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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 11:40 PM
Original message
ALEC: Bringing the vast rightwing corporate conspiracy to a legislature near you
And, not surprisingly, the Koch brothers are involved.

I'm talking about the American Legislative Exchange Council.

I don't recall even hearing of this group till I read about its model legislation to disenfranchise many voters, including students, which I posted about in another topic:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

It's likely I did hear of it before but the name of the group, and its attempts to change legislation across the country, didn't register as much as they should have.

If I had been more aware of it, I might not have been wondering, as I'd found myself wondering in recent days, just who was coordinating the very similar rightwing legislation that was being pushed in so many legislatures across the country. Rightwing legislators often don't seem very bright, and this nationwide attempt to change so many policies, so quickly, just seemed too well crafted not to be coordinated. Tonight I found out that it is, and which group is providing the model legislation.

Since other DUers might also be unaware of ALEC, I made the subject line of this OP attention-getting.

I think most DUers are aware there is a real basis for Hillary Clinton's often-derided comment about the "vast rightwing conspiracy" -- and it has everything to do with billionaires who met decades ago to plan how to shove American to the right and limit taxes and government regulation of their businesses.

The same group, basically, that's funding ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.

This is their website

http://www.alec.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home

and this is their Model Legislation section

http://www.alec.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Model_Legis...

which provides rightwing legislators with model legislation in these areas:

Civil Justice
Commerce, Insurance, and Economic Development
Education
Energy, Environment, and Agriculture
Health and Human Services
International Relations
Public Safety and Elections
Tax and Fiscal Policy
Telecommunications and Information Technology


From the Wikipedia article on ALEC:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Legislative_Excha...

More than thirty years ago, a small group of state legislators and conservative policy advocates met in Chicago to implement a vision: A nonpartisan membership association for state lawmakers who shared a common belief in limited government, free markets, federalism, and individual liberty. Their vision and initiative resulted in the creation of a voluntary membership association for people who believed that government closest to the people was fundamentally more effective, more just, and a better guarantor of freedom than the distant, bloated federal government in Washington, D.C.<3>

At that meeting in September 1973, state legislators, including then Illinois State Representative Henry Hyde, activist Paul Weyrich, and Lou Barnett, a veteran of then Gov. Ronald Reagan's 1968 presidential campaign, together with a handful of others, launched the American Legislative Exchange Council. Among those who were involved with ALEC in its formative years were: Bob Kasten and Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin; John Engler of Michigan; Terry Branstad of Iowa, and John Kasich of Ohio, all of whom moved on to become governors or Members of Congress. Congressional members who were active during this same period included Senators John Buckley of New York and Jesse Helms of North Carolina, as well as Congressmen Phil Crane of Illinois and Jack Kemp of New York.<3>

-snip-

ALEC has approximately three hundred private sector members including corporations, state and national think tanks, and trade associations. Some corporations and trade groups that have supported ALEC include: American Nuclear Energy Council, American Petroleum Institute, Coors Brewing Company, Texaco, Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, VISA, Exxon Mobil, the National Rifle Association, Amway, Koch Industries, and others. Groups critical of ALEC claim that the organization is controlled by the entities that fund it, subsequently promoting donors' agendas and goals, along with attempting to advance legislation that favors their interests.<11><12> NPR reported that the Corrections Corporation of America was present at meetings when legislators were introduced to model immigration laws, used for example as the template for Arizona SB 1070, passed in 2010.<13> The report suggested that the group could be used to avoid state laws requiring legislators to disclose meetings with and gifts from politically unpopular corporations.<14> Shortly after the report was published, ALEC released a response statement addressing some of NPR's accusations.<15>

People for the American Way, the self-proclaimed left-wing advocacy group, refers to ALEC as "a right-wing public policy organization with strong ties to major corporations, trade associations and right-wing politicians" with an agenda that includes "challenging government restrictions on corporate pollution, limiting government regulations of commerce, privatizing public services, and representing the interests of the corporations that make up its supporters." <16>


This 1999 Washington Post story says Richard Mellon Scaife kept ALEC going in its early years:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/c...

ALEC makes a mark with its model legislation. The last time it counted (1995-96), 132 ALEC bills were enacted in various states, from charter school legislation to pro-business bills on environmental and regulatory topics. Many states used its version of welfare reform legislation.

ALEC is unabashedly pro-business. Its expert task forces, which write the model legislation, are composed of legislators and business representatives. About two-thirds of ALEC's $6 million budget comes from corporate contributions.

Scaife has given ALEC more than $2 million since 1975, keeping the group alive in its early years. Now his donations ($75,000 last year) are an insignificant part of its budget.


ALEC prefers to stay under the radar. I suppose they realize voters would be turned off if they knew how much Republican legislation came from model bills drafted by corporations.

This 2010 article from Physician for a National Health Program explains how ALEC was operating in Arizona:

http://pnhp.org/blog/2010/03/16/in-arizona-conservative... /

Another article on ALEC, this one from 2005:

http://campusprogress.org/articles/corporations_got_a_p... /

Even the politically aware can be forgiven for their ignorance about this conservative ghostbuster. ALEC the American Legislative Exchange Council does its best to appear innocuous and fly beneath the radar. In fact, it bills itself as the nations largest bipartisan, individual membership organization of state legislators that seeks to advanceJeffersonian principles.

Of course, when ALEC says bipartisan, it is referring to the award it recently gave Senator Zell Miller. And by Jeffersonian principles, ALEC apparently means turning legislators into corporate whores. Less than 1% of ALECs funding comes from legislator members. The bulk comes from large corporate donors.

That corporate money buys access, and lots of it. ALECs Private Enterprise Board a second Board of Directors for the organization reads like a whos who of Americas most powerful lobbies: pharmaceuticals, tobacco, the oil industry, and insurance companies are all well represented. There are over 300 corporate sponsors of ALEC, including Coors, Phillip Morris, Shell, Texaco, American Nuclear Energy Council, and many more. The tort reform crowd, medical interests, and anti-environmental crowd have gotten what they paid for, too.

-snip-

Additionally, each corporate member of ALEC has the opportunity to pony up a few thousand additional dollars (the actual number is an ALEC secret) for the right to sit on public policy task forces comprised of state legislators and as many corporate representatives as there are corporations willing to pay to play (thats right, you can, literally, buy votes in ALEC). And where your typical Americans might see conflicts of interest, ALEC sees only opportunity, which might explain how industry representatives end up crafting model legislation that goes under ALECs banner, including proposals to allow for-profit private businesses to take over many critical public services including schools, prisons, public transportation and various social services.



More on ALEC, from Progressivestates.org:

http://www.progressivestates.org/content/57/governing-t...

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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. big K & R
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #1
22. Thanks!
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 11:56 PM
Response to Original message
2. Maybe you need to re-title this. It needs to be read.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Maybe it's the title, but I think it's just really late. Not that many DUers online.
And some who've read it might still be reading the material I linked to, since there's so much of it.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. How about something like this, if it needs a new title?
American Legislative Exchange Council: The corporate/political group coordinating the RW legislation we hate
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. How about:
ALEC-The corporate/political group coordinating the RW legislation we hate
or
The corporate/political Group the Koch's belong to?
or
Who runs our Government? ALEC.
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Aerows Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. American Legislative Exchange Council:

American Legislative Exchange Council: The corporate/political group implementing RW destructive policy
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Aerows Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:12 AM
Response to Original message
5. K & R - it's important n/t
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Are U a sag? I have problems with them aiming their arrows at my butt. lol.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #5
59. Thanks for the rec!
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
7. If it doesn't get enough rec's then repost it. That site is scary!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. Yes, this group is very scary.
And the topic's getting more recs now that it's on the Greatest page.

Even Krugman has written that there is a vast rightwing conspiracy, and this is the same bunch funding ALEC. So the subject line is accurate.

We need to make sure more people are aware how much of their state legislation is in fact written by corporations through this council.
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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:32 AM
Response to Original message
11. K&R'd.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Thanks!
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2banon Donating Member (794 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 01:10 AM
Response to Original message
13. jaw dropping..
well, that explains a lot.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #13
21. Agree completely. It IS jaw-dropping, and it really does explain a lot.
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2banon Donating Member (794 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 01:12 AM
Response to Original message
14. almost forgot! K&R'd n/t
:thumbsup:
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #14
60. Thank you!
:)
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2banon Donating Member (794 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #60
65. no, thank you!
:hi:
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Generic Other Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 07:27 AM
Response to Original message
15. more crooks than we can shake a stick at
Sounds like the boarding list for the 1st class passengers on the Titanic!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #15
62. True.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
16. KO mentioned ALEC on Countdown on January 4. Link:
Edited on Wed Mar-09-11 08:45 AM by highplainsdem
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40927061/ns/msnbc_tv-countd... /

But then why are the Republicans in at least 10 states also trying to prevent private sector unions from using dues for political purposes? Quoting The Times, The American Legislative Exchange Council is quietly spreading these proposals from state to state. That group, ALEC is the acronym, its funded by big business, of course. Its big pharma, big tobacco, big energy, big insurance, big banks, big automakers. That according to another website, ALEC Watch.

The ALEC Web site says it is down for maintenance. But a Google cache reveals that its early leadership included Kasich, among others. And a listing of board members includes executives from Wal-Mart, PhRMA and Koch Industries, which helped to bankroll the Tea Party.



I'm not sure how much attention Rachel and Ed and Lawrence have given to ALEC.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-18-11 05:44 AM
Response to Reply #16
296. Rachel talked about ALEC legislation designed to make it harder to vote, on her March 10 show. Link
to the transcript:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42031949/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel... /

MADDOW: Did you ever have that not so democratic feeling? I dont mean capital-D Democratic like yay, donkeys, yay blue? I mean small-D democratic.

I mean this is a democracy. I mean I have a right to vote, no one gets in the way of that right to vote. All our votes get counted and then the result of all that rights having and vote not blocking and fair counting is that I get a governmentwe all do, we participate in a group decision about who our elected officials are and then those officials get to do that thing we call governing in all its messy hysterical, fraught glory.

When you look at a group called the American Legislative Exchange Council, funded in part by the billionaire Koch brothers, providing model legislation to Republicans in dozens of states about how to change laws in those states to make it harder to vote, harder to register to vote, that can provoke a not so democratic feeling about the direction of conservative public policy in America in 2011.

-snip-
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
17. Fortune: The big political player you've never heard of (ALEC has CHARITY status!)
http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/01/10/the-big-polit... /

Posted by Fortune Editors
January 10, 2011 5:00 am

Opponents of President Obama's health care overhaul landed a chin shot last month when a federal judge found the law's requirement that citizens buy health insurance unconstitutional. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli argued that there was a conflict between a state law that made it illegal to force people to buy coverage and the new federal law.

But the Virginia law itself wasn't thought up in the Old Dominion. Rather, it was the product of a 2008 huddle in Washington. Conservative state legislators from across the country, along with industry lobbyists, hashed out the bill at the annual gathering of a little-known group called the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. The organization, founded in 1973 and funded mostly by corporations and conservative foundations, exists to bring business-friendly state lawmakers together with lobbyists for corporations, including AT&T (T), Exxon Mobil (XOM), Wal-Mart (WMT), and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). It drafts model bills related to its goals of free markets and limited government. Issues that ALEC has influenced include Arizona's anti-immigration law, tort reform in Mississippi, and the opposition to Net neutrality.

Despite the intimate involvement of lobbyists, ALEC officials insist the organization is not a lobbying group, since it doesn't follow lawmakers to try to advance their bills. Instead, ALEC is a charity, a status it justifies because of its educational mission. The designation allows the group to collect tax-deductible contributions, and it eases lawmaker travel to ALEC events. Says Edwin Bender of the National Institute on Money in State Politics: "Corporations can implement their agendas very effectively using ALEC."

In the 2009 legislative session, by ALEC's reckoning, state lawmakers introduced 826 bills the group conceived -- 115 of which made it into law. That's quite a record, and it's going to get stronger. One overlooked aspect of the Republican resurgence has been its revolution at the state level. The GOP picked up more than 700 seats in state legislatures and now controls 25 of those bodies outright, from 14 before November.

-snip-


Emphasis added.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 09:07 AM
Response to Original message
18. There's a Facebook page for ALEC -- and the Wall posts have been removed.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Legislative-Exch...

This is the Google cache showing there were wall posts earlier this month, including a link from Fortune's Facebook account to the article on ALEC that I posted in the reply above this one:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:UV...

Every single post on the wall was deleted, including the ones linking to that Fortune article. There were three individual Facebook users linking to that Fortune article, in addition to the post from the Fortune account, and a couple of individuals linking to an article on David Koch on ThinkProgress (and Alternet) that mentioned ALEC, as well as a rightwing post mentioning ALEC positively and linking to a Daily Caller article.

Now they're all gone from ALEC's Facebook page.

How typical is it for a Facebook page to be scrubbed of wall posts like this?
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
19. Miles Mogulescu article on ALEC at HuffPo:
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
20. Bookmarked, k&r
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #20
64. Thanks!
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
23. There's also a heavy climate change denial aspect
Greenpeace mentioned them last year in their survey of the Koch brothers and climate change denial.

http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/usa/press-center/...

American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

$75,000 received from Koch foundations 20052008


ALEC is one-stop shopping for elected officials interested in perusing the wares of an array of Koch-funded opposition organizations including IER, ACCF, Mercatus and other sources. ALEC publishes its own materials as well, including a Climate Change Overview for State Legislators which downplays the science and risks of global warming and exaggerates the costs of addressing it. The Overview was written by Daniel Simmons, who moved from ALEC to become AEAs Director of State Affairs. Simmons was at the Mercatus Institute before ALEC and is a graduate of the George Mason University School of Law.

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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. Here's another good source of information
The link is to a page from which you can open or download a large pdf, "Target San Diego." It's from 2003 -- but the material is still relevant and just goes to show how long they've had some of these items on their wish list.

http://www.onlinecpi.org/section.php?id=174

ALEC has grown into the single most important national organization linking conservative state legislators with major corporations and trade associations. It also serves as a pipeline for ideas and proposals that directly impact how urban policy is framed across a wide range of issues from pension reform to living wage laws. ALECs annual summer conferences draw thousands of state legislators, lobbyists and corporate executives together for focused discussion on how to advance a right wing agenda for states and cities.

ALEC has been described as nothing less than a tax-exempt faade for the countrys largest corporations and kindred entities. Companies such as Enron, Amoco, Chevron, Shell, Texaco, Coors Brewing, Koch Industries, Nationwide Insurance, Pfizer, National Energy Group, Philip Morris, and R. J. Reynolds pay for essentially all of ALECs expenses. Although ALEC has received some funding from conservative foundations over the years (MediaTransparency.org reports it received over $3 million in grants from 1985-2003), the lions share of its support has come from membership fees paid by corporate and trade association figures, in what critics call a pay to play system for influencing state legislation. . . .

With a 2003 budget of $5.6 million, ALEC lists a staff of 34 on its website. 27 It claims to represent 2,400 state legislators, or 30% of all state legislators in the U.S. . . . Privatizing public services by turning them over to profit-making private businesses has been a key concern of ALEC. 31 In a joint report with the Manhattan Institute, ALEC identified the following privatization opportunities: golf courses, turnpikes, water systems, airports, hospitals, ports, gas and electric utilities, liquor store operations, wastewater treatment plants, waste-to-energy plants, dormitory food services, tax liens, loan portfolios, stadiums, public housing, hotels, surplus lands and buildings (governments at all levels in the United States own property worth at least $4.5 trillion altogether).

Also, as pension issues have come to the forefront in state legislatures across the country (and in cities such as San Diego), ALECs Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force has stepped in to produce downloadable materials for legislators including talking points, publications, and model legislation for establishing defined-contribution plans. This complements the policy advocacy work of other right wing think tanks, which regularly produce op-eds and research on pension issues in states and municipalities, including San Diego.

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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #24
27. Thanks!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
25. There's an ALECWatch website:
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Generic Other Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-11 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #25
147. Ah the membership roLLS
Nice find.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
26. NRDC/Defenders of Wildlife report: "Corporate America's Trojan Horse in the States"
This is online on the ALECWatch website, which I linked to above:

http://alecwatch.org/report.html

It's in HTML with a link for the entire report in PDF format.

This is their press release on the report, from 2002. Obviously we need more of these efforts to "shine a public spotlight" on ALEC, since so few DUers were aware of it.

http://www.nrdc.org/media/pressreleases/020228.asp

Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press contact: Rob Perks, Natural Resources Defense Council, 202-289-2420; Brad DeVries, Defenders of Wildlife, 202-682-9400
If you are not a member of the press, please write to us at nrdcinfo@nrdc.org or see our contact page.

Report Exposes 'Corporate America's Trojan Horse In The States'

WASHINGTON (February 28, 2002) -- Major corporations are operating behind-the-scenes in state capitals across the country through a purported "good government" group that pushes an industry-friendly agenda, according to a report to be released by Defenders of Wildlife and the Natural Resources Defense Council. In addition to financing gifts and junkets for elected officials, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) acts as a conduit for special-interest legislation from corporations to key state legislators on issues that range from rolling back environmental and consumer protections to privatizing government services such as prisons and schools.

"It's time to shine the public spotlight on the American Legislative Exchange Council," Defenders of Wildlife President Rodger Schlickeisen said. "ALEC's sole mission is to advance special-interest legislation across the nation on behalf of its corporate sponsors and funders. Polluters, developers and their big business allies will use their extensive resources to finance a corporate takeover of state government if we continue to turn a blind eye to this deceptive organization's work."

The report -- entitled "Corporate America's Trojan Horse in the States: The Untold Story Behind the American Legislative Exchange Council" -- is available on the Internet at www.alecwatch.org . It is based on thousands of pages of primary financial documents and other source material, including tax returns filed by ALEC and its major underwriters.

"While the Congressional debate over campaign finance reform has focused the nation's attention on corporate influence over politics at the federal level, ALEC provides a chilling example of even more brazen manipulation involving state legislatures," said Gregory Wetstone, NRDC's director of advocacy. "ALEC is the ultimate 'Trojan Horse' for industry forces seeking to bend state laws to maximize corporate profits, often at the expense of citizens and the environment."

ALEC touts itself as a membership association of state legislators. But corporations and trade associations finance virtually all of ALEC's activities. One of ALEC's largest benefactors has been Enron Corp. The report details how the now-defunct energy giant sought to buy influence not just at the federal level but -- secretly through ALEC -- in the 50 states as well.

ALEC's underwriters represent a who's who of corporate America. In addition to Enron, they include Amoco, Chevron, Texaco, R.J. Reynolds, AT&T, the American Nuclear Energy Council, the Chlorine Chemistry Council, the American Petroleum Institute, and the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America.

These organizations have used ALEC to mount a wide-ranging assault against laws safeguarding public health and the environment. For example, ALEC boasts of enacting hundreds of pieces of "model" state legislation. But many of these bills undermine the public interest on subjects including health care, tobacco restrictions, employee benefits, utility regulation, tax policy, and education.

"ALEC allows these corporations to do what they couldn't attempt to do directly or openly without risking public criticism. They funnel cash through ALEC to curry favor with state lawmakers through junkets and other largesse in the hopes of enacting special-interest legislation -- all the while keeping safely outside the public eye," according to the report.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 500,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Defenders of Wildlife is a leading nonprofit environmental advocacy organization with more than 500,000 members and supporters, especially recognized as one of the nation's most progressive advocates for endangered wildlife, its habitat and biodiversity. Defenders uses education, litigation, research and innovation to advance its mission over the opposition of special interests.

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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
28. Part of the problem lies in the limitations of state legislators
It's been a few years since I read the explanation of this, and I may be fuzzy on the details -- but the short version is that for the most part, state legislators are not up to the job of actually writing legislation.

They don't have the time, the funding, the staff, the legal background or whatever it takes. So they're really happy when somebody slips them a ready-written piece of legislation with all the fine details already taken care of.

Some of the people promoting the ALEC stuff are raving right-wing nutjobs, of course. But a lot of them are just run-of-the-mill state legislators who are thanking for having somebody else do the heavy lifting for them.

This is also a reason lobbyists have so much influence -- it's not all just bribes and flattery.

There's no easy solution, because the left will never have the deep pockets of the right. ALEC is part of the Heritage Foundation nexus, which has always been the leading recipient of funding from right-wing foundations. (Notably Coors, Scaife, and now Koch.)

But raising awareness of ALEC's priorities and what kind of legislation they're shipping around -- and then getting the word out so that ordinary citizens are aware of what's in the pipeline and can get the message across to their own representatives -- might at least provide some balance.

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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. I agree that's part of the problem. As I said, I started wondering about this legislative blitz
because it seemed much too sophisticated for your typical state legislator, as well as too coordinated.

But this is all the more reason to do all we can to make people aware that corporations are writing these laws.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
29. ALEC is even involved in the bail bond business keeping our jails stuffed with inmates
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

That topic's about what's happened to our jails as a result of this business. Two members of the American Bail Coalition are on ALEC's Private Enterprise Board.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
30. ALEC is behind the "Health Care Freedom" Act that just passed in Tennessee
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
32. thank you for this....
kick
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
33. not coming to my legislature. I live in the people's republic of Vermont
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #33
37. Don't get too complacent
On looking around a bit, I get the feeling they hate you for your freedoms. (And damn, were they behind Arizona's SB 1070 too? That's scary.)

http://clc.workerscenter.org/ecodevo.html

Resolution passed unanimously by the Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIOs 47th Annual Convention on September 6th, 2003 . . .

WHEREAS, anti-labor, think tanks like the American Legislative Exchange Council, which receives $ millions from big business to promotes anti-working family legislation, are active in the Vermont legislature;

WHEREAS, the corporate agenda seeks to undermine workmens compensation, promote right-to-work for less laws, expand deregulation, outlaw living wage ordinances and project labor agreements, privatize public sector employment, move our jobs to union free environments (to the South and third world countries), increase corporate welfare, and continue to shift the tax burden from corporations and the wealthy onto working families as part of a broad anti-labor strategy . . .

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO charge our President to establish a Standing Committee to collaborate with our affiliates and sympathetic policy experts to craft/advocate pro-working family, pro-union economic development and tax policies.


http://www.wcax.com/global/story.asp?s=7509294

December 17, 2007

Which state has the worst economic rating in the country? According to the American Legislative Exchange Council-- Vermont does. A new report puts the Green Mountain State dead last in a ranking of all 50 states.

According to the report, it's because Vermont has some of the highest taxes in the country-- personal income, business, estate and property taxes. In addition, the ALEC cites a high minimum wage and rising workers comp costs. The study looked at 16 variables that impact the migration of people and investment capital. Just last week, more than 130 learned that they'd be losing their jobs when Qimonda announced it was moving its Williston operations to North Carolina.


http://vermont-elections.org/2009-2010BioBook/s-rutl.ht...

Vermont General Assembly Members, 2009

KEVIN J. MULLIN of Rutland Town, Rutland County, Republican . . . Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce Legislative Issues Committee, former chair . . . Vermont Public Sector Chair, American Legislative Exchange Council, Asst. Senate Minority Leader 2005-present.


http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=13...

October 29, 2010

Each of these state legislators sat on ALEC's Public Safety and Elections Task Force, which drafted language of a bill that became Arizona's SB 1070. . . .

Sen. Margaret "Peg" Flory, Vermont

Was present at the ALEC task force meeting when model bill was drafted. Sen. Flory does not expect a similar law in her state.

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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #37
43. lol The Vermont Senate is composed of 30 members. 20 are dems, 2 are progs
and 8 are repubs. I am sure that nothing like this will happen here. And Peg knows it too. Oh, and having lived here for most of my life, I have a pretty good grasp of the state and its politics.
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #43
54. Maybe I'm just being paranoid
And I wouldn't doubt your knowledge of local politics.

I just have the feeling you're on their hit list -- and that makes me nervous.

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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #54
63. I don't know how to explain this
let's just say that Vermont isn't fertile soil for them. We aren't NH.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
34. ALEC's involvement with private prisons in Arizona:
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
35. Ohio Gov. Kasich, longtime ALEC member, wants to sell 5 state prisons to private operators
Edited on Wed Mar-09-11 01:31 PM by highplainsdem
http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories...


This page on the ALEC website lists their categories of model legislation for Public Safety and Elections, with a Prisons section, but the actual model legislation can be accessed only by ALEC members who are logged in.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-11 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #35
97. That link on the ALEC website:
http://www.alec.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=PublicSafet...

See the Prisons section for the legislation titles.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
36. kr
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #36
66. Thanks!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
38. ALEC is behind the plan to replace federal health care in Texas with an interstate compact
http://www.americanindependent.com/172730/bills-by-nels...

You'll find the reference to the American Legislative Exchange Council about a dozen paragraphs down.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #38
127. More news articles on this effort and how it's going national:
http://www.americanindependent.com/174887/texan-cruzs-p...

Texan Cruzs proposal for interstate health care compacts has gone national
By Patrick Brendel | 03.22.11 | 10:37 am

Last week, the House Select Committee on State Sovereignty fielded testimony on legislation seeking to challenge or replace Obamacare. One particular set of bills proposes supplanting federal health care programs with an interstate health care compact an idea that has gone national, but whose origin can be traced to former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz (now a Republican U.S. Senate candidate) writing for conservative think tank Texas Public Policy Foundation.

During the hearing, committee member state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio) had an exchange with witness Susanna Dokupil, who identified herself as representing the national Health Care Compact Alliance (HCCA), a 501(c)4 nonprofit. After Martinez Fischer pressed Dokupil on if she was associated with TPPF, she admitted that she is a senior fellow in TPPFs Center for Tenth Amendment Studies the division from which sprang the health care compact proposal by Cruz and Center Director Mario Loyola (who also testified during the committee hearing). Dokupil, however, maintained that her testimony on HCCAs behalf was completely separate and independent from her duties for TPPF.

-snip-

As The Texas Independent reported in December, TPPF joined forces with the American Legislative Exchange Council to spread the word around on several TPPF proposals to resist federal power, including health care compacts and calls for constitutional conventions. One specified goal for a constitutional convention would be to propose a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which is one of the legislative emergency items declared by prominent TPPF supporter Gov. Rick Perry.

-snip-



This is the December article mentioned above:

http://www.americanindependent.com/163510/tppf-leads-in...

TPPF leads interstate consortium of think tanks against federal power
Texas lawmakers already proposing suggested legislation
By Patrick Brendel | 12.30.10 | 5:23 pm

The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) has joined forces with conservative think tanks in other states to create the Agenda for State Action project, designed to help individual states thwart federal laws they see as intrusive primarily federal health care reform. Already, Texas lawmakers have begun proposing legislation prescribed by project leaders, who include former Solicitor General Ted Cruz.

-snip-

In the December report for the American Legislative Exchange Council, TPPF proposes that state legislators call for a constitutional convention to pass amendments to require a balanced federal budget, require a congressional super-majority to raise taxes, enable a line-item veto for federal appropriations, make increases in the federal debt contingent upon state legislatures approval, allow two-thirds of state legislatures to repeal any federal law and change the amendment process so two-thirds of states can propose amendments directly.

-snip-
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
39. ALEC was behind the phony GOP numbers about RI's public employees being the 4th highest paid in US
http://www.politifact.com/rhode-island/statements/2011/... /

"Last year it was discovered that Rhode Island's public employees ranked 4th in average pay, while the private sector ranked 23rd," he said in his posting on a local news website.

We found those statistics interesting. When we e-mailed him asking for their source, he said he found them in a 2009 report -- "Rich States, Poor States," by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council. That ALEC report says the information came from the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, a business-financed research group, but it doesn't indicate which RIPEC report it's referencing or when the data were collected.

We went looking for the RIPEC report that had those numbers. We couldn't find it.

Neither could RIPEC, which searched reports going back to the mid-1990s.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
40. 2010 Amer. Assn for Justice report -- "ALEC: Ghostwriting the Law for Corporate America"
Edited on Wed Mar-09-11 02:22 PM by highplainsdem
The report itself, 23 pages in PDF format:

http://www.justice.org/cps/rde/xbcr/justice/ALEC_Report...


The American Association for Justice press release about the report:

http://www.justice.org/cps/rde/xchg/justice/hs.xsl/1234...


HuffPo piece by Anthony Tarricone, President of the American Association for Justice, about their report:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anthony-tarricone/alec-gh...


Full text of the press release:

For Immediate Release: May 18, 2010

Contact: Tricia Cooley
202-965-3500, ext. 8369
media.replies@justice.org

Report Lifts Veil on ALECs Pro-Corporate, Anti-Consumer Mission

Front group ghostwrites the law for corporate America on behalf of oil, drug, asbestos, and insurance interests

Washington, DCThe American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has secretly taken millions of dollars in corporate money to infiltrate state legislatures and push legislation that, amongst other anti-consumer measures, would give complete immunity to asbestos manufacturers and undermine recently-passed health care reform, according to a new report released today.

On its surface, ALECs membership is mostly comprised of thousands of state legislators. Each pays a nominal membership fee in order to attend ALEC retreats and receive model legislation. But ALECs corporate contributors pay a kings ransom to gain access to legislators and distribute their corporate-crafted legislation. As a result, thousands of bills have been introduced across the country that would protect corporate interests at the expense of consumers rights.

While many have read about the disturbing influence of corporations in national politics and government, corporations are also looking towards state legislatures for more immunity and less accountability, said American Association for Justice President Anthony Tarricone. ALEC is the ultimate smoke-filled back room: another opportunity for corporations to buy access and protect their profits at the expense of consumers.

One example of ALECs influence in state legislatures is its work on behalf of Crown, Cork & Seal which purchased a small company that manufactured asbestos insulation. At the time of the transaction, the dangers of asbestos were well known, and Crown was in full knowledge of the future liability of asbestos claimants. Even though its own financial filings state that claims from asbestos victims will have no material adverse effects, Crown, Cork & Seal paid ALEC to persuade state legislatures to cap its liability, leaving thousands of injured workers without legal recourse. This legislation has already been enacted in several states, allowing Crown, Cork & Seal to escape accountability and increase profits at the expense of consumers.

ALEC has also worked on model legislation with Blue Cross Blue Shield to roll back the recently-passed health care bill, as well as with ExxonMobil to challenge the science behind global warming.

For a full copy of the report, ALEC: Ghostwriting the Law for Corporate America," click here.
###
As the world's largest trial bar, the American Association for Justice (formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) works to make sure people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they are injured by the negligence or misconduct of otherseven when it means taking on the most powerful corporations. Visit http://www.justice.org/newsroom .


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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. Former WI Governor Tommy Thompson, quoted in that report, on "disguising" ALEC bills:
http://www.justice.org/cps/rde/xbcr/justice/ALEC_Report...

From pp. 4-5:

Today, Washington, D.C.-based ALEC serves as the ultimate smoke-filled backroom, where corporations gain access to legislators and get the laws they write enacted throughout the country. Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, a major force in ALECs rebirth as a corporate front, outlined the process, saying, I always found new ideas and then Id take them back to Wisconsin, disguise them a little bit, and declare that its mine.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
42. ThinkProgress names ALEC as one of David Koch's front groups supporting Scott Walker:
http://www.thinkprogress.org/2011/03/04/david-koch-walk... /

Kochs other front groups have marshaled support for Walker. The American Legislative Exchange Council, a group financed with nearly $500,000 in Koch money and lead in part by a Koch executive, has pushed anti-public sector union legislation to Walker and the Wisconsin GOP.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
44. Virginia state legislation direct from ALEC:
http://hamptonroads.com/2011/02/coal-bills-author-revea...

Morefield's resolution is an attempt to block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. It's copied verbatim from "model legislation" drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative organization that sponsors conventions in which legislators and corporate lobbyists huddle together and write business-friendly bills.

The group published a report on Feb. 8 called "EPA's Regulatory Train Wreck" that includes the resolution. Morefield put his name on it and filed it in the General Assembly two days later.

Morefield is simply following in the footsteps of his elders. House Speaker Bill Howell, former national chairman of ALEC, has carried legislation penned by the group.

But when Howell was asked about the origins of "model legislation" related to asbestos lawsuits last year, he just mumbled about his leadership role in ALEC and his longstanding concerns about tort reform. He certainly didn't blurt out that his bill was the brainchild of a corporate lawyer trying to get his client out of a legal pickle.


That story also reports that 15 Virginia legislators attended ALEC events last year, with their corporate sponsors picking up $16,800 of the tab, but taxpayers were also billed for these ALEC junkets -- "Taxpayers funded $12,500 in travel expenses."


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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
45. ALEC trying to block federal health care in Idaho:
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
46. ALEC behind RW plans for states to use eminent domain to seize federal lands
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/28/us/politics/28nullify...

Some of the measures have spread after being tried out last year on a small scale.

Utahs Legislature often a pioneer in challenging federal laws passed a bill in 2010 that authorized the state to use eminent domain protections to seize federal lands. It then appropriated $3 million for what state officials acknowledged would be an uphill legal battle to defend their stance.

This year, six more states Arizona, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington have taken up the argument, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council, a nonprofit group that supports limited government and free markets.

Clint Woods, the director of the groups energy, environment and agriculture task force, said the wave of new bills had been fueled by the Department of Interiors talk about designating wild lands that would be protected from development and creating new national monuments.



Unbelievable...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
47. ALEC behind rightwing legislation for prison reform in Maryland
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
48. ALEC mentioned in Bangor article on possible outside influences on GOP attack on unions in Maine
http://new.bangordailynews.com/2011/02/24/politics/stat... /

The head of the rightwing Maine Heritage Policy Center dismissed the idea of outside influence on state legislation as a crazy conspiracy theory.

But we know better that that...
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
49. K & R Thanks for the heads-up. I never heard of this group before,
but the coordinated RW legislation in about 10 states at the same time definitely had a funny smell to it. So the source of the stench is something called the American Legislative Exchange Council. As I said, I never heard the name before, but I'm definitely going to memorize it and start exploring the web of connections.

Bookmarking to read later.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
50. Private prison firms and ALEC behind Georgia's Illegal Immigration Reform bill?
Edited on Wed Mar-09-11 04:03 PM by highplainsdem
http://www.politicalaffairs.net/prison-firms-suspected-... /

Points out this is copycat legislation similar to the legislation in Arizona that ALEC was behind, and the Corrections Corporation of America, which is on the ALEC board, is involved in Georgia as in Arizona.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
51. ALEC press release applauding Wyoming for a state resolution calling on Congress to curb the EPA
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
52. ALEC congratulates NC for being 1st state to pass bill modeled on ALEC's "health freedom" bill
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
53. K&R
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #53
67. Thanks!
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Fuddnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
55. The Nation has been writing about them for several years.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
56. ALEC working with for-profit college industry lobbyists to block Obama admin regulations
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
57. ALEC working with groups wanting to give states veto power over Congress
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
58. ALEC involved with West Virginia legislation to block the EPA
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #58
74. Here's the link for that:
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One Voice Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
61. K&R!
Holee-Crap!
Thanks for the info!



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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #61
68. Thanks for the rec, and you're welcome!
And I had the same "Holy crap!" reaction when I realized how influential this group is, and how much control of legislation it gives to corporations.
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
69. K&R
:kick:
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #69
85. Thanks!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
70. ALEC behind propsed resolution in Washington state legislature urging Congress to pass Korea-US FTA
http://blog.aflcio.org/2011/03/10/senate-measure-backin... /

The experiences of union members and working people with too many flawed trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement and Chinas accession to the World Trade Organization do not justify optimism that this deal will generate the promised new jobs, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement. Weve seen U.S. multinational companies take advantage of the investment and other corporate protections in past trade deals to shift production offshore, while maintaining access to the U.S. consumer market and undermining the jobs, wages and bargaining power of American workers. And the results have been catastrophic, with chronic and unsustainable trade deficits that sap economic growth and domestic job creation.

SJM 8006 was instigated by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative corporate-funded organization promoting small government that produces model legislation for state lawmakers. Among ALECs primary funders are the infamous Koch brothers, the Kansas billionaires who are funding right-wing activities ranging from the Tea Party to Republican Gov. Scott Walkers assault on Wisconsin public employees collective bargaining rights.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
71. Sounds like the Florida League of Cities.
There's something about that organization that seems counter-productive to public safety, welfare and health. Like it's following an agenda that makes it easier for the local private sector to take over government.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 10:02 PM
Response to Original message
72. The Washington Independent, 10/12/10: The Secret World of ALECs Hacks
http://washingtonindependent.com/100341/the-secret-worl...

But since ALEC adopted model legislation for the Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act, the group has played a key role in trumpeting iterations of the bill in various states over the past year. ALECs Herrera has offered guidance to lawmakers in more than a dozen state legislatures on the issue. The group brags on its website that as anti-freedom health policy such as an individual mandate, an employer mandate, and the public plan surface at the state and national levels, ALECs Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act has become an essential tool in securing the rights of patients to make their own health care choices.

ALECs task forces are better known for crafting legislation that coincides, rather than conflicts, with the interests of its private-sector members. Famous for hosting lavish conferences for state legislators who possess no staff of their own, the group pampers lawmakers while providing them the opportunity to collaborate on legislation often previously researched and introduced by the policy shops of its corporate members.

Their conferences proceed in a very orchestrated manner with legislation that was effectively already designed before get there, noted Rodger Schlinkeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife, an environmental group that has differed with ALEC on state legislative priorities in the past. Representatives are having a good time, playing golf. Theres no heavy lifting on the legislative side so they dont have to do much. The ALEC staff and industry reps hold their hand and out pops this model legislation with various corporate interests in mind.

In one case, noted by Mother Jones, ALEC drafted model truth in sentencing legislation that restricted parole eligibility, effectively ensuring longer prison terms for inmates. A pivotal member of the task force that crafted the bills language? The Corrections Corporation of America, the leader in the private corrections management industry, which stood to benefit directly from longer prison sentences.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 11:05 PM
Response to Original message
73. NPR, 10/29/10: Shaping State Laws With Little Scrutiny
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=13...

-snip-

If ALEC's conferences were interpreted as lobbying, the group could lose its status as a non-profit. Corporations wouldn't be able to reap tax benefits from giving donations to the organization or write off those donations as a business expense. And legislators would have a hard time justifying attending a conference of lobbyists.

-snip-

Is it lobbying when private corporations pay money to sit in a room with state lawmakers to draft legislation that they then introduce back home? Bowman, a former lobbyist, says, "No, because we're not advocating any positions. We don't tell members to take these bills. We just expose best practices. All we're really doing is developing policies that are in model bill form."

So, for example, last December Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce sat in a hotel conference room with representatives from the Corrections Corporation of America and several dozen others. The group voted on model legislation that was introduced into the Arizona legislature two months later, almost word for word.

-snip-

But first ALEC has to get legislators to the conferences. The organization encourages state lawmakers to bring their families. Corporations sponsor golf tournaments on the side and throw parties at night, according to interviews and records obtained by NPR.

-snip-



These conferences include open bar parties, banquets, baseball games, free child care -- which cost ALEC $138,000 at one conference alone, taking care of the kids and keeping them entertained. ALEC often gives legislators cash to pay for travel expenses -- those gifts are called "scholarships." Since all of this is "educational" rather than lobbying, it doesn't have to be reported. And the corporations write it off because ALEC is supposedly a charity.

The Arizona legislation that copied the ALEC model legislation, written with the help of the Corrections Corporation of America, was the controversial immigration law requiring police to arrest anyone who can't prove they entered the country legally. It didn't originate in Arizona. It originated with ALEC. (And yes, this is the NPR report mentioned in the Wikipedia article I quoted in the OP.)
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 11:23 PM
Response to Original message
75. Powerful Energy Lobbying Group ALEC Writing Anti-Climate Legislation in 16 States (March 2010)
http://greenlivingideas.com/2010/03/26/powerful-energy-... /

There is anti-EPA legislation metastasizing in 15 (and now 16) US states, aimed at ending the Obama administrations backstop use of the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

Within months of the December EPA rulings on greenhouse gases, the bubbling up of all these state level initiatives would appear to be spontaneous eruptions of righteous local anger at supposed job-killing proposals but in fact they have been centrally coordinated. All these state resolutions have almost identical language.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is literally writing the anti-EPA legislation for these states! The basic resolution opposing the EPA endangerment ruling being adopted in the 15 states was drafted by ALECs Natural Resources Task Force.

The powerful and very effective lobbying group receives one third of its support from 10 energy companies, including Exxon, Chevron, Amoco, Shell, and Texaco. Energy industry groups such as Koch Industries, American Petroleum Institute, and the American Electric Power Association pay dues of up to $50,000 a year to support industry-friendly legislation for the fossil energy industry.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
76. ALEC Public Affairs Coordinator mocked widow of Massey mine disaster victim on Twitter
Edited on Thu Mar-10-11 11:37 PM by highplainsdem
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/04/17/alec-massey-mine /

Responding to the lawsuit, Nathan Coffey, the Public Affairs Coordinator of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), took to Twitter yesterday to mock Marlene Griffith. Coffey posted a link to the AP story about Marlene Griffith, sarcastically commenting that Everyone wants free money! View a screen shot of the comment below:

Everyone wants free money!//Widow
of miner killed in explosion in WV sues
owner Massey Energy alleging
negligence http://bit.ly/b7naoQ
nathancoffey
Nathan Coffey{/div]

ALEC, founded in 1973 by conservative activist Paul Weyrich, is a DC-based front group which helps state lawmakers craft corporate-friendly legislation. State-based schemes aimed at deregulation are often conceived and coordinated out of ALEC. It is funded by some of the biggest corporations in America, including Koch Industries, Wal-Mart, and AT&T, as well as by the coal industry. Peabody Coals Kelly Mader, a Vice President for State Government Affairs at the company, sits on the board of directors of ALEC.



Btw, the bit.ly link in that tweet goes to this page

http://www.wvgazette.com/ap/ApTopStories/201004160510

with the URL giving the 4/16/2010 date and the page title "Widow sues Massey over W.Va. mine disaster."

But the story itself is gone.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 11:58 PM
Response to Original message
77. Joshua Holland, AlterNet, 2005: Creating a Right-Wing Nation, State by State
http://www.alternet.org/story/28259 /

Creating a Right-Wing Nation, State by State
by Joshua Holland
A couple of staffers for People for the American Way went undercover to a conference of the ultra-conservative American Legislative Exchange Council. Here's what they discovered.
November 16, 2005 |


ALEC's record of achievement makes it one of the most successful parts of the conservative movement, but many progressives aren't aware of it. They should be; ALEC claims as members 34 state Speakers of The House, 25 Senate Presidents, 31 Senate Leaders and 33 House Leaders.

Given that ALEC claims to have successfully passed 200 bills into law in 2003, keeping tabs on the organization is a good way to get a handle on where the right will train its sights next.

Two staffers for People For the American Way (PFAW) went to ALEC's August meeting to get that scoop. Earlier this month I attended a conference of labor and community activists in Washington, D.C. to hear a summary of what PFAW's staffers picked up at the summit. This report draws heavily on their work, for which I'm grateful (disclosure: during the past year I've received modest support from PFAW for some of my own activism, and I'm an honorary Fellow with its Young People For program).

On The Horizon

-snip-

George W. Bush was the keynote speaker, discussing how successful his tax cuts have been (if you care to, you can read his speech here). Grover Norquist, Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich rounded out the right's star power. (According to one of PFAW's observers, Norquist told a room full of legislators that "those on the left aren't stupid, they're evil.")

-snip-


Three page article, well worth reading.

It mentions, among other things, that school vouchers have been a long-standing objective of ALEC. So is tort reform.

It gives an example of how ALEC can sometimes bury its nastier right-wing objectives in bills that seem reasonable at first glance, such as one that makes it more difficult for people to skip jury duty but also pays jurors more. Which sounds okay until you get to the detail about that money coming from increased fees required to bring suit, which would limit the number of lawsuits (unless the plaintiff is rich).

The article also mentions ALEC's model legislation to criminalize environmental activism as "terrorism."
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 12:08 AM
Response to Original message
78. Dave Weigel, Slate, Dec. 2010: ALEC: The Libertarian Powerhouse that No One Covers
http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/weigel/archive/2010/12...


ALEC: The Libertarian Powerhouse that No One Covers
Posted Friday, December 03, 2010 11:43 AM | By David Weigel

Blogging's been a little light today because I've spent the morning at the American Legislative Exchange Council's D.C. meeting. I came, in part, because it seemed odd that no one was really covering this. Newt Gingrich gave a speech this week, which is not a rare occurrence in D.C., and that got covered. But no one else seemed to be attending the sessions where conservative state legislators were taking notes on the most effective way to roll back federal regulations and challenge the federal government. These legislators are part of the biggest sweep in generations, taking or affirming control of state government in most of the country.

How many legislators were here? I asked, and was at first told that around 900 people were in attendance, which would include a lot of private sector attendees, then told that number of legislators was not public information. But I talked to several legislators who informed me how many of their peers had shown up for three days of briefings on topics like "EPA's Regulatory Assault" and "A Tax in Sheep's Clothing: How Extended Producer Responsibility Mandates Can Hurt Consumers and Businesses." The election swept in 25 new Republican members of the Wisconsin state assembly; five of them were here.

"I've learned a few things," said Daniel Knodl, a second-term assemblyman from Wisconsin. "For example, I hadn't heard about this idea of forming interstate compacts to opt out before." He was referring to a fairly new spin on the compact idea, being pushed first by libertarian think-tankers in Texas, that would have states declaring a federal government intervention illegal, forming a compact with another state that was taking the same approach, and forcing a legal showdown with the government.

-snip-



Emphasis added.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 12:22 AM
Response to Original message
79. Another NPR story on ALEC's role in the Arizona immigration law
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=13...

Prison Economics Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law
by Laura Sullivan
October 28, 2010

-snip-

The 50 or so people in the room included officials of the Corrections Corporation of America, according to two sources who were there.

Pearce and the Corrections Corporation of America have been coming to these meetings for years. Both have seats on one of several of ALEC's boards.

And this bill was an important one for the company. According to Corrections Corporation of America reports reviewed by NPR, executives believe immigrant detention is their next big market. Last year, they wrote that they expect to bring in "a significant portion of our revenues" from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that detains illegal immigrants.

In the conference room, the group decided they would turn the immigration idea into a model bill. They discussed and debated language. Then, they voted on it.

-snip-



The article points out that Pearce's bill had 36 co-sponsors -- "a number almost unheard of in the capitol" -- and 2/3 of them either went to that ALEC meeting or are ALEC members. Of those 36, 30 received donations from prison lobbyists or prison companies over the next 6 months. Including CCA, which helped write the bill.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 12:36 AM
Response to Original message
80. ThinkProgress: ALEC working with Blue Cross Blue Shield to have HCR declared unconstitutional
http://thinkprogress.org/2009/12/05/bcbs-alec-health /

But while the study certainly damages BCBS credibility, BCBS is involved in another anti-health reform ploy that they do not bother to promote on the BCBS website. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), founded in 1973 by conservative activist Paul Weyrich, is a DC-based front group which helps state lawmakers craft corporate-friendly legislation. As the Atlantic has noted, ALEC developed template health care states rights, legislation to declare aspects of health reform unconstitutional. ALEC has promoted this tenther legislation using its network of mostly far right Republican state lawmakers. The bills, which have been adopted in some form in 24 states so far, aim to invalidate federal regulations of health insurance, the public option and the individual mandate using the Tenther Amendment.

According to the ALEC website, the resolution was developed by a three member task force of industry representatives. One of the of the members is Joan Gardner, who is executive director of state services with the BCBS Associations Office of Policy and Representation. In an interview with ThinkProgress, Christie Herrera, the director of ALECs health task force, confirmed that Gardner played a pivotal role in crafting this anti-health reform states rights initiative. Herrera told us that Gardners unique position at the BCBS Association brought great knowledge to the issue, and that Gardner voted to press forward with the campaign.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 08:12 AM
Response to Original message
81. Source for ALEC A-Z (American Legislative Exchange Council)
ALEC story is bubbling up.

We have posted as close to a 'one-stop shop' on the American Legislative Exchange Council (The CNP and Heritage Foundation arm that writes corporate monopoly law at the State Level - Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, etc).

Posted on Kos under this "<a href="http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/03/08/953811/-Gov-Ri... ">Gov Rick Snyder Sellout? Prefabricated Corporate Michigan (Government) Courtesy of Koch & ALEC Excl</a>.".

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/03/08/953811/-Gov-Ri...

TABLE of CONTENTS:
Table of Contents (All things ALEC A to Z)

How did this Investigation get started? Basics of Our Narrative
What is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)?
Why should you (Michiganders) care?
Who does ALEC represent and where do they get their funding?
What do US/Foreign Corporations Pay to Play?
How the American Legislative Exchange Council Works
What is Model Legislation or a Model Act?
ALEC is a Charity?
What is the Scale of the ALEC influence? In Michigan?
The Big Picture: ALEC Connections to CNP and others
ALEC Issue (and with Michigan Examples)
o Healthcare
o Telecommunications
o Corrections and Criminal Justice
o Big Oil
o Environment
o Education
o Asbestos
o Right-to-Work
o State Taxes and Snyders Budget
Michigan members of ALEC (Find ALEC members in your State)

Permission granted by authors to REPOST and use as you see fit. It's a Free Country... sort of.

Haven't been on DU for awhile, but since Kos is now "a bunch of crusty old white guys" maybe I should.

HS
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #81
82. Thanks! And welcome back to DU! Very helpful compilation there. I appreciate your adding the
link to this topic.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
83. bookmarked
Thanks!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
84. ALEC members supporting puppy mills against constituents' own votes
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/ar...

The Senate vote generally broke along the same lines, with urban senators voting to retain Prop B and rural senators voting to nix it.

The key votes were cast by four senators who voted to repeal Prop B even though their constituents had backed it. They were Republican Sens. Scott Rupp of Wentzville, Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph and Bob Dixon of Springfield, and Democrat Victor Callahan of Independence.


Schaaf and Dixon are ALEC members. I'm not sure about the others.

I don't know whether any of ALEC's model legislation or pro-business lobbying propaganda ("educational" material) was involved in the actual writing of the bill to repeal Prop B, but I'm not at all surprised to find ALEC members supporting the repeal, even when their constitutents voted for Prop B.

Dixon's association with ALEC is mentioned on lots of web pages about him. I found Schaaf's name on the list of Missouri House members requesting an ALEC caucus in the House:

http://www.house.mo.gov/content.aspx?info=/bills051/jrn...

Assuming the nearly three dozen legislators requesting an ALEC caucus are all ALEC members (no reason for them to make that request otherwise), that would mean more than 1/5 of all Missouri House members then were ALEC members.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-12-11 02:05 AM
Response to Original message
86. ALEC Commends Gov. Walker for Decreasing Burdens on Businesses by Reforming Wisconsins Legal System
That's ALEC's title, not mine -- I could think of some very different words for what this bill does.

But I want to quote what ALEC had to say first, since it's obvious Walker was using their model legislation:

http://www.alec.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=ALEC_Commen...

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 27, 2011) - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) signed into law today Special Session Senate Bill 1, legislation aimed at reforming the states civil justice system. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) commended newly-elected Gov. Walker and the new Wisconsin legislature for their leadership in responding quickly to their mandate to restore business confidence and for making tort reform one of their top priorities to achieve this goal.

-snip-

The bill comes at a critical time, when Gov. Walker called the legislature into special session for the express purpose of decreasing burdens on business and reigniting the states sluggish economy. This bill is a strong piece of reform legislation that will have a significant impact on Wisconsins legal climate and economic viability.

ALEC is deeply committed to the advancement of substantive civil justice reform in the states and supports this legislation, which includes numerous provisions that reflect the policy and model legislation of the ALEC Civil Justice Task Force.

Among other things, SB 1 will keep junk science from tampering with justice, will strengthen the standards for filing products liability cases against manufacturers, and will discourage inflated punitive damages awards where unwarranted.

-snip-



Now, for some real information (as opposed to rightwing propaganda) about Senate Bill 1:

http://wisaflcio.typepad.com/wisconsin-state-afl-cio-bl...

From that page of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO blog:

01/13/2011
Profits Before People: Senate Bill 1 / Assembly Bill 1 Are All Wrong

-snip-

The destructive consequences of this legislation include:

* Changes punitive damages criteria for those injured on the job. Victims of at work accidents will now have the burden of proving that the injury was intended by the employer in order to be awarded punitive damages. This new heightened standard effectively closes the courthouse door to most victims of egregious conduct resulting in serious injury or death. Had this proposed new standard been in place at the time that three ironworkers; Jeffrey Wischer, William DeGrave and Jerome Starr; fell to their deaths from a crane basket during the construction of Miller Park stadium in Milwaukee, their families would have been denied a punitive damage award.

* Changes to product liability law that encourage the export of jobs. The bill requires that victims harmed by faulty products seek compensation from the manufacturer first. Since it is near impossible to track down manufacturers and pursue legal remedies in countries such as China, this bill creates a perverse incentive to shift more manufacturing jobs out of Wisconsin.

* Eliminates retailer responsibility for harmful products sold in sealed packages. This means that if a child is injured by a faulty toy the family has limited rights and options.

* Limits the rights of nursing home residents families to protect their loved ones from negligent care. The bill changes legal standards for nursing homes making it significantly harder to hold institutions accountable. It would deny families access to reports that show a pattern of abuse or mistreatment.

-snip-
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-12-11 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
87. Newt Gingrich's speech at Dec. 2010 ALEC conference
http://www.newt.org/newt-direct/transcript-newts-remark...

-snip-

It is a great honor and a great thrill to be here. ALEC has done many, many things that have been very important to move America towards more rational, more conservative, more affordable, and more effective government, and many of you who are alumni are now either in governorships or in the Congress and you might on occasion remind them of all the principles that they learned here at ALEC.

-snip-

Then you want to start reshaping things. And you want a replacement strategy, not a reform strategy. You cant reform the Environmental Protection Agency. The Environmental Protection Agency has now spent 40 years recruiting people whose primary job is to destroy American business and destroy local government in favor of a centralized dictatorship of environmental extremism. Now youre not going to fix those folks. You cant go in and say, Why dont we talk with each other and have better communication. Youve got to fundamentally, from the ground up, design a new model of environmental protection and replace the current model, and say to them, Glad you were around. Hope you have a good time writing your memoirs. You aint gonna be here.

Everybody should remember, when I say be not afraid, everyone should remember the Judicial Reform Act of 1802. Jefferson and Madison, who knew a reasonable amount about the Constitution, passed a bill which abolished 18 out of 35 federal judges. Didnt impeach them; just said your office no longer exists, your salary is no longer paid; you can no longer hold court. Several of the 18 tried to go to court to sue on the grounds that it was unconstitutional and the remaining 17 judges said are you nuts? If we agree to hear your case, they will abolish us next.

Now, I want you to know, I am not as bold as Thomas Jefferson. I would not try to eliminate of all the current sitting federal judges. I would limit it to the Ninth Circuit as a demonstration

-snip-
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w8liftinglady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-12-11 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
88. LOL!!! Thank you for posting and informing me... At my son's 21st bday party last nite
He and I had our Dropkick Murphy t-shirts on at Joe's Crab Shack


A guy with an ALEC logo T kept walking by our table... I guess looking for a fight.

My other son had his Steelers jersey on.

The dude wouldn't have stood a chnce if he HAD tried to debate,but I prefer to have hard facts.Thank you.

Needless to say,they don't debate face-to-face....only in a crowd.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-11 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #88
95. Great story! And I love those Dropkick Murphy t-shirts!
No, the guy in the ALEC-logo shirt wouldn't have stood a chance, if he'd tried to debate you. But the more facts we have about what ALEC is up to, the better.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-12-11 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
89. ALEC bill against "eco-terrorists" criminalizes civil disobedience & even "encouraging" activists
Edited on Sat Mar-12-11 01:26 PM by highplainsdem
http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/washington-eco-ter... /

-snip-

# Its sweeping definition of eco-terrorist organization could wrap up countless above-ground activists. It defines animal rights or ecological terrorist organization to mean two or more persons with the primary or incidental purpose of intimidating, coercing, causing fear with the intent to obstruct, or impeding any person from participating in an activity involving animals or natural resources. That last clause is the kicker. The bills definition of a terrorist organization includes any activist group that impedes business operations.
# Civil disobedience is terrorism. The bill explicitly mentions Entering or remaining on the premises of an animal or horticultural facility if the person or organization has received notice to depart but failed to do so.
# Speaking out in support of eco-terrorists is terrorism. The bill targets those who: Participate in or support animal or ecological terrorism, including raising, soliciting, collecting, or providing any person with material, financial support, or other resources such as lodging, training, safe houses, false documentation, or identification, communications, equipment, or transportation that will be used in whole or in part to encourage, plan, prepare, carry out, publicize, promote, or aid an act of animal or ecological terrorism, the concealment of, or an escape from an act of animal or ecological terrorism.

That final bullet point is the most dangerous section of the entire bill. It outlaws any activity, including communications, that will be used in whole or in part to encourage, publicize, or promote an act of animal or ecological terrorism.

Encourage. Publicize. Promote. There is absolutely no doubt that this language is intended to target the work of groups like the Earth Liberation Front Press Office, North American ALF Press Office, Bite Back Magazine, Earth First Journal, and others who distribute the communiqus of underground groups and vocally defend illegal tactics.

-snip-



This is the text of the bill introduced in Washington State in 2010.

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2009-10/Pdf/B...


This is the ALEC publication on the "threat" of "animal/environmental extremism," with their "Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act" model legislation as Appendix A.

http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/wp-content/Images/...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-12-11 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
90. ALEC publication on fightng the "EPA's Regulatory Train Wreck"
http://www.alec.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=EPATrainWre...

This is a 54-page publication and includes the resolution mentioned here:

What then can state legislators do to stop the train wreck? The report outlines
some of the comprehensive and issue-specific legislative tools at your
disposal, including expressing strong opposition to EPAs regulatory train
wreck via resolutions, enhanced regulatory review, bills to assert state sovereignty,
and tips for getting your state on the right side of the ongoing
legal and public relations struggles. As unemployment hovers around nine
percent, it is the duty of states to weigh in against the effects of these jobcrushing
regulations.

In particular, as the highest-priority near-term action item, we urge you
to give close consideration to the resolution highlighted in Chapter 5 calling
on Congress to stop the train wreck. The resolution has been introduced
in a number of states, and has, as of early February, passed out of
state houses in Indiana and Wyoming. Our allies in Congress need to hear
your support immediately; the Administration needs to understand your
determination.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-12-11 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
91. 2004 article on ALEC's role in school voucher legislation in Wisconsin
http://fightingbob.com/article.cfm?articleID=193

-snip-

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is one place a state legislator can turn. According to the organization, it is "a bipartisan membership association for conservative state lawmakers who share a common belief in limited government, free markets, federalism, and individual liberty." In fact, a recent study found that 85 percent of its more than 200 members in "senior leadership positions" are Republicans. ALEC promotes policies such as "free market environmentalism" and the privatization of services like education, prisons and health care.

Wisconsin's "school choice" programs, among the first in the nation, were staked out early on by ALEC. The Milwaukee program has been making headlines since its inception -- most recently for the use of one voucher school's public monies to purchase luxury cars. The role of ALEC in the history of voucher legislation is not as well known, however.

School vouchers came of age during the gubernatorial reign of Tommy Thompson. ALEC and the right wing foundations that it partners with -- among them the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation and the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI) -- worked to transform the image of voucher programs from a desultory privatization scheme to a "progressive" policy that gives students from low-income families a chance to get a better education.

"The strongest link comes from ALEC itself, which held out Wisconsin Works and PAVE (People Against a Violent Environment) as models for the rest of the country," said Erin O'Neill of Public Trust Partnership. Public Trust is a nonprofit collaborative of public interest advocacy organizations that seeks to alert citizens to the influence of right-wing and corporate interests in state policymaking. "They have had model legislation on the issue for years."

-snip-


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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-12-11 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
92. ALEC publication "School Choice: A Reform That Works" mentions 6 model bills
http://www.alec.org/am/pdf/ALEC-State-Factor-School-Cho...

In order to promote greater educational freedom
for parents, and improvements in traditional
public schooling, the American Legislative
Exchange Council has developed six model bills to
help lawmakers fashion highly effective, constitutionally
sound school choice legislation in their
state.

The cornerstone of this effort is the simple recognition
that school vouchers, tuition tax credits,
charter schools, home schooling and virtual schooling
are all different incarnations of a critically
important concept: improving the quality of K-12
education in America by giving parents the freedom
to choose the best school for their child.

-snip-
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-12-11 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
93. ALEC behind 2007 Utah school voucher bill passed by legislature but rejected in referendum
http://www.au.org/media/press-releases/archives/2007/11...


Utahns voted 60-40 percent to nullify a sweeping voucher plan passed by the legislature earlier this year. The vote, said Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn, is another reminder of how unpopular voucher plans are.

-snip-

The so-called Parents for Choice in Education Act would have provided $500 to $3,000 in voucher aid for every student wanting to attend private school. It appeared on the ballot Nov. 6 as Referendum 1.

The bill was pushed through the legislature by pro-voucher forces mostly outside the state, led by the American Legislative Exchange Council. When opponents gathered enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot, a group called Parents for Choice in Education defended it.

Critics noted, however, that the group has precious few parents in it and was funded largely by money provided by Patrick M. Byrne, an internet millionaire who runs the sales Web site Overstock.com.

-snip

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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-12-11 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
94. Missouri state senator influential in ALEC wants to roll back child labor laws.
http://blog.aflcio.org/2011/02/14/missouri-senator-want... /

-snip-

Missouri State Sen. Jane Cunningham (R) has introduced a bill to minimize child labor laws. I could find all kinds of colorful words and descriptions to show just how crazed and outrageous is S.B. 222.

But lets just use the official summary of the bill from the Missouri state Senate website and if you dont believe me, click here and read it yourself.

* This act modifies the child labor laws.
* It eliminates the prohibition on employment of children under age fourteen.
* Restrictions on the number of hours and restrictions on when a child may work during the day are also removed.
* It also repeals the requirement that a child ages fourteen or fifteen obtain a work certificate or work permit in order to be employed.
* Children under sixteen will also be allowed to work in any capacity in a motel, resort or hotel where sleeping accommodations are furnished.
* It also removes the authority of the director of the Division of Labor Standards to inspect employers who employ children and to require them to keep certain records for children they employ.
* It also repeals the presumption that the presence of a child in a workplace is evidence of employment.

-snip-


From Cunningham's page on the Senate.mo.gov website:

http://www.senate.mo.gov/11info/Members/D07/bio.htm

Senator Cunningham was Chairwoman of the Education Task Force and served on the Board of Directors of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the largest voluntary organization of legislators and business leaders in the country.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-11 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
96. ND's GOP legislators block requiring disclosure of trips paid for by interest groups including ALEC
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/20144...

-snip-

In North Dakota, lawmakers don't have to disclose such trips as long as they're not financed by taxpayers. Lawmakers often are eligible to claim their daily pay when they are on legislative business, too, and Stenehjem said he did claim his $158 per day on some of his trips.

-snip-

The Republican-controlled Legislature has defeated several proposals in recent years to require lawmakers to disclose trips financed by outside groups. One bill, sponsored by Sen. Richard Marcellais, D-Belcourt, would have required lawmakers to disclose the destination and purpose of any outside trip related to public business, as well as the money spent on them.

-snip-

In 2003, 16 GOP lawmakers skipped a day of the Legislature to attend a Las Vegas conference of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate-supported organization of conservative state lawmakers.

-snip-

Stenehjem's foreign trips have mostly been arranged by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, based in Centerville, Mass., a nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation that puts on educational programs for legislative leaders. The programs are usually affiliated with universities.

-snip-



We need to take a closer look at the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, too. It sounds like a smaller counterpart of ALEC, and its funding is from private business donors like Wal-Mart.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-11 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
98. Recommend!!! n/t
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-11 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
99. From 2002: Outing ALEC...
I found the link at Third World Traveler, but it is originally from the American Prospect. I can not find the link at that site anymore.

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Corporations/Outing_A...

"How does ALEC work? The council connects corporations to state legislatures via conferences and forums. Under the aegis of "legislative exchange," these gatherings allow corporations access and influence for which they'd otherwise be publicly scrutinized. ALEC also produces reams of model legislation-drafts that meet the needs of ALEC's corporate allies and that legislators can send to their statehouse floors, with or without amendment.

The organization's reach is impressive: More than one-third of state legislators are ALEC members, and about 100 hold senior leadership positions. Nine sitting governors and more than 80 members of Congress either pay dues or are alumni, including Republicans Dennis Hastert of Illinois, Tom DeLay of Texas, and Don Nickles of Oklahoma. ALEC doesn't publicly release its membership list but, according to spokesman Bob Adams, about 65 percent of its members are Republicans and 35 percent Democrats. ALEC's $6 million budget-which pays for 30 staffers in prime Washington office space-is mostly provided by large corporations (Enron included) and right-wing foundations, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the John M. Olin Foundation among them.

ALEC specializes in nothing if not the intertwining of private and public power: Each of its issue-based "task forces" is cochaired by a "public-sector chair" (a state legislator) and a "private-sector chair" (a corporate executive); similarly, the council has a "national board" of elected officials and a "private enterprise board" of business leaders.
But the organization's real ingenuity is its exploitation of a deep vulnerability in the nation's political system: State legislatures tend to function only part time. Only seven states have full-time state legislatures; in six states the legislature convenes just every other year; and in 38 states, legislators have no paid staff.

If you're a politician looking to sponsor a bill, but your time and resources are limited and you only meet with your colleagues once every few months, ALEC provides one-stop shopping. As Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said of his days attending ALEC conferences in the 1970s,' 'Myself, I always loved going to these meetings because I always found new ideas and then I'd take them back to Wisconsin, disguise them a little bit, and declare that it's mine." Legislators who might otherwise gain little or no national distinction are able to do so within ALEC. It connects them to VIPs and strokes their egos by handing out "Legislator of the Year" awards."
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-11 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #99
100. Thanks for the link!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-11 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
101. ALEC recommending 401(k)-style programs to replace state employee pensions
http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/9192ee12d23e4f43b... /


Few states have yet embraced the most drastic step scrapping their traditional plans for a 401(k)-style program that would guarantee only a certain state contribution for employees, not a particular level of benefits when they retired. But it may only a matter of time until that change comes, says Barry Poulson, a retired University of Colorado economist who advises conservative think tanks like the American Legislative Exchange Council, which have been promoting the change.

"You're essentially at a point there where there's no way you can sustain that kind of plan," he said of states struggling with traditional defined benefit pensions. Most private employers have already made the switch because they "quite simply decided they couldn't afford them."




ALEC's press release about these "solutions":

http://www.emailwire.com/release/59073-State-Unfunded-L...

State Unfunded Liabilities in the Trillions: ALEC Provides the Solutions
Other Post Employee Benefit Plans: A Case for Shifting to the Defined Contribution Approach
(EMAILWIRE.COM, March 03, 2011 ) Washington DC -- State and local spending growth outpaced private sector growth by nearly 90 percent over the past decade and current budget deficits are estimated to exceed $100 billion for the upcoming fiscal year. However, state budget gaps are overshadowed in size and scope by unfunded liabilities in state pension and healthcare systems for public employees, which are trillions in the red.

These unsustainable cost drivers threaten the financial solvency of the states. State legislators can no longer ignore the unfunded liabilities in Other Post Employment Benefit Plans (OPEB). To help legislators navigate tough budget solutions, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is pleased to announce the release of Other Post Employee Benefit Plans: A Case for Shifting to the Defined Contribution Approach.

Clearly, state legislators need a new approach in order to fulfill their promises to government workers, while maintaining financial solvency, said ALEC Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Chair Sen. Jim Buck (R-IN). Most legislative fixes over the past few years for state budgets have merely postponed or obscured state budget problems, rather than solving them. By allowing public employees to contribute to their own welfare, they will have secure, portable assets for their retirement. ALEC is providing states the right solutions to address this crisis.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the U.S. Department of Labor, as of December, 2010, state and local government employees received benefits that were 69 percent higher than those in the private sector. State and local government employees earn $13.85 per hour in benefits compared to the private sector workers who earn an average of $8.20 per hour. According to the new ALEC report, there are also great disparities in the magnitude of unfunded liabilities per capita of OPEB plans in the states. The outlier is Alaska, with more than $13,000 in unfunded liabilities per capita. In contrast, seven states have unfunded liabilities per capita less than $100.

ALECs comprehensive report discusses comparisons between public and private sector benefits, the causes of unfunded liabilities, and how state legislators can successfully address them. An in-depth discussion of Idaho and Californias experiences with unfunded liabilities also provides state legislators with best practices for reform. For example, Idaho recently enacted reforms that significantly reduced the cost of OPEB plans to the state. Idahos contributions to the plan now exceed the required contributions, and the state is on track to eliminate unfunded liabilities in the plan over the actuarial time period.

If other states followed Idahos example and enacted the reforms in their retiree health plans, they could eliminate the $1 trillion in unfunded liabilities in OPEB plans over the actuarial time period, said Dr. Barry Poulson, co-author of Other Post Employee Benefit Plans: A Case for Shifting to the Defined Contribution Approach.
To download a free copy of Other Post Employee Benefit Plans: A Case for Shifting to the Defined Contribution Approach, please visit www.alec.org/opeb .
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-11 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
102. 3/13/11 National Journal article on ALEC's role in a "concerted national effort" to suppress voting
http://www.nationaljournal.com/columns/rules-of-the-gam...

Voting: The Rising Degree of Difficulty
There are new efforts across the country, led mostly by conservative activists, aimed at making it more difficult for people to vote.
Sunday, March 13, 2011 | 12:05 p.m.

-snip-

We seem to be drifting backward, said Robert Brandon, president of the Fair Elections Legal Network. Photo ID provisions seem like a simple fix, said Brandon, but overlook that a disproportionate percentage of elderly, minority, student, and disabled voters lack photo IDs.

Many GOP-controlled legislatures are working from model legislation produced by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative group that has received funding from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, the progressive group Campus Progress recently disclosed. That link points to a concerted national effort that is less about fraud than about stopping people from voting, charged Brandon.

-snip-

The other problem with photo ID laws is that, on closer inspection, they turn out to be just the kind of big-government boondoggle that Republicans profess to hate. In order to withstand a constitutional challenge, such IDs would have to be distributed for freesomething that could ramp up election administration costs by millions, according to the Brennan Center.

-snip-

The biggest danger for Republicans, however, might be political. Students, in particular, are fired up over recent ID and other proposals, said Heather Smith, president of Rock the Vote. She recently posted this message to the groups 2.5 million members: We cannot wait until November of 2012 to express our shock and frustration with a broken system.



The last paragraph is good news. This overreach by the right is starting to provoke a backlash.
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pinkkillersheep Donating Member (155 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-11 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
103. Question about ALEC
Are there any instances of bills among states that are basically copies of each other? For example, language from Wisconsin's anti-union bill directly used in Ohio's? Some of the articles describe the actual legislation being a near perfect copy of the model bill. I'm just wondering if multiple state governments were given the same bill and a number of them implementing it identically.

I apologize if this is answered somewhere. There's so much information to try and take in.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-11 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #103
106. An NPR story I posted a reply about earlier, "Shaping State Laws With Little Scrutiny," has a list
of legislation copying the Arizona immigration law at the end of the article:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=13...

A review of the two dozen states now considering Arizona's immigration law shows many of those pushing similar legislation across the country are ALEC members.

In fact, five of those legislators were in the hotel conference room with the Corrections Corporation of America the day the model bill was written.

-snip-

Copycat Legislation

Since Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law in April, five state legislators have introduced eight bills similar to it. Like SB 1070, four of them were also named "Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act." Lawmakers in many more states NPR interviewed have said they would introduce or support a similar bill.

State ... Bill No. ... Date Introduced ... Status

-snip-


The bill numbers in their list are links to the bills themselves, the text.


I don't know of any similar list for the anti-union bills.

I'd love to have such lists. But the way ALEC keeps non-members from directly accessing model legislation on its website makes it more difficult to compile them. Just using the title of the model legislation isn't enough, since the title can be too generic ("The Voter ID Act") or can be changed. The "Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act" name for the Arizona immigration bill apparently came from Arizona state Sen Russell Pearce, a member of the ALEC task force that drew up their model legislation, but the name of ALEC's model bill is the "No Sanctuary Cities for Illegal Immigrants Act." But they're essentially the same bill, according to everything I've read. The main difference in the bills is that the ALEC bill has harsher penalties for criminal trespassing (no cap on incarceration periods for a first offense, and subsequent offenses are felonies rather than misdemeanors, also meaning longer incarcerations -- and remember, this ALEC bill was co-written by Corrections Corporation of America).

http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/6084/corporate_con_... /

However, ALEC likes to boast about its model legislation being adopted, and there is lots of info about its Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act. This press release from ALEC

http://www.emailwire.com/release/53730-Another-step-tow...

links to this page:

http://www.alec.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=ALEC_s_Free...

The Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act, which was the subject of a front-page New York Times article, has already been filed or prefiled in 38 statesAlabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Lawmakers in an additional three statesMontana, Texas, and Utahhave publicly announced their intentions to file the legislation.

STATUTORY MEASURES ENACTED: Virginia, Idaho, Arizona, Georgia, Missouri, Louisiana
STATUTORY MEASURES VETOED BY GOVERNOR: Oklahoma, Florida
STATUTORY MEASURES PASSED BY ONE CHAMBER: Tennessee

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS ENACTED: Arizona, Oklahoma
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS PASSED BY ONE CHAMBER: Alabama

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS STRUCK FROM BALLOT: Florida

ACTIVE CITIZEN INITIATIVES: Mississippi


This is the NY Times article mentioned there:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/29/us/29states.html
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-11 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
104. June 2010 ALEC press release praises Georgia for copying model legislation limiting right to sue
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/georgia-governo...

Georgia Governor Signs Important Lawsuit Transparency Legislation: Georgia First in Nation to Tackle Implied Rights to Sue

WASHINGTON, June 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) today lauded the Georgia legislature and Gov. Sonny Perdue as he signed S.B. 138 into law, requiring transparency in the legislative creation of new rights for private individuals to sue. ALEC is the nation's largest nonpartisan individual membership association of state legislators, and its model legislation, the Transparency in Lawsuits Protection Act, was the basis for the new Peach State law.

"Often goaded by plaintiffs' lawyers," explained ALEC Civil Justice Task Force Director Amy Kjose, "courts sometimes infer from vague legislative or regulatory language new rights to bring private lawsuits. These so-called 'implied causes of action' can bog down court dockets with frivolous litigation and otherwise work to undermine economic growth and job creation."

The Transparency in Lawsuits Protection Act asks legislators to answer directly the primary question judiciaries consider in the creation of an implied cause of action: Did the legislators intend to create a new right to sue?

"In order to avoid confusion and uncertainty," Kjose continued, "S.B. 138 requires the legislature to qualify legislative intent from the get-go. Consumers, businesses, and their lawyers deserve to know when and where they can statutorily sue or be sued. The enactment of S.B. 138 ends the costly game of trial and error within Georgia's legal system."

S.B. 138 passed with very strong majorities in both the Georgia Senate and the House of Representatives.

Victor Schwartz, a renowned tort law scholar and Private Sector Co-Chair of ALEC's Civil Justice Task Force, offered praise for all involved, saying that, "Bill sponsor Sen. Wiles, House advocate Rep. Ehrhart and Gov. Perdue are to be congratulated for making Georgia the first state to require its legislators, if they intend to create a new way to sue, to say so plainly and directly. Other states should follow suit in ending implied causes of action, or as I like to call them, hidden trial lawyer earmarks."


Emphasis added.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-11 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
105. Legislation from the people who made eugenics and social Darwinism respectable.
Edited on Sun Mar-13-11 10:34 PM by Octafish
...along with racial hatred, neo-feudalism, greedheaded warmongering of the John Birch Society, spinmeisters and traitors of the Old Right.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-11 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #105
113. Yes.
:(
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-11 12:38 AM
Response to Original message
107. ALEC was behind the Three-Strikes-You're-Out and Truth-In-Sentencing laws
http://www.safetyandjustice.org/story/291

ALEC in the House: How Corporate Bias Affects Criminal Justice Legislation
January 31, 2002
Article by Brigette Sarabi

-snip-

Prominent among ALEC's corporate backers are several major stakeholders in prison privatization, including Corrections Corporation of America (CCA); Wackenhut Corrections; and Sodexho Marriott Services, a subsidiary of French multinational Sodexho Alliance, which until last year was a major stockholder in CCA, and now owns the former CCA prisons in the United Kingdom and Australia. CCA, the largest private prison corporation in the U.S., made the Presidents List for contributions to ALECs 1999 States & Nation Policy Summit. Sodexho Marriott and Wackenhut also sponsored the conference.

Representatives from the corporate sector co-chair the task forces that develop ALEC's model legislation. CCA has long held a co-chair position on the Criminal Justice Task Force, as has the National Association of Bail Insurance Companies. These corporate interests have helped make tough criminal justice legislation a specialty of ALEC. In its 1995 Model Legislation Scorecard the organization claimed, "The busiest Task Force was Criminal Justice, which had 199 bills introduced." The report of the Criminal Justice Task Force states: The Criminal Justice Task Force is dedicated to developing model policies that reduce both violent and property crimes in our cities and neighborhoods in an efficient, fiscally conservative manner. ALEC's Truth-in-Sentencing Act and Three-Strikes-You're-Out Act have been the most effective bills supported by the Task Force. At least one of these model bills has been enacted in half of the states in the country. The Task Force continues to explore cost-effective methods for states to manage their criminal justice systems.

-snip-

For most of its 28-year history, ALEC has positioned itself as a conservative voice for states rights, and a dogged opponent of big (i.e. federal) government. With the new Bush administration in the White House, and over 83 ALEC members in Congress, as well as several key Cabinet officials, ALEC may be looking at pushing for more influence at the federal level. At its annual meeting in August, held in New York, several key federal players were active participants. These included U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, Health & Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson (an ALEC alum), and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham.

According to the Wall Street Journal, part of the focus of this years annual meeting was a new ALEC report that claims states have set themselves up for potential disaster over the last decade with new spending. Nowhere, however, was there any serious mention of incarceration as a primary driver for the increase in state budgets. Could it be that the corporate interests that influence much of our public and tax policy hate government spendingexcept when it comes to spending that benefits their bottom line? And lets face it, prisons are big business. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that this year ALEC awarded its Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award to Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne, who heads the state that had the fastest growing incarceration rate in the country last year. Then again, maybe thats just a coincidence. Maybe.



The article explains how ALEC's "well-coordinated efforts to completely overhaul criminal justice policies in certain target states" led to huge increases in spending -- for instance, in Pennsylvania under ALEC member Gov. Tom Ridge, who called a special session that saw 30 crime bills introduced, most based on ALEC legislation, and $87 million of state funding going to build new prisons.

The first of the four paragraphs I quoted there mentions Wackenhut as one of ALEC's corporate backers. As Rachel Maddow pointed out in an amusing story recently, Scott Walker had hired Wackenhut guards to replace Milwaukee's security guards in his first attempt at union-busting. Wackenhut's involvement in ALEC probably had something to do with that.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-11 09:19 AM
Response to Original message
108. Minn Public Radio: Union official says ALEC is behind new bills taking aim at public worker benefits
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/03/14... /

-snip-

Parry is one of the authors of the bill. It calls for the state as well as cities, counties and school districts to cut pension contributions by 3 percent across the board.

-snip-

Parry also wants to shift state workers from a traditional health insurance plan to a high-deductible plan paired with a $2,500 contribution to a health savings account for workers and their families.

"This is a unilateral pay cut," said AFSCME Council 5 Executive Director Eliot Seide.

-snip-

"I think this is precisely the plan laid out by Gov. Walker and the American Legislative Exchange Council, which is run by right-wing extremist billionaires and other cheap labor conservatives, to divide public workers against private workers and to drive down the wages and benefits of all workers," Seide said.

-snip-
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-11 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
109. ALEC involved in a FLA GOP bill criminalizing taking photos or video of farms
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kurt-friese/the-factory-f...

Remember all those videos you've seen lately depicting various forms of animal cruelty and other heinous practices in some large agribusiness facilities? Here's one I told you about last year. In Florida, the newly ensconced legislature is about to make the production of such videos a felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Had this bill been in force a few years ago, it might well have been used to put all the people behind the famous documentary Food, Inc. in prison.

The bill, filed as SB 1246 by Florida state senator Jim Norman, (R-Tampa), is likely to pass both houses of the Republican led legislature and be signed by Gov. Rick Scott.

While no one condones breaking and entering or trespass, this bill is clearly not meant to address that. It may as well be titled "The Factory Farm Environmental Degradation and Animal Cruelty Protection Act." It's sole purpose is to prevent the embarrassment and public exposure of the uglier side of American agriculture. They want to make sure that the only story you see or hear is the bucolic rolling hills and Old-MacDonald image that large agribusiness and their lobbyists want you to see.

-snip-

As my friend Chris Bedford pointed out recently,

"This development (perhaps part of a larger American Legislative Exchange Council ALEC initiative) in and of itself does not signal the end of anything. But proposals like this one and Michigan's HB 4306 (which mandates privatization of non-classroom school functions including food service) should be seen in the context of the larger push back against the local food revolution... that will be at the heart of the Farm Bill 2012 debate."


-snip-
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-11 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #109
121. Bill Berkowitz wrote about this ALEC-backed attack on anti-factory farm activists in 2003:
http://dissidentvoice.org/Articles5/Berkowitz_Animal-Ac...

Anti-factory Farm Activists Under Fire
State Legislatures Launch ALEC-backed Attack on Anti-factory Farm and Animal Rights Campaigners
by Bill Berkowitz
Dissident Voice
June 7, 2003

-snip-

Authored by Representative Ray Allen of Grande Prairie, HB 433 amends the state's penal code whose prohibited offenses already include vandalism, arson, breaking and entering, theft of an animal or natural resource, and trespassing. The Texas American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is concerned that if passed and signed into law, HB 433 would make it a Class B misdemeanor to take photographs or to videotape in an animal or natural resource facility.

-snip-

Behind many of the bills being introduced across the country is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Mike Flynn, director of policy for the Arlington, Virginia-based organization, told ENS that he thought the language was appropriate and that it was a response to a growing problem that needs its own category of legislation. ALEC, a corporate sponsored and funded association of hundreds of state-based legislators, often provides legislators and their staff with model legislation.

-snip-



Reply 89 here, about ALEC's legislation concerning "eco-terrorism," has a link to a PDF file with ALEC's model bill, including the section about this. The recent bills -- there's one in Iowa as well -- focus mainly on criminalizing taking photos or video, rather than trying to get legislatures to pass ALEC's entire "eco-terrorist" bill.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-11 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
110. ALEC behind the National Debt Relief Amendment resolutions calling for a constitutional convention
http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/article.aspx...

National Debt Relief Amendment in North Dakota Senate Committee
Feb. 8, 2011

Note: The following is testimony from North Dakota state Sen. Curtis Olafson regarding his resolution that, if adopted, would place that state on the list of those calling for a National Debt Relief Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Michigan lawmakers are also considering this proposal.

~~~~~

North Dakota Senate Judiciary Committee Testimony

District 10 State Senator Curtis Olafson

January 19th, 2011

I am here this morning to provide information on Senate Concurrent Resolution 4007. This resolution is part of a nationwide effort to invoke our rights as a state legislature under Article V of the US Constitution to make application to Congress to convene an Amendments Convention. The proposed amendment is contained in the text of the resolution and specifies that "An increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate states."

This idea was first proposed by Restoringfreedom.org and has been thoroughly researched by the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. It has also just recently been adopted as model legislation by the American Legislative Exchange Council. The nationwide effort is called the National Debt Relief Amendment and North Dakota is the first state in the US in which the resolution is being heard in committee. The resolution has prime sponsors in about 8 states so far with potential prime sponsors in about 6 other states seriously considering sponsorship.

-snip-
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-12-11 07:54 AM
Response to Reply #110
215. ND Passes - LA Considers ALEC National Debt Relief Amendment (NDRA) - ND SCR 4007 in LA no #
...should probably start new thread for this National Debt Relief Amendment, going to be more of these. But post individual states as they come on board here for tracking purposes.

North Dakota the First to Pass New Tactic Against Federal Debt
Budget, Constitution, Featured By Fergus Hodgson
April 12, 2011
http://www.thepelicanpost.org/2011/04/12/north-dakota-t... /

NEW ORLEANS, La. An amendment that would mandate state approval of federal debt has achieved a major milestone towards ratification. On Thursday, North Dakota became the first state legislature to approve a convention for ratification of the National Debt Relief Amendment.
(break)
At least seven other states, including Louisiana, either have pending resolutions or legislative sponsors for the same proposed amendment. Rep. Kirk Talbot (R River Ridge) and Rep. Nick Lorusso (R New Orleans) have agreed to introduce the NDRA resolution into the Louisiana legislature, which reads:
An increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate States.
(break)
The American Legislative Exchange Council, the nations largest nonpartisan association of state legislators, has endorsed the NDRA and in January released model legislation. Noble Ellington (R Winnsboro), a third Louisiana representative, is chair of ALEC, and he too has voiced his support for the National Debt Relief Amendment.
Additionally, the Goldwater Institute {Heritage 'franchise' in AZ}, a nonpartisan Arizona-based policy institute, has lead educational events and published research on how the amendments convention would proceed.
(break)
Many organizations that support restrained federal debt harbor fears of a runaway amendments convention that it could radically change the U.S. Constitution. The John Birch Society and the Eagle Forum, for example, have worked against NDRA resolutions in Utah, Missouri, and Arizona. Matthew Spalding, a constitutional scholar with the Heritage Foundation, has also described the Article V process as dubious, unpredictable, and inclined to ongoing litigation.

Booth says restoringfreedom.org and the Goldwater Institute are working to debunk the myths surrounding the amendments convention. (Click below for one of restoringfreedom.orgs such videos.)

EXAMPLE video provided LINK:
Debunking the Myths of a Runaway Convention
by RestoringFreedom
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc9MysYWj68

North Dakota State Senator Curtis Olafson (R Edinburg) sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution 4007.
Lousianna State Rep. Noble Ellington (R Winnsboro) is LA State Chair of ALEC

NOTE: ALEC's 38th Annual Meeting called "Solutions For The States" will be New Orleans, Louisiana, at the beginning of August.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-11 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
111. ALEC's "State Budget Reform Toolkit" - link:
Edited on Tue Mar-15-11 09:41 AM by highplainsdem
http://www.alec.org/am/pdf/tax/Budget_toolkit.pdf

This is about 40 pages -- way too much to quote. But basically this is their blueprint for crippling and privatizing state government, selling off public property and land, and busting unions.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #111
117. Link to the separate topic about the "toolkit":
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Snoutport Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-11 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
112. kr
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-11 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #112
123. Thanks!
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Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-11 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
114. Will somebody PLEASE send a link to this discussion to Rachel!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
115. Koch-funded group (ALEC) mounts cut-and-paste attack on regional climate initiatives
From Grist:

http://www.grist.org/article/2011-03-16-koch-group-alec...


I've posted a separate topic about this

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

but want to save the link here as well.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-11 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #115
120. SustainableBusiness.com has now picked up this story:
"Koch Brothers Working on Killing US Regional Climate Initiatives"

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.di...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-11 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #115
124. BlueHampshire.com post on this attempt in NH, with the bill's language:
http://bluehampshire.com/diary/12378/kochfunded-organiz...

ALEC State Withdrawal from Regional Climate Initiatives:

WHEREAS, there has been no credible economic analysis of the costs associated with carbon reduction mandates and the consequential effect of the increasing costs of doing business in the State of ______;

WHEREAS, forcing business, industry, and food producers to reduce carbon emissions through government mandates and cap-and-trade policies under consideration for the regional climate initiative will increase the cost of doing business, push companies to do business with other states or nations, and increase consumer costs for electricity, fuel, and food;


HB 519 (as introduced):

I. There has been no credible economic analysis of the costs associated with carbon dioxide emissions reduction mandates and the consequential effect of the increased costs of doing business in New Hampshire.

II. Businesses, industries, and food producers have been forced to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as a result of government mandates and cap and trade policies through the regional greenhouse gas initiative, which has increased the cost of doing business, pushed companies to do business with other states or nations, and increased consumer costs for electricity, fuel, and food.





The blog also quotes the Grist article where it says that the Republican state representatiive who sponsored the bill "looked a bit like a dog caught with the family cat in its mouth when he was asked to explain the language at a public hearing; he nervously said that none of the bills sponsors had written this particular section, but stopped short of revealing ALEC as the source of the text."
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
116. Some Nonprofits Dedicated to Making it More Difficult for People to Register and Vote
This is from Nonprofit Quarterly, and although it's partly based on the National Journal article I posted a reply about earlier, I want to link to this and quote it to show that now a management journal for nonprofit leaders is paying more attention to ALEC:

http://www.nonprofitquarterly.org/index.php?option=com_...

Some Nonprofits Dedicated to Making it More Difficult for People to Register and Vote

March 16, 2011
rick cohen


March 13, 2011; Source: National Journal | Our nation needs people to vote. It's essential to our democratic process. Nonprofits have increasingly been active in helping get voters registered and educated, notably the Nonprofit Voter Engagement Network which has been profiled in the pages of Nonprofit Quarterly. But some organizations it seems have quite a different idea about this.

For example, a Texas-based Tea Party organization called "True the Vote" issued a warning about electoral fraud, having found that "precinct judges . . . help people vote." As Eliza Carney of the National Journal says, "One would hate to think of a poll worker helping someone vote." True the Vote and others are so exercised about this that they have planned a national summit in Houston on March 25 to train citizen volunteers to act as poll watchers during the 2012 elections.

-snip-

New Hampshire recently considered, and rejected, a law to restrict student voting. These initiatives seem to be exactly contrary to the intent of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). The American Legislative Exchange Council is pitching to Republican controlled legislatures a model bill on restricting voting (under the guise of attacking voter fraud). The model legislation was funded by the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. For all the nonprofit conference discussions of the role of 501(c)(3)s in voter registration and education, nonprofit readers of the Nonprofit Quarterly should realize that there is a well-funded nonprofit movement pushing in exactly the opposite direction.Rick Cohen

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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-11 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
118. ALEC tries but fails to eliminate the capital gains tax in Arkansas
http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article.aspx?aID=126091...

UPDATED: Ed Garner's Capital Gains Tax Cut Fails in Senate Committee
By Mark Carter
3/16/2011 1:52:27 PM

The bill to eliminate the state's capital gains tax fell one vote short of approval in a Senate committee on Wednesday.

HB1002, by Rep. Ed Garner, R-Maumelle, was approved in the Arkansas House but received only four voice votes on the eight-member Senate Revenue & Tax Committee, split evenly between Republicans and Democrats. It needed five to pass.

-snip-

The Department of Finance & Administration officially opposed the bill, reflecting the stance of Beebe, whose influence was evident in committee. DFA's Tim Leathers testified against it, citing a $68.5 million revenue impact and lack of guarantee that exempting capital gains earners from the tax would ever produce offsetting revenue.

-snip-

Also testifying for the bill were Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce director Randy Zook; Adrian Price, Business and Economics Division faculty chair at Little Rock's Philander Smith College, and Jonathan Williams, tax and fiscal policy director for the American Legislative Exchange Council, a national association of state legislators.



Note that the director of ALEC's Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force testified in favor of the bill.

Ed Garner, the legislator who sponsored this bill -- which would have cost the stste $68.5 million in lost revenue -- is a member of that task force, according to this press release from ALEC:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-study-outli...

Garner's Facebook profile has a Note saying his bill "follows ALEC model legislation by eliminating anti-growth state capital gains taxes on businesses and properties throughout the state of Arkansas."

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150105062378...

That Facebook Note is a copy of an "Issue Alert" sent by the task force to "ALEC Arkansas Public Sector Members" -- the state legislators who are members of ALEC -- telling them, last month, to ignore the estimated revenue losses as "severely misguided."

So ALEC not only provides the model legislation, but it sends out alerts to its legislator members advising them how to vote and telling them to ignore evidence that ALEC legislation is harmful.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-11 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
119. Dem. Montana state rep points out GOP rep's health care "freedom" bill came from ALEC
Edited on Thu Mar-17-11 02:05 PM by highplainsdem
It's still too early to know what will happen with this bill in Montana, but it's always good when Democrats point out when a bill came from ALEC, rather than originating in the state.

http://montana.watchdog.org/2011/03/17/panel-reviews-bi... /

Panel reviews bill prohibiting state from requiring health care
By Phil Drake on March 17, 2011

HELENA A House panel on Thursday discussed a bill that would prohibit the state from requiring people to buy health insurance coverage despite an approaching federal mandate. But some members took note that no one from the public showed up to comment and wondered if any legislation were needed at all.

-snip-

Doesnt that show the problem does not exist? asked Rep. Carolyn Squires, D-Missoula. She then asked if passing the bill could cause confusion for the people who already have insurance. Squires also noted the bill was based on legislation crafted by American Legislative Exchange Council, which describes itself as a nonpartisan membership association for conservative state lawmakers who shared a common belief in limited government, free markets, federalism, and individual liberty.

MacLaren said the ALEC legislation has been proposed in 42 states.

The bill says the state cannot fine an employer or health care provider to participate in a health care system; an employer can pay directly for lawful health care services; and the sale of health insurance in a private health care system is not prohibited.

-snip-



Link to the text of this "Referendum on freedom to choose health insurance coverage" (short title):

http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2011/billhtml/HB0609.htm
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lutefisk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-11 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
122. This needs to be read by more people...nt
:kick:
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 02:14 AM
Response to Reply #122
138. Thanks, lutefisk!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
125. Notorious Pro-Corporate Group ALEC's Hidden Role in Stoking Class War in WI and the Rest of America
http://www.alternet.org/story/150001/notorious_pro-corp...

AlterNet / By David Rosen
Notorious Pro-Corporate Group ALEC's Hidden Role in Stoking Class War in Wisconsin and the Rest of America

February 22, 2011 |


The current anti-union campaign being implemented in Wisconsin and other states has the fingerprints of the American Legislative Executive Council (ALEC) all over it.

-snip-

Class war is not a crime in America but rather an aspect of the political process. Not unlike Nazi, fascist or Stalinist collaborators of a half-century ago, today's ruling class "collaborates" have something to gain in looting the wealth of the middle class.

The Koch brothers' predatory practices are accepted as normal business; the activities of Dick Armey's FreedomWorks is accepted as normal astroturf politics; the ideological diarrhea of Christian nationalist bloviators like Glen Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Russ Limbaugh is accepted as news; and the porno politics of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann titillate conservative voters.

ALEC's activities, however, pose a deeper problem. Its practices have long remained hidden, playing a behind-the-scene role effectively using state-legislative stooges to implement the agenda of giant corporations and the super-rich. Its time to shine a bright light on this sinister organization.


That's the first paragraph, and the last three, of a three-page article that's well worth reading in its entirety. It's a good overview.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
126. AMERICAblog: What's the source of these anti-union measures? Meet ALEC
http://www.americablog.com/2011/03/whats-source-of-thes...

What's the source of these anti-union measures? Meet ALEC, a right-wing group that writes state laws for Republicans
by Gaius Publius on 3/20/2011 11:45:00 PM

If it seems that all of this state-by-state union-stripping legislation is coordinated ... that's because it is coordinated. Also pre-written, gift-wrapped and hand-delivered.

Meet ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a national right-wing group that writes "model" legislation for its members. Who are its members? Republican state legislators and private organizations (think ExxonMobil).

Because ALEC is very secretive, only members get to know who its members are, what goes on at meetings, and what legislation is being authored and pushed. But sometimes the light shines through, and sometimes they own up.

About the union-busting laws, ALEC owned up. The New York Times, in the (next-to-last) paragraph of this story, fingers ALEC as the anti-union coordinating group (my emphasis throughout):

-snip-



This is the NY Times link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/04/business/04labor.html

Strained States Turning to Laws to Curb Labor Unions
Published: January 3, 2011

-snip-

The A.F.L.-C.I.O.s internal memo warned labor leaders, With the enormous losses in state legislatures around the country, we will face not only more attacks on working families and their unions we will face more serious attacks, particularly in the formerly blue or purple states that are now controlled by a Republican trifecta.

-snip-

Theyre throwing the kitchen sink at us, said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. Were seeing people use the budget crisis to make every attempt to roll back workers voices and any ability of workers to join collectively in any way whatsoever.

A group composed of Republican state lawmakers and corporate executives, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is quietly spreading these proposals from state to state, sending e-mails about the latest efforts as well as suggested legislative language.

Michael Hough, director of the councils commerce task force, said the aim of these measures was not political, but to reduce labors swollen power. Government budgets have grown and grown because of the cost of employees pensions and salaries, he said. Now we have to deal with that.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
128. Daily Kos: Michigan emergency manager law could bring privatized jails
Edited on Tue Mar-22-11 11:37 AM by highplainsdem
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/03/21/958745/-Michig...

Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 10:20 PM EDT
Michigan emergency manager law could bring privatized jails
by Joan McCarter for Daily Kos

Taking a page from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has made privatizing the state's prison system that much easier.

In addition to allowing previously negotiated union contracts to be voided, Michigans new Emergency Manager law gives appointees the authority to privatize police services and jails.

Indeed, voiding labor contracts and outsourcing government services is a key aspect of how they are expected to balance the budgets of financially stressed towns.


-snip-

It might not result in significant public savings, but it does result in putting more public employees out of work, making it that much easier to break those unions. And in the case of Brewer, it also makes lucrative political sense. And not surprisingly, the same major lobbying organization behind the blueprint for Arizona, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is behind Snyder. What is ALEC?

-snip-

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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
129. ALEC in Alaska: state rep seen at meeting w/ ALEC rep introduces bill copying ALEC
http://www.adn.com/2011/03/21/1768124/bill-would-restri...

Bill would restrict bargaining rights of some public workers

SOME EXEMPTIONS: Alaska measure is similar to Wisconsin's.
By BECKY BOHRER
The Associated Press
Published: March 21st, 2011 10:46 PM
Last Modified: March 23rd, 2011 01:35 AM


JUNEAU-- Collective bargaining rights would be restricted for many Alaska public employees under a bill introduced Monday by a state lawmaker.

Rep. Carl Gatto, R-Palmer, said the bill is similar to one passed recently in Wisconsin and is aimed at keeping the state on sound financial footing. It keeps intact bargaining rights for wages but strips them for such things as health and retirement benefits. The measure exempts police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians, who Gatto says cannot strike.

He likened his bill to the Legislature's doing away with a defined benefits program for workers and replacing it with a defined contribution system. The state is still paying an unfunded liability from the old system, and without the change, "we would've been another $20 billion in the hole," he said. "To get ahead of things is my goal."

-snip-



This is following ALEC's "State Budget Reform Toolkit," which I've posted about here

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

and in this topic as well.

The "Reform State Pensions" section of the "toolkit" says that the "crisis in the states" is partly because of "costly pension and health benefits provided in defined-benefits plans" and it recommends "forming a defined-contribution system."

A quick Google search to see if Gatto's name turned up linked to ALEC found this blog about him attending an ALEC "recruiting" session at the Alaska state capitol a month ago:

http://whatdoino-steve.blogspot.com/2011/02/alecs-clint...

Thursday, February 24, 2011
ALEC's Clinton Woods Helping Legislators Fight Obamacare, the EPA, and Other Conservative Nightmares


Like lots of other people, I looked into room 106 of the Capitol because it was lunch time and someone had provided free sandwiches, potato chips, fruit, and cookies to attract legislators and staffers to their talk. I had no idea who was talking. The bins were full. You can see that lots of folks made off with sandwiches. But only a few stayed. I got a sandwich for a nearby staffer, but there was nothing vegie, and I had brought my own, so I only took a banana for me.

It turned out to be the American Legislative Exchange Council - an organization I hadn't heard of. A young man named Clinton Woods was recruiting people for this organization which is a smaller competitor of two other organizations state legislators traditionally belong to:

-snip-

I noticed Rep. Carl Gatto there. He reported last year getting $2249.68 to attend a Heartland Institute conference in New York on International Climate Change. Heartland doesn't believe much in Climate Change and pushes market solutions in any case. Also present were Reps. Keller and Tammie Wilson and Sen. Dyson.

Their brochures made their position on the political spectrum fairly clear. This is not a neutral better government organization. It's an anti-government organization.

-snip-


The blogger has a picture of some of the ALEC materials there, including the State Budget Reform Toolkit.
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
130. ALEC has flown under the radar until now.
The only way to stop it is to expose it, to talk about it and keep talking about it in order to raise awareness. That coordinated legislative agenda is one of the keys to the vast right-wing conspiracy.
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
131. If Richard Mellon Sciafe is involved there is sure to be a theocratic aspect to it as well.
He's notorious for funding Christian Reconstructionist organizations like the Chalcedon Foundation. That could well explain the epidemic of socially regressive, anti-woman legislation we've been seeing recently in states with Republican governors.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #131
132. And there's ALEC's legislation for school vouchers and tuition tax credits, mentioned in a
number of replies here.

TheocracyWatch.org has some mentions of ALEC. See these links:

http://www.theocracywatch.org/environment.htm

http://www.theocracywatch.org/taking_over.htm

A group of Republican strategists who had worked on Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign were worried. Goldwater had been soundly defeated, and the strategists feared that the base of the Republican Party -- primarily southern segregationists and the very wealthy -- was too narrow. So they set out to expand the base calling themselves the New Right. Goldwater was not part of the New Right.

One member of the New Right, Republican Strategist Paul Weyrich, founded the Heritage Foundation in 1973 -- a think tank to promote the ideas of the New Right. Weyrich also founded ALEC, The American Legislative Exchange Council in 1973 to coordinate the work of Religious Right state legislators. ALEC initially positioned itself as a counterweight to liberal foundations and think tanks, focusing on social issues like abortion and the Equal Rights Amendment, but became a magnet for corporate lobbyists.

-snip-

In 1979 Weyrich coined the term "Moral Majority." Their goal was to politicize members of fundamentalist, Pentecostal and charismatic churches - a constituency that had been basically apolitical.
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #132
133. Thanks for the additional support and documentation.
I forgot about Paul Weyrich until you reminded me.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #133
135. You're very welcome! And thanks for mentioning the theocratic aspect, since it reminded me of links
I'd run across earlier but hadn't posted yet.

:hi:
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
134. AlterNet, 2007: The Theocratic Agenda Is Heading for a Statehouse Near You
http://www.alternet.org/rights/48977 /

The Theocratic Agenda Is Heading for a Statehouse Near You
Well-coordinated "faith-based" initiatives and anti-evolution lobbying in state capitols from New Jersey to Colorado signal a stealth national strategy by Religious Right organizations.
By Rob Boston


March 10, 2007 |
Utah seems like a strange state to experiment with voucher subsidies for religious and other private schools.

Politically and culturally, the Beehive State is dominated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons). Seventy percent of the state's residents belong to the church. Most Mormons are content to send their children to public schools, where they are often released during the school day for religious instruction offsite. There aren't even many private schools in Utah.

Yet last month, the Utah legislature fast-tracked a sweeping voucher bill. It whipped through the House and Senate and was quickly signed by Gov. John Huntsman Jr. The measure contains no income cap and would offer vouchers ranging from $500 to $3,000 to virtually every student in the state. Regulation is light: Participating schools would have to enroll at least 40 students, provide results of standardized tests and submit to an outside audit once every four years.

What happened? Voucher opponents say it all boils down to one acronym: ALEC.

-snip-



This is a two-page article, well worth reading. Not all the legislation mentioned is from ALEC, but some of it is. Earlier replies in this thread give other examples that definitely are from ALEC.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-24-11 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
136. ALEC fiscal-report author in Maine to help rally support for LePage's propsals
http://new.bangordailynews.com/2011/03/23/politics/supp... /

Supporters of LePages budget cuts rally in Augusta
By Kevin Miller, BDN Staff
Posted March 23, 2011, at 9:51 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine Dozens of Gov. Paul LePages supporters gathered in the State House on Wednesday to defend budget proposals that they said would create jobs and bring much-needed tax relief to Maine residents and businesses.

The crowd of about 75 people was much smaller than gatherings by hundreds of union members who have filled the hallways of the State House in recent weeks opposing LePage administration proposals that would affect state employee pensions and health benefits.

-snip-

Earlier Wednesday, a co-author of a report titled Rich States, Poor States by the American Legislative Exchange Council said LePages tax cut and pension reform proposals could help Maine improve its economic outlook ranking of 44th out of the 50 states.

We think it is a great start, said Jonathan Williams, director of the tax and fiscal policy task force for the council, a national organization of state legislators that promotes federalist and conservative public policy. But it is certainly not going to move Maine into the Top 10 states overnight.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-24-11 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
137. Kansas House approves ALEC resolution calling EPA's air-quality rules harmful to national economy
http://www.fox4kc.com/news/sns-ap-ks-xgr--epacriticism,...

Kansas House approves resolution calling EPA's air-quality rules harmful to national economy
By Associated Press
9:23 a.m. CDT, March 24, 2011

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) The Kansas House has approved a resolution saying the Environmental Protection Agency's air-quality regulations are hurting the national economy.

-snip-

The Wichita Eagle reports that the resolution is a near copy of one offered to state legislatures by the American Legislative Exchange Council. The Washington-based organization says it has 2,000 state legislators as members. It is largely funded by oil, chemical and corporate interests, including foundations controlled by Wichita-based Koch Industries.

-snip-



It's really encouraging to see news stories mentioning not only ALEC but Koch Industries funding ALEC.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
139. U. of Wisconsin professor targeted by state GOP after his blog post about ALEC
Link to the TPM article about it:

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2011/03/my_wo...

-snip-

Bill Cronon -- or William Cronon, as I think of him -- is a Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin. A few days ago he wrote an oped in the Times critical of Gov. Walker and his push to abolish collective bargaining rights for public employees in Wisconsin. About a week before that, he wrote a blog post -- the first in a new blog called Scholar as Citizen -- examining just who's behind this big anti-union push. He focused on a group called ALEC (The American Legislative Exchange Council).

Now, so far, nothing particularly controversial about any of this. But then it took a dark turn. Or perhaps better to say, then the story got into gear with everything else we've seen out of the Walker administration over the last three months.

Less than two days after Cronon published the blog post, the Wisconsin Republican Party filed a state open records request to gain access to Cronon's personal emails to get a look at what communications or discussions or sources or anything else went into writing it.

Now, 'personal' is up for some reasonable debate here. This is his university email. And he's a Professor at the University of Wisconsin, the state university. So he's a state employee. Still, he's not an elected official or someone doing public business in the sense you'd ordinarily understand the term. Nor are they looking at anything tied to the administration of the University, which is legitimately a public matter. In the ordinary sense we tend to understand the word it's his personal email. And the range of requested documents leave no doubt about what they're after.

-snip-



Link to Cronon's 3/15 blog post about ALEC:

Whos Really Behind Recent Republican Legislation in Wisconsin and Elsewhere? (Hint: It Didnt Start Here)
http://scholarcitizen.williamcronon.net/2011/03/15/alec /


Link to what he wrote about the Wisconsin GOP's reaction:

Abusing Open Records to Attack Academic Freedom
http://scholarcitizen.williamcronon.net/2011/03/24/open...
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #139
142. WI Prof attack proves that ALEC investigations are hitting a nerve...
... keep pushing and plugging. This is national news, just have to breakthrough. Think that legal teams at both Maddow and Ed Show are being cautious about ALEC mentions. Ed ran "Ghostwriting the Law" as a caption, but no direct mention of "ALEC" in the Mother Jones piece by Andy Kroll on the Ed Schultz Show, March 24, 2011:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/42261451#422614...

They do have a couple hundred lawyers, 45% of membership is 'private sector' i.e. legal staffs and lobbyists.

See you also stopped by to hat tip Dr. C...

AND Salon joins in the coverage in "Wisconsin's most dangerous professor" Friday, Mar 25, 2011 15:12 ET:
http://www.salon.com/technology/how_the_world_works/201... /

The Nation, Slate, Salon... and counting...
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
140. More ALEC LINKS and new POST - Mother Jones: Michigans Mackinac Center/Heritage/ALEC Behind EFM Law
Just posted this on Kos (nobody cares about ALEC over there - it's turned into twitter with 247 vs. 147 characters I guess... sigh). Might spend more time here in DU using the serious old school ways.

Mother Jones: Michigans Mackinac Center/Heritage/ALEC Behind EFM Law (Stories and More)

JUST A CLIP:
This mess in Michigan and Wisconsin is just the tip of the iceberg of what is happening across the Country in a nationally coordinated effort to put in place dozens (if not hundreds) of bills and laws written by corporate interests (using ALEC) to close the door on not just labor, but completely takeover how America's laws at the State level, systematically state-by-state, are created and introduced.

In Michigan we had 39 bills, then 46 bills, now over 50+ bills in the system. Ask yourself: Where did all this come from?

More on the Mother Jones article and much more to the story with links to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
IN THE ORIGINAL POST...


COUPLE TIPS:
Here are some basic instructions posted on March 12, 2011 by D.B.A. Press:"Quick and Dirty: Tracking ALEC model legislation through real legislatures"

AND posted by another investigator find your states ALEC members using their own website (nice huh?):

Text Luckily, lazy technology makes this possible to an extent. On the ALEC website, they have a Forgot Password page, like most sites do. However, the process for resetting a password only requires an email address with no other information, and it gives immediate confirmation as to whether or not that email is registered in the system:

http://www.alec.org//AM/Template.cfm?Section=Login&Temp...

Using this page, I was able to verify Rep. Jeff Fitzgeralds membership in a few seconds using the email address on his state web page (Rep.Fitzgerald@legis.wisconsin.gov ).

Open up the shades and let the sunshine in, before they figure out this loophole and close it.


Thank you DUers, for proving we, and the brave Prof at UofWI, were not crazy by working so hard on this ALEC story.

Keep pluggin' see some cracks forming (in MI at least, folks getting nervous).

-- HS
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #140
141. welcome to DU! digging into these links now.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-11 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #141
144. AZ Immigration Law in TN based on ALEC Model
Here is one for you in TN, it's been pulled from on-line but found a cache for you:
http://www.saveourstate.info/showthread.php?t=3106

Behind the scenes is the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a Washington, D.C., think tank that provided Ketron with a template for his bill. ALEC, a national nonprofit organization for GOP state legislators, has Tennessee lawmakers as members. CCA is a corporate member and attended a meeting this year where the think tank adopted the Arizona law as model immigration legislation.
Private prison critics fear that CCA will use its influence to pass the Arizona law in Tennessee, while immigrant advocates point to the devastating effect the law could have on the state's economy. CCA officials deny any such legislative agenda.

(break)

The starting point for Ketron was a draft bill provided by ALEC, which has quietly become a trusted resource for conservative lawmakers, including a contingent from Tennessee. Earlier this year, six members from the state House of Representatives attended ALEC's annual conference in San Diego. Taxpayers paid for the trip at a cost of $15,000.
State Rep. Ryan Haynes, R-Knoxville, who attended the August trip, said lawmakers used the conference to get ideas for new legislation.
"You literally look at legislation that other states have passed or are proposing," Haynes said. "You sit around a table and discuss it, and then you vote on the legislation you think should be model legislation" for ALEC.
But ALEC comprises more than just legislators. Corporations also sponsor the organization and attend its conferences. Among those is CCA, though the prison company stated on its website that it does not vote on proposed model legislation.
CCA has vehemently denied that it played a role in pushing the Arizona law.
"We have given no support of any kind or opposition," CCA spokesman Steve Owen said. "We've had zero involvement with any immigration law in any part of the country, including Arizona."
However, CCA was at least in the room as ALEC adopted the Arizona law as the model legislation that is the premise for Ketron's bill. An ALEC representative said CCA attended the meetings where the model legislation was drafted.
"They can pay as a nonmember and come to a meeting and sit in on a task force meeting," said ALEC spokeswoman Raegan Weber. "To my knowledge, that is what CCA did. They had nothing to do with the construction of the bill."


We know from the NPR investigation (October 2010) this statement by ALEC PR (Weber) is not true and the legislation was originally written in a hotel conference room with ALEC and the CCA.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-11 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #140
151. Thanks, Hector! Here are more links about the Mackinac Center and ALEC:
From the Mackinac Center's website:

http://www.mackinac.org/14443

State Legislators' Guide to Repealing ObamaCare
1/27/2011 4:25 PM

The American Legislative Exchange Council has just published a State Legislators Guide to Repealing ObamaCare. However, the 15-point summary prepared by ALEC staff and posted below is a Mackinac Center/MichCapCon.com online exclusive, because to our knowledge this bullet-point version not been published except in hard copy:

Executive Summary: ALECs State Legislators Guide to Repealing ObamaCare

1. Introduce ALECs Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act, the primary legislative vehicle for state pushback of the individual mandate and Canadian-style, single-payer health care.

-snip-



Link to the ALEC guide that's summarizing:

http://www.alec.org/AM/pdf/hhs/State_Leg_Guide_to_Repea...


If you just go to Google and search for

site:mackinac.org "american legislative exchange council"

that will turn up all the pages on the Mackinac.org site referring to ALEC. Over 170 Google results.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-11 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #151
154. Thanks - TIP Look for ALEC and State Level Think Tank Co-authoring (MI Mackinac Center)...
... of Reports, Presentations, Agendas, Meetings, etc.

That is a good solid way to show **direct relationships to the State Level (Heritage) Think Tanks** in your state. Have done that for Michigan, very useful. ALSO leads you to State Legislators and State Level candidates and officials.

AND if you are working an issue ALEC infestation - in our case the budget fight - track the ALEC director(s) (there are 'private sector' and 'public sector' and actual 'legislators') for a target issue or "task force".

On budget and taxes the guy is **Jonathan Williams**, director of the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Little bugger is from MICHIGAN too, Northwood grad.

See him on Glenn Beck (May 2009) talking about States:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLCn7d-NFoU

See him on The News Hour (Feb 18, 2011) being the Red Team on Union Rights:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/jan-june11/wisc...

If you follow these Directors, that will lead you to their visits to your state or talks on your topic (and there ALWAYS is one, trust me).
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #140
160. The Mackinac Center is now going after Michigan professors' emails. Link:
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-11 07:16 PM
Response to Original message
143. WSJ Circling OH SB 5 - "Ohio GOP Revises Union Bill: Lawmakers, Fearing Legal Fights/ Backlash..."
WSJ team is using blog posts in this story, mention of ALEC, but NOT direct connection to Ohio Senate Bill #5 - the anti-Union bill as ALEC 'model'

"Ohio GOP Revises Union Bill: Lawmakers, Fearing Legal Fights and a Voter Backlash, Soften Some Provisions" on MARCH 25, 2011, 6:46 P.M. ET:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703696704...


COLUMBUS, OhioThe most ambitious attempt by a state this year to restrict union rights is being scaled back to reflect some Republicans' concerns that it is vulnerable to legal challenges and would spark a backlash.

The leader of the effort to downsize Ohio Senate Bill 5 is Sen. Bill Seitz, a conservative who was behind the state law banning same-sex marriages and rules limiting damages in civil cases. Mr. Seitz and five other Republican state senators voted against the bill and are pressing for revisions in the state House, which is considering the bill now.

(break)

Newly elected Ohio Gov. John Kasich has pushed for the bill, saying local governments need flexibility to rein in labor costs across the state, which faces an $8 billion shortfall.

The current Ohio bill goes further in scaling back public-employee union rights than the controversial measure recently passed in Wisconsin, which was opposed by five Republican lawmakers there.

Some Republicans say the Ohio bill risks a voter backlash, drawing parallels with the Republican Revolution of 1994 that gave Republicans control of the U.S. House. Two years later, the GOP gave up some gains to Democrats, with some Republicans blaming overly aggressive moves by then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

(break)


Mr. Seitz believes the bill could be tossed out by voters unless some changes are made. "I am cast in an unlikely role" as the improbable labor ally, he said. The lawmaker was named "legislator of the year" in 2008 by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group of more than 2,000 lawmakers nationwide who support free markets and limited government.


Newt of course is ALEC centric in his bid for POTUS in 2012, and spoke to ALEC recently in Dallas - the "replace the left" thing and using the states as "a laboratory of change".
http://www.aei.org/speech/100180

Don't hold your breath on the WSJ breaking this, but they are on it, no doubt.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-11 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
145. KICKING
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Generic Other Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-11 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
146. Has anyone made a handy chart of the vast rightwing conspiracy?
How close are these people to the top? Where do I go to play "7 degrees of rightwing bacon"?

Scaife
Koch
Cooers
Murdoch
Heritage Foundation
PNAC
Bush
GOP

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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-11 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #146
149. Chart of ALEC and (most of) the 'vast rightwing conspiracy'
HOW IS THIS ONE?

This comes from a report that is not posted with any LINKS from the ALECwatch.org file directory:
http://www.alecwatch.org/cpabrochure.pdf.pdf

PNAC is an off-shoot of CNP, Murdoch is his own orbit, Coors is funding several of the foundations listed on this one.




Sorry, don't know how to make it smaller on DU.
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Generic Other Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-11 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #149
150. wow everybody and their evil mother is here!!
Thanks. Bookmarked under KNOW THY ENEMY.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-11 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #149
152. Wow! Thank you!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-11 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
148. ALEC's Opposition to Net Neutrality
I've already posted about this in a topic about AL Franken's recent statement, "They're coming after the Internet."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

But I want to include the info here, too, and that ALEC press release I quoted there isn't available on ALEC's website at the moment (the site is down this morning).

______

Common Cause lists ALEC as one of the "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing" for the telecom industry:

http://www.commoncause.org/site/pp.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=...

and has this to say specifically about ALEC:

http://www.commoncause.org/site/pp.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=...

Whether the issue is the environment, education or telecommunications, ALEC's modus operandi is the same. ALEC brings state lawmakers and "their private sector counterparts to the table as equals."<24> Corporate lawyers then assist in drafting "model" legislation that ALEC works to get passed in state legislatures. Mother Jones magazine characterized ALEC's work as "ghostwriting business-friendly bills."<25>

ALEC has accepted contributions from many of the top telecom industry players: AT&T, BellSouth, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, SBC Communications (now merged with AT&T), Sprint, Verizon Communications and more.<26>

In return, ALEC pushes telecom legislation that bars or makes it difficult for local governments to offer broadband Internet services to their citizens, even in areas where the telecom giants have determined it's not economically worthwhile to offer such service, such as rural and low-income areas (view ALEC's "model bill" online). ALEC has backed such bills in a number of states, including Louisiana,<27> Nebraska,<28> and Wisconsin.<29>



This is the press release from ALEC:

The original link that isn't working at the moment:

http://www.alec.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=release_1

Here's the Google cache of that:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:NB...

Another link I found:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/state-legislato...

This is the text of the press release:

State Legislators Oppose FCC's Plans to Re-label and Regulate Internet

August 12, 2010


WASHINGTON, D.C. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) voices its opposition to plans by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to change the status of broadband Internet Service from a lightly-regulated information service to a more heavily regulated telecommunications service.

At its meeting late last week, ALECs Telecommunications & Information Technology Task Force approved its ALEC Broadband Regulation Resolution. The Resolution declares ALECs opposition to the FCCs controversial plan to subject broadband Internet service to a handful of older monopoly-era telephone regulations.

Today the Resolution was delivered to the FCC along with a letter by Connecticut State Representative Bill Hamzy, who serves as Public Sector Chair of ALECs Telecom & IT Task Force. In the letter, the state legislator insists the agency should back off from its controversial plan to subject broadband Internet to heavier regulatory burdens.

ALEC supports the continuation of federal policies that have kept the Internet free from government regulation. Marketplace freedom has encouraged the explosive growth of the Internet and e-commerce in recent years. It would be a grave mistake for the FCC to suddenly reverse course and saddle the Internet with burdensome new regulation. ALEC remains concerned that attempts by federal regulators to impose new restrictions on broadband Internet service will hurt technological innovation, deter private infrastructure investment, and threaten job growth in the states, said Representative Hamzy.

As declared in the Resolution, ALEC urges that the FCC, Congress and state regulatory and legislative bodies refocus their efforts on specific and limited initiatives targeted at ensuring that broadband service is made universally available and affordable to consumers, rejecting overly prescriptive regulations that would harm innovation, investment, and job growth.

In January, over 90 other state legislators submitted a letter to the FCC opposing its plans to impose net neutrality regulation. In 2007, ALEC adopted a Resolution on Net Neutrality, opposing federal and state regulation of network management practices.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-11 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
153. A boom behind bars: Private jail operators are making millions off the crackdown on illegal aliens
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42197813/ns/business-bloomb...

This is a long Bloomberg BusinessWeek article at MSNBC by Graeme Wood, focusing especially on CCA, the Corrections Corporation of America, and mentioning ALEC:

-snip-

CCA's opponents, such as human rights and pro-union groups, say the firm is run by amoral penny-pinchers who are in a business best left to the state because of the perverse incentives prison companies have to lobby the government to adopt policies that will increase America's already high rate of detention. When every prisoner is a daily $100 bill, say these opponents, you'll do everything you can to get as many of them as you can.

-snip-

Its lobbying arm spends on average $1 million to $2 million annually a minuscule amount, CCA says, compared with the lobbying efforts of comparably sized companies and other organizations, such as public employee unions. In fact, the amount is slightly above average for corporations of its size, as judged by publicly available lobbying records maintained by the website OpenSecrets. CCA's opponents, however, say they are more concerned about the effect of the lobbying than the number of dollars spent. They claim the lobbying has resulted in harsher laws, and thus more demand for CCA bed space.

In 2010, National Public Radio reported that the company had lobbied successfully for the passage of Arizona Senate Bill 1070, which permits police to detain suspected illegal immigrants and bring them to a federal facility. According to the report, the controversial legislation was proposed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that brings together legislators and industry members like CCA. When Arizona's Senate passed the law, it created a potentially enormous new reservoir of civil detainees for CCA-operated ICE facilities.

-snip-


Please read the entire article -- there's a link for "more text" that you'll have to click to see all of it.

Notice in the quotes here that CCA tries to suggest it doesn't have much influence on legislation because it spends "a miniscule amount" on lobbying.

Of course, as we know from other sources linked to in this thread, ALEC is considered a charity, so none of the money CCA spends on ALEC to get the legislation it wants counts as lobbying.

Legislation that not only means huge profits for CCA and no real savings for taxpayers, but also leads to the US having the highest incarceration rate in the world.


Link to my separate topic about this article:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-11 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
155. TIP Use "Google Timeline" Search for ALEC and Your STATE
Another useful tool that we have been using is the Google Timeline News Search (Vertical and Horizontal). Very useful and if you add in a person... DANGEROUSLY useful.

EXAMPLE Vertical with ALEC and MICHIGAN(just put in your STATE or ISSUE):
http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en&ned=en&tab=nw#q=%22am...

ALSO the Horizontal (Harder to use maybe):
http://newstimeline.googlelabs.com /

Use the "Quotes" on your searches to return exact text strings.

This might be old hack for many, but just sharing....
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-11 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
156. Wisconsin reporter finds WI GOP health bills mirror ALEC's model legislation
http://host.madison.com/news/local/health_med_fit/vital...

The article mentions the tort reform bill, which I already posted about in reply 86 here, about ALEC congratulating Walker on the bill:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

And she lists several other examples, including Republican lawmakers' proposals for "a pair of bills that would allow insurance policies in Wisconsin to ingore state mandates requiring coverage for a broad variety of medical treatments and conditions, including autism, cochlear implants and mental health problems. One of these bills would allow out-of-state health insurers to offer plans in Wisconsin that do not conform to the state's mandates."

It's good to see reporters keeping track of this now, and Shawn Doherty, who wrote this story, says she'll let readers know if more of this model legislation pops up in Wisconsin.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-19-11 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #156
233. Link to the separate DU topic about this article:
"Capital Times reporter now tracking which WI GOP health care bills mirror ALEC's model legislation"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-28-11 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
157. WI Rep. Robin Vos, co-chair of budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, is ALEC state chair
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 09:33 AM
Response to Original message
158. WI Gov. Walker names former ALEC director & "legislator of the year" to Public Service Commission
Scott Walker has appointed former State Representative Phil Montgomery to the PSC. Montgomery is a long-time ALEC member who was ALEC's Legislator of the Year in 2005, when he was chairman of ALEC's Telecommunication and Information Technology Task Force's Subcommittee on Competition. More recently he was on ALEC's Board of Directors.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's article on this noted Montgomery's campaign contributions from corporations, which he said are "not a concern." Not to him, of course, but they should be to the citizens of Wisconsin. So should the role he's played for the American Legislative Exchange Council and its corporate members.

Here's a link to the separate topic on this

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

which explains Montgomery's "Wisconsin legislative efforts against local government plans for municipally-owned broadband networks and his role in ALEC in taking the campaign national. This campaign both reflects ALECs effective representation of its own corporate telecom clients, and the way it serves that narrow if powerful economic base at the expense of the broader economic interest."

That's a quote from Progressive States Network's report on ALEC

http://www.progressivestates.org/resources/eyeOnTheRigh...

which the separate topic links to.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
159. MI State Senator Denies ALEC Membership at Townhall - Tom McMillin
MI State Senator Denies ALEC Membership at Townhall - Tom McMillin

Just got a note from a brand new blogger that went to confront State Sen Tom McMillin (R - 45 Rochester Hills, MI) last night on his ALEC membership and use of ALEC models in two bills introduced in the Michigan Legislature.

McMillin was one of several documented cases that we pointed out in our INVESTIGATION of ALEC activity and background in Michigan: http://tinyurl.com/49598px

McMillin was "nervous" and "very evasive" when confronted by first one, then three other participants on his ALEC ties. "It doesn't matter" was his response. Will post link to new post here, once we get more details.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-11 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #159
161. Here's the full link for your Daily Kos diary that the tinyurl link goes to:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/03/08/953811/-Gov-Ri...

I want to post that since many people are wary of shortened URLs.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-11 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #159
162. ALEC news: McMillin introduced ALEC resolution to withdraw MI from regional climate initiative
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-11 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #159
163. Btw, that's good news about ALEC's lackeys becoming nervous about being associated with it.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-11 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #159
166. MI VIDEO and POST now up - MI Legislator Denies ALEC Membership
This is a MUST VIEW for ALEC haters everywhere.

Citizen Courage: Guy asking the question is Nam Vet with severe PTSD who said "Screw blood pressure, I gotta do this..." (wow, 6-7 more of these in several States is what we need).

Just got it up on Kos:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/03/30/961742/-Michig... -

ORIGINAL posting by the guy that posted the VIDEO:
http://therochestercitizen.com/who-does-representative-...

Repost to Michigan BloggingforMichigan:
http://www.bloggingformichigan.com/diary/6403/who-doest...

PS Thanks for the TIP no TinyURLs and understand the comments about becoming consumed by this HEINOUS operation of ALEC. Remember the first time I saw ONLY ONE of their lists of models, thought "Oh my God this just can't be..."

Try it (WARNING can alter your perspective):
http://www.alec.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Natural_Res...

Keep pluggin'


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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-11 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #166
167. Hi, Hector! I was just reading it at DKos! Great video of that embarrassed ALEC member!
Thanks for posting the link here!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-11 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #166
168. BTW, when you have time, would you please post a few more messages here so you can use the Inbox?
I tried to write to you yesterday but got a message saying you can't use the Inbox yet. Not sure how many messages you have to post first -- twenty?
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #168
179. Video of denial... great work by folks new to ALEC and...
... and blogging at all. Would like to share more about what happened there but better not. But it's a story of people just finding out about ALEC and the general situation in our State and the Country, and being determined to do something.

CALLING and ASKING ALEC members (once the story hits your State Capital):
1) Describe what ALEC is...
2) Are you a member?
3) Is the State paying your travel and expenses, buying materials too?
4) Have you introduced ALEC models as bills?

...works pretty well, we are seeing that not just on the video case, but a bunch more IRL so to speak.

There another comment, rusty on DU functions, be it's coming back.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-11 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
164. DKos diarist MNDem999: "ALEC - Is Revolting to Me" + separate blog about ALEC
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/03/29/961112/-ALECIs...

I didnt know about the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) until about 8 weeks ago. Since that time it has basically consumed my life. The fact that our State legislators are sitting at the table with companies such as Koch, WalMart and AT&T drafting, deliberating and approving model legislation for our states and our country - makes me sick. The fact that our legislators think this is okay, is revolting to me.

The fact that all the companies that belong to ALEC have the money to lobby our US government and in addition, have the ability to affect the legislation at the State level through ALEC state legislative members, makes me sick. The fact that our legislators at the state and federal government condone this, is revolting to me.

Based on my research I have come to the opinion that ALEC is subverting American democracy and the democratic (small d) process, at all levels of the government, in the name of free markets and federalism (which in this case is a truly horrible thing).

Over the course of the past two months I have spent my nights and weekends trying to find out as much as I could about ALEC. I wanted to know who their members were. I wanted to look at the legislation they were proposing. I wanted to know exactly which of their model legislation was passed as law. I wanted to know what their real philosophy was. I wanted to know what their true purpose was. So I started doing research. Doing research on ALEC is difficult as they scrub of the web quite often, now-a-days.

-snip-



Please read the entire diary. It has lots of links to more information about the American Legislative Exchange Council, including some on the diarist's blog, "Because I Can":

http://becauseican-2old2care.blogspot.com /

One of the blog posts is a list of a few hundred state legislators and governors who are current and former ALEC members. This is still only a small fraction of the total -- ALEC keeps its membership list secret -- but it's still a very helpful resource and I'm grateful to the DKos diarist and blogger for doing this:

http://becauseican-2old2care.blogspot.com/2011/03/is-yo...
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-11 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #164
165. This is very ugly.
What can we do?
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-11 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
169. Press release from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) responding to recent attention
Link to the separate topic about it -- it's too much to copy here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-11 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #169
170. Thanks - Will Jump Over on New Thread on ALEC Press Release 30 March, 2011
This is hot. They really feeling the heat, but not from the MSM, who in general has been extremely cautious NOT TO MENTION ALEC, why? Because most of the flippin' corporate America is using their SERVICES, that's why. Bunk about being a professional association makes me sick.

Jumping over the the other thread (like programing ANS Fortran DU is):
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 08:29 AM
Response to Reply #170
171. Starting Line-by-Line Analysis on PR on other thread...
Starting line-by-line analysis of Press Release now, if you have suggestions QUOTE the PR line and add comments and links on the other Press Release Thread:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Let's work this thing in detail. Must be done.
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Autumn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
172. Bookmarking. Too late to rec
K/R
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
173. Bill Berkowitz, "Smart ALEC: Dragging the Secretive Conservative Organization Out of the Shadows"
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
174. Center for Amer Prog Weighs in.. Finally "Think Again: Conserv Class Warfare Against Free Speech"
LINK:

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/03/ta033111...

ALEC Clip:

It focused on the role of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, which drafts model laws that are then introduced by Republicans in state legislatures as apparently happened in Wisconsin with the new law that seeks to strip the collective bargaining rights of state employee unions. ALEC, which has been around for more than three decades now, proudly claims responsibility for more than 1,000 bills a year and in every state of the union.

Cronon held ALEC significantly responsible for what he termed this explosion of radical conservative legislationan argument he made a few days later as well on the op-ed pages of The New York Times.

Cronon was right about ALEC. His naivet arises in his argument that he never belonged to any political party and he thought letting people know of ALECs role in the drafting of the kinds of laws now sweeping conservative-dominated state legislatures across America was a purely educational endeavor that wouldnt draw the ire of those seeking to dominate politics through this avenue.


Solid piece, based on Cronon and Mackinac Ctr email requests. Not any big ALEC developments, but worth floated in a link or something.

Glad to see they have put this up on radar, useful outfit.

What we need is a DB project to find all ALEC leg and models across the country, they could do that.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #174
175. Thanks, Hector! I like what Eric Alterman had to say there.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 11:06 PM
Response to Original message
176. From northdecoder at DKos: "ALEC Lied On its 2009 Tax Return"
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
177. ALEC for Campus Carry - NRA article and video
Link to that story and video on the NRA site:

http://home.nra.org/?vidid=ALEC+for+Campus+Carry+Hough....


Link to the separate DU topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 11:30 PM
Response to Original message
178. ALEC blocking municipal broadband in North Carolina
Link to jayfish's topic about the legislation to block municipal broadband:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

The news story he linked to:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/03/cable-b...

My reply in that topic, explaining ALEC's involvement (reply 3):

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Link to the May 2010 FAIR article on the background of ALEC's opposition to municipal broadband -- "Big Media and State Lawmakers, Unite! (ALEC fights to keep broadband in private hands)" -- which explains how ALEC "has been working to ensure that control of the information superhighway remains in the hands of a few very powerful corporations."

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4097
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-11 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
180. NYT: (ALEC-guided) State Legislatures Pile Onto Anti-EPA Climate Rule Effort
http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/04/01/01climatewire-s...

Separate topic about this NY Times article, with quotes, summary, and a link back to a related reply in this compilation topic:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-11 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
181. POST Analysis of ALEC Press Release "Setting the record Straight Much ado about nothing Mar 30
POSTED to Kos:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/01/962412/-Americ... -(ALEC)-Releases-FULL-Donor-and-Membership-Lists

Will post to the other thread on the PR, but someone (better skilled on DU tech) might post a new thread. It would be a bear to bring over, know that. Is there an editor for DU formats?

Some typos and grammar STILL not completely fix, but wrote a bunch more have a editing buddy took a look.

It's a LINE by LINE look and it's LONG and EXTENSIVE (sort of) and thanks for some suggestions and links here on DU, very useful as I said before.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-11 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
182. Mont. House backs state power over fed land bill (claiming fed. lands by eminent domain - ALEC bill)
Link to the AP article about this on the Businessweek site:

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9MAS6TO0....

"Can you imagine the economic development that we could possibly have on these federal lands if there are natural resources on there?" one MT state legislator said.

ALEC can, of course, and this appears to be based on ALEC's model legislation, and one of the bill's co-sponsors was mentioned in an ALEC press release.

Link to the separate DU topic about the article, which has links to the Montana bill and ALEC's description of that piece of model legislation:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
183. Conservative group (ALEC) denies it masterminded drive to restrict public employee unions
Link to the separate topic about the Cleveland Plain Dealer article and how the claims from ALEC (don't) match up with facts and ALEC's history:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 07:16 PM
Response to Original message
184. TIP Look in State Legislative Process Guides and Training Materials for ALEC Refs/People
Sigh... this just keeps going.

Found this in the "THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS IN MICHIGAN: A Students Guide" Michigan Versions 2006, 2008 and 2011:

OTHER SOURCES
Yet another source of ideas for bills is the need to update or repeal laws that become out dated or obsolete. The M1ch1gan Law Revi$ion <0mmi$$i0n, for example, issues an annual report recommending changes or amendments to various statutes for the purpose of bringing them into harmony with modern conditions and judicial decisions. In addition, articles published in law reviews may cite specific statutes which have become unworkable and are in need of change.

In instances when suggestions for legislation are in response to a problem with no clear solution, research is essential. In addition to Michigans legislative staff agencies, there are nationwide organizations that monitor state legislation, such as the Council of State
Governments (CSG), the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), or the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). These sources can be tapped in order to discover how other states may have addressed a similar problem. This can be of assistance in drafting legislation to correct a problem in Michigan.


LESSON LEARNED:
Look for ALEC people WITHIN the actual physical process and staffing for legislation drafts and the lawyers that 'volunteer' to review and report on changes.

Found ALEC - just normal way of doing things, ya know - but found EXTREME bad actor in the other org in the first paragraph ties to everything in the big equation (bet dime to a dollar was at the Sept 1973 organizing meeting in Chicago for ALEC. Founder of our Heritage sub. in the State, on various privatization project, did legal study that appears to be work done years ago on our evil recent EFM law the "fin. mar+ia1 bill" .... on and on... been tracking this guy for years.... more but this is not the forum for it. Time to sit down with Dems and have a very serious chat.

The fix was in, for decades... sigh... scotch on Sunday, that bad.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-11 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
185. 744 Bills - More states poised to pursue anti-union legislation (No ALEC) (LATimes 04-01-2011)
... 744 is the number from National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Not sure that NCSL is as bad as ALEC, but some have stated so in all this.

This one slipped by the net (No ALEC mention):

More states poised to pursue anti-union legislation
More than 700 bills, many of them similar to new laws in Wisconsin and Ohio, have been introduced in nearly every state in the country. GOP officials are emboldened, but union supporters are girding for a fight.
By Richard Simon - Los Angeles Times
April 01, 2011
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/01/nation/la-na-un...

More than 700 bills have been introduced in virtually every state. Nearly half of the states are considering legislation to limit public employees' collective bargaining rights. Unions are girding for a fight.
Now that the governors of Ohio and Wisconsin have signed bills to limit public workers' collective bargaining rights, their fellow Republicans in other states are expected to gain momentum in their efforts to take on unions.

(break)

The National Conference of State Legislatures is tracking an explosion of 744 bills that largely target public-sector unions, introduced in virtually every state.

"Almost every week, I read of at least one more bill to restrict union rights at the state level," said John Logan, director of the labor studies program at San Francisco State University.

Nearly half of the states are considering legislation to limit public employees' collective bargaining rights. In New Hampshire, the House last week approved a measure that one union leader assailed as "Wisconsin on steroids."

But it's not just budgetary concerns driving Republican officeholders to take on unions, traditionally a strong Democratic ally.{{stupid statement with NO AND...???? AP stringers}}

(break)

As the fight intensifies, a Gallup poll released Friday shows that 48% of respondents agreed with public employee unions compared with 39% who backed the governors.


No mention of ALEC, no apparent attempt to explain all this. WHERE DID THEY COME FROM press people. Golden chance for a Pulitzer on this story, but no paper/outlet will put these guys in print, either. Why? ownership all ALEC for the most part, vicous ALEC legal team (w 000's lawyer members in support).

How did we get here? Free Press disappearing for a start.

WORKING new communication stat/chart/something - How many FTE/man hours would it take to read and/or write 744 bills, and in Michigan 54 bills (we when from worst State Leg to most productive in 6 weeks - people can't even read the bills in the time they came out). Compare to previous years, etc. Might work, we'll see....
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
186. NYT (ALEC-no-so-guided 2nd round) Conservative Group Drafts, Promotes Anti-EPA Bills in State Legs.
Getting closer NYT is circling, somebody might just may WANT that easy Pulitzer yet.

Conservative Group Drafts, Promotes Anti-EPA Bills in State Legislatures
By AMANDA PETERKA of ClimateWire
Published: April 4, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/04/04/04climatewire-c...

CLIPS:

INTRO -
A Virginia state lawmaker caused a stir in February when he admitted that his resolution declaring U.S. EPA's effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions a "regulatory train wreck" was written by the coal industry.
Republican Delegate Will Morefield's resolution said EPA regulations would have potentially "devastating consequences," called for a "comprehensive study" of their impact on the economy and urged Congress to place a two-year moratorium on new air pollution regulations.
Morefield's resolution was drawn almost word-for-word from model legislation written by the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, which touts its access to almost 2,000 state legislators. The Washington, D.C.-based group claims credit for advancing legislation that it says has undermined climate science and environmental regulation in several states since the late 1990s.
Founded in 1973 by conservative activists and legislators, ALEC calls itself a tool for state lawmakers. The group has both a board of directors composed of legislators and a private enterprise board that includes representatives of Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil Corp., Peabody Energy Corp., the Salt River Project and Energy Future Holdings Corp.
ALEC spokeswoman Raegan Weber said the corporate representatives and their companies are among a few of more than 300 private-sector members. "They are not running our organization," she said.

In 2009, for example, ALEC contributed to 826 bills introduced in the states, dealing with a variety of conservative ideals. Of those, 115 became law, according to the American Association for Justice, which was formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.
"It's not just environmental bills," said Doug Clopp, deputy director for programs at the nonprofit Common Cause. "This is like a corporate libertarian library where you can go if you are a member and literally select bills like you were going through a supermarket off a shelf. You want to deregulate health care reform? They've got the bill for you. You want to deregulate air quality restrictions in the states? They've got a bill for you."
It is not unheard of for groups to push model legislation through state legislatures, but it is also not common, because legislatures generally deal with "nuts-and-bolts issues" that are state-specific, said Larry Morandi, director of state policy research at the National Council of State Legislatures.

There are about 100 models under the heading "Environment, Energy and Agriculture" on the organization's website. All of them are locked to nonmembers.
For a $50-a-year fee, state legislators can join ALEC and gain access to the model legislation.
Louisiana state Rep. Noble Ellington (R) is the current national chairman. Republican state lawmakers David Frizzell of Indiana and John Piscopo of Connecticut serve as first and second vice chairman, respectively. The 19 other public board members are also all Republican.
State legislators get access to the organization's annual meetings, which environmental groups say include perks like golfing. Business groups and leaders can also attend meetings and become members, but for a much steeper fee. According to an ALEC brochure, there are three membership levels for private interests, with the most expensive costing $25,000 a year.

ALEC does not disclose donor information, spokeswoman Weber said. However, environmental groups say the group gets major backing from Koch Industries and major energy companies. A budget reform tool kit, for example, was written in conjunction with the Koch-supported Reason Foundation, the group said.
According to Greenpeace, ALEC received $75,000 from Koch-backed foundations from 2005 to 2008. Koch did not respond to requests for comment.
Also according to Greenpeace, Exxon Mobil has given the group $1.4 million since 1998, some of which has been linked to ALEC's anti-climate change efforts. Exxon Mobil paid $50,000 as a sponsor of last year's annual meeting, according to program notes Schafer retained from last year's meeting.
Environmental groups have criticized ALEC for allowing large corporations to work with legislators to design model legislation at these annual meetings. But ALEC's Woods maintains that the group is "legislator-driven."
"We think there's value to having a variety of voices in shaping our free-market policies," he said.


Very interesting development, only took what? little over a month? at this pace we'll be back to some better form of citizen govt say in 2087?
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #186
187. Thanks, Hector! It's good that the Times expanded on the April 1 article (reply 180) and
made ALEC's involvement much clearer.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
188. GOP MN state legislator claims "no communication" with other states in article mentioning ALEC
Edited on Tue Apr-05-11 12:33 PM by highplainsdem
Of course the evidence suggests otherwise...

Link to the separate DU topic about that article:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the Star Tribune article:

http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/11915693...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
189. OpEd News: Bob Fitrakis on Ohio Republicans' New Jim Crow Voter ID law that Disenfranchises 900,000
Edited on Tue Apr-05-11 12:35 PM by highplainsdem
ALEC is behind this legislation, in Ohio and other states. Fitrakis (editor and publisher of The Free Press) is calling for people to demonstrate against this legislation, and to demonstrate against ALEC at ALEC's Spring Task Force Summit in Cincinnati, April 28-29.

Link to the separate topic about Fitrakis's article:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the article at OpEd News:

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Bob-Fitrakis-on-Ohio-R...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
190. Is the Shadowy World of ALEC & the Koch Brothers Leading the GOP Charge to Suppress the Youth Vote?
Another good article from Bill Berkowitz about ALEC.

Link to the separate DU topic about it:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the article:

http://blog.buzzflash.com/node/12565
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
191. ALEC's role in NC tort reform bill especially heavy-handed -- even a "boot camp" for legislators
ALEC held a "tort reform boot camp" for state legislators, and the ONLY person allowed to speak the next day at the Tort Reform committee meeting was an ALEC board member from GlaxoSmithKline.

Link to the separate DU topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the article from WRAL (Raleigh):

http://www.wral.com/news/state/nccapitol/blogpost/93730...
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #191
198. OMG Amazing Video in WI&MI (EFM) anti-Union in NC No Corp Liability n/t
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
192. ThinkProgress: Koch Front Groups Americans For Prosperity And ALEC Have Taken Over New Hampshire
This article is about ALEC's legislative campaign to get states to withdraw from regional climate initiatives, and how Americans for Prosperity helped get that legislation passed in New Hampshire.

Link to the separate thread about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


Direct link to the article:

http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2011/04/06/koch-front...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
193. Peter Collins show w/Cliff Schecter: ALEC's "corporate-led radical Republican legislative onslaught"
You can listen to the show on Collins' website.

Link to the separate topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


Direct link to that page with the links for listening on Collins' website:

http://peterbcollins.com/2011/04/06/radical-repubs-run-... /

Schecter is a longtime contributor to this program, and is an activist, political media consultant and author of The Real McCain. He describes Ohios Senate Bill 5, a more severe union busting law than Wisconsins, leading to a rebuke of the political malpractice by Obama and Dems in Ohio and DC. While claiming to respond to GOP-created fiscal crises, Republicans are pushing, and often passing, legislation written by ALECthe American Legislative Exchange Councila murky group that goes back to the 1970′s and included John Kasich, now Ohios governor. In Ohio, the budget crisis is also being used to limit abortion rights, expand gun owners rights, and require voter ID, which limits the turnout of Democrats.


It's good to see Peter Collins

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_B._Collins

giving this attention to ALEC.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
194. ALEC ACTION Alert - Important Event in OHIO...
... love that 'action' tag.

Anyone who is one this ALEC story and issue MUST SEE THIS:
http://seeyouincincinnati.com /

Rallies and Work-shops on ALEC during ALEC Conference Apr 28-30
Agenda developing but SITE is UP and RUNNING

Somebody might start a thread, 'they' (sure they have the money to buy the skills) are going to find out about it anyway.

Nice site, clean and 'citizenish' (not by me ALEC spooks, that would be EPQ, right? eye)
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #194
203. Thanks, Hector! Link to the separate topic I posted about this:
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
195. OH ALEC State Rep John Adams on VIDEO - PASS TO?
... don't know who to pass this to, hard enough figuring that out on platforms I can work well, BUT...

Ohio folks (hope one of you can run with this or pass it on):

One of my guys ran across this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x9Bk8XCzDs

The other guy Dr Vedder is a real character - team member still collecting and mining his connections, but they look evil - Mackinac Center (why we hit him) the people that just FIOA'd 3 of our Universities. Vedder VIDEO:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLcedplnGBE

Will post details reply to this post when I get them, OR a 'I got it' would be nice very busy right now.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #195
199. Re Dr. Vedder -- see this news topic I posted in LBN w/ a quote from him & links to
information about him and other YouTube videos.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

He's been associated with ALEC for years and even received an award from them -- something apparently unknown to the reporter who quoted Vedder shrugging off the significance of the GOP using an open-records request to harass Professor Cronon after Cronon wrote about ALEC on his blog. I also explained Vedder's connection to that "wonderful organization" (as he calls ALEC) in a comment on Professor Cronon's blog post about the university chancellor and legal counsel's responses to the open-records request.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
196. SD State Senate Phyllis Heineman (R District 13)
... gets an iPod from the Koch brothers and their billionaire friends, how sweet. WIsh she would have turned around though for a screen capture.

See VIDEO:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLcedplnGBE

Heineman and the Speaker Dr. Richard Vedder.

Investigating the speaker now related to Michigan Mackinac Center, the FOIA whole departments (labor related) at the University of Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State University.

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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
197. ALEC Major Dot Connection - Always ask in a 'perfect world' WHAT do you want?
....that is an expression I ask clients. In a perfect world you might want WHAT?

SOMETHING like THIS:
http://www.sbecouncil.org/legaction/display.cfm?ID=1369

NOTE to Anyone reading: Print this baby to .pdf if you have full Adobe. Not long for this world.

Everyone is in there. Perfect for our immediate purposes. Must be more, on the trail now...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
200. ALEC has a YouTube channel, which includes a speech to ALEC by former member John Boehner
in which Boehner's comments make it clear he views ALEC's private sector (corporate) members as more important than the public sector members (legislators).

Link to the separate DU topic about this, with that quote and a link to the video:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to that YouTube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/AmericanLegislative
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 09:40 PM
Response to Original message
201. NPR just won its third journalism award since last December for stories involving ALEC!
Link to the separate topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Link to the NPR article, which mentions that the investigation which won the latest award involved ALEC, but doesn't explain that another investigation by the same people, which is mentioned toward the end of the article since it won two other awards recently, also involved ALEC:

http://www.wnyc.org/npr_articles/2011/apr/08/npr-news-w... /


Replies 29 and 79 (and 73) above are about these investigations.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
202. ALEC has its own little astroturf site/group: State Budget Solutions, with a Tea Party Patriots link
Click this link for the separate DU topic about State Budget Solutions, whose president is the private sector chair of the ALEC Tax & Fiscal Policy Task Force.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
204. ALEC's plans for state and local workers -- reduce ACCRUED pension benefits to private-sector levels
Link to the topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the article at Stateline.org:

http://www.stateline.org/live/printable/story?contentId...

As explained in the separate topic, which links to ALEC's site, this has now become part of their model legislation.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-11 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
205. ME ALEC "Parental Trigger" Leg - Privatize Failing Schools Rep. Amy Volk (R-Scarborogh) LD 1417...
... is covered in this 'picture perfect', clean ALEC posting in Maine:

http://www.dirigoblue.com/diary/2924/aec-inspired-paren...

Rep. Amy Volk (R-Scarborogh) has introduced LD1417 {LINK}, a "Parent Trigger" bill based on model legislation drafted by the Heartland Institute, an ultra-conservative group, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a secretive right-wing group. California enacted a Parent Trigger law in 2009.
http://www.mainelegislature.org/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp...

Volk's bill would allow a parents of a majority of the students at a school deemed "failing" to petition requesting the district administration to restructure the school by:

1. Closing the school;
2. Turning the school into a charter school;
3. Replacing school;s administration;
4. Implementation of a turnaround for staff.

Legislatures in Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, and West Virginia are all considering bills modeled on California's law.

Sen. Richard Rosen (R-Hancock) is the Maine state chair of ALEC. I have filed a FOAA request with him and the Maine Attorney General requesting information on which other legislators are members and for correspondence they have had with ALEC.

A list of model legislation regarding schools created by ALEC can be found here. Only members are allowed to read {LINK} these drafts.
http://www.alec.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Education&T...


People are getting it. New ones just last 48 hours in AZ, PA, and NC "Tort Reform" (elimination of ALL corporate liabilities) is getting lots of local press this weekend in North Carolina:
http://www.ncinsider.com/2011/04/10/109248/shut-out.htm...

Getting there, state-by-state, bill-by-bill, ALEC member-by-ALEC member, FOIA-by-FOIA....
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-11 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #205
208. Hector, I found that blog too! Link to my topic, w/ links to a Heartland Inst. page linking to ALEC:
ALEC is behind the introduction of "Parent Trigger" bills across the country.

That DU topic links to the blog

http://www.dirigoblue.com/diary/2924/aec-inspired-paren...

and to this page at Heartland.org

http://www.heartland.org/schoolreform-news.org/Article/...

The excerpt I quoted from that page when I posted the separate topic links to this page on the ALEC site with the "Parent Trigger" bill:

http://www.alec.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Education&T...

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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-11 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
206. PA ALEC Healthcare Campaign Outed Rep Matt Baker (R-Tioga) HB 42
... details in this posting:
http://www.verifyanswer.com/life/health/2011/04/11/penn... /

The Republican-sponsored bill passed the House Health Committee on a party line vote, 14-9.

Democrats criticized the bill as a violation of the U.S. Constitution that will do nothing to help more people afford health insurance, but committee Chairman Matt Baker, R-Tioga, said the bill, if it becomes law, will give Pennsylvania more legal avenues to challenge the federal law in court.


A number of states are taking up challenges. The one advanced by Baker is based on a model version written by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group that promotes limited government.

Six states _ Virginia, Idaho, Arizona, Georgia, Missouri and Louisiana _ already have enacted laws similar to the one Baker advocates, according to the councils tally, while Oklahoma and Arizona each have enacted constitutional amendments.

The Health Committee did not hold a hearing on the bill, which Baker entitled the Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act, and Republicans rejected a Democratic effort to table the bill in favor of holding hearings on it.


Another Pennsylvania ALEC member bio up this weekend:
State Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf (R-Montgomery/Bucks)
http://www.montgomerycountygop.com/pages/teamstate_gree...

Have ALEC members list collections HERE:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/01/962412/-UPDATE... -(ALEC)-Releases-FULL-Donor-and-Membership-Lists

No DRILL DOWN seen yet on bigger list PA ALEC members as of yet.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-11 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
207. WI Boycott of State Farm (Gov Walker/ALEC based) SVP State Farm admits 'use ALEC' - Boycott a go...
... according to this Facebook Boycott Gov Scott Walker page:
http://www.facebook.com/notes/boycott-scott-walker-cont...

...plan to organize a national boycott of State Farm in response to their participation on the ALEC Private Enterprise Board, through the membership of State Farm Counsel Roland Spies. I plan to contact the media, create a YouTube video, reaching out to State Farm members throughout the country to support this boycott. The boycott will end when State Farm publicly disavows their participation on ALEC and returns to focusing on improving, not destroying, their members' lives.

Below is a paste of the text of the letter; I have linked the actual PDF here:
http://boycottwalker.bsharp.org/State-Farm-reply-Apr-6-...


Clips from State Farm Response by Louise Perrin, Senior Vice President of State Farm:

...The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is just one of many diverse groups with which we will continue to work. Mr. Roland Spies represents our company with this particular organization and his focus is on insurance-related matters.

Contrary to what has been portrayed, ALEC exists chiefly as a forum to research and promote discussion on public policy matters. It is legally prohibited from making campaign contributions due to its tax entity status. Many of Wisconsins largest employers, including major insurance companies, participate in ALEC among other such organizations. At State Farm, our work with ALEC is limited to research projects for use by public officials considering matters that impact the affordability and accessibility of insurance.


"BOYCOTT" even got the attention of the Koch brothers.

ALEC is creating a situation in which - We are no longer citizens? Represented by rubber stamps signing there laws instead of addressing issues that impact 'We the People"?

SO BE IT. We will act as informed consumers. See if they can maintain their mega-wealth and buying of our State Houses then.

Maybe call this "political consumerism" vs. political activism. Send them a text "I didn't buy your product today because...."
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-11 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
209. Maine blogger files FOAA request to get names of ME legislators in ALEC & correspondence with ALEC
This is the blogger whose post about the "Parent Trigger" bill is discussed in replies 205 and 208.

Link to the separate topic about his filing the FOAA (Freedom of Access Act) request:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

That links to his blog post

http://www.dirigoblue.com/diary/2924/aec-inspired-paren...

as well as information on the FOAA and his earlier blog post about failing to get a response to email he sent to the state senator who's ALEC's Maine state chair.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-11 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
210. 52 pages of slimy, oozy ALEC goodness
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-13-11 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #210
222. Thanks for the link!
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-11 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
211. SC and OK Law suits limits using ALEC model $350K or X3 actual damage - No punitive...
... damages, cause that might stop the company from say, DOING IT AGAIN and screwing up more lives.

Group's model bill at heart of SC lawsuit limits
http://www.thesunnews.com/2011/04/11/2096192/groups-mod...

South Carolina lawmakers are using language crafted by a conservative interest group as a model for legislation aimed at limiting lawsuits. Senators will resume debate Tuesday on a bill that limits most punitive damage awards to $350,000 or up to three times what a jury or judge awards for actual damages.

The legislation is based on a model created by the American Legislative Exchange Council. The conservative, business-funded group's lawsuit limits are also being debated in Tennessee, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a lawsuit limit bill last week.


The SC House story before that one above:
A Republican push to change how liability lawsuits against companies and doctors are handled was panned by consumer advocates and praised by business backers at a state House committee meeting Thursday.
http://www.thesunnews.com/2011/02/10/1972435/house-oks-...

House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston, said the limits "will improve our standing among business groups all over the country."
(break)
House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham, a West Columbia Republican, said, "We want a pro-business state."


Our governor wants our ranking up too, but with all the same laws going in, how does that help? (snark)

Rats no 'verified' ALEC members listed in stories for the collection. Just add Harrell and Bingham to 'suspected'.

Uh-oh the *AP* did this one. My goodness....
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-11 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #211
213. SC Extended AP Story - Law Suit Limits - Good content
... or as good as to be expected. Earlier post was a shortened version.

Group's model bill at heart of SC lawsuit limits
http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/2011/04/groups-model...

Clips:
South Carolina lawmakers are using language by a conservative, business-funded special interest group as a model for legislation aimed at limiting lawsuits.
(break)
Martin said he hasn't spoken with ALEC about the legislation, but wishes he had more input from them about a recent state Supreme Court decision on product liability that has also become a sticking point for the legislation. "I really wish I had brought them in," Martin said.

ALEC offers a buffet of model bills on topics from telecommunications and health to lawsuit limits and energy. The group's financing comes from $50 annual membership fees legislators pay and corporations that can have a stake in the legislation.

ALEC spokeswoman Raegan Weber notes the legislative group comes up with model bills based mostly on what states have had success passing.

Since 2007, legislators have reported getting more than $40,800 from ALEC for conferences, travel and education. Weber said South Carolina lawmakers raised that money to cover the spending.


Useful data points, good, solid neutral story, need more of these.

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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-11 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
212. ALEC Articles go Bilingual in "A los conservadores les disgusta la historia" ...
... my Spanish, ist nicht so wie mein deustche, aber ich wurder ist versuchen:

Al menos la historia crtica, como hemos ido viendo en esta bitcora. La complaciente, que es ms abundante, les encanta. Como ejemplo palmario, vase la polmica suscitada en los USA a propsito de una entrada que William Cronon, profesor de Historia en la Universidad de Wisconsin, puso en su blog scholarcitizen. All se puede leer todo lo necesario.


"Conservatives disgusted with history"

"At tis critical moment in history, at least as we have seen in this blog. The complacent, that is in abundance, is enchanting. In this glaring example, see the controversy in the USA with regard to an entry that William Cronon, a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin, started in his blog scholarcitizen. There one reads eveything necessary."
(Or something like that - Bad translation of 'prrafo de apertura')

Isn't there some English as only official language ALEC crap out there somewhere? Can't remember where I saw it now.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-11 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
214. CO Freezing of Voter Lists - For "Questionable Status" CO Secretary of State Scott Gessler HB 1252
...we don't know what we don't know, what we do know is that we don't know a lot, about how much we don't know...

Related to Voter Disfranchisement and Immigration? What model is this one? Interesting.

Cooking Up a Conspiracy
http://coloradopols.com/diary/15503/cooking-up-a-conspi...

Clip:
{CO Secretary of State Scott} Gessler is asking Colorado lawmakers to pass a law giving him broad powers to freeze the voting rights of anyone whose citizenship -- in his opinion - is questionable...until the accused can prove otherwise. Coincidentally, many of these voters tend to cast their ballots for Democrats.
(break)
Gessler is asking Colorado lawmakers to pass a law giving him broad powers to freeze the voting rights of anyone whose citizenship -- in his opinion - is questionable...until the accused can prove otherwise. Coincidentally, many of these voters tend to cast their ballots for Democrats.

Colorado is not the only state with this proposed legislation. The conservative ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) is pushing similar laws>> in advance of the 2012 presidential election in swing states. Gessler is just one of the most aggressive secretaries of state carrying their water.


More to the Story on same blog, earlier more details (on going fight, not breaking):
http://coloradopols.com/diary/15481/scott-gessler-is-wa...


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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-12-11 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
216. Both houses of AL legislature pass ALEC resolution to prohibit EPA from regulating greenhouse gases
http://conservationalabama.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/res... /

April 11, 2011
Resolution against regulation of greenhouse gases passes
Posted by Conservation Alabama

A House Joint Resolution to encourage Congress to prohibit EPA from regulating greenhouse gases has passed both houses of the legislature and awaits Governor Robert Bentleys signature.

While it is not surprising this non-binding resolution was adopted by the legislature, what is surprising is that it nearly did not pass. The Senate Rules Committee only passed the resolution by a 5-4 vote before the full Senate adopted it on a voice vote. Pushed by Birmingham-area legislators, the resolution was drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative think-tank that touts limited government, free markets, and federalism.

-snip-
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-12-11 08:13 AM
Response to Original message
217. Recommended. Exposing another of the right wing PR giants.
The GOP has lots of big and small right wing PR firms helping them dismantle as much as they can of the FDR New Deal.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-13-11 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #217
223. Thanks! And yes, we need to expose these right-wing groups.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-12-11 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
218. WI rep Mark Pocan posts his 2008 article on ALEC: "Through the Corporate Looking Glass"
I've posted a separate topic about this quoting a few paragraphs from the article in the March 2008 issue of The Progressive. Link to that topic:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct links to Mark's blog post about this

http://markpocanwi.blogspot.com/2011/04/who-is-alec.htm...

and the PDF file with the scanned article:

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/asm78/news/pdf/BLOG...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-12-11 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
219. New Bill Berkowitz piece on ALEC (Unaccustomed to Hot Seat, ALEC Talks) quotes DU's Hector Solon
WTG, Hector!

Link to the separate topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to that Bill Berkowitz column at The Smirking Chimp:

http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/bill-berkowitz/35440/un...
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-12-11 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
220. HI Balance(d) Budget Summit Sponsored by ALEC Apr 20 - Oh,no.. taking Hawaii - Got some warning...
... at least before they privatize all the public beaches, rename for... Del Monte... checking... law suits... close... checking... No quick hit, so some other corporate name maybe with bikinis outlawed and per hour charge to surf.

BLANCE{SIC} BUDGET SUMMIT APRIL 20, 2011 HAWAII STATE CAPITOL
http://houseminority.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/blance-bu... /

LONG list of Republican leaders... and:

In conjunction with the American Legislative Exchange Council Washington, D.C

IN DISCUSSION:

* Why Most State Budgets Dont Balance
* Revenue and Expense Options
* Live Demonstrations
* Toolkits and Worksheets
* Active Dialogue and Solutions
* Balance the Hawaii State On-Line


uh... "Why Most State Budgets Don't Balance" - well around here it's a 86% business tax cut, among others corporate causes (pun intended). And "Live Demonstrations" like: {right click} copy {new doc} PASTE {highlight 'Name of State'} type H A W A A I I... and ta-da legislation done!

That would be the team of Jonathan Williams and/or Bob Williams of ALEC flying out there.

OH, and this ONE - Intern for the now famous Ms. Weber as an ALEC Intern!
http://americasfuture.jobthread.com/job/public-affairs-...
Dirty of them to post that on America's Future Foundation a "liberal" job site. No shame....


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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-13-11 07:25 AM
Response to Original message
221. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-13-11 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #221
224. Hector, do you know who set up that Twitter account and asked people to "pitch in"?
Edited on Wed Apr-13-11 09:55 AM by highplainsdem
IF this is the same person who set up the old ALECWatch website years ago (but hasn't updated it for years), I'd be interested in following the Twitter account.

If it isn't the same person, they shouldn't be using the same name. It will create confusion.

I'm guessing the person with the new Twitter account isn't the person who set up http://alecwatch.org / or they'd be linking to that old site that's critical of ALEC rather than to http://www.alec.org / (which is what the Twitter account is linking to at the moment).

I'd like to know more about them.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-13-11 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #224
225. Agree all pts, some folks on it. n/t
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
226. Greenpeace: Koch front groups ALEC and AFP attack RGGI, Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
Link to the separate DU topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the article on the Greenpeace site:

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/global-warmi... /

Please see the DU topic as well, since it has more information about NJ's governor apparently changing his opinion of RGGI after the threats the Greenpeace article mentions.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
227. ALEC has a guide to help legislators reform state colleges and universities the right-wing way
Link to the DU topic about this, which describes some of the model legislation:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the press release about this guide, "10 Questions State Legislators Should Ask about Higher Education":

http://www.emailwire.com/release/61534-ALECs-Guide-to-A...

PDF file with the guide:

http://www.alec.org/AM/PDF/education/10Questions-2/10Qu...
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #227
228. Follow Richard Vedder, he's their cut higher ed guy - WIP n/t
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-16-11 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
229. A plan for "financial martial law" in Wisconsin appears to follow the ALEC toolkit
for state budget "reform" -- applying the "tools" to the local level -- and it's apparently being spearheaded by an ALEC member in the Wisconsin legislature.

See the separate topic (and all the replies analyzing the plan) for more details:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
230. Re financial martial law: a 2009 SC ruling that ALEC praised & was involved with makes it easier
Edited on Sun Apr-17-11 11:52 AM by highplainsdem
Link to the separate DU topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-18-11 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
231. Staff of Koch-funded Northwood University co-authored MI op-ed piece with ALEC task force director
Link to the separate topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

This op-ed piece was co-authored by three Northwood staff members and ALEC task force director Jonathan Williams, and it's largely based on an ALEC publication Williams co-authored with others, but it contains one new suggestion I haven't previously seen from ALEC and didn't see in that ALEC publication. The column suggests that states do better if they have legislators who work only part-time and have smaller staffs. This of course would make those legislators more likely to become dependent on groups like ALEC that provide model legislation (a likely consequence the column omits, as the brief bio information omits the Koch funding behind Northwood and the involvement of corporations, including Koch Industries, in writing ALEC's model legislation).
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-18-11 11:38 PM
Response to Original message
232. MO's "Teacher Continuing Contract Act" is "a nightmarish Dickensian and ALEC vision"
Link to the separate DU topic:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

A "nightmarish Dickensian and American Legislative Exchange Council vision" is how a Missouri teacher descrbes a new bill sponsored by a state senator who served on ALEC's Board of Directors and was chairwoman of ALEC's Education Task Force.
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Doremus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-19-11 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
234. Thank you for posting this nt
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-19-11 11:05 PM
Response to Reply #234
235. You're welcome! Thanks for reading it!
:)
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-19-11 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
236. GA Senate passes ALEC health-insurance bill allowing out-of-state policies avoiding GA regulation
Link to the topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the Atlanta Journal Constitution column by Jay Bookman:

http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2011/04/19/ga-may...
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-11 12:15 AM
Response to Original message
237. probably members of the Federalist Society....
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-11 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #237
239. I'm sure some of them are.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-11 11:27 PM
Response to Original message
238. Hawaii Republicans -- and ALEC -- hold meeting about how to balance state's budget without tax hikes
Link to the separate topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the AP article, which mentions that ALEC's suggestions include "selling state-owned lands":

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/bd015285e6254fa0a...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-20-11 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
240. Michigan state Rep. Tom McMillin (R-Weasel) still dodging questions about his ALEC affiliation
See the subthread above starting with Hector Solon's reply 159 for background on him.

Link to the separate DU topic about the latest story about McMillin and ALEC:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the 4/11 column by Bruce Fealk at the Rochester Citizen:

http://therochestercitizen.com/representative-tom-mcmil...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
241. Ion Sancho, Elections Supervisor of Leon County FL, criticizes new voter-suppression bills from ALEC
Link to the topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the story on the Star-Banner's Ocala.com website:

http://www.ocala.com/article/20110420/ARTICLES/11042996...
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
242. FL HB 1355 ALEC Voter Disenfranchisement X2 about to Pass with Fight
From Elections Bill Set to Pass After GOP Beats Amendments Posted: 10:55 AM Apr 21, 2011 on The News Service of Florida:
http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/Elections_Bill_Set_to...

Supporters of the measure (HB 1355) portrayed the bill which stands at more than 4,000 lines after the approval of some Republican amendments as an effort to tighten up standards and cut off potential fraud allegations ahead of an expected close presidential election in 2012.

Our greatest responsibility is to protect the integrity of this process so the result has credibility, said Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, the measures sponsor.

(break)

At that event, Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho blasted the bill as a copy of a model distributed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative, D.C.-based organization that provides a slate of suggested legislation to members.

Every state that has a Republican Legislature is doing this, from Maine to Florida, Sancho said. This is a national effort.

Baxley brushed aside that allegation after the vote, saying the measure was built in the House after discussions with staffers and elections supervisors, who have so far opposed the measure.

Ive never talked to about it, Baxley said.


Don't need to 'talk' to ALEC buddy, just 5-6 mouse clips to paste it in. ALEC has a full-service portal.

Sounds like they putting up a good fight though, and know WHAT is happening at least.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 08:04 PM
Response to Original message
243. WaPo News (not just blog) in "States' GOP majorities lead to gains across range of issues" FINALLY!
... there will be no ALEC related Pulitzers at the Washington Post it looks like. But a mention, reporter clearly knows the score, but.... {fizzle... crackle, POOF.} no big deal. Last ALEC anything was the Blog entry on Dr. Cronon March 25, 2011:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/the-...


States' GOP majorities lead to gains across range of issues
by Lois Romano (The Washington Post)
2011-04-21
http://www.washingtonpost.com/newssearch/search.html?st...

As state legislatures adjourn over the coming weeks, new Republican majorities backed by GOP governors are leaving their mark in a wave of legislation that reaches far beyond the economic issues that dominated the midterm elections last fall.

South Dakota passed the most restrictive abortion bill in the country, Wisconsin and Ohio moved to limit collective bargaining rights of public workers, and Kansas, Texas, South Carolina and Montana are on the brink of passing measures to impose strict photo ID requirements at the polls.

The measures are among the thousands of bills proposed as newly empowered GOP statehouses take advantage of their first opportunity in decades to have such a broad impact on policy. Twenty legislative bodies across the country flipped from Democratic to Republican control, and the party picked up governorships in 10 states.

(break)

Legislators have proposed 374 antiabortion bills this year, up from 174 last year. Lawmakers have introduced more than 750 bills on collective bargaining this year, with more than 500 aimed at public sector unions, a significant increase over past years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

At least 32 states are considering new or tougher requirements for voter identification at the polls. And 3,000 bills targeting pension reform for public-sector employees are in hoppers nationwide, many of them modeled after legislation proposed by the American Legislative Change Council (ALEC), a high-profile conservative think tank that helps legislatures shape fiscal policy.

Among the more dramatic legislative actions has been Wisconsins vote last month to strip most state workers of their right to bargain collectively. Similar measures have been introduced in several other states.


Come on now WaPo people, you can do better than that now. Who did all this work? Where did all the prose come from? It's a legislative efficiency miracle?

They're new to one of the biggest stories in US political history, oh but it was a blogger that covered that... sigh.
But it's a start.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-11 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #243
245. Thanks! I've posted a separate topic about that new WaPo article. Link:
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 11:55 PM
Response to Original message
244. Kick. (nt)
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-11 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #244
247. Thanks!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-23-11 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
246. Doublethink Tank: Heartland Inst. pushes ALEC bill readjusting pensions, which "aren't the problem"
This is the new ALEC legislation referred to in reply 204 above, which the Heartland Institute is now behind even though the bill is designed to "readjust" (slash) accrued pensions, and the vice president of the Heartland Institute had an opinion piece last month in the Weekly Standard, "Pensions Aren't The Problem."

Link to the DU topic about this, which links to the Heartland Insitute column by Thomas Cheplick and the Weekly Standard opinion piece by Eli Lehrer:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
248. MI Sen. Caswell (foster-kids-in-used-clothing fame) wants legislature to be part-time (ALEC idea)
Link to the topic

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

about a Michigan state senator who proposed an amendment to the state's constitution, to make the legislature part-time, within days of an ALEC task force director floating that idea in an opinion piece in a Michigan paper (see reply 231 above for the link to the topic about the opinion piece, where the suggestion that part-time state legislatures are a good idea was the only new addition to the standard ALEC suggestions).
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
249. KIck this forever.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #249
251. Thanks, cliffordu! I have been able to keep this current with new replies as I find more info,
and I'm also trying to keep this from getting too long for dial-up users to open, and for broadband users to skim, by posting separate topics (usually need those separate topics anyway to draw attention to what ALEC is doing) and then posting a reply here just to link to them.
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #251
252. I'm thinking ALEC needs to have it's own discussion group, linked right on the front
page of DU....
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #252
253. Thanks, but I'm afraid it might get less attention that way. I wouldn't want a group about the Koch
brothers' influence for the same reason. It's too widespread an influence. And DU groups tend not to be very active.

And of course sometimes the influence is overlapping. The Kochs help fund ALEC, and their front groups have been used to try to create support for ALEC legislation.

But Scaife's involved, too, and all the other usual suspects. The vast right-wing conspiracy.

I think I can keep this pretty well organized, and current rather than archived, with this compilation topic (I'm not worried about the individual topics this topic links to getting archived after a while, as long as the links are here).
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
250. kick nt
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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:12 AM
Response to Reply #250
254. Kick. Bookmarked. nt
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #254
256. Thanks, snagglepuss!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #250
257. Thank you!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
255. Will Potter: What Is Big Ag Trying to Hide? (ALEC bills criminalizing anyone who exposes wrongdoing)
Link to the topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to Potter's column at Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/will-potter/animal-cruelt...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
258. Mike Huebsch, author of WI budget "adjustment" & 2nd most powerful man in WI, was ALEC state chair
Link to the separate topic about this

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

which has a link to an article on how powerful Department of Administration Secretary Huebsch is.

That topic also mentions other powerful ALEC members in Wisconsin -- Scott Fitzgerald, Robin Vos, Alberta Darling, and Phil Montgomery.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 07:28 AM
Response to Original message
259. Weigel (Slate) and Kroll (MoJo): The Right-Wing Network in the States - and Behind the War on Unions
Weigel mentions ALEC, but otherwise these articles focus on the State Policy Network (SPN). This is still ALEC-related because SPN is behind state-level right-wing think tanks, like Michigan's Mackinac Center and Texas's TPPF or Texas Public Policy Foundation, which work with ALEC and have been mentioned in previous topics about ALEC:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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MaeScott Donating Member (295 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
260. Kicked. nt
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:25 PM
Response to Original message
261. Rachel just did a story on the Florida bills to suppress voting -- these are based on ALEC bills
Link to the 4/26 topic about this

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

with replies referring to John Thrasher, a former Florida state representative, now a state senator, who was an ALEC Legislator of the year; and also linking to a South Florida AFL-CIO blog about this legislation that cited a Center for American Progress report (at ThinkProgress) on ALEC's role.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-27-11 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
262. NYT editorial on "The Republican Threat to Voting" puts some of the blame on ALEC
Link to the topic about the editorial:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-28-11 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #262
263. Campus Progress: NY Times Calls Out ALEC in Editorial Decrying Voter ID Bills
Campus Progress broke this story about ALEC several weeks ago.

Link to the topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the Campus Progress article on the NY Time editorial:

http://campusprogress.org/articles/ny_times_calls_out_a...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
264. Media Matters' Political Correction-Primer on ALEC,"The Premier Right-Wing Corporate Lawmaking Shop"
Link to the topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the primer on Media Matters' PoliticalCorrection.org website:

http://politicalcorrection.org/factcheck/201104280008
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-30-11 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
265. Sun Valley weekly's editorial slams "sanctimonious" GOP & ALEC's voter-suppression bills
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-30-11 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
266. a thank you kick!
:kick:
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-02-11 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #266
270. Thank you!
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-30-11 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
267. kicketty!!!!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-02-11 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #267
272. Thanks!
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-30-11 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
268. kick
:kick:
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-03-11 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #268
273. Thanks!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-01-11 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
269. Daily Kos: Breaking!! First ever demonstration against an ALEC event in Cincinnati
Link to the DU topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to that Daily Kos diary:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/29/971593/-Breaki...

Second link to that diary (in case the one above stops working), which corrects a typo in the first one caused by a typo in the original Daily Kos subject line:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/29/971593/-Breaki...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-02-11 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
271. Protest voices opposition to ALEC group (U of Cincinnati's News Record)
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-03-11 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
274. Tampa Tribune: Democrats say GOP lawmakers passing bills (some from ALEC) to grab more power
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
275. US multinationals revive NAFTA-style trade deals, with backup from state legislatures thanks to ALEC
Link to the DU topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the article at ColorLines.com:

http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/05/multinationals_p...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-04-11 10:45 PM
Response to Original message
276. American Prospect: "Curbing Voting Rights in Wisconsin" (ALEC, of course)
Link to the separate DU topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the American Prospect article:

http://prospect.org/cs/articles?article=curbing_voting_...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-05-11 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
277. SD state Sen. Deb Peters says ALEC "is extremely educational. ALEC staffers are our staff."
Link to the DU topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the Cincinnati weekly CityBeat's article, which contained examples of a reporter being misled by another ALEC member as he tried to cover the protest and interview ALEC members during the ALEC event there last week:

http://www.citybeat.com/cincinnati/article-23235-alecrs...
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
278. WI - The Wisconsin Idea in politics RIP - Privatization of Education in AB 110, SB-22, AB 51
Great work detailing the ALEC sources and history back to 2005 bills/models.

The Wisconsin Idea in politics RIP in the 2011 legislature
by bdgrdemocracy
May 5, 2011
http://bdgrdemocracy.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/the-wisco... /

CLIPS:

Special Needs Scholarship Bill AB 110 proposes state-paid scholarships to special needs students, with the ability to choose any school (public or private) participating in the program. At first glance, this would appear to be a very well-intended bill. The devil is in the details. (break) The bill also creates additional opportunity for privatizing school services to agencies with less public accountability, while decreasing state committments to public schools. This bill is sponsored by Rep. Robin Vos, the state chair of ALEC. ALEC has been pushing this agenda of privatization and corporatization for a long time. In 2007, ALEC released a 50 state analysis of education policy, complete with model legislaton suggestions for each alec 50stateSCreport. Wisconsin is on page 96, with the following suggestions:

Model Legislation: Parental Choice Scholarship Program (Universal Eligibility), Parental Choice Scholarship Program (Means-Tested Eligibility), Special Needs Scholarship Program, Foster Child Scholarship Program, Autism Scholarship, Great Schools Tax Credit Program, Family Education Tax Credit Program


Thats right, 2007. In fact, the Foster Child Scholarship model legislation contains almost identical language and mechanisms as Foster_Child_Scholarship_Program_Act AB 110. In the September 2010 issue of ALECs magazine, the group sang the praises of such an initiative in Oklahoma ALEC 10-10 Education issue. Contrary to the cited study, the public schools in Oklahoma have seen fiscal harm from this program, as has the students performance. The group performing studies for ALEC is The Foundation for Educational Choice, founded by Milton Friedman - University of Chicago, shock doctrine Milton Friedman. This group knows how to format a study to get the results they want, not what is scientifically and statistically true.

SB-22 is the expansion of Charter Schools Bill. This is the Senate version of AB51 authored by Robin Vos (ALEC, remember). SB22 is authored by Alberta Darling. Senator Darling is rumored to be an ALEC Legislative Member, but her staff would not confirm this they did not deny, however. Both Darling and Vos spokespersons confirmed the two worked on the bills simultaeneously, and as one reads AB51, they are virtually identical. The ALEC model legislation from 2005, Great_Schools_Tax_Credit_Act, contains very similar language and mechanisms. Obviously, Robin Vos was paying attention at ALEC Conferences. This bill is no more a Wisconsin idea than any other piece of legislation with ALEC corporate fingerprints.


With the dismantling of the Wisconsin Public school model, legislators like Alberta Darling and Robin Vos have continued the systematic assualt on The Wisconsin Idea. If you think the need for mass protests are over think again. They may just be starting. Dont let the Wisconsin Idea die it has to live in all of us, to lead the nation out of this second coming of the Robber Baron era.


To follow the ALEC tag on ALEC by bdgrdemocracy (and some others):
http://en.wordpress.com/tag/alec /

Solid ALEC outing and tracking work here by bdgr in WI.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #278
279. Thanks for the link!
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Kaleko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 03:21 AM
Response to Original message
280. Up to the top. Great info here. n/t
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #280
281. Thank you!
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Kaleko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #281
282. You did a fantastic job, buddy.
One more bump for straggling eyeballs is the least I can do.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-11 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
283. ALEC is now doing cookie-cutter news stories or press releases about INDIVIDUAL legislators
Link to the DU topic about this, which links to two "news stories" (one on a GOP blog) about legislators in different states, with the stories using very similar wording and direct "quotes" that supposedly came from the individual legislators:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Beth in MN Donating Member (34 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-09-11 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #283
284. From WI - Number of lobbyist-written state bills grows
ALEC has written at least 11 bills introduced in Wisconsin. The telecommunication deregulation bill was written by Jim Epperson Jr/VP of AT&T and Chairman of ALEC.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/91438134.htm...
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Beth in MN Donating Member (34 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-09-11 01:04 AM
Response to Reply #284
285. ALEC's YouTube Channel Training Videos with Pawlenty, Daniels, Boehner to name a few
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-11 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #284
286. Thanks for the link to that article!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
287. Blog for Iowa: Shock Doctrine, ALEC and Iowa
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-12-11 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
288. "Repeal the 20th Century"? - PSC-CUNY article on MO state senator & ALEC member Jane Cunningham
Link to the topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the article on that teachers' union website:

http://www.psc-cuny.org/clarion/may-2011/repeal-20th-ce...

Direct link to a St. Louis Beacon article about this Missouri state senator, who was chairwoman of ALEC's Education Task Force, wanting to roll back child labor laws:

http://www.stlbeacon.org/voices/blogs/political-blogs/b...
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-13-11 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
289. UT Federal Law Evaluation and Response Act HB 76 AND USA a "Republic" HB220 - ALEC Model Coming...
...from Utah, and other strange things in UT as well. New Law to negate federal laws, will be presented in NOLA ALEC Annual Conference.

Wheres the line, America?
GUEST OPINION
Ken Ivory
Utah News From The Daily Herald Newspaper
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 12:04 am
http://www.heraldextra.com/news/opinion/editorial/aroun...

This past legislative session, the Utah Legislature passed House Bill 76, the Federal Law Evaluation and Response Act, which I sponsored. Today at 3:30 p.m., Gov. Gary Herbert will hold a signing ceremony for this landmark legislation in the Gold Room of the state Capitol.

Under this HB 76, Utah's new federalism subcommittee will monitor all actions of the federal government against the express powers delegated to it under the U.S. Constitution and challenge federal overreach in a proactive manner together with other states and with Utah's congressional delegation. It's like the reboot to its factory settings of a computer system that has taken on viruses and doesn't function as designed.


The solution to these major problems facing our nation today are not so much about Republican vs. Democrat, liberal vs. conservative or left vs. right as they are about jurisdiction. It is about "where to decide?" (i.e. what level of government) before "what to decide?" It is about "Where's the Line, America?"

I have received requests for information about this bill from several states and have been invited by the American Legislative Exchange Council to present this bill for consideration as model ALEC legislation at their annual convention in New Orleans in August.

In his State of the State speech this year, Gov. Herbert related the unilateral actions of the Bureau of Land Management to lock up millions of acres of Utah lands and stated to resounding applause, "Utah is a state, not a colony, and we will not stand idly by." HB 76 provides a rationale and systematic dispute resolution mechanism to make good on the Governor's promise.

I will have a book out soon on the subject. The title is "Where's the Line? How States Protect the Constitution." You can download a summary of HB 76, read the full bill, or watch a short video summary of the Where's the Line, America? educational movement at www.WheresTheLineAmerica.com .

Republican Ken Ivory, of West Jordan, represents District 47 in the Utah House of Representatives.


Utah Legislature: Fighting Fair with the Feds
Dan Bammes (2011-02-10)
http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/kuer/news.newsmain?ac...

AUDIO link in article.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (KUER) - The Utah legislature has hardly been reluctant to pick fights with the federal government in recent years, but a House committee approved a bill yesterday that defines the rules for those fights. Republican Representative Ken Ivory of West Jordan is pushing House Bill 76, which provides additional funding for the state's Constitutional Defense Commission and tells it to try negotiation and mediation before taking the federal government to court.

But it also spells out a list of powers given to the federal government by the U-S Constitution and tells the commission to judge federal action against that list, using the meaning of the provision at the time it was drafted - as far back as 1789.


H.B. 76 Federal Law Evaluation and Response -- Ivory, K.
Senate Floor Sponsor: Niederhauser, W.
Drafting Attorney: Emily R. Brown
Fiscal Analyst: Ivan D. Djambov
http://le.utah.gov/~2011/htmdoc/hbillhtm/hb0076.htm


ALSO more WEIRDNESS... fighting the Federalism fight.

Legislature passes bill to teach U.S. is republic
By Lisa Schencker
The Salt Lake Tribune
First published Mar 08 2011 06:22PM
Updated Mar 23, 2011 06:57AM
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/51390319-76/bill-comp...


A bill that would ensure Utah students learn the U.S. is a compound constitutional republic not a democracy has passed both Houses of the Legislature and is now headed to the governor for his signature.

HB220 would require schools to teach students that the U.S. is a compound constitutional republic and about other forms of government such as pure democracy, monarchy and oligarchy along with political philosophies and economic systems such as socialism, individualism and free-market capitalism. The Senate passed the bill with no dissenting votes Monday.


H.B. 220 - Civics Education Amendments -- Morley, M.
Senate Floor Sponsor: Madsen, M.
Drafting Attorney: Angela Oakes Stallings
Fiscal Analyst: Ben Leishman
Effective Date: 10 May 2011 Session Law Chapter: 298
Read it for yourself:
http://le.utah.gov/~2011/htmdoc/hbillhtm/hb0220.htm


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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-13-11 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #289
290. ESSAY/HISTORY - Meaning of the Madison Movement - Which Way Wisconsin (MI and OH also) by McClintock
... GREAT Piece on Madison, Michigan and Ohio connecting ALL the DOTS on ALEC and the national strategy, events in WI, MI and OH. Descriptions of the new movement, and all the subjects in between - a MUST READ for ALEC researchers, activists and educators.

The Meaning of the Madison Movement
Which Way Wisconsin?

By ANNE McCLINTOCK
May Edition of Counter Punch
http://www.counterpunch.org/mcclintock05132011.html

CLIPS:
As the Wisconsin snows give way to spring, printed signs are sprouting in Madisons gardens, neatly staked in lawns and blooming like strange flowers: Recall Walker. Stop Assault on Unions. Fight Back. Vote for Kloppenburg. Tax the Rich.

Do these signs herald the blossoming of a Wisconsin Spring emboldened by the far-off inspiration of the Arab Spring? Will the Madison Movement take root, ushering in a lake-effect era of new forms of progressive activism and a coordinated, national movement? Or will Wisconsin mark a rout by the Republicans and labors last stand?
Progressive Victory or Republican Rout?

The Republicans are playing a high-stakes game in Wisconsin; they know if they can win here, they can probably win anywhere. As Wisconsin goes, so could the nation.

The Madison protests mark an epochal moment. Not for nothing did the Republicans launch their assault on labor in a state fabled for its liberal history. In the early 20th century, Wisconsin was the vanguard of progressive social change, rolling out a startling array of labor reform firsts.



But Wisconsin was also home to a contrary cast of political characters. Republicans like Senator Joe McCarthy, Paul Weirich, (and more latterly Paul Ryan) were Wisconsin sons of a different stripe. In 1962, Senator Javitz (Rep) warned that the Republicans were trying to repudiate the 20th century, but the demoralized Republican Party was withered and impotent, seen by the public as tainted by the tactics of McCarthyism and the John Birch Society, and the disastrous Barry Goldwater campaign. In ten years, however, starting with the founding of the Moral Majority and the Heritage Foundation in Wisconsin in 1973, the Republicans began a revival that would become one of the greatest political comebacks of the 20th century.

In 2011, Wisconsin has again become a laboratory for democracy, the crucible for the Republicans final effort to repudiate labor and secure a victory in 2012. The critical question is whether the Madison Moment can become the Madison Movement, taking root across the country and energizing a national movement of progressive populism and policy changes. Or will the Republicans force through their long-planned rollback of labor and leave Fighting Bob La Follett spinning wildly in his grave?


Newt Gingrich, who campaigned for Walkers gubernatorial push, is likewise unabashedly frank about what is at stake: We are witnessing one of the most important struggles in modern America. A life and death struggle with the forces of the old order. As Gingrich puts it: A victory for the forces of reform in Wisconsin has the broader aim of igniting similar union-busting efforts across the country in Ohio, New York, New Jersey and elsewhere.

Just days after Walker announced his bill, Ohios Republican Governor, John Kasich, followed suit with a union-busting bill of his own, gutting bargaining rights for Ohios public workers and outlawing strikes. Iowas Republican House rolled out a law that would have ended collective bargaining had the Democrats not snuffed the bill in the Senate.

Idaho promptly passed a bill that slashed collective bargaining for teachers, and Alaska, Tennessee and Indiana swiftly passed union-gutting measures nearly identical to Walkers Bill. All told, more than 20 state legislatures suddenly and simultaneously rolled out bills radically attacking collective bargaining rights for public workers.
That Walkers Bill was not Walkers brainchild, but the opening gambit of a coordinated assault on labor was illuminated by University of Wisconsin historian William Cronon, a self-styled political centrist and independent, who set out to trace the political roots of this sudden explosion of radical conservative legislation and surprised himself by finding that these roots lead, not only to groups like Kochs Americans for Prosperity, but to a shadowy group called ALEC (The American Legislative Exchange Council).


ALEC, it appears, is a murky legislative body that drafts right-wing model bills that Republicans across the 50 states can implement to gut progressive programs. ALEC was founded in 1973 by none other than Wisconsins Paul Weirich, also founder of The Heritage Foundation and The Moral Majority which ignited the think-tank Republican revival. In a fit of pique at Cronons temerity for exposing this history in the blogosphere...


The media spotlight on Wisconsin has thrown into shadow the ominous turn taken by Michigans Governor, Rick Snyder. In early April, Snyder passed the Emergency Financial Management law which gives the Governor the right to unilaterally fire the entire government of any town or school district, break contracts, seize assets and replace elected officials with an unelected CEO. On April 15th, Snyder fired the government of Benton Harbor, a community that is 92% African American and that has an annual median household income of $17,471. Joseph L. Harris, the new unelected Emergency Manager, summarily prohibited all action not authorized by himself. Corporo-fascism was thereby quietly spawned in Michigan.

Walker and Snyder seem hell bent on an unholy alliance and Madisons Capitol Times reports that Walker is planning something similar for Wisconsin.


The link between WI and MI in this "EFM" stuff is the legal firm (big GOP outfit) F01ey & L@rdner - working that now.

This is an excellent piece with a very good narrative, and should be added to KEY ALEC articles and linked in future pieces.


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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-24-11 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #290
302. Thanks! I agree it's a must-read.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-23-11 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #289
301. Thanks for posting these links and excerpts!
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-13-11 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
291. Anti-ALEC / CCA Site: "Immigrants for Sale" exposing & taking ACTION against detension for PROFIT...
... has been launched (CCA is a prison and detention privatization company/org):

MAIN SITE immigrants for Sale LINK:
http://mycuentame.org/immigrantsforsale /

VIDEO (with ALEC):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuGE1VxVsYo

LINKS:
Find out more: http://immigrantsforsale.org
Discuss: http://facebook.com/cuentame
En Espaol: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pIy06BN4hk

TOP 3 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PRIVATE PRISONS
1) The victims: Private prisons don't care about who they lock up. At a rate of $200 per immigrant a night at their prisons, this is a money making scheme that destroys families and lives.

2) The players: CCA (Corrections Corporation of America), The Geo Group and Management and Training corporations - combined these private prisons currently profit more than $5 billion a year.

3) The money: These private prisons have spent over $20 million lobbying state legislators to make sure they get state anti-immigration laws approved and ensure access to more immigrant inmates.


ARTICLES:

Immigrants for Sale
Peter Rothberg
May 12, 2011
http://www.thenation.com/blog/160650/immigrants-sale

CLIP:
Today, our friends at Brave New Foundation launched the 'Immigrants for Sale' campaign with a powerful animated video exposing the way private prisons profit off the passage of anti-immigrant legislation, and what that means for the democratic process.

The video is the first in an on-going series documenting the abuse, corruption and corporate influence that drives both the rush to privatize incarceration and the draconian sentencing and immigration laws that make the rush profitable.

The three largest corporate players in the industry -- CCA (the Corrections Corporation of America), The Geo Group and Management and Training corporations -- reap annual profits of more than $5 billion a year at the same time as they dole out more than $20 million annually in lobbying to (mostly rightwing) state legislators to ensure the approval of the regional anti-immigrant laws that fill their coffers.

An NPR report outlined how CCA and co. aim to translate the anti-immigrant rhetoric and political void into a long-lasting cash drive -- believing that illegal immigrants will continue to provide a fresh and highly profitable influx of new inmates to their cells if harsh anti-immigration legislation Arizona-style stays popular.
As Brave New Films' Alex Cabbellero writes at Huffington Post, "CCA founder Tomas Beasly once called his scheme 'more profitable' than selling burgers or cars -- a clear indication that any sense of justice in the prison industry will be forever trumped by cash flows and profit margins."



Nationwide protests demand a "prison break" for taxpayers
Nashville : TN : USA | May 12, 2011
By BorderExplorer
http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/9050519-natio...

Community and labor groups are taking to the streets today in five major cities to demand divestment of private and public holdings in the private prison industry. Critics say that the prison industry is relying on taxpayers to fund its income by lobbying for harsher immigrant incarceration policies. Those anti-immigrant policies not only drive up prison populations but also put added strains on state and federal budgets. Taxpayers need a "prison break"-- some relief from the taxing chains that prisons put on public funding.
(break)
The private prison industry, in league with major investors, is working to increase the criminalization of U.S. communities. Through lobbying efforts, they increase federal penalties and incarcerations. States like Arizona and Georgia also recently passed legislation that accelerates the detention of immigrants. This overpopulates local prisons. The video at the top of this post explains the process and the profit dynamic that drives it.


Immigrants For Sale
Posted by axelcaballero at 11:17 am
May 12, 2011
http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2011/05/12/immigran... /

Georgia is the latest state to pass an anti-immigrant bill like SB1070, with Governor Deal expected to sign it tomorrow. Georgia is also home to the largest private prison in the country.

CLIPS:
Its hardly a secret that private prison corporations like Corrections Corporation of America and The GEO group, along with right-wing lobbying group ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and a few pocketed state legislators like Russell Pearce in Arizona, have been at itdeliberately promoting and designing laws aimed at incarcerating immigrants and turning the prison system into an incredibly lucrative business.


The immigration debate needs a serious, integrated national and foreign policy planone the deals with the root of the issue. What it doesnt need are the hands of businessmen looking to make another buck. What we get are ill-advised, constitutionally useless discriminatory laws like SB1070laws that have caused more harm to the debate, the economy and the nations political discourse.

This model prioritizes profit ahead of brains. Money ahead of humanity. Greed in place of decency. Its immigration being put up for sale. We can no longer afford our apathy. The longer we wait to build coherent, legal solutions to the issue, the more abusive practices continue to prosper. Its time to take a very close look at what private prisons are doing to our security, our social fabric and our Latino communities.

They are using us as scapegoats to fill the coffersas pawns in the next Ponzi scheme. CCA, ALEC and their cronies are not in it to fix the immigration issue. Who are we kidding? They love itthe less immigrants to put behind bars, the less Latinos to incarcerate while waiting for proof of papers, the less individuals to get lost in the systemthe less dollars deposited into their bank accounts. They dont care about who is affected, who dies in their care, who faces persecution by the hateful laws they are peddling.

Its all about the profit. They are making a killing, and you are paying for it.



***
For more RESEARCH on this most HEINOUS activity of ALEC, see the 'Dean' of tracking of ALEC and prison privitization / immigration detention related issues HERE:
http://www.dailykos.com/user/Bob%20Sloan

ANY ASSOCIATION with ALEC must be put out into the public spotlight. Sorry there is NO EXCUSE for ANY ALEC member (State Legislator, governor, US Congressman, or company, lobby, association, funder, etc) to havew ANYTHING to do with this organization pushing this 'business'. This is so sickening.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-11 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #291
300. Thanks!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-14-11 04:55 PM
Response to Original message
292. Blog for Arizona: ALEC offering "An all-expenses-paid trip to pick up next year's legislation"
Link to the DU topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the blog, which has a copy of the letter from ALEC's Arizona state chair telling other legislators that ALEC will reimburse them up to $1,900 for attending the ALEC meeting in New Orleans in August:

http://www.blogforarizona.com/blog/2011/05/an-all-expen...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
293. The Tennessean: Model bills written outside the state (including ALEC bills) shape the state
Link to the DU topic:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the article in the Nashville Tennessean:

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110515/NEWS/3051500...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-16-11 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
294. One Wisconsin Now: Senate Republicans Make Taxpayers Finance Corporate ALEC Group
Link to the separate DU topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct links to the press release, both the HTML page

http://www.onewisconsinnow.org/press/senate-republicans...

and the printer-friendly version in a PDF file:

http://www.onewisconsinnow.org/releases/Senate%20Republ...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-17-11 11:04 PM
Response to Original message
295. Orrin Hatch, co-sponsor of the proposed Repeal Amendment, lists ALEC 1st among amendment supporters
DU topic about this, with two links to articles at Talking Points Memo and another to the page about this legislation on the ALEC site:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Link to Sen. Hatch's press release:

http://hatch.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/releases?Conte...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-18-11 06:13 AM
Response to Original message
297. Lawrence O'Donnell's 5/17 story on ALEC, ImmigrantsForSale.org, and People for the American Way's
expose on ALEC:

"America for sale?"

Video link:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3096434/#43070587



Link to a separate DU topic about the show:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...



Immigrants For Sale website

http://www.immigrantsforsale.org

which redirects to

http://mycuentame.org/immigrantsforsale /

which has video about ALEC and the private prison industry.


People for the American Way's report on "ALEC: The Voice of Corporate Special Interests In State Legislatures":

http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/alec-the-voice-of-corp...
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GABlue Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-11 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #297
344. ALECinvestigations.org Check this website now!
Everyone should check out www.ALECinvestigations.org

This the Center for Democracy's new site that has everything you will be amazed to know about A.L.E.C., the lobbying group that is funded by America's Corporations, Republicans, and Tea party people near you. You can find the name of every corporation that supports A.L.E.C.. This site details the total agenda that the ALEC is pushing and the Corporations behind trying to take away everything democrats love. This site lists all the politicians who belong to ALEC and support ALEC's agenda. Plus, You can find the names of all the "scholars" that are pushing their messages. And more!

It seems that someone left ALEC with 6,000+ pages of their inside information that the public is not supposed to know!

I found US House republican of GA listed, Rep. Tom Price M.D.. I called his Washington office this week to do what Pres. Obama asked us to do, then I asked this person to tell Rep. Price to stop supporting A.L.E.C., he sounded confused. After a few more words, he stated the full name of this lobbying group. I said, "yes that is who I am talking about" and I could tell he was shocked that the average constituent would know about them....He was older than 20 years unlike most folks that answer their phones.

Everyone should check this site out now! The democrats could make a lot of campaign commericals out of whats at this site. Unfortunately, the corporations that are behind this agenda are very some of the biggest in America: GE, Coca Cola, the Koch brothers, the drug companies, the big six Investment Banks, private Healthcare Insurance Corp.'s, Media corporations, and many, many more than I can name here.

If you have been wondering who wants to destroy public schools, the EPA, Social Security, Medicare, Obama Healthcare plan, Voting access with Picture ID laws, etc.. At this site you can see who is writing state laws for the Tea Party to push. Where The Gov. of Michigan's agenda comes from; this site puts it all together.

If you have been wondering what and who is trying to destroy democracy in U.S. and create the "Plutonomy" that was in the infamous Citibank memo. The plot by the Wealthy corporations and wealthy people to change the democracy we used to know and love!
GABlue
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-30-11 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #344
345. Thanks, but there is no ALECinvestigations.org site -- I think you mean alecexposed.org,
the site set up by the Center for Media and Democracy:

http://www.alecexposed.org /


See reply 335 below for an earlier link to that site, which I agree is invaluable.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-11 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
298. Brewer defends lawmakers' free trips from ALEC: "It's work" and AZ doesn't have "that kind of money"
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-20-11 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
299. ALEC pats itself and GA governor on back for bill allowing health insurance sales across state lines
Link to the separate topic about the press release:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the press release:

http://www.benzinga.com/press-releases/11/05/e1089245/a...
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-26-11 06:27 AM
Response to Original message
303. NEW User Group formed on Kos "Exposing ALEC"...
... for those that have a DailyKos ID and want to share with others tracking ALEC.

Group PROFILE:
http://www.dailykos.com/user/Exposing%20ALEC

They meet in secret. They write our laws. They want us silent. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a conservative organization designed to bring together state legislators and corporate representatives to craft legislation later introduced in state chambers. We feel that the least the public is owed in a democracy is transparency. That's why we are shining a light on ALEC. On its legislative members, its corporate sponsors, and its anti-social agenda.


Group THREAD to follow Diaries on Kos:
http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Exposing%20ALEC

ALEC "tag" for ALEC related postings:
http://www.dailykos.com/tag/alec

You need a Kos account to join the Group, which you can do by using the messaging system to the group, or group administrator.

We will continue to post major developments on this OUTSTANDING thread on ALEC though, so check here on DU too!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-29-11 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #303
307. Thanks for letting us know about that user group!
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-26-11 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
304. PA - ALEC's radical right wing agenda comes to Pennsylvania - HB 2519 Voter Supression...
... covered in this article:

ALEC's radical right wing agenda comes to Pa...
May 25th, 2011 2:29 pm ET
http://www.examiner.com/progressive-in-philadelphia/ale...

Darryl Metcalfe R- Cranberry claims HB 2519 that he is a sponsor of, is a must to protect Pennsylvania against voter fraud. Others have looked at the Voter ID bill as a return to Jim Crow laws intended to block minorities from voting, Rep. Greg Vitali D- Delaware investigated the voter fraud convictions for elections 2004, 06, 08, and 2010 and four people total have been convicted of voter fraud leading some to conclude that this is a problem searching for a reason.

Many Democrats and Independants believe that Metcalfe's bill is part of a Right Wing national agenda sponsored by the Koch Brothers to buy government and fund their key ideas for maintaining power. They point to the fact that the American Legislative Exchange Council ( ALEC ) has a voter ID bill link on its website. CampusProgress.org has obtained a copy and it appears to be the model for all these voter ID bills being introduced in about 20 states simultaneously. ALEC is funded by several Right Wing billionaires including the now infamous Koch Brothers.


"HB 2519 was passed out of committee last week and now goes before the whole House."




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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-02-11 06:51 AM
Response to Reply #304
309. Thanks, HS!
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 08:30 AM
Response to Original message
305. WI and Beyond Op-Ed - ALEC's role in setting legislative agenda deserves scrutiny (UW Prof ret.)
Great piece with solid message and content.

ALEC's role in setting legislative agenda deserves scrutiny
By Jay Stampen
5/27/2011
http://www.wisopinion.com/index.iml?mdl=article.mdl&art...

CLIPS:
Several ALEC-influenced bills are on the fast track to passage in the Wisconsin Legislature and an ALEC-like voter ID bill was signed by Gov. Scott Walker this week. ALEC has model legislation for health care, environmental issues, collective bargaining, K-12 and higher education, prisons and just about every other major state policy issue. The presence of ALEC model legislation is so evident in deliberations over Governor Walker's budget bill, and other bills, that one wonders whether a political fox named ALEC has been left in charge of the legislative chicken coop.


ALEC's influence undermines cross-party collaboration aimed at resolving important problems in our state, and others. Sadly, through the past four Wisconsin state Legislatures there has been an almost perfect correlation between partisan voting patterns and lobby ratings by special interests. Republicans receive high rankings from special interests that rank Democrats very low, and vice versa. In other words, lobby ratings predict voting behavior. ALEC doesn't rate legislators, but its corporate members overwhelmingly favor Republicans over Democrats. However, ALEC's strong association with the Republican Party is not the issue. There is not a similar organization for Democrats, but if one did exist, it too would deserve serious scrutiny.

Overarching themes in ALEC-facilitated legislation call for deregulating private enterprises, privatizing public enterprises and lowering taxes. This does not add up to a credible research-supported plan for dealing with Wisconsin's most pressing problems: unemployment and the budget deficit. Also, the council distributes its model legislation to every state, not just Wisconsin. This cookie-cutter approach often addresses issues that hardly exist in the states in which they are enacted. The odds of creating jobs and reducing budget deficits are slim if the parties involved assign too high a priority to meeting the needs of special interests.


It's puzzling that ALEC has received so little scrutiny when its influence is obviously so great. Just Google ALEC plus an issue topic, such as concealed carry, voter ID, prisoner release, unions, telephone industry, windmills or many others and compare what comes up with news stories about related bills under consideration in the Legislature.


{Dr. Jay} Stampen is professor emeritus in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a former policy analyst at the National Center for Higher Education in Washington, D.C.

Recommended READ for arguments, language and content.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 07:47 AM
Response to Original message
306. AZ-UT-GA-Next? - Prison Lobbyists Help Spread (ALEC) Anti-Immigrant Laws to U.S. South
No matter how many times I read this stuff, it makes me sick. It's in the works in a bunch of other States, including Michigan.

Prison Lobbyists Help Spread Anti-Immigrant Laws to U.S. South
By Matthew Cardinale
May 26, 2011
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=55802

CLIPS:
ATLANTA, Georgia, May 26, 2011 (IPS) - Earlier this month, Georgia became the third state to enact some of the most anti-immigrant legislation in recent U.S. history, when Governor Nathan Deal, a Republican, signed the bill, HB 87.


One national lobbying group that was instrumental in bringing together business interests and lawmakers was the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). It was an ALEC task force, which included a representative from a private prison - along with lawmakers from Arizona and other states - who helped draft Arizona's immigration bill, which became a template for Georgia's law as well.


The federal government pays over 60 dollars per detainee per day to house men at CCA's Stewart Detention Center, the largest immigration detention centre in the U.S., located in Lumpkin, Georgia.

CCA's top management in Tennessee contributed the largest block of out-of-state campaign contributions received by Arizona's Republican governor, Jan Brewer. Brewer employs two former CCA lobbyists as aides who assisted with signing Arizona's SB 1070 into law.


Georgia State Sen. Donald Balfour, a key Republican supporter of Georgia's HB 87, in 2006, 2007, and 2008 received 2,000 dollars each year in donations from CCA; in 2009 he received 1,000; and in 2010, 750. # Governor Deal received from CCA 5,000 dollars in 2010 for the General Election. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has received at least 7,000 dollars from CCA since 2006. # Georgia Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers has received at least 3,500 dollars from CCA since 2008.


But not all Republicans were thrilled about the new laws, particularly Republican legislators representing rural Georgia districts. Many Georgia farmers are believed to rely upon low-cost immigrant labour to perform tasks like picking onions and plucking chickens.

Time will tell how the new immigration laws - even the very passage of them, whether the courts uphold them or not - will impact immigrants and their families living in Georgia - that is, whether they will stay here or decide to take their chances in another U.S. state.


Solid story with financial / donation data points. Using the methods used by the NPR team in their set of GA stories to tie the bills to the money and staff in the Governors and State Legislators.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
308. Tampa Tribune: Conservative groups (including ALEC) score big this year in state legislatures
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-02-11 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
310. GOP pledges allegiance to Grover Norquist over U.S. citizens => ALEC in GOP/Anti-Tax Strategy Ties
... this is a MUST READ for those interested in the NATIONAL STRATEGY side of ALEC el al.

Very solid piece on a key component of the National GOP and anti-Tax orgs behind ALEC and what is happening in State Legislatures across the country. Excellent LINKS too.


Op-Ed: The GOP pledges allegiance to Grover Norquist over U.S. citizens
By Bill Lindner
June 1, 2011
http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/307452

CLIPS:
Grover Norquist is a well-connected Republican activist with close ties to business and media. ATR is ostensibly a group that pushes for lower taxes with close ties to the Republican Party that frequently allies itself with the tobacco industry. Norquist and company have a dubious history with Washington. In a May 25, 1989 memo -- which was curiously found in the files of the now defunct Tobacco Institute -- to the Steering Committee of ATR by Norquist excitedly reported progress on the 'anti-tax front.' In addition to swaging a member of Congress into promising to veto any tax increase, Norquist reported on three Wall Street Journal editorials highlighting the importance of ATR's pledge campaign in stopping tax hikes. 233 of the 240 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives and 40 of 47 Republicans in the U.S. Senate have reportedly signed pledges with Norquist not to raise taxes. Norquist's national strategy includes recruiting Republican politicians at state and local levels who have signed similar pledges.

The pledge -- which consists of a few lines on a single sheet of paper -- that bought and paid for politicos sign was created by Norquist in 1986, and Norquist takes it upon himself to punish pledge breakers by organizing and fundraising for their opponents in GOP primaries and to bully those who break his pledge when re-elections aren't looming. The constituents of every one of the Republican politicos who have signed the pledge have been sold out to Norquist and company. Norquist and ATR are involved with a lot of shady organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, fraudulent "think tanks" and billionaires -- think Koch brothers and company (PDF) -- and groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council consisting of corporate lobbyists that work with special-interest groups looking for friendly state and federal legislators who can be bought and paid for by corporations. These legislators introduce legislation written by lobbyists aimed at enriching corporations while selling out U.S. citizens.


Instead of raising taxes on the wealthy, the corporately-controlled U.S. Congress and many State Legislatures are destroying the citizens they allegedly represent. While the GOP holds the debate over raising the debt ceiling hostage, threatening every American unless they make drastic austerity measures because of political corruption and corporate fraud and greed, the GOP remains nearly monolithic in opposing tax increases on corporations as the solution. Most of the deficit problem this country faces today can be attributed to the George W. Bush administration and its blatantly crooked cronyism. But, according to Norquist and company, the deficit must be closed through spending cuts. Instead of fixing the problems associated with all the Wall Street fraud that imploded the U.S. economy, Washington has further enabled the problems that imploded the U.S. economy.


Pennsylvania has become the most recent victim of Norquist's "tax reform" pledge, which has become a driving force in many state politics and policies, especially those which have elected one of the GOP's new breed of Governors -- in states like Ohio, Florida, Michigan, and Wisconsin, to name a few, where Governors have waged Class wars on its citizens while passing illicit "legislation" written by lobbyists -- that have been bought and paid for by Norquist and company. A look at the progression of the Republican Party -- from Gerald Ford to Ronald Reagan to Newt Gingrich to George W. Bush to Sarah Palin -- reveals just how corrupt and corporatized the Republican Party has become.


As noted by Steve Salmony, never in the course of human history have so few acted in ways that are detrimental to so many. Never has a tiny minority in a single generation consumed so ravenously and hoarded so avariciously, come what may. It does not have to be this way. Yes, we can change and if we choose necessary change, then the future is open. There is much to do, much that can be done.


Lot of good LINKS in the piece, highly recommend taking a look at those.

Need more pieces like this with the GOP - Libertarian ('Profitization' crowd) and what their goals have been and what drives ALEC content.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-03-11 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #310
311. "Groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council consisting of corporate lobbyists"- nailed it
Thanks for the link!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 07:48 AM
Response to Original message
312. Speculation persists over Walker plan's origin (ALEC's role)
A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article finally connects the ALEC members around Walker to his collective-bargaining proposal.

Link to the separate DU topic about the article:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the article:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/123172363.ht...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
313. AMA news article notes ALEC's role in push to allow interstate health insurance sales
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-08-11 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
314. Three more AZ state legislators modify financial-disclosure forms to fess up to gifts from ALEC
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-10-11 07:54 AM
Response to Original message
315. Hightower Joins ALEC Outers in "Sneaking the Plutocratic Agenda Into (MI) State Law
... great piece by a leader that has been a supporter of activists in Michigan for decades now.

Sneaking the Plutocratic Agenda Into State Law
by: Jim Hightower, Truthout
Thursday 9 June 2011
http://www.truth-out.org/sneaking-plutocratic-agenda-st...

CLIPS:

With widespread, entrenched joblessness in Michigan, working families there are mighty hard hit these days. But the state's new GOP governor, Rick Snyder, has reached out with a helping hand. Well, not a helping hand for workers. Instead, he handed out a 60 percent tax cut to corporations. To help pay for this giveaway, he snuck into law a provision that takes away six weeks of unemployment benefits for out-of-work Michiganders, plus he intends to tax the pensions of working-class retirees.

Across the country -- from Arizona to Wisconsin, Maine to Texas -- the jobs, benefits, rights and dignity of the workaday majority are under gubernatorial assault. Where do today's far-right-wing governors get such far-out, nasty, anti-middle-class ideas? Directly from an extensive network of corporate-backed wonk shops set up in every state. They grind out extremist schemes to eliminate public services for regular people and sever corporations from any responsibility for the common good of our society.

In Michigan, the group is called the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Richly funded by such multibillionaire families as the Koch brothers, the Waltons of Wal-Mart and the DeVoses of the Amway fortune, Mackinac vigorously pushes the billionaires' plutocratic agenda, including relentless efforts to disempower unions and eliminate taxes on corporations and the rich.

In January, just as Snyder was taking office, Mackinac's dogmatists published four recommendations for turning Michigan into a corporate laissez-fairyland. In the package was an astonishingly tyrannical proposal to let the governor seize control of local governments and install corporate overseers with the power to cancel union contracts, rewrite budgets, sell off public assets and bypass or even dismiss local elected officials. It's the reincarnation of the Politburo, and it has no place in our democracy -- but this monster is now law in Michigan. Indeed, Snyder adopted all four of Mackinac's proposals.

Like a speed-dating service, ALEC convenes two dozen to three dozen private confabs each year, putting corporate executives face to face with lawmakers. In these closed-door sessions, the special needs of corporations are matched with eager-to-please legislators, who then go back to their states to pass the corporate wish list.

If your legislature is suddenly trying to take away workers' bargaining rights, outlaw citizen lawsuits against abusive corporations, privatize public schools and highways, and otherwise advance extremist, special-interest notions that go against the public will and the common good, chances are you have lawmakers who're carrying bills handed to them in one of ALEC's backroom tete-a-tetes.


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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-02-11 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #315
327. The section of that Truthout article about ALEC also appeared in a separate Hightower Report:
http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2011-06-17/the-high... /

It's the second section in this two-part report: "Three Wrongs Don't Make Big Oil Right; and Who's Getting Face Time With Your Legislators?"
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-15-11 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #315
371. Hightower on ALEC and SCOTUS Why are we letting corporate Supremists steal our democracy Aug 10
Jim Hightower in a another piece with reference to ALEC, this time pointing at the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) and Citizen's United along with other cases.

This is a LONG Piece with all sort of cases, rulings and different States/politicians mentioned in it.


ALEC Related CLIPS:
{Arizona's Citizens} Clean Elections Act established a voluntary public financing system that gave office-seekers of all parties and all economic classes an alternative, no-strings-attached way to finance their campaigns. By agreeing not to take any special interest contributions, these candidates received a fixed sum of public money--enough for them to be competitive under normal campaign conditions and have their voices heard. However, abnormal happens. So, if clean-running contenders found their voices being drowned out by a flood of special interest cash flowing to a rival, the "matching funds" provision allowed them to get a limited level of extra money from the public fund to help counter the free-spending opponent's unfair advantage.

But the corporate powers hate, hate, hate it, for it diminishes their political control. Having failed again and again to repeal it at the state level, they turned to the vipers nest of Koch-funded, right-wing policy fronts to find a way for the federal courts to inter- vene and do their dirty work. With support from the American Legislative Exchange Council (see Feb. 2011 Lowdown) and the Institute for Justice, this clique developed a perversely-novel theory of law, framed it into a lawsuit, and had the Republican leader of the state house, John McComish, sign on as plaintiff.

...money speaks in politics, and the speech of the rich is inhibited if they know that their money-raising can result in "counterspeech" from opponents. Corporatespeak, good; counterspeak, bad. In a twisted and overwrought opinion for the majority, Alito wrote that public matching funds impose an "unprecedented penalty on any candidate who robustly exercises ." Okay, I edited-in that last bit, but that's precisely what the Court's majority (and the Koch brothers) are actually saying. Not only are they freeing big money to shout as loud as it wants in our elections, but the Court has now allowed the money interests to quash the political speech of others. The good news is that Roberts & Company only nixed the matching provision, not the Clean Election Act itself. At least not yet. As Roberts wrote: "We do not today call into question the wisdom of public financing."

Stop them before they rule again
These guys are a clear and present danger to our democratic rights, not only in election cases, but also in a rising flood of upside-down economic rulings--including their shameful June decision involving Walmart's discrimination against women employees and their ridiculous ruling in April allowing AT&T to defraud customers. Both of these court opinions eviscerate the people's right to hold corporations accountable by filing class-action lawsuits


Great IMAGES on this piece:


Love that Jefferson quote Jim is picking up on "monied corporations" (Where did he get that? he,he...):
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."
- Thomas Jefferson in a letter to his friend George Logan, 1816
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dmr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-10-11 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
316. It finally gave me my answer to why
all of sudden do we have so many states, at the same time, pushing at a feverishly pace similar or near-identical legislation.

I look at it as a purchased government coup; and if I had my way, I'd assign a special prosecutor with a large team & all the resources needed to RICO the coup-instigators.

But, that will never happen, & if it did, I would be very thankful.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #316
317. +1,000 -- especially what you said about "a purchased government coup."
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
318. ALEC Press Release - ALEC State Legislators Push Back EPA Regs... on... well... EVERYTHING June 14
... latest ALEC press release, first one in awhile.

ALEC State Legislators Push Back EPAs Onslaught of Regulations
ALECS EPA Regulatory Train Wreck proving to be successful
June 14, 2011
http://www.emailwire.com/release/66082-ALEC-State-Legis...

CLIPS:
(EMAILWIRE.COM, June 14, 2011 ) Washington, DC -- The American Legislative Exchange Council applauds the 34 states that have taken measures to demonstrate their disapproval with the onslaught of regulations and restrictions from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPAs policies are economically damaging and will not result in a significant environmental impact.

Since January 2011, a total of 22 states have introduced resolutions in opposition to EPAs plan to regulate greenhouse gases, and 13 of these states have succeeded in adopting the resolution. These resolutions, modeled after ALECs Resolution in Opposition to EPAs Plan to Regulate Greenhouse Gases Under the Clean Air Act, oppose EPAs endangerment finding and any regulation of greenhouse gases, citing the massive economic burden that would result and the global nature of climate emissions.


No mention of the dozens of other ALEC bills their business partners/customers/charitable 'donors' have written with anti-environmental clauses and content.

... With no regard to economic realities or democratic accountabilities , the EPA has implemented these regulations with very little government oversight. Additionally, the Agency failed to do any cost-benefit analysis of their pending regulations, leaving that responsibility to state agencies.


"...With no regard to economic realities or democratic accountabilities " - What could possibly be MORE ANTI-DEMOCRATIC than a small group of corporate ALEC customers (and hundreds of their corporate lawyers) WRITING LAW with no public review, discussion or discourse?

AND ..."very little government oversight" , ALEC is the ultimate NO OVERSIGHT source of law in this Country, period. Ridiculous.

"...implemented these regulations with very little government oversight." That's rich, how about HUNDREDS of bills with NO CITIZEN INPUT? The majority of 'cost-benefit analysis' is thin at best in no peer review, non-scientific or economic sources. A report referenced on 'massive economic impact" is by the also Koch-funded Cato Institute.

ALEC will continue to support the efforts of state legislatures in resisting the EPAs regulatory agenda. ALEC urges Congress to take the concerns of these states seriously and stop this regulatory train wreck in order to avoid the enormous negative impacts the EPAs overreaching regulations will have.

For more information pertaining to the EPAs regulatory train wreck, or to download a free copy of EPAs Regulatory Train Wreck: Strategies for State Legislators, please visit www.regulatorytrainwreck.com .


Need to map the MULTIPLE web sites that ALEC is running without their name being associated with them, bunch of those, not even to MENTION the MULTIPLE similar sites run by the 57 state-level think tanks in the Heritage/State Policy Network, AND the FAKE quasi-news sites they are running as well. There are dozens of these too.

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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-17-11 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #318
320. Thanks, HS!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
319. ALEC launches Publicopoly -- an initiative to help state legislatures privatize government
Link to the DU topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the page on the ALEC website:

http://www.alec.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=publicopoly
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-20-11 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
321. Privatization At The Heart Of Divisive Battles In Wisconsin (article mentions ALEC's role)
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
322. Private bail bond company "touts job potential" in WI, denies ALEC involvement through ALEC member
Link to the DU topic about this, with some background information on this bail bond company and ALEC:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/124142324.html
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-23-11 11:12 PM
Response to Original message
323. AFL-CIO blog: ALECs Economic Rankings (of state economies) Based on Corporate Wish List
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MikeMc Donating Member (636 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-11 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #323
324. + 1 (kick only), high. Thanks.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-28-11 06:50 AM
Response to Reply #324
325. Thank you!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-29-11 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
326. David Dayen, FDL: The Selling of the World: Privatization Schemes Proliferate (ALEC's involvement)
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-11 07:05 AM
Response to Original message
328. Truthout, July 1, 2011: The Corrupt Corporate Incarceration Complex
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-11 06:14 AM
Response to Original message
329. Stateline, July 8: Anti-health law measure moves toward ballot in Ohio
http://www.stateline.org/live/details/story?contentId=5...

ALEC is mentioned in the second section of this article, which is about states blocking or trying to block federal health care reform.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-11 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
330. 7/10 Wichita Eagle oped piece on what's wrong with ALEC's "Rich States, Poor States" study:
Bernie Koch: "Tax cuts aren't magic formula for growth" (Bernie Koch is executive director of the Kansas Economic Progress Council, based in Topeka)

http://www.kansas.com/2011/07/10/1927742/tax-cuts-arent...

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saras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-11 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
331. So who on the Left has the balls to Acorn them?
Outlawed.

Banned.

Charged with treason.

Any concrete suggestions on how to get there from here?
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #331
334. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. And ALEC has apparently broken the law.
See reply 176 above, and the topic it links to, about ALEC lying on a tax return and violating the IRS rules on the amount of lobbying a 501(c)(3) can do.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
332. ALEC Investigation by DBA Press (Beau Hodai) - Excellent - Detailed MUST READ
Somebody wants that ALEC related Pulitzer (I think this is their 3rd ALEC posting) - LINKS:

Blog:
http://inthesetimes.com/article/11603/publicopoly_expos...

Home Blog:

https://dbapress.com/archives/2040

PDF Version:
http://dbapress.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Publicop...

CLIP:
An exhaustive DBA Press analysis of thousands of pages of documents obtained through public records requests over the past several months has revealed the source of many of these suddenly-wildly-popular bills to be 'model legislation' disseminated primarily through one entity.

Ironically, as these bills have been batted around as the fulfillment of GOP promises to cut excessive government spending, 'pork barrel' handouts and backroom dealings, the group which has advanced much of this legislation, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is comprised of corporations (often with vested interests in privatization), special interest 'think tanks,' and member lawmakers (overwhelmingly Republican). As such, ALEC may be the ultimate portal for special interests to the "back rooms" of state government.

It is worth noting that ALEC is the very same organization which promulgated the state-level GOP agenda throughout 2010, with the dissemination of pieces of model legislation which served as the basis of state challenges to 'Obamacare,' and of mimic legislation based on Arizona's SB 1070.

And, this extensive survey shows that this year's GOP/corporate agenda, as set forth through ALEC, is aimed predominately at two points: public employees/privatization (with public employees and agencies branded the gluttonous villains behind states flailing in budgetary crises) and state-level opposition to federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) greenhouse gas regulations.

What follows is a distillation of that pudding in which the proof was found. It should be stated at the outset, for the record, that ALEC refused to comment on any aspect of the material covered here.


Need more of these, trouble is as we all know, it's WORK to investigate at this level of detail. Keep plugging, this is a the story/fight of this new decade.

Great work on this one.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-11 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #332
333. Thanks for the links!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-11 12:08 AM
Response to Original message
335. ALEC Exposed - new website from the Center for Media and Democracy:
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-11 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
336. ALEC Exposed - articles in The Nation, Aug 1-8, 2011 - links:
Introduction by John Nichols, "ALEC Exposed":

http://www.thenation.com/article/161978/alec-exposed


"ALEC Exposed: Business Domination Inc." by Joel Rogers and Laura Dresser:

http://www.thenation.com/article/161977/business-domina...


"ALEC Exposed: Sabotaging Healthcare" by Wendell Potter:

http://www.thenation.com/article/161975/sabotaging-heal...


"ALEC Exposed: The Koch Connection" by Lisa Graves:

http://www.thenation.com/article/161973/alec-exposed-ko...


"ALEC Exposed: Starving Public Schools" by Julie Underwood:

http://www.thenation.com/article/161971/starving-public...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-19-11 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
337. Protests Planned for ALEC Annual Meeting in New Orleans August 5th
http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/119929/protests-planned... /

The protesters will be meeting at Hale Boggs Federal Building on Poydras Street. The organizers are calling on all groups that are regularly attacked by ALEC task forces and state legislation to speak before they march on the Marriott (ALEC meeting base).

Protest ALEC emphasizes:

ALEC is a shining example of the right-wings united front of corporate and political forces, and they can only be stopped by the strength of solidarity. We, the working class, are poor, Black, immigrants, LGBTQIA, women, and union members. The only way we can put a stop to the work ALEC is doing is to unite in an independent political movement that not only challenges ALEC and its members on the streets but also in the halls of government. We must show them that we can fix the problems we face without breaking the backs of the working class!

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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
338. Campus Progress, 7/21/2011: Students Take On ALEC
http://campusprogress.org/articles/students_take_on_ale... /

The bite size version of the semi-hidden story is this: ALEC, an organization backed by high-power corporations including Wal-Mart and Exxon-Mobil and funded by right-wing donors, has been scheming with state legislators to write and lobby for model legislation, which said legislators then push through the lawmaking process. In short, corporations have been sneaking their way into the formal legislative process. ALECs efforts have resulted in high-profile and highly controversial bills, such as racist anti-immigrant legislation in Arizona, anti-union bills in Wisconsin, and anti-environmental and anti-woman bills in states across the country. In March, Campus Progress revealed that ALEC played a major role in the spate of voter ID legislation that President Clinton and many others have identified as extremely racist and the most abominable efforts toward disenfranchisement since the Jim Crow laws.

Campus Progress and other progressive organizations are working to expose the real story behind ALEC and its members, but the most inspiring tales come from local efforts like one in New Orleans. On Aug. 5, the Student Labor Action Project at Louisiana State University is coordinating with other activists from the area to protest at the groups plush, exorbitant annual summit in an effort to hold them accountable for their actions.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
339. NPR Fresh Air INTERVIEWS with John Nichols (Nation) & Noble Ellington (ALEC 'Public' Chair) 21 July
Fresh Air with Terry Gross (NPR)
July 21, 2011

MAIN PAGE:
http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId...
AUDIO:
http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&...
TRANSCRIPT:
Not yet posted, but try the main page above later.

RELATED Specific Story Content and CLIPS:

How ALEC Shapes State Politics Behind The Scenes
July 21, 2011
http://www.npr.org/2011/07/21/138537515/how-alec-shapes...
"They now hold more state legislative seats than at any time since 1928, the year that Herbert Hoover came to the presidency," says reporter John Nichols. "They control 25 states both houses of the legislature. There are also 21 states where Republicans control both houses of the legislature and the governorship. And in the backroom of politics, that's what people really want. If you've got governor, state House and state Senate, you can pretty much roll through whatever legislation you want."
Nichols, a political reporter for The Nation, recently wrote the introduction and co-authored two in a series of articles about the relationship that state-based legislators have with a group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is a group that brings together state legislators and representatives of corporations to draft model bills that can then be introduced at the state level of government. An archive of ALEC documents was recently leaked to the Center for Media and Democracy.


National Chairman Of ALEC Responds To Report
July 21, 2011
http://www.npr.org/2011/07/21/138575665/national-chairm...
The Nation recently published a series of pieces about the relationship that state-based legislators have with a group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is a group that brings together state legislators, interest groups and corporate representatives to draft model bills that can then be introduced at the state level of government.

On today's Fresh Air, Louisiana State Rep. Noble Ellington, a Republican from the 20th district and the national chairman of ALEC, responds to The Nation's report.



NPR SERIES on ALEC from October 2010 concerning Privatization/Profitization of Prisons -
Part 1 "Prison Economics Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law" on October 28, 2010
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=13...
Part 2 "Shaping State Laws With Little Scrutiny"
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=13...

Related NPR Stories on the MAIN PAGE for LINK to:
Shaping State Laws With Little Scrutiny Oct. 29, 2010
A Refuge For Powerful Lawmakers Sept. 23, 2010
The Brothers Koch: Rich, Political And Playing To Win Aug. 26, 2010
When Right-Wing Extremism Moves Mainstream March 25, 2010

This is great stuff, NPR and the Nation leading the way right now on ALEC mega-story, getting ready to get the Pulitzers, while other sit on their corporate paid hands (NYT, WaPo, etc) Ed Show and LA Times did pieces though already.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-24-11 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #339
341. NPR blog: Fiercely Pro-Business Group's Influence On Statehouses Draws Scrutiny
Frank James, in the "It's All Politics" blog:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2011/07/21/1385...
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-11 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
340. ALEC Bloomberg (ALECExposed Related) "Koch, Exxon Mobil, Other Firms Help Write State Laws" 21 July
... guess this is the FIRST MAJOR news wire story on ALEC. Don't think there is an AP article that somes anywhere close to this one. There were a couple Reuters mentions, but no drill down.

Koch, Exxon Mobil, Other Firms Help Write State Laws
By Alison Fitzgerald
Jul 21, 2011 12:00 AM ET
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-21/koch-exxon-mob...

CLIPS:
Environmentalists, labor unions and Democratic groups that oppose ALEC-inspired legislation have long claimed that corporations are behind it, citing the private sector member fees outlined on its website.
As a tax-exempt organization, however, ALEC doesnt disclose its corporate donors. ALEC doesnt reveal its corporate and legislative members beyond those who serve as committee chairmen. Its model bills, which now total almost 1,000, are listed on its website, although their full texts can be called up only by members.
Bloomberg used tax records, interviews, and ALEC materials provided by an attendee at an ALEC conference to shed some light on the organization, which promotes state legislative action that at times is aimed at undercutting federal government authority.

Opportunity to Connect
Corporations are paying for an opportunity to connect directly with legislators, said Jeremy Kalin, a former Democratic Minnesota state representative. Its an end-run around transparency and disclosure laws. Corporate interests that would otherwise be required to register as lobbyists are writing legislation behind closed doors.

Koch Support
...According to the Helena, Montana-based National Institute on Money in State Politics, Koch entities have given $2.5 million to help elect state lawmakers since 1990. The institutes analysis of a partial list of ALEC corporate backers found that their combined giving to state campaigns over the past decade amounts to $12.2 million. Of that sum, 97 percent went to Republicans.

Identical Language
Legislation with the exact same language as Thatchers resolution has been introduced in dozens of other states, including Montana, New Hampshire, Washington, and New Mexico. Thatchers resolution is still pending.


Long way to go yet, but finally some MSM content to build on all the other stuff activists and the ALEC whistle-blower provided models. Keep PUSHING!

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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-11 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #340
343. Thanks, HS!
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-03-11 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #340
350. ALEC BLOOMBERG A Stealth Way a Bill Becomes a Law in BusinessWeek July 28
Uh-oh, Bloomberg reporter(s) going off the corporate media reservation.

A Stealth Way a Bill Becomes a Law
With the help of a quiet D.C. organization called ALEC, corporations pen GOP legislation
"Influence" Tag or Section
July 28, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/a-stealth-way-a-bi...

This is just another hidden way for corporations to buy their way into the legislative process, says Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, which seeks to reduce money in politics. Reagan Weber, an ALEC spokeswoman, says the group simply facilitates the sharing of information and good conservative policy.
ALEC was founded in 1973 by two of the conservative movements intellectual midwives, both now dead: Representative Henry Hyde of Illinois and activist Paul Weyrich, who also was a founder of the Heritage Foundation. As a tax-exempt organization, ALEC doesnt disclose its corporate donors or its member lists beyond those who serve as committee chairmen.
In exchange for annual membership dues of as much as $25,000 plus a fee of $3,000 to $10,000 to get on a bill-writing task force, Koch and ExxonMobil representatives sat beside elected officials and policy analysts at an ALEC meeting in April 2010, helping them write model energy legislation that would later be introduced in statehouses around the country, according to the documents. The legislators pay $100 for a two-year membership. The task force bills are considered finished only after the legislators and private-sector members vote separately to approve them, giving each side a veto. Once a model bill is complete, its up to ALECs legislator members to go back to their home states and shepherd it into law.

Hope these guys don't get the Shepard's hook.

WHERE are the other wires - AP, UPI, RT (some limited stuff though)? Even the Christian Science Monitor is on this story already. Where are the WIRES? Missing one of the BIGGEST stories this year, that's what.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-10-11 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #340
360. BLOOMBERG Wal-Mart Joins Amazon to Pitch State Law for Tax Benefit Plan Aug 5
Another Bloomberg News Story...

Wal-Mart Joins Amazon to Pitch State Law for Tax Benefit Plan
By Alison Fitzgerald
Aug 5, 2011 12:01 AM ET
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-05/wal-mart-joins...

CLIPS
ALEC Critics
ALEC has become a target for some activist groups who contend that corporations, which finance most of ALECs operations and reimburse the travel costs for some elected officials who attend the meetings, shouldnt have a seat at the table when lawmakers are writing bills.
Legislators are voting behind closed doors alongside corporations to change our rights, said Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, a Washington- based group that tracks news sources, who traveled to New Orleans to provide a counterpoint to ALECs messages.
Niederhauser, whose home is in Sandy, Utah, said the criticism is overblown. I get lobbied much harder in my own state, he said. He and other elected officials attending this weeks gathering said they come to ALEC meetings to network with colleagues from other states.
Corporations are definitely here, but Ive not been lobbied at all, said Kansas Representative Mike Burgess, a Republican who has served in the state legislature for nine years. Ive not been subjected to any arm twisting.

Wal-Mart and BP
Companies definitely were there. Officials from Wal-Mart, oil giant BP Plc (BP/), and drug-maker Allergan Inc. were among the hundreds of private sector members at the New Orleans meeting. Three boards more than six-feet tall listed the event sponsors, which included United Healthcare Inc., cigarette-maker Altria and pharmaceutical-maker Johnson & Johnson.
When Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican, spoke at the opening day luncheon, the logo for PhRMA, the lobbying arm of the pharmaceutical industry, was displayed on a screen behind him. Shell Oil Co.s yellow shell logo hovered over the head of economist Arthur Laffer when he spoke at a breakfast.
Corporate sponsors of organizations annual meetings arent unusual. It is ALECs task forces that are coming under most scrutiny.
The committees meet in sessions closed to reporters and the general public, during which they debate and vote on model bills. Legislators and private-sector task force members must vote to endorse any model legislation -- and each group must deliver a majority before it is officially adopted, said Raegan Weber, ALECs spokeswoman.


Also includes references to www.ALECExposed.org

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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-11-11 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #340
364. BLOOMBERG Pro-Gun Groups Call to Sell Seized Weapons Advances to States (ALEC) Bloomberg Aug 11...
Pro-Gun Groups Call to Sell Seized Weapons Advances to States
By Alison Fitzgerald
Aug 11, 2011 12:00 AM ET
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-11/pro-gun-group-...

The proposal is the brainchild of the National Rifle Association, and it was adopted last week by a task force at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a Republican-leaning policy group that brings together state lawmakers, advocacy groups and corporations to write model legislation.
The gun bill, which was passed 12 years ago in Kentucky and recently championed by the NRA in nearby states, provides an example of how a law in one state can be taken up by an interest group, passed on through ALEC and spread across the country to create quasi-national policy and momentum for an issue that eventually could emerge in Congress.

Republican Rise
Given the results of the 2010 midterm elections, many states are now one-party controlled, Republican legislatures. Once ALEC model legislation is introduced, there is really no opposition, and little public debate, before the legislation is enacted as law, Clopp said.
Iowa state Representative Linda Upmeyer, a Republican who sits on ALECs board, disputes that. After an ALEC-drafted model bill is introduced in the state legislatures, it still has to be debated before it becomes law. It goes through committees and subcommittees and hearings, she said. There is no voice getting shut out of the process.
(break)
The gun seizure bill was one of several proposals approved at ALECs 38th annual meeting in New Orleans last week. ALEC doesnt make its model legislation public. Bloomberg obtained meeting agendas and copies of ALEC model bills from people who attended the sessions.

Bills Authors
The model legislation was drafted and approved by ALECs public safety task force, which included representatives from stun-gun maker Taser International Inc. (TASR), energy conglomerate Koch Industries, the American Bail Coalition, and the NRA, according to ALEC documents. Corporate and special interest group members seeking to serve on task forces charged with writing legislative language can pay as much as $35,000 or more to get a seat at the table, according to ALECs web site.

Communication Difficulty
For a variety of reasons, were not really communicating very well with Republican state legislators right now, he said, referring to the FOPs (Fraternal Order of Police) effort to defeat or rollback new state laws that reduce or eliminate their members collective bargaining rights. ALEC didnt draft those laws, according to Raegan Weber, the groups spokeswoman. The legislative drafting procedure at Washington-based ALEC is drawing criticism from Democrats, government ethics groups and some Republicans, who say it allows special interests an unfair advantage.
Its such an insidious thing that theyve gotten together here, said Brett Bonin, a Republican who serves on the Orleans Parish School Board in Louisiana and is opposed to some ALEC model legislation on education.

Kentucky state Representative Robert Damron, a Democrat and ALEC member, in 1998 proposed the bill to stop police departments from destroying guns seized in crimes and instead require that they be auctioned. Damron represented a rural area where local police officers were looking to upgrade their body armor and other equipment.
(break)
The bill passed, and NRA representatives visited Damron to check on how the law was working. Damron informed them it was working well. His relationship with ALEC was deteriorating, though, and he ultimately stopped attending their meetings.

ALEC has become, in the last few years, so partisan, Damron said. The last meeting I went to, they spent all their time bashing Democrats. I dont particularly care for an organization thats so partisan.


Another solid story, these reporters working this story room by room, like calm, professional firefighters on a burning building, one room at a time. For those deep into ALEC now, there appears to be no end to angles and leads, there is no end in sight, just one amazing story after another.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-26-11 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
342. TN - State House Speaker Cuts Travel (including ALEC) and DEMOCRAT ALEC member (Sen Tate D-Memphis)
House Speaker Harwell stops payment for some out-of-state legislator travel
By Tom Humphrey
Knoxville News Sentinel
Posted July 24, 2011 at 4:43 p.m.
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/jul/24/harwell-stops-... /
NASHVILLE House Speaker Beth Harwell, who donates her own legislative expense payments to charity, has moved to curtail the expense money other state representatives collect for out-of-state traveling.

In 2010, a review of legislator expense records indicates, at least 16 representatives collected per diem payments for second and subsequent out-of-state trips.

Former House Republican Leader Jason Mumpower, now executive assistant to the state comptroller, made a four-day trip to an SLLF meeting in Boston that ended Oct. 3 and former Rep. Joe McCord, R-Maryville, who is now chief clerk of the state House, traveled to an American Legislative Exchange Council meeting in San Diego.
The ALEC San Diego event was the most popular destination for Tennessee legislative travel last year with 16 attendees from the state 12 representatives and four senators. Tate (Sen. Reginald Tate, D-Memphis ) was the only Democrat to attend the session, known for developing model legislation with conservative, pro-business themes. Most of billed for six days of per diem at the $185 rate in effect until Oct. 1, or $1,100 each. And most counted it as their one all-expense paid trip and those staying for the full conference had a hotel bill of $1,175 plus varying airline fees.


So if they FLY FIRST CLASS, we the taxpayers, are paying upwards of $3,000 per attendee ($1,100 + 1,175 + FLIGHT) for ALEC members so they can screw us and cuddle with the rich. Just grand how the billionaires don't even PAY FOR lobbying their GREED.

Democrat ALEC member - Sen. Reginald Tate, D-Memphis (Tennessee ALEC Members). That makes TWO outside leadership roles? One from OK as I recall.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-01-11 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
346. 1 of the 3 lobbyists employed by Koch Industries in Iowa is Iowa's private-sector chairman for ALEC
Link to the separate DU topic on this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the Des Moines Register article:

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20110731/NEWS0...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
347. Press conference tomorrow, 8/3, live stream: Americans Hurt by ALEC "Model Bills" Speak Out
This is a press release from People for the American Way:

http://www.pfaw.org/press-releases/2011/08/americans-hu...

Americans Hurt by ALEC "Model Bills" Speak Out at ALEC Annual Meeting as Corporate Members & Politicians Vote on More State Legislation
Whistleblower findings document how ALEC is used by corporations to hurt families, communities

On Wednesday, August 3, a teacher, a small business owner, a reverend and a disenfranchised voter will speak out at a press conference to unveil the real human toll of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)s "model bills." ALEC is a vehicle by which corporations and politicians collaborate on blueprints for pro-corporate legislation to bring back to the states.

WHAT: A Press Conference to Give Voice to the Victims of the ALEC Agenda

WHEN: Wednesday, August 3, 10:00 AM CDT

WHO:

* Lisa Graves, Executive Director, Center for Media and Democracy (Moderator)
* Jim Randels, a New Orleans area English teacher, will discuss attacks on public education
* Nicole Schulte will discuss her experience with new Voter-ID laws in Wisconsin
* Todd Landfried, Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform, will discuss the damage caused by draconian anti-immigrant measures
* Rev. Dr. Willie Gable Sr. will discuss the injustice of Louisianas new bill against health-care reform

WHERE: Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
Bayside B, 4th Floor
500 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

LIVE STREAM: The press conference will be live-streamed for remote viewers.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a vehicle through which global corporations and state politicians collaborate and vote behind closed doors to design legislation that benefits the huge corporations funding ALEC. These so-called "model bills" reach into almost every area of American life, and carry serious consequences for the American people by imposing voting restrictions, undermining environmental protections, scapegoating immigrants to profit from the private prison industry and defunding public education. Learn more here.

In addition, Common Cause will release a report, Legislating Under the Influence: Money, power and the American Legislative Exchange Council, which examines how nearly $400 million in campaign contributions to state legislative candidates has helped ALEC secure champions for pro-business bills in Capitols from coast to coast.

# # #


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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-03-11 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
348. OH - ALEC Investigator Hot on the Trail in OH Multiple Posts
If you are from OH, keep your eye on this guy Ben Stockwell in Cincinnati:
http://dessemundo.com /

Back to Finish the Job: Ron Youngs history with ALEC
August 1, 2011
http://dessemundo.com/2011/08/01/back-to-finish-the-job... /
Great drill down on target ALEC Member.

Editorial: Creating a Hollow Government: Outsource Everything
July 24, 2011
http://dessemundo.com/2011/07/24/editorial-creating-a-h... /
Bouncing the story of the ALECExposed.org database, and great summary language
CLIP
"This philosophy of making government the manager and not the deliverer of services has been rampant over the past decades and the time is right for ALEC to mush its agenda forward. In the introduction to the 10 year anniversary edition of No Logo, Naomi Klein details the practices of hollow corporations which focus solely on branding and outsource all of the physical elements, like the manufacturing or development, of their products to other companies. She argues that Americans have seen the building of a hollow state, where waging war is even outsourced to companies like Halliburton and XE (ISBN :978-0-312-42927-0, pg. xx-xxi). ALECs private enterprise board has some of the largest of these brand-centric hollow corporations sitting on it, including Coke, Walmart and Philip Morris. Other hollow corporations that SourceWatch has identified as members are Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson and Bayer.(para) It should be no surprise. The fundamental purpose of ALEC is to streamline the production of bills by essentially outsourcing the writing and lobbying and to save the corporations and the legislators time in the process. ALECs functionality as a clearinghouse means legislators can spend less time drafting the bills themselves, thus more legislation can be introduced and ultimately passed."


ALEC Model Legislation and Ohio
July 19, 2011
http://dessemundo.com/2011/07/19/alec-model-legislation... /
Detailed ALEC Model Work and Quotes.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-03-11 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
349. The Nation SERIES (continues) - The Hidden History of ALEC and Prison Labor August 2, 2011
... Great piece on a hot ALEC topic, prisons for profit.

This article is part of a Nation series exposing the American Legislative Exchange Council, in collaboration with the Center For Media and Democracy. John Nichols introduces the SERIES (Main Page):
http://www.thenation.com/article/161978/alec-exposed

The Hidden History of ALEC and Prison Labor
Mike Elk and Bob Sloan
http://www.thenation.com/article/162478/hidden-history-...

CLIPS:
"... prison labor for the private sector was legally barred for years, to avoid unfair competition with private companies. But this has changed thanks to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), its Prison Industries Act, and a little-known federal program known as PIE (the Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Program). While
much has been written about prison labor in the past several years, these forces, which have driven its expansion, remain largely unknown. (Para) Somewhat more familiar is ALECs instrumental role in the explosion of the US prison population in the past few decades. ALEC helped pioneer some of the toughest sentencing laws on the books today, like mandatory minimums for non-violent drug offenders, three strikes laws, and truth in sentencing laws."

"An In These Times investigation last summer revealed that ALEC arranged secret meetings between Arizonas state legislators and CCA to draft what became SB 1070, Arizonas notorious immigration law, to keep CCA prisons flush with immigrant detainees. ALEC has proven expertly capable of devising endless ways to help private corporations benefit from the countrys massive prison population. (Para) That mass incarceration would create a huge captive workforce was anticipated long before the US prison population reached its peakand at a time when the concept of rehabilitation was still considered part of the mission of prisons."


One of the authors is a 'DK Exposing ALEC' user group founder:
http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Exposing%20ALEC
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-04-11 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
351. VA - Roanoke Times ED Who writes Virginia's laws Corp. & conservative interests buy access... Aug 4
... PA on fire and VA heating up too.

Editorial: Who writes Virginia''s laws?
Corporate and conservative interests buy access to lawmakers at the American Legislative Exchange Council.
The Roanoke Times (VA)
Thursday, August 4, 2011
http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/wb/295026

CLIPS:
Special interests help write many pieces of legislation that appear in the Virginia General Assembly and governing bodies across the country. That's something most people might at least suspect, and anyone who spends time watching the lawmaking process knows with certainty.

What is new, and frankly rather creepy, is how far ALEC -- the American Legislative Exchange Council -- has taken things. It does not just work with lawmakers to develop legislation. It serves as a pricey clearinghouse for bills nationwide.

The corporate members gain access to lawmakers with the power to erect or dismantle laws affecting industry. They provide hundreds of bills through ALEC that lawmakers can take back to their states to advance a conservative agenda and serve members' needs, not necessarily the public's. It is little wonder, given this model, that so many hot-button bills tend to crop up in multiple states at once.

Some legislative members can be identified either because they sponsor ALEC bills or sign onto other ALEC projects. For example, Virginia Speaker of the House Bill Howell has ties to the group. (Para) This sort of shadow government ill serves the public. It is one thing for lawmakers to work openly with special interests crafting legislation that meets specific needs. It is another thing entirely when they do it through a special club that completely lacks transparency.


Ouch, not much room for ALEC wiggling there.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
352. Security goons at ALEC conference in New Orleans assault ThinkProgress reporters
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Chimichurri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
353. k&r
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #353
356. Thanks!
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-06-11 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
354. Journalist Kicked out of ALEC Conference, Threatened With Arrest (2nd Incident)
Edited on Sat Aug-06-11 11:12 AM by highplainsdem
DU topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the Center for Media and Democracy's PRWatch article:

http://www.prwatch.org/news/2011/08/10939/journalist-ki...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-06-11 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
355. Rick Perry Pushes ALEC-Backed Education Policies To Turn Texas Universities Into Businesses
DU topic about this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct links to the ThinkProgress article on what Perry is trying to do to Texas universities

http://thinkprogress.org/education/2011/08/04/287851/pe... /

and the TexasWatchdog article on ALEC members' funding of Perry and other Texas Republicans:

http://www.texaswatchdog.org/2011/07/corporate-money-fr...
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-10-11 05:59 AM
Response to Original message
357. Capital Times: CO2 is good for you, and other ALEC talking points
DU topic about this column in the Capital Times by Brendan Fischer, who attended the ALEC conference in New Orleans on a press pass:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Direct link to the column:

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/article_...
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-10-11 06:53 AM
Response to Original message
358. They are destroying my state. Our Governor has steadily tried to veto their bills.
But most have been overridden because enough Democrats vote with the Republicans. The Democratic Party is not a party up to the fight.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-10-11 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
359. ID (Idaho) States legislation packaged and promoted by big business Op-Ed Mt Express & Guide Aug 10
... so IDAHO joins in the ALEC story.

States legislation packaged and promoted by big business
Idaho Mountain Express and Guide
Our View
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005137992

CLIP:
Anyone who has watched national politics closely has noticed eerily similar new laws proposed in several states within months or weeks of each other.

Last winter, Idaho embraced a public-union-busting bill just before government employees in Wisconsin took to the hallways of their own statehouse and to the streets outside to protest a similar bill.

Idaho also approved a bill that requires voters to present a valid photo identification in order to vote. Voters without one may sign an affidavit to affirm their identity. Idaho joined six states that passed such measures last year. Seventeen states now have such requirements, which opponents claim were designed to stifle minority voting. An amazing total of 33 states considered such laws within the last year.

In 2010, Idaho passed the Health Freedom Act, designed to set the state squarely against a national health-care plan that had been approved by a Democrat-controlled Congress. Supporters claimed that the health-care law violated states' rights under the 10th Amendment.

These bills were no accident, no coincidental upwelling of popular sentiment. They are just three examples of legislation first designed by the American Legislative Exchange Council.


Got figure. Will post list of Op-ed across the Country soon. Wonder how many states so far?
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-11-11 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
361. ALEC violated Minnesota campaign board ruling
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-11-11 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
362. KA (Kansas and Missouri) Lawmakers outsource duties to ALEC Kansas City Star Aug 11
Some good leads for Missouri and Kansas related ALEC activity. From work done in 2006 on ALEC, hate to say it but MO is pretty much now "Government in a Box" from the period under Gov Matt Blunt (R-MO). Kansas might still have a fighting chance, not sure.

Lawmakers outsource duties to ALEC
Kansas City Star
By Barb Shelly
Posted on Thu, Aug. 11, 2011 02:22 PM
http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/11/3070761/barb-shell...

Make no mistake, legislators in Missouri, Kansas and elsewhere are perfectly capable of coming up with loopy ideas on their own. But some of the more radical ideas emerging from statehouses these days arent homegrown. They are hatched by industry representatives and pro-business allies and pitched to a growing cadre of state lawmakers who have signed up for membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council. You have to appreciate the irony. Lawmakers in Missouri and Kansas pride themselves on their independence. They will not allow Washington to tell them what to do, no sir. Yet theyll take their cue from an organization set up by and for out-of-state corporate interests.

But observers of Missouri government will recognize the groups footprint from last summer, when a measure known as the Health Care Freedom Act made its debut on the statewide ballot. The bill was drafted by ALEC, which gets ample cash and help from health insurers. It is basically an attempt to prevent a key element of the federal Affordable Care Act from taking effect, with the hope of ultimately derailing the entire health reform law. Jane Cunningham, a Republican senator from Chesterfield, Mo., was a member of ALECs board of directors when she sponsored the bill.

About a dozen Missouri lawmakers, maybe more Kansans, attended this years meeting in New Orleans.

Two Kansas Republican legislators, Sen. Ray Merrick of Stilwell and Sen. Susan Wagle of Wichita, are currently on ALECs board of directors. Last session, the Legislature adopted an ALEC resolution criticizing the federal Environmental Protection Agency for regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

In Missouri, House Majority Leader Tim Jones received about $4,000 last year to attend two of the councils meetings.
This year, Jones sponsored a bill called the parent trigger act. It would have allowed a simple majority of parents of students to radically change their public school, converting to a charter school or ordering the school board to provide parents with private school vouchers. Jones bill is nearly identical to model legislation drafted by ALEC. Never mind the havoc it would create in school systems far and wide, it is likely to be proposed again in the next legislative session.

ALECs influence shows up in Missouri bills seeking to undercut union organization and dump the state income tax.

QUESTION is Republican Governor of Missouri Matt Blunt also an ALEC ALUMNI????
ALEC News Letter INSIDE ALEC July 2008:
http://www.alec.org/AM/pdf/insidealec_july08.pdf
In 2008 alone, budget transparency legislation has been introduced in 28 states and has enjoyed widespread support on a bipartisan basis. In 2007, no less than five states enacted budget transparency legislation (HI, KS, MN, OK, and TX). Governors in four additional states issued executive orders to enhance budget transparency by establishing searchable online databases accessible for the general public (FL, MO, SC and TX). Some of these sites are already operational. One such example is the Missouri Accountability Portal (http://mapyourtaxes.mo.gov ), which was created by executive order of Gov. Matt Blunt. On the site, one can search by agency, category, contract, and vendor to track down state expenditures. The portal also contains
data on state employee salaries and tax credits issued.

In Missouri, Governor Matt Blunt has signed a bill this session, which will allow an additional option for teacher certification. The new option, offered by the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE), is designed specifically for midcareer (SIC) professionals.


Will be focusing on this guy - Andrew Schauder ALEC Federal Affairs (Task Force #10):
http://www.ashcroftgroupllc.com/news/announcements/form... /
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-11-11 08:24 PM
Response to Original message
363. FYI - BLOOMBERG - Posting all the Bloomberg Stories on #340 THREAD ABOVE - Link...
... is this one:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

LATEST will be there:
Pro-Gun Groups Call to Sell Seized Weapons Advances to States
By Alison Fitzgerald
Aug 11, 2011 12:00 AM ET
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-11/pro-gun-group-...

See first LINK for clips.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-13-11 06:40 AM
Response to Original message
365. NH Who's behind those crazy bills-secretive conservative nat grp holds sway in (New Hampshire) Aug 6
... from an enlightened New Hampshire State Rep.

Who's behind those crazy bills?
A secretive, conservative national group holds sway in the Legislature
My Turn By Rep. Cynthia Chase
August 6, 2011
http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/272174/whos-behin...

CLIPS:
Here are three areas in which the New Hampshire Legislature was impacted by ALEC this session:

Photo ID
ALEC is convinced that voter fraud, not lack of public support, is the reason its policies have gone down to defeat again and again. To ensure outcomes its members prefer, ALEC has made the passage of Photo ID laws a priority in all 50 states. This is directly targeted toward citizens ALEC would like to see disenfranchised: seniors, students and the marginalized of all sorts.

Education
(break) ALEC has its own lingo. When it says "choice," it means unregulated private and charter schools. When it refers to "scholarships," it's really referring to vouchers from the public purse. The Brookings Institute has said, "Taken seriously, choice is not a system-preserving reform. It is a revolutionary reform that introduces a new system of public education." Whether this revolutionary reform is what the American public truly wants is open to question.

Right to work
(break) The New Hampshire right-to-work bill is based on ALEC model legislation with help from the National Right To Work committee in Virginia, and distributed to state legislators. It is a one-size-fits all bill that is being promoted nationwide to ALEC member legislators. Vetoed by Gov. John Lynch, this is a special favorite of House Speaker William O'Brien, who is using every legislative trick in the book to make New Hampshire the 24th right-to-work state and the only such state in the Northeast.


Very solid Op-Ed, now her challenge will be taking this fight out into the public light, and out of the dark, smoke-filled ALEC conference rooms creating NH laws far from the NH State House, and prying eyes.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-13-11 07:02 AM
Response to Original message
366. HISTORY ALEC and Vouchers see mixed success this session ALEC Models (UT Stateline 2007)
FROM THE MEMORY HOLE: Good rundown by this reporter on VOUCHER efforts in multiple States including Utah. Not going to make it a habit of doing HISTORY, but this is a very good piece in helping those understand how ALEC works and the relationships that support their agenda.

Vouchers see mixed success this session
By Pauline Vu, Stateline.org Staff Writer
(Updated 12:43 p.m. EST, Tuesday, April 10)
Monday, April 09, 2007
http://www.stateline.org/live/details/story?contentId=1...

CLIPS:
This year the school choice movement reached a milestone Utah became the first state to sign a universal voucher law. Unlike other voucher programs, Utahs would allow every child regardless of income or geography to receive public money to attend private school.

Rundown for MULTIPLE States:
In January, the Georgia Senate passed a bill to set up a voucher program for students with learning disabilities. In February, more than 5,000 attended a school choice rally at the Texas Capitol. In March, an Arizona judge dismissed a suit against a new law giving tax credits to corporations that underwrite scholarships for poor children.
But opponents, who say vouchers drain funds from public schools, can point to some dramatic victories of their own. In March, while voucher-supporter Gov. Matt Blunt (R) looked on, the Republican-held Missouri House voted 96-62 against a bill that would have helped 8,000 students from St. Louis and Kansas City attend private schools. Later that month, voucher amendments to a South Carolina bill failed by seven votes in the House, partly because Rep. James Smith (D) flew home from Army National Guard training in Kansas to argue and vote against them. Also last month, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) announced he wants to end the Ed Choice voucher program for students at failing schools, which began only this school year.

School "Choice":
Last year was a banner one for the choice movement. Of 28 states that considered bills, eight enacted laws to create or expand voucher or tax credit programs. Currently, 12 states and the District of Columbia have some type of choice program, ranging from personal tax credits to vouchers for kids in failing schools.
So far this year, several states are considering school choice legislation. Five have bills to give vouchers to foster kids, while at least 12 are considering giving vouchers to students with disabilities. A bill for those with autism recently passed a Senate panel in Texas.

Back to UTAH:
Yet the situation in Utah still is volatile, because the anti-voucher coalition needed 92,000 signatures by April 9 to place a referendum on the ballot. According to the coalition, they collected more than 131,000 signatures. Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) has said if the group succeeds, he will call for a special election in June. But even if voters subsequently reject vouchers, legal questions will linger; the Legislature passed two voucher measures, the initial bill and one that amended it. The referendum only deals with the former.
A key difference is that the second bill does not include money to help public schools whose students leave for private schools. Voucher opponents could claim in court that lawmakers never would have voted for the second bill had they known public schools were not going to receive help.
Utahans for Public Schools says the second bill cannot stand on its own. But Parents for Choice in Education, which supports vouchers, and Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (R) say it can, although Shurtleff added in an opinion that the second bill alone would be more susceptible to constitutional challenges. No matter what happens, this will end up in court, he told The Deseret Morning News.


There is a pattern of UTAH ideas and policies making their way into the ALEC system, and being cut and paste into other States, a history that is now ALEC law across many States, and a place to watch.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-13-11 07:06 AM
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367. Part of the corporate take over state by state.
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-14-11 03:21 PM
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368. CA Op-Ed Meet ALEC: a wolf in sheeps clothing Times Standard N. California Aug 14
Solid Op-Ed with a lot of national level background content.

As It Stands: Meet ALEC: a wolf in sheep's clothing
Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard
Posted: 08/14/2011 02:30:25 AM PDT
http://www.times-standard.com/guest_opinion/ci_18679929

CLIPS:
What is ALEC, and why should you care? If you're uncomfortable with corporations writing our laws then you'll be interested in ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), a group that pairs legislators with corporate heads to pass laws favoring big business.

(National Content and Background)

It isn't just legislators who have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve model bills. They have their own corporate governing board which meets jointly with the legislative board. ALEC says that corporations do not vote on the board. Yeah, right. And Tea Party members believe in compromise.

This partisan stalking horse that calls itself ALEC introduces over 1,000 bills every year through its overwhelmingly conservative legislative members. Consider this: One in every five bills they present is enacted into law.
According to everything I've read about lobbying, handing bills to legislators so they can introduce them is the very definition. ALEC says no lobbying is taking place. I'm of the opinion, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

ALEC operates under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, which limits lobbying activity and allows corporate backers to deduct their contributions. Fact: Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. Participating legislators take proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own ideas and important public policy innovations -- without disclosing that corporations crafted and approved the bills.

ALEC is blatantly influencing state laws under the guise of a nonprofit, charitable organization. Their claims at promoting educational activities would be laughable if they weren't illegal. ALEC engages in outright power-brokering at the taxpayer's expense. ALEC's operating model raises many ethical and legal concerns. Each state has a different set of ethics laws or rules. The presence of lobbyists alone may cause ethics problems for some state legislators.

Some examples of ALEC's alumni: Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, Congressman Joe Wilson, Gov. Scott Walker and Gov. Jan Brewer. Seems to me, they're part of the group of Congressional conservatives who refuse to raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations. What a surprise!

As It Stands, they should at least be transparent about their past ALEC memberships. Little alumni badges would be nice, don't you think?

Raises "ethic and legal" concerns. Legal is not moral. Greed, is just greed. And buying laws is just... well, America will have to fill in that blank.
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