Daily Media Spotlight for May 23, 2014

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Posted by Zoe Crain on Friday, May 23rd, 2014, 11:28 AM PERMALINK


Eleanor Clift of the Daily Beast published an article looking at Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist’s friendship with Ralph Nader, and what it could mean for the future of bipartisan work.

The two men have what could be called a bromance, a description that Norquist embraces. “I like that,” he exclaimed without hesitation. “He’s a fun guy, and I enjoy spending time with someone who takes his politics seriously.” The two activists come at issues from opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, but have found areas where they agree. A major one is what Norquist calls “crony capitalism” and Nader calls “corporate welfare”—the assorted subsidies embedded in the tax code and the special treatment that the well-connected get in a thinly veiled exchange for campaign donations.

Mark Mauer published an op-ed on MSNBC’s website, regarding the need for criminal justice reform, and key conservatives who have committed to pursuing these reforms.

It was a dinner invitation from Newt Gingrich a few years ago that first led me to think change might be coming on criminal justice policy. The former Republican House Speaker had arranged the event with a small group of people concerned with America’s world record prison population. Along with Gingrich, Grover Norquist and other leading lights of the Republican right, we had an intriguing conversation about the runaway “war on drugs,” excessive federal prosecutions, and the failures of our prison system.

Katie McAullife, executive director of Digital Liberty, was quoted in a Watchdog.org article by Josh Peterson, which highlighted states’ efforts to protect against digital surveillance.

Katie McAullife, federal affairs manager and executive director for Digital Liberty at Americans for Tax Reform, is skeptical state level privacy reform would be sufficient to protect citizens’ privacy.

“When states choose their laws, federal laws don’t always follow suit,” McAullife told Watchdog.org, citing how the Drug Enforcement Administration shut down medicinal marijuana dispensaries in California, despite the dispensaries being legal under state law.

“I think it’s great that states are working to protect their citizens’ privacy, and I think that’s a really good thing, and it demonstrates that more and more people are aware of the issues with privacy and what’s going on,” said McAullife. “But I think that there needs to be a federal law because federal agencies, I don’t think, this is my personal opinion, will necessarily abide by state laws.”

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Sage Ross

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