position has the ability to investigate state government.

Fast forward a few years. The Rockport gasification plant case is coming before the Indiana Supreme Court. I won't dig too deep into the case. Eric Bradner of the Courier-Press does a nice job here. As Bradner describes it, the key question is how gas rates are set in the state. Lots of money stands to be made by the developers of the plant.  However, concerned Hoosier lawmakers passed regulation that would pretty much override the agreement.

On the side of the developer is the director of the plant project, Mark Lubbers. Lubbers is a former Daniels Administration member and, according to the Indianapolis Star, the man responsible for Massa's foray into politics some 30 years ago when both worked for Governor Robert Orr. Also at issue, according to the Star, is Massa's position as Daniels' Chief Counsel when legislation initially related to the green lighting of the plant was passed. Given these apparent red flags, the Sierra Club, Citizens Action Coalition, Spencer County Citizens for Quality of Life and Valley Watch filed a petition asking for Massa to recuse himself.

The Star reports this evening that Massa has refused to step aside.

At Progressive Alaska Philip Munger writes:

I just finished watching Democracy Now's interview from Tuesday with Lavabit founder, Ladar Levison, and with Levison's attorney, Jesse Binnall.  It was a compelling interview, with Levison reminding me of absolutely nothing I've ever seen before on a news interview about how someone has had to respond to Federal government pressure.

It was all a bit disturbing, close to scary.  This statement by Levison was, to me, the most troubling:

there’s information that I can’t even share with my lawyer, let alone with the American public. So if we’re talking about secrecy, you know, it’s really been taken to the extreme. And I think it’s really being used by the current administration to cover up tactics that they may be ashamed of.

At blue cheddar, bluecheddar writes Day 12 of Mass Arrests for Singing in Wisconsin’s Capitol Building:
The editor of The Progressive magazine was arrested:  ”Matt Rothschild was arrested by Capitol police on a misdemeanor obstruction and resisting arrest charge and released on $300 bail after photographing the arrests of other demonstrators singing in the rotunda. Rothschild said he didn’t comply with an officer’s order to move from the area of the arrest but did identify himself as a working journalist.”  

Today August 15, 2013 is the 12th day of mass arrests of singers in Wisconsin’s Capitol Building where over 200 citations have been given out since July 24th, primarily for assembling without a permit.  

Isthmus reported that today a Madison alder was arrested and Greg Gelembiuk observed that only an average of 20 participants were involved throughout the day’s singing on the rotunda floor.  Several Raging Grannies were arrested and word has it that a 14-year-old and 16-year-old were also arrested.

At Blog for Arizona, Pamela Powers Hannley writes Party of ‘NO’ Says ‘NO’ to Debates on CNN, NBC:
In recent years, the Republican Party has earned the well-deserved nickname of the “Party of NO.” Senior Senator form Kentucky, Mitch McConnell (AKA Senator Gridlock) is the Party of NO’s mascot with an astounding 413 filibusters since 2007.

The latest thing for the Republican National Committee to say “Hell, No!” to is debates on CNN and NBC. Why are they pulling debates from these two national networks? Because they plan to air a specials about Hillary Clinton.

Seriously? Instead of rising to the challenge of the Democratic Party’s early presidential favorite and finding an intelligent candidate (ie, not Rand Paul or Rick Perry), you’re going to HIDE from her and the American people?

Being afraid of a TV special that airs three years before the election is just silly– given the American public’s short attention span.

Stop your sniveling and man up.

At Rural and Progressive of Georgia, Katherine Helms Cummings writes Doc, I’d like a prescription for two old bathtubs:
He couldn’t get the General Assembly to pass a bill restricting state employee insurance funding to cover abortions, so Governor Nathan Deal worked another Back Room Deal and got insurance companies to stop covering abortions for state employees. It sort of begs the “Never you mind, missy” about medical procedures that are still legal and safe for women.

This closed door tactic earned Governor Deal a much deserved award from Planned Parenthood. Our Governor is Planned Parenthood Action’s Gynotician of the Week!

As Planned Parenthood Action points out, Deal earned his B.A. and his law degree at Mercer University. But he lacks a medical degree and I bet he hasn’t even played a doctor on TV. “Never you mind, missy” a gynotician (a politician who feels more qualified than women and their doctors to make women’s health care decisions resulting in a combination of the words gynecologist and politician) knows way more than a woman and her board certified, state licensed doctor do about the best health care decisions for her.

At 43rd State Blues, Travis Manning writes Idaho Education News is the Whore of The Albertson Foundation:
43rd State Blues
Sen. Branden Durst’s recent op-ed critiquing Superintendent Luna’s “end around” the Idaho legislature, and his subsequent analysis of GOP political genealogy, has merit, especially as it relates to a newly minted news organization called Idaho Education News (IEN).

Funded by The Albertson Foundation, IEN started seven months ago in order to advance the school privatization agenda of Chairman Joe Scott. They bought the Boise State University name, where IEN is housed, simply by donating millions of dollars. Strategically, Albertson hired away established reporters Kevin Richert, Jennifer Swindell and Clark Corbin to do its messaging work, under the auspices of their new identity. Albertson uses the B.S.U. trademark as a PR gimmick to expedite credibility within Idaho.

Albertson and IEN blur the arena of ethical journalism, which situation is different from Boise State’s relationship with National Public Radio, where Boise State Public Radio, an NPR affiliate, is housed. In this case, NPR is an already-established news entity with decades-long experience and an international reputation for quality and unbiased reporting. IEN is far from achieving NPR’s status.

At Blue in the Bluegrass, Yellow Dog writes Goose the Economy: Expand Social Security:
Blue in the Bluegrass
Social Security payments - like food stamps and unemployment compensation and non-corporate welfare and EITC and every other government program that provides money to the working class - makes the economy grow.

That's because when the working class gets money, they spend it. That helps businesses, who then expand and hire more people, who spend the money they earn and ad infinitum in an endless virtuous loop of prosperity.

The economy is not growing the way it should because we are giving money to corporations and billionaires, who are not spending it the way the rest of us do.  They are stashing it away in overseas bank accounts while ten million Americans remain unemployed and underemployed.

What's the solution? Increase payments to the working class.  Start by expanding Social Security.

At Grumpy Abe of Ohio, Abe Zaidan writes It's final: 2016 GOP presidential convention to be in Disney World:
mong the many benefits of being a Grumpy Abe reader is that you often get news before it happens.  Today's scoop arrives from Washington, where the Republican brass reportedly has completed its months-long mission of finding a comfort zone as the site of its 2016 presidential convention.  The GOP stalwarts and honor guards will convene in Disney World. Chairman Reince Priebus, who is never without one more linguistic surprise, says D-World is a perfect venue  to integrate family fun and politics. He would not confirm that the search committee also believed that the Disney World setting was chosen so the party's  own clowns would not stand out so much in the crowds.
At Burnt Orange Report of Texas, Omar Araiza writes Disgusting Homophobic Remarks from San Antonio Councilwoman Elisa Chan Caught in Secret Recording:
Burnt Orange Report
"So disgusting!" is what San Antonio Councilwoman Elisa Chan thinks of gay people and San Antonio's LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance.
Earlier this month, we covered a piece on Fox News' highly flawed report of Mayor Julian Castro's proposal to add protections for sexual orientation and gender identity to the city's non-discrimination ordinance. According to the opposition, the ordinance would just bar Christians from serving in the city council.

Now, a secret recording provides us with much more genuine motives from those that opposed the ordinance.

This past May, Councilwoman Elisa Chan was meeting with members of her staff to discuss the proposal and try to attempt to come up with a strategy to oppose the ordinance without seeming so intolerant.

In the course of the meeting, Chan expressed her highly distorted views on homosexuality -- which range from confusion about how stuff works to, well, really intolerant beliefs.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 08:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by New Mexico Kossaks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  In other ALEC News - Yelp joined them (6+ / 0-)

    I promptly rated the ap 1* and dropped it. I encourage others to do the same.

  •  The importance of state blogs (10+ / 0-)

    I am friends on Facebook with the person who wrote about seeing the Obama clown at the Missouri State Fair.

    I posted his comments initially on Show Me Progress.

    Because I didn't know how to post a picture here, my first diary on the Daily Kos directed people to the picture on the Show Me Progress entry.

    A lot of political reporters in Missouri read Show Me Progress and that diary made the story viral.

    This entry on Show Me Progress showed the HUGE spike the clown event created.

    The moral of all this is clear: A resource has been created to make this kind of racism public and expose it to the entire nation.

    [Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security] do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

    by MoDem on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 08:22:36 AM PDT

  •  University of NM helps ALEC in NM (5+ / 0-)

    ALEC depends on RW radio and RW radio stations depend on their broadcasts of university/college and pro sports for community credibility and ad revenue.

    in NM 770 KKOB does UNM lobos, limbaugh and hannity and some local idiots who will read anything they are given, especially when it comes to elections and passing or stopping legislation.

    for many years the locals have blanketed the state with voter ID, voter fraud fraud, and anti-immigration propaganda to enable politicians to serve ALEC.

    that's a cumulus station that might lose limbaugh and hannity at the end of the year but they've done a lot of misinforming over the years.

    one way to fix that is to pressure UNM to find other apolitical alternatives  - the declaration by the uni of that intent would not only damage KKOB's credibility but could focus attention on the reasons why UNM would do that, including ALEC's agenda.

    the same could happen in most states, especially if uni students and faculty got going on it.

    michigan and mich state broadcast on 10 limbaugh/ALEC stations. UNC tarheels on 8. U of wisconsin on 2. penn st and pittsburg on 7. univ of illinois on 9. those are all ALEC radio stations. all ALEC bullhorns with those team logos on them, with significant effect in those states, but little or no real time challenge except for the limbaugh boycott- ALEC gets a free speech free ride.

    as is, many student activists and student groups working on many different issues are being yelled over by ALEC and the GOP, holding bullhorns with their own team logos on them.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 08:51:45 AM PDT

  •  one blog i read at times is blogging blue (4+ / 0-)

    don't know if on your list, but blogging blue has had pretty good coverage of walker.

    do you have a list of blogs you have included in this series? i think that would be a good resource to include in editions because then when i have time to read, i can click on to this series to check out list.

  •  San Antonio (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    micsimov, Aunt Pat, Amber6541, Eric Nelson

      During the hearing in SA, a veteran of the Iraq War was booed for testifying during the hearing.  He supports the current Administrations stance on improving GLBT rights in our city.  

        Former Marine Staff Sergeant Eric Alva — a San Antonio native who was the first American service member seriously injured in the Iraq War when he stepped on a land mine in March 2003 and lost his right leg — was speaking in favor of a proposed addition to the city’s non-discrimination law that would add protections for sexual orientation, gender identity and veteran status.

    But as Alva began to deliver his remarks, many in the crowd of approximately 200 people attending the council meeting began to boo.

         From San Antonio Express News.   SIGH!

  •  All sex is "disgusting" (0+ / 0-)

    really, when you describe it or think about it separate from your own relationship. Ask any 8-year-old who's been told how babies get made. "Ew, ick."

    Giving birth is even ickier. (I'm still recovering from the trauma of watching, at age 4, my cat giving birth to kittens and then licking the goop off. Ew, ick.)

    Eating and chewing are pretty icky too. Not to mention what happens at the other end of the digestive system.

    None of this has anything to do with what one group of people (like legislators) should be allowed to label as "illegal" or "immoral."

  •  Each week the issues are becoming more clearly.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    ..defined, the opposite of what the republicans have typically tried to do. The real issues that is. This is good.

    Burnt Orange singles out and exposes the truth:

    "You know, to be quite honest, I know this is not politically correct," Chan says during the meeting. "I never bought in that you are born, that you are born gay. I can't imagine it."
    Grumpy Abe:
    Disney World setting was chosen so the party's  own clowns would not stand out so much in the crowds.
     Despite all the spin Preibus et al. would have people believe, that the GOP is protecting themselves from a "liberal media" attack, no one believes that a movie is anything but an exuse to hide from a real debate on an agenda the GOP is still afraid the public will never go for.

    Blue in the Bluegrass with another theme that the GOP is losing control of:

    The economy is not growing the way it should because we are giving money to corporations and billionaires, who are not spending it the way the rest of us do.  They are stashing it away in overseas bank accounts while ten million Americans remain unemployed and underemployed.
    Sequestrtion has hit people on all sides and levels. I've been reading and hearing more scepticism & more questions asking what is the real welfare fraud that is going on- corporate - ever since the Romney candidacy - and "corporations are people my friend". The questions keep coming - a good thing imo

    43rd State Blues:

    This bias towards charter schools and against public schools casts a long shadow across IEN’s early body of work.

    Finally, IEN has not examined how the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is drafting many of Idaho’s so called education reform laws behind closed doors with legislators, lobbyists and politicians at the table – but not the public – which practice circumvents democracy.

    Idaho Education News needs to report on the elephant in the room.

    With the cost of education going through the roof people are looking at  privatization of public schools in a new light - who profits? - and the word on ALEC as an outside unwanted corporate force is spreading

    Rural and Progressive: The war on women meme has caught on big time -

    “Never you mind, missy"
    - and it's working.

    Progress New Mexico: ALEC naked as ever.

    LeftinAlabama: Taking Back the People's House

    Our illustrious governor set qualifying for this race to end Monday, August 19 - right during the build-up to the Mobile city elections (the district is in Mobile County). But I'm sure that was an accident, right?
    and more republican attempts at rigging the elections exposed by Dems fighting back

    Progressive Alaska: this is a tough one. Govt. policies. Our govt. and the approach being taken on privacy issues. We Dems - have more to do on this.

    It's true that innovations like encrypted e-mail services will be used by people who want to do illegal things, and the "wild west freedom" luvin' GOP (fakes who really do NOT care about freedon unless it's corporate) are all too ready to support (despite the GOP's true record) but so what?
    Cracking down just because a service could be used for bad purposes is another wrong.
    So is the the whole national-security-surveillance-programs-supporting-private-for-profit-spying-complex.

    And so is a non-adversarial FISA court court hand picked by RWNJ chief justice.

    All in all though the problems that Dems want exposed  and republicans want to cover with story telling are getting defined & exposed, while the circus of GOP as clowns putting on a show, is too - unraveling that is...
    There's even a new GOP meme I've noticed that: "House at risk in 2014 unless GOP offers agenda" - what bullshit. It's not the lack of an agenda, it's because of it. Iow's things are working.

    Thx MB

    oops this went on a bit longer than I meant it - too much good stuff happening :)

    •  Correx Burnt: Orange exposes the truth about.. (0+ / 0-)

      ..republicans, that what idiot Councilwoman Elisa Chan thinks is wrong as can possibly be - and it is none of her or anybodys business to put their theocratic homophobic crap on other people.

      What she and others like her can or can't imagine has no place in our law making process.

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