May 23 2014

Daily News Flash with Maya Rockeymoore on IRS Postponing Rule Change on Non-Profits, Tennessee Brings Back the Chair, and Latest Oscar Grant Related Suit is Settled

Uprising’s guest expert Maya Rockeymoore, President of the Center for Global Policy Solutions, a social change non-profit dedicated to making policy work for people and their environment, analyzes today’s news headlines:

The IRS has decided to postpone new rules on curbing political activity by non-profit groups. The Internal Revenue Service, a favorite target of the right, was to hold public hearings on rule changes this summer that would have dampened the political activity of non-profit 501 c 4 organizations. According to the New York Times, “Republicans, who have been the chief beneficiaries of nonprofit groups’ spending, have attacked the proposal as an Obama administration effort to squelch the Tea Party and other conservative allies.” Giving in to moneyed rightwing interests, the agency will put off any potential changes until after this year’s mid-term elections which such groups are hoping to spend huge amounts of money on. Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

After controversies over state executions by lethal drugs broke in Oklahoma and Ohio this year, Tennessee has now decided to bring back the electric chair. European drug manufacturers refused to allow their products to be used for executions, so states began using new lethal drug cocktails that failed to result in quick deaths as evidenced most recently by the prolonged and painful state killing of Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett. But anti-death penalty advocates are already maintaining that Tennessee’s decision to reintroduce death by electrocution is legally questionable. The death penalty, viewed in places like Europe as a barbaric practice, is fast waning in popularity in the US. Click here for a CNN article about the story.

In the latest chapter related to the train station killing of Oakland resident Oscar Grant some years ago, the Bay Area Rapid Transit or BART, has settled a federal civil rights lawsuit with Grant’s friends. The five young men who filed the suit were with Grant on the night of his killing by BART officer Johannes Mehserle, and were arrested along with him. Their suit contended that they endured “several hours of being painfully handcuffed and/or mercilessly interrogated, all while mourning the demise of their childhood friend.” The settlement was in the amount of $175,000. Click here for a San Francisco Chronicle article about the story.

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