CP ALEC Intervention
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CP ALEC Intervention
Performing our civic duty to stay vigilant, informed, and engaged in protecting our Republic from corruption and extraction by a collusion of profiteering interests known as ALEC
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ALEC & the NCSL: Compare and Contrast « MN Political Roundtable

ALEC & the NCSL: Compare and Contrast « MN Political Roundtable | CP ALEC Intervention | Scoop.it

DOG GONE, MN Political Roundtable

 

Parts of the right wing blogsophere are trying to whitewash ALEC, and at the same time to denigrate the NCSL.

 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with one or both organizations, let me give you a brief introduction, because people on the right want to misinform and disinform you. They will tell you they are the same when they are significantly different, or even more misleading, will try to tell you that ALEC is good, and the NCSL is bad, by misrepresenting both.

 

As you look at the differences, which are greater than any simiarities, keep in mind the concept of a line of dialog I heard recently on a television show, ‘Justified’. While a dramatic series, the point was an excellent one for this context. A corrupt sheriff, presented with the offer of a bribe in the form of a briefcase full of money asks, “If this is the carrot, what does the stick look like?”, referring to the paired incentives of a carrot and a stick, a reward that comes with the possibility of an equal or greater punishment.

 

The NCSL I’m writing about is not the British National College School Leadership entity for teachers, nor is it the National Capital Soccer League for kids in Washington D.C., and I’m not writing about the NCSL International, which is an organization about meteorology. No, I’m writing about the NCSL that is the acronym for the National Conference of State Legislatures. That NCSL is an NGO – non-governmental organization – for the people who work in our state legislatures, encompassing staff and state senators and state representatives.

 

I’m sure in the eyes of the ALEC members they’re not bad, they’re just doing what they need to do to get their conservative, sometimes very extreme causes rammed through resistance, and to get themselves elected over and over. If that means doing the bidding of special interests to give the corporations significantly greater profits through the auspices of a secretive organization, I’m sure they rationalize to themselves that’s ok. I suspect that unlike the fictional sheriff and the bribe, they aren’t honest enough with themselves to recognize either the carrot or the stick, or to even acknowledge the corrupt aspects of the transaction. It should be a big red flag to them when they aren’t candid about the source of the legislation they introduce.

 

Unlike ALEC drafted legislation, legislators don’t lie about NCSL content, which is bi-partisan rather than ‘Buy-partisan’ or ‘bought’ partisan. Unlike ALEC meetings, no legislator is thrown out of an NCSL meeting for a point of view or for being open about the content of the meeting. That happened to Mark Pocan, a state representative of Wisconsin, and reporters are not banned:

 

Wisconsin Dem State Rep. Kicked Out Of ALEC Conference | Wisconsin State Rep. Mark Pocan (D) was kicked out the American Legislative Exchange Council conference in New Orleans today despite being a a dues-paying member of the organization and receiving an invitation to the event, Wisconsin blog Dane101 reports. “I was still kicked out of the cigar reception by an employee of ALEC. ALEC has become a secret society where they will kick out anyone with a video camera, tape recorder or an original opinion,” he said in a statement. In addition to attending the conference for legislative reasons, Pocan was covering the event for a progressive publication, but ALEC was not allowing many reporters, including ThinkProgress’ Lee Fang and Scott Keyes, who were violently removed from the conference yesterday.

 

So…….what is ALEC? I’ve been writing about it here a bit, and will be doing so even more in the near future. ALEC is a shady and shadowy organization through which special interest groups, rich organizations and a few rich individuals like the Koch brothers and the Walton of WalMart family, but also many others, spend a lot of money on conservative legislators, both state and federal, but mostly state level, to get them to submit THEIR legislation, legislation that will benefit THEM, the corporations and special interests, at your expense. Here is the opening paragraph from wikipedia on ALEC:
Read More: http://mnpoliticalroundtable.com/2012/03/19/alec-the-ncsl-compare-and-contrast/

 

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Voter ID: the anti-democracy movement's weapon of choice

Voter ID: the anti-democracy movement's weapon of choice | CP ALEC Intervention | Scoop.it

Whatever the claims, voter fraud is almost non-existent. The real problem is the regressive forces promoting discriminatory laws


Excerpt from piece by KEVIN POWELL, The Guardian, UK


...This is also why organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), must be exposed. Since its founding in the early 1980s, ALEC has very quietly played a major role in American legislation, including dramatic changes to voter laws. Much of ALEC's base is Republican or conservative, and mostly white, and much of its funding comes from corporations, corporate trade groups and corporation foundations. ALEC has, in turn, pushed bills it wants to see in place, state by state. Little wonder that when we hear the clarion cry "We want our country back", it is really coded language to say, "we want an America where not everyone has access to the ballot, or the American dream. Just as was the case in the years before the civil rights movement.

 

This is why it is such a huge mistake for any leader to refer to what is happening as "voter suppression". We need to continually call it what it is: anti-democracy. Because only anti-democracy forces would go to such lengths to make voting that difficult for that many, especially when the Department of Justice has stated, very clearly, that voter fraud is not rampant in our society. And we need to challenge it from every angle, including voter registration and education drives. [MORE]


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ALEC Watch: Rep. Mark Pocan's Special Report From New Orleans

ALEC Watch: Rep. Mark Pocan's Special Report From New Orleans | CP ALEC Intervention | Scoop.it

by MARK POCAN,  The Progressive


"Fully funded by, sponsored by, and driven by its much wealthier corporate interests.One only need look at the convention booklet to see the “Who’s Who” of corporate partners. British Petroleum, Reynolds American, Takeda, UnitedHealthcare, Walmart, the Walton Family Foundation, Chevron, ExxonMobil, American Electric Power, Allergan, PhRMA, Bayer, VISA, Shell, Koch Industries, Inc. and State Farm Insurance for starters. And there are dozens more.

 

For your partnership in ALEC, you get to write legislation, promote it, vote for it, and all too often, watch it become law. Not bad for a few days work." [MORE]

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Voter ID: the anti-democracy movement's weapon of choice

Excerpt from piece by KEVIN POWELL, The Guardian, UK


...This is also why organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), must be exposed. Since its founding in the early 1980s, ALEC has very quietly played a major role in American legislation, including dramatic changes to voter laws. Much of ALEC's base is Republican or conservative, and mostly white, and much of its funding comes from corporations, corporate trade groups and corporation foundations. ALEC has, in turn, pushed bills it wants to see in place, state by state. Little wonder that when we hear the clarion cry "We want our country back", it is really coded language to say, "we want an America where not everyone has access to the ballot, or the American dream. Just as was the case in the years before the civil rights movement.

 

This is why it is such a huge mistake for any leader to refer to what is happening as "voter suppression". We need to continually call it what it is: anti-democracy. Because only anti-democracy forces would go to such lengths to make voting that difficult for that many, especially when the Department of Justice has stated, very clearly, that voter fraud is not rampant in our society. And we need to challenge it from every angle, including voter registration and education drives. [MORE]

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Under Siege, Wis. Gov. Walker Faces Defeats, Blunders—and Looming Recall

Under Siege, Wis. Gov. Walker Faces Defeats, Blunders—and Looming Recall | CP ALEC Intervention | Scoop.it

by ROGER BYBEE, In These Times


"Early last year, The New York Times reported that Walker and Republican majorities in the Wisconsin legislature were ramming through radical anti-public-sector union legislation—much of it drawn from the corporate-backed American Legislative Exchange Council—at “warp speed.” In March, lawmakers passed a law eliminating virtually all collective bargaining rights for public workers.

 

But as this year’s legislative session draws to a close, and a recall election looms, Walker's political future is far from certain. His remarkable losing streak during the last few months is a product of court rulings and massive public outcry against his policies and agenda." [MORE]

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Conservative organization has a gift for writing laws

Conservative organization has a gift for writing laws | CP ALEC Intervention | Scoop.it

MECHELLE HANKERSON, Capital News Service via dailypress.com

 

RICHMOND –—

On issues ranging from tax credits for private school tuition to a homeowner's right to kill an intruder, several bills before the 2012 General Assembly resembled model laws proposed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a politically conservative think tank funded by major corporations.

 

Liberal watchdog groups say that's no coincidence: They say ALEC has curried favor with lawmakers in Virginia and other states to pass legislation that benefits corporate interests.

 

"ALEC is essentially a corporate bill factory," said Anna Scholl, executive director of ProgressVA, an advocacy group for low-income Virginians, women's rights, environmental protection and other issues.

 

"ALEC writes model legislation that is designed to increase corporate bottom lines, and then they turn around and hand it off to state legislators to take it home and introduce it."

 

ALEC officials dispute that. They describe the group as a "nonpartisan membership association for conservative state lawmakers who share a common belief in limited government, free markets, federalism and individual liberty."

 

ALEC officials say they do what their liberal critics do: try to influence public policy. On its website, the organization says it has generated "hundreds of model bills on a wide range of issues, model legislation that will frame the debate today and far into the future."

 

On at least one point, ALEC and its detractors agree: The group has been effective in persuading states to adopt its recommendations. "Each year, close to 1,000 bills, based at least in part on ALEC Model Legislation, are introduced in the states. Of these, an average of 20 percent become law," ALEC's website says.

 

ProgressVA published a report in January saying at least 115 past and present Virginia legislators have membership in or other connections with ALEC. ALEC has ghostwritten more than 50 bills for consideration by the General Assembly in recent sessions, the report said.

 

"ALEC legislation really blows the gamut on issues," Scholl said. "What they all have in common is that ALEC prioritizes corporate profits over constituents. For example, one of the areas where ALEC legislation has really been pushed in Virginia is in privatizing education."

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Voter ID: the anti-democracy movement's weapon of choice

Voter ID: the anti-democracy movement's weapon of choice | CP ALEC Intervention | Scoop.it

Whatever the claims, voter fraud is almost non-existent. The real problem is the regressive forces promoting discriminatory laws


Excerpt from piece by KEVIN POWELL, The Guardian, UK


...This is also why organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), must be exposed. Since its founding in the early 1980s, ALEC has very quietly played a major role in American legislation, including dramatic changes to voter laws. Much of ALEC's base is Republican or conservative, and mostly white, and much of its funding comes from corporations, corporate trade groups and corporation foundations. ALEC has, in turn, pushed bills it wants to see in place, state by state. Little wonder that when we hear the clarion cry "We want our country back", it is really coded language to say, "we want an America where not everyone has access to the ballot, or the American dream. Just as was the case in the years before the civil rights movement.

 

This is why it is such a huge mistake for any leader to refer to what is happening as "voter suppression". We need to continually call it what it is: anti-democracy. Because only anti-democracy forces would go to such lengths to make voting that difficult for that many, especially when the Department of Justice has stated, very clearly, that voter fraud is not rampant in our society. And we need to challenge it from every angle, including voter registration and education drives. [MORE]


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Daily Kos: ALEC - The Medicare Experiment

Daily Kos: ALEC - The Medicare Experiment | CP ALEC Intervention | Scoop.it

While we are busy trying to find members of the American Legislative Exchange Council and trying to catch ALEC legislation before it gets implemented, ALEC has moved on to their next area of US destruction – their federalism focus. To put it bluntly and in ALEC’s words from their 2011 publication EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck: Strategies for State Legislators:

 

Reclaiming State Sovereignty
With the growing threat of overbearing federal authority in a several areas, legislators are looking to new strategies to push back against the Leviathan and reassert Tenth Amendment authority. ALEC’s recent “Restore the Balance” initiative offers a series of model bills and proposed constitutional amendments to emphasize state powers.8 From interstate compacts to the so-called Madison Amendment, available tools have been thoroughly discussed

 

The topic for this diary was brought to my attention by an excellent diary by Kossack War on Error that I strongly recommend you read – it’s short and to the point and gives you the background for where I am about to go.

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Right to Work Is Wrong for Everyone

Right to Work Is Wrong for Everyone | CP ALEC Intervention | Scoop.it

WHO'S BEHIND RIGHT TO WORK?

 

Ignoring the facts about “right-to-work,” far-right politicians across the country are promoting these deceptive policies as payback to their Big Business donors. By weakening workers’ ability to have a say about their job, right to work weakens unions’ ability to serve as an advocate for all workers and a check against corporate greed.

 

Without solid evidence to back their claims, the politicians advancing right-to-work legislation depend on a coordinated network of extremist right-wing groups to provide resources, research, and an echo chamber that pave the way for right to work.

 

The most well-known of these cash-flush special interest groups include the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Right to Work Committee. Read on to learn more about the groups working overtime to make every state a right-to-work state.

 

ALEC

 

Right to work has gained some momentum as result of the collusion between Big Business and allied lawmakers involved in ALEC, an established conservative group backed by corporate special interests that peddles influence with state legislators. While much of its work has gone on behind closed doors, several media outlets and the Center for Media and Democracy have recently exposed how ALEC operates, peeling back the curtain on the significant political influence it wields at the state level. ALEC gives companies and politicians a shared role in developing its legislative prototypes, which are then introduced in copycat fashion by its members in legislatures nationwide. As part of its extremist agenda, ALEC and its members aim to limit the rights of workers and their unions through initiatives such as right to work. Check out Progress Missouri’s ALEC exposé, which reveals just how similar Missouri’s proposed right-to-work bill is to ALEC’s draft legislation.

 

In the ultimate irony, ALEC gives corporations a voice and a vote in order to rob workers of theirs. ALEC’s leadership and membership include executives from corporations like Comcast and Walmart that are notorious for their low-wage, anti-worker business practices. ALEC is also tied to heavy hitters in the Tea Party movement, like the billionaire Koch brothers, who channel their vast wealth to far-right groups and politicians and helped orchestrate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s repeal of public employees’ collective bargaining rights.

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Immigrants For Sale

A quick primer on private prisons, the legislative process to fill them, and how ALEC has worked to help their corporate members make BILLIONS in yearly profits...

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