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ThinkProgress: Koch Front Groups Americans For Prosperity And ALEC Have Taken Over New Hampshire

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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:15 PM
Original message
ThinkProgress: Koch Front Groups Americans For Prosperity And ALEC Have Taken Over New Hampshire /

Koch Front Groups Americans For Prosperity And ALEC Have Taken Over New Hampshire
by Paul Breer
Apr 6th, 2011

With Republican super-majorities in the New Hampshire senate and house, the Koch front groups American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Americans for Prosperity (AFP) have carefully orchestrated a campaign to remove the state from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

In 2008, New Hampshire joined RGGI, which is a market-based regulatory program that cuts greenhouse gas emissions and has created 1,130 jobs as a result of the energy efficient benefits. While cleaning the environment, RGGI has cumulatively generated $28.2 million in revenue for New Hampshire.

Koch Industries, because they have manufacturing plants in the Northeast and release 300 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution every year, stand to profit greatly by repealing RGGI. To increase their bottom line, ALEC a Koch-funded group that drafts model legislation for conservative state legislators has written legislation to repeal regional climate programs:


After ALEC wrote the bill, Kochs Americans For Prosperity began orchestrating broad campaigns to drum up support for the legislation:
Kochs AFP flooded New Hampshire with robocalls in support of the bill to repeal RGGI.


Breer also mentions AFP's Vice President for Policy speaking in favor of the bill, and against NH's participation in the regional climate initiative, at an ALEC-sponsored event, and the NH director of AFP following suit.

I've posted here before about ALEC's coordinated campaign in state legislatures to get those states to withdraw from regional climate initiatives:

Grist: Koch-funded group (ALEC) mounts cut-and-paste attack on regional climate initiatives

And the long compilation topic on the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has replies about a Michigan state senator, who didn't want to admit to being an ALEC member when questioned at a town hall, being named in an ALEC press release about legislators in different states introducing resolutions to have their states withdraw from regional climate initiatives. (See replies 159, 161, 162, and 166 in that thread.)

But this new ThinkProgress article, besides explaining what's going on in New Hampshire, is interesting for the details about Americans for Prosperity working so closely with ALEC to get the legislation passed.
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CaliforniaPeggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. God damn those slimy bastards.
They are tireless, aren't they?

Like a hydra-headed monster.


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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Which is why we require a deliberately punitive estate tax.
Which must also limit family foundations. Allowing the accumulation of so much wealth by people who never earned it creates a deadly aristocracy.

No more Kochs.
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Snoutport Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. i never looked at it that way before....
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Mega-wealthy families do this...
... example when we investigated DeVos / Prince clan (google Doctrine of Dick DeVos) we discovered that they formed a 'foundation' with extended family normally around Christmas. Knowing the time frame enabled us to find more evidence and leads.

Definitely, family foundations like the 'original' Club for Growth families - where there 13? Any ALEC ties in those. LINK to Club for Growth could suck in some more actors into this ALEC web.

Note: Believe or not, no good article/report on the original families BTW. Not sure the Michigan royal families were in that crowd.

Koch are fighting a Devolution (return to monarchy/nobility) to over turn American revolution, or something like that.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. +1
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Hector Solon Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Kochtopus is a term been seeing - but NOT A Conspiracy ...
...Conspiracy - trying to get past that term in the descriptions, they are more organized and better funded than that implies. Rather as we posted:

"ALEC is the execution arm of a conservative industry or the conservative political power-for-profit environment (some call this the vast ring wing conspiracy) created and funded by mega-wealthy ideologues, right wing organizations, and finds it roots in the Council for National Policy and the Heritage Foundation, with which it is associated. Leaders in the GOP and conservative moment have been working on a stated national strategy to take their revolution to the States."

"ALEC is part of a SYSTEM and a well-developed PROCESS funded and supported by hundreds of corporations and business associations for the shaping of legislation on a multitude of issues in State Legislatures across the Nation."

Need to add SERVICE next time.

Well, getting side tracked... and have to run off to swat our local Heritage / ALEC / Mackinac Center and their ridiculous FOIAs here of profs in Michigan. So off to handle that for awhile. Talked to some of them, seeing that anything related to labor or unions (not a union guy) is now going to be, by MI law, ILLEGAL in ANY public facility. They asked for it, so we will let them receive a little more 'educated' attention. Discovered some more stuff to tie them directly back to ALEC though, not a complete boondoggle.

NH - This a GREAT article though, shows the State level investigations work on multiple levels, add NH to the list of 'proved'. Got one guy on video here and others (ALEC privitized-public members) are freaking out. Seeing more and more citizens confronting theirs ALEC members and traffic on postings with State membership LISTS.

We need a database and data feeds to crack this BIG, still not happy with progress on that. Went out recruiting locals yesterday, but no takers with the skills. Any suggestions? The new MediaMatters outfit, they say they are doing investigations right? Alternet reposted this piece BTW:

Keep plugging... bigger stories are out there.
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. I don't think the term "Kochtopus" can be applied to ALEC, both because ALEC is
so much more than the Kochs, and because the term "Kochtopus" originated in the Libertarian Party with the Koch attempt to take over that party.

The "vast right wing conspiracy" is a term that's been well known since Hillary Clinton first used it, and the existence of the conspiracy was confirmed later by The Hunting of the President and Blinded by the Right.

This is from Paul Krugman's column on David Brock's Blinded by the Right:

The Smoke Machine
Published: March 29, 2002

In a way, it's a shame that so much of David Brock's ''Blinded by the Right: The conscience of an ex-conservative'' is about the private lives of our self-appointed moral guardians. Those tales will sell books, but they may obscure the important message: that the ''vast right-wing conspiracy'' is not an overheated metaphor but a straightforward reality, and that it works a lot like a special-interest lobby.


The right wing conspiracy includes right wing media, think tanks, and astroturf groups.

ALEC is the part of that system involved in turning its objectives into laws at the state level.

Which is why my compilation topic on ALEC is called "ALEC: Bringing the vast rightwing corporate conspiracy to a legislature near you" -- that's what ALEC does.

The Kochs are involved, of course. But this isn't just the "Kochtopus."

A conspiracy is "a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful."

ALEC is secretive about its members, who individually are usually secretive about the legislation they introduce coming from ALEC and being cowritten by corporate interests. What they're doing in unlawful, since it is in effect lobbying and they're doing it under the guise of a 501(c)3 to avoid closer scrutiny. What they're doing is harmful because it gives corporate interests power to subvert both state and federal laws, and this power is being used to harm citizens and benefit corporations.
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TomCADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
6. Sock Puppets and Astro-turf!
Slowly but surely we are starting to see the degree to which corporations are using front groups to advance their agenda.
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