News

BURNS: Tuition-hike roundup for April 2010

May 3, 2010
Steve Burns

According to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, at least 28 states have implemented cuts to public colleges and universities and/or large increases in college tuition to make up for insufficient state funding, and four more states have proposed cuts but have not yet carried them out. Full report here...

Vermont: A proposal to raise University tuition by 4.8 percent brought an angry response by the state's Governor, Jim Douglas, who called the increase "excessive, and an unfair burden on struggling Vermont families." Under the proposal, tuition at Vermont State Colleges would rise 4 percent. Read more...

STEVENSON: This education is ours, so act like it

May 5, 2010
Sam Stevenson

Want to travel back in time? Drive 80 miles east to Milwaukee, park on Downer and Kenwood and walk a block west. Complementing the anachronistic architecture crowding around, the tenor of student body activism pulsating across the UW-Milwaukee campus could easily fool the most well-informed Madisonian into thinking he or she had traveled to another era, one where college students fought hard to protect and nourish their education.

The impassioned and fair demands made by UWM students last March precipitated last Thursday’s revealing panel discussion with embattled UWM Chancellor Carlos Santiago. Previously, UWM’s participation in a national day of action in defense of higher education on March 4 met a rude end when administrative officials called in police to break up a passionate though peaceful demonstration. Campus and city police aggressively targeted students with pepper spray and physical violence in an effort to neutralize vociferous demands for an audience with Santiago.

More Info: 

Sam Stevenson is a graduate student in public health.

Original article here...

AP: Democracy Now! files suit over RNC arrests

May 5, 2010
Steve Karnowski

MINNEAPOLIS — Amy Goodman, host of the syndicated "Democracy Now!" news program, and two of her producers filed suit against the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis and other defendants Wednesday over their arrests while covering the 2008 Republican National Convention.

The three were among an estimated 40 to 50 journalists who were arrested covering street protests at the convention in downtown St. Paul, along with about 800 demonstrators and bystanders.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Minnesota, alleges that authorities violated the First Amendment freedoms of Goodman, her producers and other journalists by interfering with their right to gather news.

Goodman's daily program airs on over 750 radio and TV stations in North America.

More Info: 

Original article here...

Video of the arrest of Democracy Now! producer Nicole Salazar:

 

LIU: Manski Wins Democracy on Campus

May 6, 2010
Alexander J. Liu

Making the drive up to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point once again on Monday, pro-democracy advocate and attorney Ben Manski returned to the campus he had visited in his college career. Only this time the faces had changed, but the message was the same. At 8 p.m. in the Dreyfus University Center’s Theatre, Manski delivered a multimedia presentation on “Winning Democracy,” in the hopes that it would inspire students to do just that.

“I hope that I helped to broaden some perspectives about what other students are doing around the world: what they’ve done in recent generations, that it wasn’t all just in the 60’s. I’m a little bit older, but in my generation student activists, we accomplished a lot,” said Manski. “In my experience, when people think big, they dream big and they work to accomplish those big goals. They sometimes succeed, and if you don’t try at all, then they’re not going to happen and that’s not acceptable.”

More Info: 

Original article here...

PROVIDENCE JOURNAL: Rhode Island students rally against tuition hikes

May 6, 2010
Alicia A. Pina

Despite tuition increasing 46.6 percent over the last five years, professors and students at the Community College of Rhode Island say there are fewer services and not enough spots for even the mandatory core courses.

Jim Brady, the college’s outgoing student body president, said the situation — particularly the tuition hikes that don’t seem to have an end at all three of the state’s higher education institutions — is “completely disgusting” and counterproductive to helping the state build a 21st-century work force.

A call-to-action rally at the community college’s Knight Campus Wednesday afternoon was the first of several planned events to let the General Assembly know “enough is enough.” A petition is also circulating and a march to the State House is in the works.

AMMORI: Citizens United: Does Elena Kagan Disagree With Barack Obama On Corporate Speech?

May 9, 2010
Marvin Ammori

 

In that article, she discusses two cases, Austin (later overruled by Citizens United) and Turner (which I'll explain here). To understand legal arguments, you have to know the cases discussed, as lawyers think in cases. If a lawyer says she supports Roe v. Wade and opposes Lochner v New York, you know what she means if you know those cases. So let me explain the relevant cases here.
 
Citizens United, Austin, and Corporate Campaign Expenditures
In Citizens United, the Supreme Court famously held that the government could not limit campaign expenditures from the general treasuries of corporations in the immediate run-up to an election. It was a 5-4 decision along the Court's now-usual conservative-liberal split. Citizens United overruled another decision (which had upheld limits on such corporate expenditures) called Austin (decided 1990).
 

AP: Maryland ends prison-based gerrymandering

May 10, 2010
Kathleen Miller

Urban lawmakers across the country say their counterparts in rural areas have gotten an unfair advantage from an unlikely group: prisoners.
Now, lawmakers in Maryland are changing that by having inmates counted as residents of where they last lived — typically urban centers — not the rural areas where they're often imprisoned. Nine other states are considering similar legislation. Advocates say the way inmates are tallied when redrawing election maps has skewed how people in all areas are represented in Congress, legislatures and other elected offices.

More Info: 

Original article here... http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ibKTibpywBNKUVww_zR9Rd...

Read more about prison-based Gerrymandering at the Prison Policy Initiative website http://www.prisonpolicy.org/

ALLIANCE FOR COMMUNICATIONS DEMOCRACY: Community groups urge FCC to protect local community media

May 13, 2010

Hundreds of community groups and local residents from across the country urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this week to strengthen local democracy, media diversity and public safety by supporting the nation's largest network of community-based media organizations -- Public, Educational and Government (PEG) Access cable TV centers.

"As local newspapers close, media companies consolidate, and national broadcasters dominate radio & television, PEG Access centers are increasingly the only source of community news, civic programming, diverse views and local emergency information," said Alliance for Communications Democracy (ACD) President Rob Brading of MetroEast Community Media in Gresham, Oregon.

More Info: 

Originally published at Alliance for Communications Democracy http://www.theacd.org/

COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW: Non-Profit Investigative Journalism to the Rescue?

May 14, 2010
Jill Drew

At a story meeting for California Watch, the nonprofit investigative news startup, employees sit around a conference table as Robert Salladay, the organization’s senior editor, begins to describe the findings of a six-month investigation by one of his state capital reporters. “It gives me chills,” Salladay tells the group. “Each paragraph could be its own story.” Robert Rosenthal, the founder of California Watch, peers over his glasses at an open laptop, then nods in agreement. “The reporting is so amazing,” he says.

More Info: 

Jill Drew is a 2009-2010 Encore Fellow at Columbia Journalism Review. She was an associate editor at The Washington Post until August 2009. For nine of her fourteen years at the newspaper, she was assistant managing editor for financial news.
Original article here... http://www.cjr.org/feature/the_new_investigators.php?page=all

DEMOCRACY NOW! Student Strike at University of Puerto Rico Enters 28th Day

May 17, 2010
Amy Goodman

In Puerto Rico, an ongoing strike by students at the University of Puerto Rico is coming to a head. Riot police have surrounded the main gates of the university’s main campus and are trying to break the strike by denying food and water to students who have occupied the campus inside. The strike began nearly four weeks ago in response to budget cuts at the university of more than $100 million. On Thursday, a mass assembly of more than 3,000 students voted overwhelmingly to continue the strike. The next day, riot police seized control of the main campus gates. We go now to Puerto Rico, inside the occupied campus at the university.

KOULISH: Public-private "immigration control complex" threatens democracy

May 18, 2010
Robert Koulish

Efforts to control undocumented immigrants challenge some of American democracy’s most basic precepts. At bottom, such efforts deal with the almost unresolvable struggle in democratic society: to locate people (most of whom are of color) who are unidentifiable for lack of records or documents without creating an apartheid police state.

The new Arizona law SB 1070 makes it a criminal offense to be an “illegal alien”— and mandates local police to identify and arrest unauthorized immigrants. In a border state like Arizona the loose legal standard of “reasonable suspicion” which some insist will restrain police power, actually translates into racial apartheid against all Latinos.

More Info: 

Robert Koulish is a visiting senior fellow at the Center for American Politics and Citizenship at the University of Maryland

Original article here... http://voices.washingtonpost.com/political-bookworm/2010/05/immigrations...

PRICE: Pair walks country for a cause

May 19, 2010
Nancy Price

A pair of brothers who are walking across America to protest what they call 'the legal fiction that corporations are persons with constitutional rights' will be in Davis on Wednesday.

Robin Monahan, 67, and his brother Laird, 69, will be at the Farmers' Market beginning at 4:30 p.m. They left San Francisco on Saturday and will set off for Sacramento on Thursday morning.

The Monahans are walking the old Lincoln Highway to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., hoping to arrive by Election Day, Nov. 2. Their progress can be tracked online at http://lairdandrobin.org.

Local residents are invited to meet and talk with them Wednesday and sign the new 'Declaration of Independence from Corporate Rule.'

COLERIDGE: The Biology of Oil and the Sociology of Democracy

May 19, 2010
Greg Coleridge

A few weeks ago I met Riki Ott at the Move to Amend/Campaign to Legalize Democracy national gathering in Denver. We were among two dozen people who came together to begin to develop plans to end corporate rule and abolish corporate personhood.

Ott is a marine biologist and toxicologist from Alaska who became socially and politically active following the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster which spilled millions of gallons of oil in Prince William Sound. Ott documented the environmental disaster of the spill and its impact on people and communities. She began speaking out. She wrote books. She was widely interviewed. She was involved in litigation.

More Info: 

Greg Coleridge is the Director of the Economic Justice & Empowerment Program of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker social action organization (AFSC.net); Steering Committee member of Move to Amend (MovetoAmend.org) a member of the Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy (POCLAD), a collective which instigates democratic conversations and actions that contest the authority of corporations to govern (POCLAD.org)

COLERIDGE: The Biology of Oil and the Sociology of Democracy

May 19, 2010
Greg Coleridge

A few weeks ago I met Riki Ott at the Move to Amend/Campaign to Legalize Democracy national gathering in Denver. We were among two dozen people who came together to begin to develop plans to end corporate rule and abolish corporate personhood.

Ott is a marine biologist and toxicologist from Alaska who became socially and politically active following the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster which spilled millions of gallons of oil in Prince William Sound. Ott documented the environmental disaster of the spill and its impact on people and communities. She began speaking out. She wrote books. She was widely interviewed. She was involved in litigation.

More Info: 

Greg Coleridge is the Director of the Economic Justice & Empowerment Program of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker social action organization (AFSC.net); Steering Committee member of Move to Amend (MovetoAmend.org) a member of the Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy (POCLAD), a collective which instigates democratic conversations and actions that contest the authority of corporations to govern (POCLAD.org)

National meeting builds Move to Amend coalition

May 20, 2010
Barbara Clancy

Steering Committee members from seventeen organizations across the country came together in Denver at the end of April to discuss the principles and goals of the Move to Amend campaign, and to develop working committees and strategic planning for the next months of the campaign.

WASHINGTON POST: Virginia Governor cuts wait times for felons wanting voting rights

May 20, 2010
Rosalind Helderman

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) announced today that he is reducing the time that must pass, from three years to two, before a nonviolent felon who has completed his sentence can apply to have his voting rights restored. McDonnell also pledged that his office will act on those requests within 60 days after receiving information from the felon, courts and other agencies.

McDonnell said the new process is designed to speed reintegration into civil society for felons who have completed their sentences. He said the goal was to create the "fastest and fairest" process in modern Virginia history.

BUSINESSWEEK: Bill aimed at limiting Louisiana law clinics dies

May 20, 2010
Sonia Smith

A Senate committee scuttled a bill Wednesday aimed at shuttering the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic that critics say would have hampered operations at all the state's law clinics.

The measure would have prohibited university law clinics that get state funding from suing individuals for damages, taking government agencies to court or making constitutional challenges.

Republican Sen. Robert Adley told the Senate Commerce Committee that Tulane accepts around $45 million in state money each year and yet runs a environmental law clinic that runs jobs out of the state by suing industry and government agencies.

More Info: 

Original article here...
This issue was the subject of an earlier alert: Law clinics under attack http://www.democracysquare.org/LA_MD_law_clinics_under_attack

More News:
A strike against oil-spill lawsuits http://motherjones.com/rights-stuff/2010/05/strike-against-oil-spill-law... http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202458112680&Chemical_a...
Chemical association escalates attack on Tulane over law clinic http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202458112680&Chemical_a...
Panel derails law clinic bill http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/94371459.html?index=1&c=y

NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD: Philippine Elections Rife with Violence, Irregularities and Voting System Malfunctions

May 20, 2010
Paige Cram

Seven members of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) observed pre-electoral and election-day conditions during the Philippines’ historic election last week and found widespread irregularities, a high potential for fraud, voter machine breakdowns, military intimidation and a deadly gun battle inside the poll. NLG observers joined over 80 other observers from 12 different countries as members of the People International Observer Mission.

More Info: 

Contact: Paige Cram, Communications Coordinator, National Lawyers Guild, communications@nlg.org, 212-679-5100, ext. 15

MURRAY: Eastern Michigan students celebrate tuition freeze

May 20, 2010
Dave Murray

Eastern Michigan University students celebrated their school’s decision to hold the line on tuition and fees hikes at an all-campus picnic Thursday, and gathered for a photo — with a message.

EMU photographer Randy Mascharka took the shot from the roof of the Ypsilanti campus’ Student Center.

Eastern President Susan Martin told me last month that she knows the university is taking a risk by not asking students for more money at a time when state aid could be slipping and busing expenses continue to rise.

ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: Civil rights coalition targets voter verification

May 25, 2010
Péralte C. Paul

A group of civil rights advocates, led by the American Civil Liberties Union, are seeking a permanent injunction blocking Georgia's citizenship voter verification requirements, arguing in a federal court Monday that it targets and discriminates against minorities.

Monday's hearing before a three-judge federal panel comes days after Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue named the state GOP's general counsel as a special attorney general to sue the Justice Department to obtain approval of the contentious measure.

The civil rights advocates, which also include the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, filed suit in October of 2008 on behalf of Jose Morales, a Cherokee County man and a naturalized U.S. citizen.

More Info: 

Original article here... http://www.ajc.com/news/civil-rights-coalition-targets-534504.html
ACLU - Voting Rights http://www.aclu.org/voting-rights
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund http://www.maldef.org/

MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE: South Dakota settles voting-rights suit

May 26, 2010
Paul Walsh

Voting rights have been restored for two American Indians in South Dakota who sued after being wrongly turned away at their polling places in the 2008 general elections because they were convicted felons, the American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday.

The agreement on behalf of Pine Ridge Reservation residents Kim Colhoff and Eileen Janis was reached Monday with the state and Shannon County.

While state law bans voting by anyone sentenced to prison, the disenfranchisement was improperly applied to Colhoff and Janis, who were only sentenced to probation.

MARIN INDEPENDENT JOURNAL: Newspaper relaunches as nonprofit

May 26, 2010
Rob Rogers

A consortium of West Marin writers, thinkers and scientists has purchased the Point Reyes Light, hoping to turn the Pulitzer Prize-winning weekly paper into one of a handful of newspapers run by a nonprofit corporation.

"We have created a new model, a hybrid for-profit/nonprofit entity that I think can save a lot of small-town newspapers around the country," said Mark Dowie, a former publisher of Mother Jones magazine and journalism professor at the University of California at Berkeley who serves on the governing board of the new corporation.

The Marin Media Institute, a newly created nonprofit, will operate the paper through the auspices of the Point Reyes Light Publishing Co., a low-profit limited liability company chartered under Vermont law.

More Info: 

Original article here... http://www.marinij.com/ci_15168989

GUARDIAN: EU pressures Britian on voting rights for prisoners

May 30, 2010
Jamie Doward

The government faces being hauled before the European court of human rights http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/european-court-of-human-rights it gives prisoners the right to vote as a matter of urgency.

The revelation comes as several law firms seek to launch claims on behalf of thousands of UK prisoners who are demanding compensation – estimated to be as much as £750 each – on the grounds they were illegally denied the right to vote at the last general election.

The contentious issue threatens to become another test of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition. The Lib Dems were strongly critical of the previous government's refusal to enfranchise the prison population while the Conservatives have consistently avoided addressing the issue.

MOORE: Regaining voting rights for felons is challenging but worthwhile

May 31, 2010
Linda A. Moore

More than 30 years ago, before Stevie Moore was an activist, he did time for selling drugs.

It took several convictions before the founder and president of the anti-violence campaign Freedom From Unnecessary Negatives realized he "wasn't smarter than the system."

Getting out meant living a better life and setting a good example for his then young sons.

So Moore had his right to vote restored.

"When I got out of jail, I got custody of my boys and I raised them for eight years before I got remarried," Moore said. "It's so important that you correct it, to try to set an example for your children."

More Info: 

Original article here... http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/may/31/regaining-voting-rights...

Voting Rights Restoration in Tennessee: For information, go to the Tennessee Department of State's website at state.tn.us/sos/index.htm. Click elections, followed by voter info.

TIMES OF INDIA: State moves to get prisoners their voting rights

May 31, 2010
Times of India

The state government has initiated a process whereby undertrials and convicts can cast their votes. India is one of the very few countries that does not allow prisoners to vote. Despite the state's best efforts, legislations could not be amended on time to allow prisoners to cast their votes this time.

However, the matter will now be consistently pursued jointly by the state election commission and the state home department, it has been decided.

OAKLAND LOCAL: What's IRV? Civic organizations to educate public on new system

June 1, 2010

As Oakland follows in the footsteps San Francisco took six years ago and switches to ranked-choice voting for this November's election, a diverse pool of organizations are heading voter education campaigns to boost county outreach efforts.

The city of Oakland is paying the Alameda County Registrar of Voters $146,000 to administer a heavily media-based campaign that includes mailers, brochures and videos, according to city clerk LaTonda Simmons. However, foreseeing that the county’s campaign will not reach all demographics, some community groups are – or plan to begin – spreading the word about the new system that allows voters to rank up to three candidates in order of preference and eliminates separate run-off elections.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Supreme Court refuses to stop Arizona Clean Elections law

June 2, 2010
Alia Beard Rau

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a one-sentence denial to an emergency request to halt the matching-funds portion of Arizona's publicly funded Clean Elections program. Within hours, the attorneys representing matching-funds opponents asked the high court to reconsider.

Justice Anthony Kennedy's order left open the door for the attorneys to refile, as long as they also ask the court to hear the case itself. The attorneys had asked only that the court block the disbursal of funds.

"The court appears to want assurance that the injunction would not last forever and that it would have the chance to decide the merits of the case," Goldwater Institute attorney Clint Bolick said.

More Info: 

Original article ...http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2010/06/02/20100602supremeclean0602.html#comments

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Supreme Court refuses to stop Arizona Clean Elections law

June 2, 2010
Alia Beard Rau

 

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a one-sentence denial to an emergency request to halt the matching-funds portion of Arizona's publicly funded Clean Elections program. Within hours, the attorneys representing matching-funds opponents asked the high court to reconsider.

ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: Town wanting to opt out of Voting Rights Act draws rebuke

June 2, 2010
April Hunt

Sandy Springs, the first Georgia city to try and bail out of of the Voting Rights Act, on Wednesday drew its first public rebuke, a Fulton County Commission resolution scolding its efforts.

The resolution opposing Sandy Springs' request carried no legal weight, but it sharply defined the differences between the county and a city that incorporated four years ago, with the latter claiming its residents are not receiving proper attention and service from the former and then seeking to be relieved from federal oversight of elections.

BOSTON GLOBE: Massachusetts House passes National Popular Vote bill

June 2, 2010
Boston Globe

The Massachusetts House has approved a bill intended to ensure that the winner of the presidential election is determined by the national popular vote and not by the Electoral College system.

The House voted 114-35 this afternoon for the National Popular Vote bill, sending it to the Senate.

Under the proposed bill, all of the state's electoral votes would be awarded to the candidate who receives the most popular votes nationally. Supporters are trying to get such bills enacted in states across the nation. Once states possessing a majority of the electoral votes (or 270 of 538) have enacted such laws, the winner of the popular vote would be assured a majority of the electoral votes, no matter how the votes fall in other states.

More Info: 

LAHONTAN VALLEY NEWS: Brothers bring awareness to corporate personhood

June 3, 2010
Steve Ranson

Minnesota brothers Laird and Robin Monahan are walking across the United States to warn citizens about corporations assuming more human characteristics in what may be considered a power grab of the Constitution

They arrived in Fallon earlier this week after beginning their journey in mid-May from San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. By following U.S. Highway 50, the Lincoln Highway, they hope to reach Washington, D.C. in mid to late-October.

The 69-year-old Laird and 67-year-old Robin said their disappointment occurred earlier this year on Jan. 21 when the U.S, Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Committee to allow corporations the same rights as people and to spend as much money as they want on candidates.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY ADVERTISER: Alabama needs constitutional reform

June 4, 2010
Editorial in the Montgomery County Advertiser

More Info: 

Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform http://www.constitutionalreform.org/

RADIO NETHERLANDS: World watches as Dutch vote with pencil

June 7, 2010
Radio Netherlands

This Wednesday, Dutch voters will go to the polls to elect a new parliament. Each voter will enter the voting booth, unfold a large piece of paper, and use a red pencil to check a box next to their preferred candidate. Not one voting machine will be used. The Dutch returned to voting with pencils because computers can't guarantee the privacy of voters. The return to voting with a pencil has attracted interest from democracies around the world. The Netherlands is the first country to go back to voting with paper ballots, after making the transition to computers. Other countries are wondering if they should follow the Dutch example.

Not used to counting ballots

YES! MAGAZINE: Real People v. Corporate “People”: The Fight Is On

June 8, 2010
Doug Pibel

In 2009, Riki Ott was on the road for 252 days educating people about the dangers of “corporate personhood.” That’s the legal doctrine that says corporations have constitutional rights, just like human beings. She mostly spoke in academic settings, and there was some interest in the idea, says Ott, but not much.

All that changed on January 21, 2010, when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Now interest has skyrocketed, and Ott finds people eager to volunteer, to organize, to meet, to do anything to reverse the Court’s decision.

More Info: 

Doug Pibel wrote this article for Water Solutions, the Summer 2010 issue of YES! Magazine. Doug, managing editor of YES! Magazine, spent many years as an attorney. This article incorporates original material from David Cobb.

Read more:

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission: Read the full text of the decision.

Recovering from Citizens United: Read updates on how we can get our democracy back.

CALIFORNIA WATCH: Emerging nonprofit journalism ventures set sights on education

June 8, 2010
Louis Freedberg

One of the more interesting questions in the burgeoning nonprofit journalism landscape is the extent to which new reporting ventures will focus on one area of coverage, or, like California Watch, will cover a range of topics.

A slew of nonprofit ventures focusing on health and health policy reporting have sprung up in the last few years, mostly underwritten by foundations with a specific interest in health and health policy issues.

BUSINESS NEWS AMERICAS: Costa Rican constitutional reform would protect water resources

June 8, 2010
Indiana Corrales

Costa Rica's congress is discussing a bill to modify the country's constitution to identify water as a natural resource for public use, Christian democrat party PUSC congressman Jose Roberto Rodriguez told BNamericas.

The bill, presented by Rodriguez, aims to modify section 14 of article 121, to ratify that water must be controlled by the state, and cannot be obtained by private firms.

The main purpose of the bill is to avoid excessive exploitation of the country's abundant water reserves, according to Rodriguez.

"Many countries and organizations are interested in privatizing water. We must stop this because it is not convenient for our country, because it would leave communities in a very bad situation," Rodriguez said.

LEWIS: Why Our President Should Be Elected by a National Popular Vote

June 14, 2010
Jason Lewis

It has been a long time since Massachusetts decided a presidential election. Presidential candidates spend the vast majority of their time and campaign funds on swing states like Ohio and Florida, and the votes of certain Americans are more sought after than others.

More Info: 

Jason Lewis is a Massachussetts state legislator.

Original article here...

WILSON: What should Feds do for journalists?

June 17, 2010
Marc Wilson

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a draft discussion called "Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism." The draft proposals include possible government subsidies for journalists, taxes on news aggregators, mobile phones and Internet users, more copyright protection, increased postal subsidies and public notices, and changes in tax laws to encourage nonprofit news organizations.

"Newspapers have not yet found a new, sustainable business model, and there is reason for concern that such a business model may not emerge," the report says. "Therefore it is not too soon to start considering policies that might encourage innovations to help support journalism into the future."

More Info: 

Original article here...
Federal Trade Commission Report: Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism, here... (.pdf)

PUERTO RICO DAILY SUN: Students’ win in University of Puerto Rico confict

June 17, 2010

Wednesday, after a heated debate among  members of the Board of Trustees, a consensus on language was finally reached.

 INS learned that the intervention of trustee and UPR ex President Norman Maldonado, was key in convincing Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees Ygrí Rivera, to drop her consistent hard line regarding the application of penalties to the strikers. Maldonado had not previously intervened because he was off the island.

“Maldonado and Rivera had strong encounters; he favored the student’s language, while she maintained her position of not bargaining,” a source told INS.

More Info: 

Original article here...

NEW YORK TIMES: One Person, One Vote for President

June 21, 2010
Editorial

Nearly 10 years after George W. Bush lost the popular vote to Al Gore and became president anyway, the New York State Legislature has a chance to withdraw from the archaic and unfair way this country picks its chief executives.

The State Senate has adopted, by a vote of 52 to 7, a measure requiring the state to assign all of its Electoral College delegates to the candidate who wins the national popular vote. In the Assembly, 79 of 150 members have signed on to the bill, but it remains stuck in committee. The Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, should bring it to the floor this week and press all members to vote for it.

More Info: 

Original article here...