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Overcoming Racial Discrimination

Despite real progress over the last generation in overcoming discrimination in our society, the reality is that Americans are still regularly refused employment, housing or equal treatment under the law because of their nationality or the color of their skin.  The numbers highlighting this racial discrimination are stark:

National Popular Vote Moves Forward in North Dakota and Nation

Legislators in North Dakota are promoting the radical idea that the candidate who wins the most votes for President should actually be President.  The legislature introduced a bill last week to award its electoral votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote nationally.  A national popular vote initiative was passed by both chambers in California last year, only to be vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger.  For the upcoming legislative sessions, twenty-nine states have also already lined up sponsors to introduce "National Popular Vote" bills.

State Officials Admit Privatization Failed in Texas

Last fall, we highlighted how corrupt privatization of social services management in Texas had handed Accenture a billion dollars in revenue, even as the company's incompetence led to many families being unjustifiably denied public services.

Shutting the Courtroom Door: How the Corporate Right Mobilized in the States

When an impeccably pro-business outfit like Business Week declares victory for the business lobby in shutting the courtroom door to victims of corporate negligence, you know injured consumers and workers have been losing badly. But this week's cover story, How Business Trounced The Trial Lawyers, illustrates how the corporate right leveraged campaign contributions in the last decade to hijack state policy on civil justice.

Renewable Portfolio Standards Across the States

State governments are not waiting on D.C. to develop an energy independence policy for their states. Instead, almost half the states have taken the lead on promoting and utilizing renewable energy.

What States Can Do for Darfur

Since the Bush administration first recognized the genocide in Darfur, over 250,000 men, women, and children have died. This number does not count the countless women and children that have been raped or attacked as a result of the Sudanese government's campaign to kill and drive out Darfur's ethnic African populations. The violence and genocide is now spilling over into Chad and the Central African Republic. Yet, even with such horrifying statistics, the situation deteriorates day by day.

Court Denies Free Speech Right for Union Button

The Bill of Rights is a nice idea, but for most workers, it disappears when they punch the clock to begin work each day, even when the employer is the government.

Corruption Runs Amok in Colorado

Some conservatives in Colorado appear to think they are above the laws. In the past several weeks, Colorado's largest rightwing 527 has been caught in the middle of what appears to be a giant money laundering scheme and the Secretary of State has been called out for failing to enforce a new law stepping up lobbyist disclosure, even while trying to create new rules to hamstring unions and other large membership organizations.

TX: Lobbyist Turned Consultant Hooks Buddy Up With State Investment

The AP picked up an important story out of Texas, where it appears that the good ol' boy community thinks that corruption is a fine method of operating. The story goes like this: Bill Ceverha, a lobbyist, consultant, and member of the board of the Employees Retirement System of Texas, lobbied for an education privatization front group in 2005. One of his big donors was a man by the name of James Leininger. Leininger is also the founder of Kinetic Concepts.