Tuesday, April 15, 2014

State Legislatures Flex Their Muscle

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

The boneheads populating America's state legislatures, insurance and car salesmen who are increasingly coming under the dollar domination of right-wing corporatists, are beginning to flex their legislative muscle in ways that are not necessarily beneficial to the voters who put them in office.  In many cases the legislatures are overriding local autonomy by passing laws which forbid communities from taking certain actions that fly in the face of the interests of lawmakers' corporate masters.

The National Rifle Association has drafted model legislation that multiple states are using to forbid counties and cities from passing any gun ordinances that are more restrictive than what is on the states' books.  The Missouri House passed a bill that takes a swing at state judges and the federal government.    The legislation would prohibit state judges from enforcing federal gun laws.  Idaho, which probably has no difficulty with its lesser political entities, took aim at the feds when its state senate voted out a bill that would nullify any new federal gun laws.

Lawmakers in Arizona, a state known for quirky and bad legislation, have been trying to draft a law that would prohibit its counties and cities from stopping people from raising poultry in their backyards.  Arizona also receives lots of pressure from the corporate prison industry to stand firm on immigration and drug laws, two areas of the law which do much to populate the state's for-profit prisons.

Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma made news this week when she signed a draconian measure passed by her legislature.  The new Oklahoma law prohibits cities from raising the minimum wage.  Cities in the Sooner State are also now forbidden by law from increasing sick leave or vacation time.

Our state legislators are quickly shedding all pretense of working for the people.  They are, in fact, beginning to hurt real people in very serious ways.  A cynic might argue that this phenomena is connected to the Supreme Court opening the campaign cash floodgates, and that certainly makes it easier for those with unlimited money to be heard.  e

Somehow, though, the rest of us have to figure out how to be heard as well.  Voting would help.

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

While these states are enacting "model" legislation, they do so not because of Citizens United and its progeny.

The problem, dark money, is behind these "model" legislative agendas, but comes from a source called ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC is one of the bastard children of the Koch Brothers empire.

At ALEC American Corporation buy access to the wheelers and dealers of the state legislatures. The prominent Republican Representatives and Senators often get a stipend for being a "state director" or otherwise get wined and dined on corporate sponsored junkets under the guise of ALEC. Campaign contributions, withing the legal limits for each state, frequently flow to these legislators from the ALEC corporate stooges.

Most shockingly, the "state directors" take an oath placing the interests of ALEC ahead of the interests of their constituents. "State directors" are traitors.