Taking the public and the hearing out of public hearings

In this update: 1. Bid to grease skids for mining starts with attempt to silence opposition 2. Money flows freely in Indian casino dispute 3. True motives behind voter suppression nakedly displayed Taking the “Public” and the “Hearing” Out of Public Hearings

Email date: 10/25/13

In this update:
1. Bid to grease skids for mining starts with attempt to silence opposition
2. Money flows freely in Indian casino dispute
3. True motives behind voter suppression nakedly displayed

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Bid to grease skids for mining starts with attempt to silence opposition
Despite very short notice obviously designed to limit public participation, citizens concerned about booming sand mining operations in western Wisconsin mobilized to pack a State Capitol hearing room and fill two overflow rooms to capacity in hopes of testifying on industry-crafted legislation. For many, however, going to great lengths to show up didn’t result in their voices being heard.

Democracy Campaign director Mike McCabe spoke at a rally on the steps outside the Capitol, urging people to follow the money to understand why legislators are setting aside their often-stated support for local control and seeking to strip communities of the ability to oversee and regulate sand mining and other land use. He also said the legislation is about more than sand mining and attacks the core principle of democracy that the will of the people is the law of the land.

One western Wisconsin legislator said the sand mining industry “would rather have the state in charge because they can get their way by spreading around campaign cash.” Spread it around they have. And the money keeps flowing.

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Money flows freely in Indian casino dispute
While Governor Scott Walker continues to drag out the decision making process on whether the Menominee tribe can build a casino in Kenosha, money is pouring into Republican coffers from a rival tribe. Kenosha’s state senator cited Democracy Campaign findings in a letter expressing concern about how the matter is being decided.

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True motives behind voter suppression nakedly displayed
If you haven’t already seen the segment on The Daily Show about North Carolina’s voter ID law, you’ll want to spend the five minutes it takes to watch. Then you’ll spend some more time picking your jaw up off the floor.