Maryland state Sen. Jamie Raskin has developed a model bill that would mandate that corporations take a vote of their shareholders before making campaign contributions and disclose those contributions on their corporate website within 48 hours, and Roots Action helps you tell your state legislator to introduce similar legislation. Mr. Raskin's model legislation would go further than that, by preventing corporations owned by institutional investors that can't take political positions from making any campaign donations at all, and would also mandate rebating to shareholders of that percentage of a corporation's donations they don't agree with. I don't agree with the fourth item -- it's the same logic that employers use to refuse to pay for birth control for their employees -- but we've tried to do the first two at the national level and the third item makes perfect sense. I guess next we'll hear from right-wingers that such bills are like "bullying." But let them defend the notion that allowing shareholders to determine how their corporation spends its money is "bullying."
Meanwhile, the Sierra Club helps you (change this link!) tell Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to work harder to reduce smog pollution in Pennsylvania. How bad is smog in Pennsylvania? Pennsylvania doesn't get all the ink of a Los Angeles or Houston or Teheran, but 17 Pennsylvania counties have areas that don't meet federal smog pollution standards. Now, this doesn't mean everybody in those counties chokes on smog every day, but it does mean that on bad days, folks with asthma suffer a lot worse, and it also means that more people get heart attacks in the short run and lung and heart disease in the long run. Who stands in our way? Coal corporations, of course, whose CEOs don't want to reduce their emissions even when they already possess the technology to do so, apparently because freedom Obama Hitler small businesses. But, even though it might not seem like it, they don't get all the say around here. And Tom Wolf certainly doesn't get a pass because he's a Democrat.
Finally, some good news: Sen. Hatch (R-UT) has said he probably won't introduce a "free" trade "fast-track" bill until April, which might well have something to do with the fact that virtually everyone outside of corporate boardrooms and Congressional halls hates "free" trade pacts that outsource our jobs to foreign wage slaves and subjugate our laws to extralegal "investor-state tribunals." These tribunals, as you know, can decide that because a corporation lost money due to some labor or environmental law, that the taxpayers of a particular nation should reimburse them the money they lost! And never mind that we can demonstrate fairly easily that labor and environmental laws actually save corporations money -- the "investor-state tribunal" should really be known by another name: a bailout tribunal, since it forces taxpayers to bail out the corporations who break our laws. Anyway, the "fast-track" bill isn't coming soon, but when it comes, it's bound to come quick, so Public Citizen still helps you tell your Reps to reject "fast-tracking" "free" trade bills.