Paul Egan Detroit Free Press Published 4:10 PM EST Dec 18, 2018 LANSING — A Republican bill to put a further cloak of secrecy over the names of donors who pay for political attack ads was approved by the Legislature on Tuesday after proponents compared their plight to that of NAACP supporters during the civil rights movement. Senate Bill 1176 passed the House in a 58-51 vote after it passed the Senate 25-12 on Nov. 19. It's now headed to Gov. Rick Snyder, who has not said whether he will sign it. The bill is one of a raft of controversial bills on a fast track for passage in Michigan's lame-duck Legislature. The bill would generally bar not just the public but state agencies such as the Attorney General's Office or the Secretary of State's Office from learning the identities of donors to any nonprofit group, including the "social welfare" organizations set up under Section 501c4 of the Internal Revenue Code that increasingly pay for political "issue ads" … [Read more...] about House OKs bill to heighten secrecy of ‘dark money’ donors
BENIDORM won't be slapping a tourist tax on holidaymakers, even though other Spanish destinations are considering a new charge. Experts have told the Spanish Government that from an economic point of view, asking visitors to pay between two and five euros per day is the way forward to bring in extra cash. However, the government is leaving it to individual resorts to decide whether or not to go ahead. Benidorm, according to its Mayor Antonio Pérez, won't be one of the destinations to say yes. He told a tourism conference held in the Canary Islands that the various holiday resorts in Spain did need extra funding, but imposing a tourist tax was not the way forward. Instead, tourist hotspots should be allowed to keep part of the VAT collected on goods and services instead and spend the money on improvements. He said: "At the moment, the tourism municipalities are simply promoting VAT as a generous income for the coffers of the state." Holidaymakers currently only pay the daily tax … [Read more...] about Brits visiting Benidorm will escape Spanish tourist tax as other resorts face levy of up to five euros a day
Keith Laing The Detroit News Published 12:01 AM EST Dec 17, 2018 Washington — The furious backlash against General Motors Co.’s restructuring, delivered by official Washington, may be a harbinger of things to come. Even as the Detroit automaker executes a plan to cut 8,000 salaried employees, idle four U.S. plants and imperil 3,300 hourly workers, its crosstown rivals are quietly reshaping their footprints to account for dramatically shifting demand and to bolster their cash hoards to fund next-generation technology. The result is likely to be frustration, confusion and yet more pushback from constituencies outside the executive suites: Why are automakers booking billions in North American profits on fatter profit margins acting like companies desperately managing an imminent recession? And how can they justify the actions when two of Detroit’s three automakers owe their survival to U.S. taxpayers amid the global financial meltdown? GM and … [Read more...] about New GM faces old headwinds in D.C.
Facing a Friday night funding deadline for dozens of federal agencies, the Congress has no obvious solution for how lawmakers will handle President Donald Trump’s demand for $5 billion to fund construction of his wall along the border with Mexico, as Republicans don’t seem to have enough votes in the House or Senate to back up the President’s call for action on border wall money.“They do not have the votes to pass the President’s proposal,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said of the $5 billion wall plan. Instead of scheduling a vote on the President’s $5 billion in funding for the wall, GOP leaders last Thursday sent the House home for six days, telling lawmakers not to return until Wednesday evening – about 54 hours before funding runs out for about a quarter of the federal government. “Our schedule for next week remains fluid and subject to change,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), offering no clues as … [Read more...] about In border wall money fight, no clear path yet to avoid partial shutdown
In a Friday conference call, leaders of the U.S. Olympic Committee celebrated a great fundraising year and a pile of medals earned in the Winter Games.Things are bright, they said, with the possibility of another Winter Games coming to the United States. As incoming board Chairwoman Suzanne Lyons put it, the Larry Nassar scandal with its hundreds of victims and pending lawsuits is in the "rearview mirror" for the Colorado Springs-based Olympic Committee.The conference call came just 96 hours after a stunning report criticized the Olympic Committee for its focus on "money and medals."The report by the law firm Ropes and Gray found that the sexual assaults against hundreds of victims "was a manifestation of a far broader constellation of factors and conditions in elite gymnastics and Olympic sport that left young athletes vulnerable to abuse and led Olympic organizations astray from the priority of athlete safety."But new Olympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland, who has spent months … [Read more...] about USOC cheers money and medals in face of scathing report on sexual-abuse scandal