BP Makes Big Contribution to GOP Leaders
ThinkProgress reports that oil company British Petroleum (BP) broke a self-imposed freeze on political contributions to make big donations to a few key Republicans in Congress, as well as some of the party's electoral campaigns. BP gave $5,000 each to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-California) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Michigan), who is the chairman of the Energy Committee. Upton was the only one of the three to return the contribution. Other GOP leaders received between $1,000 and $3,000, while the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee got $10,000.
Detroit Leadership Turning Against Unions
According to The Wall Street Journal, a new state law has led to the mayor and school's chief of Detroit, Michigan, to cut thousands of public-sector jobs in an effort to deal with lower enrollment in schools. Mayor Dave Bing last week presented a $3.1 billion annual budget to the City Council, which included a proposal to raise casino taxes and make significant cuts to city workers' benefits; Robert Bobb, the head of the Detroit Public Schools, later in the week laid off 5,466 salaried employees, including all of the district's teachers, although the move is likely to be fought by the Detroit Federation of Teachers and other unions. Bobb also previously identified almost one-third of the district's schools that could be closed or made into private charter operators.
Report Examines US-Mexico Relations Since 1890, Finds They Have Never Been Closer
New America Media writes that the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) studied the relationship between the United States and Mexico to find that cooperation between the neighboring countries, while difficult, is possible, and can offer benefits to both. The report, entitled "Obstacles and Opportunities for Regional Cooperation: The US-Mexico Case," written by MPI senior policy analyst Marc Rosenblum, chronicles the history of US-Mexico relations from the 1890s to 2011. The report also analyzes the evolution of their migration policies, from a more casual, laissez-faire era to the US's post-9/11 security focus today.
Former New Mexico Governor to Announce Presidential Bid
The former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, is scheduled to announce that he will run for president in 2012, The Hill reports. Johnson, a Republican, is known for his anti-conformism and libertarian views, with many of his policies breaking party lines and endorsing measures that are controversial among other GOP candidates. Johnson's presidential platform includes a call to withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq, support for reproduction rights and the legalization of marijuana.