Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘Sacramento California’

Ronald Reagan on carrying loaded firearms in public

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Americans don’t go around carrying guns with the idea they’re using them to influence other Americans. There’s no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.”

Ronald Reagan, then Governor of California, speaking in Sacramento, California, Tuesday, May 2, 1967, after “a dozen of the armed youth – members of Read the rest of this entry »

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Examining Corporate Corruption in America: AT&T in California’s Legislature

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, April 22, 2012

The theme of the story is not new.

This particular story, however, is new.

Corporate corruption, or more accurately, the corrupting power of money through corporate influence, must come to an end in America.

Time and time again, corporate influence in America does NOT look out after the interests of the citizens, the people. They look out after their own interests, how they can obtain tax breaks, and obtain legislative favor over and above that of any other citizen.

It should come as no surprise, for we have seen this before. It’s a redux, if you will. Next up, federal courts and soldiers to stop striking workers.

It’s happened before.

The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 came as a secondary result of the Panic of 1873, whihc caused major economic depression in Europe and the United States, and led to bankruptcy for many U.S. railroads and other businesses, and high unemployment rates. The railroad workers still employed suffered large cuts in wages, which led to strikes against some railroads. The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 began July 14 in Martinsburg, West Virginia, because B&O Railroad had cut workers’ wages twice in one year.

The strike, and related violence, spread to Cumberland, Maryland, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Chicago and the Midwest. The strike lasted for 45 days, and ended only with the intervention of local and state militias, and federal troops.

In 1894, President Grover Cleveland (a Democrat) claimed striking workers posed a threat to public safety, that their actions interfered with delivery of the U.S. Mail, and that it further violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, after a  federal court injunction, called in nearly 12,000 troops and the United States Marshals to quell the Pullman Strike.

In 1981, President Reagan broke the Air Traffic Controllers strike by firing every employee which did not return to work.

Clearly, the United States government has a history of siding with Big Business.

Fast forward a few years.

The elimination of laws regulating corporate practices which have ultimately led to severe economic crisis has occurred because of corporate lobbyists.

So, should that come as any surprise?

Corporations have their denizen hoards of attorneys.

Who will stand for the people?

AT&T wields enormous power in Sacramento

No other single corporation has spent more trying to influence legislators in recent years. It dispenses millions in political donations and has an army of lobbyists. Bills it opposes are usually defeated.

By Shane Goldmacher and Anthony York, Los Angeles Times

April 22, 2012

SACRAMENTO — As the sun set behind Monterey Bay on a cool night last year, dozens of the state’s top lawmakers and lobbyists ambled onto the 17th fairway at Pebble Beach for a round of glow-in-the-dark golf.

With luminescent balls soaring into the sky, the annual fundraiser known as the Speaker’s Cup was in full swing.

Lawmakers, labor-union champions and lobbyists gather each year at the storied course to schmooze, show their skill on the links and rejuvenate at a 22,000-square-foot spa. The affair, which typically raises more than $1 million for California Democrats, has been sponsored for more than a decade by telecommunications giant AT&T.

At the 2010 event, AT&T’s president and the state Assembly speaker toured Pebble Beach together in a golf cart, shaking hands with every lawmaker, lobbyist and other VIP in attendance.

The Speaker’s Cup is the centerpiece of a corporate lobbying strategy so comprehensive and successful that it has rewritten the special-interest playbook in Sacramento. When it comes to state government, AT&T spends more money, in more places, than any other company.

It forges relationships on the putting green, in luxury suites and in Capitol hallways. It gives officials free tickets to Lady Gaga concerts. It takes lawmakers on trips around the globe and all-expenses-paid retreats in wine country. It dispenses millions in political donations and employs an army of lobbyists. It has spent more than $14,000 a day on political advocacy since 2005, when it merged with SBC into its current form. Read the rest of this entry »

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