Friday, April 20, 2012

Left Side of the Aisle #53 - Part 1

Good news: Connecticut ends death penalty; ALEC loses sponsors

Two bits of good news to share:

First, the Connecticut legislature has passed a bill to end the death penalty in the state. Gov. Dannel Malloy says he will sign the bill as soon as it reaches desk, which should be in about a week. That will make Connecticut the 17th state, and the fifth state in the past five years, to eliminate the death penalty.

I am delighted that this symbol of savagery, this badge of brutality, will be gone from yet another state. I got involved in politics at time when "law and order" - or "lawn ordure," if you prefer - was the cry of the day and death penalty opponents were fighting a losing battle against a tide of "fry 'em" spreading across the country. So I am glad to see that tide now flowing in the opposite direction.

But I am also old enough - I wasn't really aware of it at the time but I can remember - the case of Caryl Chessman. If you don't know the case, you should look it up.

The other good news is that ALEC - the American Legislative Exchange Council, which exists to bring together right-wing state legislators with right-wing corporations and right-wing lobbyists to push right-wing legislation at the state level has lost a number of its corporate sponsors in face of a campaign by Color of and several other progressive organizations.

ALEC has announced the it is shutting down its Task Force on  Public safety and Elections, the one that has pushed both the infamous "stand your ground" laws and restrictive voter ID laws.

And it has been hilarious to watch the right wing sputter, fume, and froth about the "fascist tactics" - and that was the term used - about the "fascist tactic" used by these groups; those fascist tactics consisting of telling corporations that we're going to tell your customers where your money is going. Fascism!


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