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Thursday, September 11, 2014

ALEC Member Oped Misleads Montana



Oh – my –
I get so, so tired of ALEC members and staff misleading the public.
Think about it – IF ALEC was  - - an honorable organization,
   the members would not need to mislead others.

Today it is an OpEd written by the state chair in Montana.
Sen. Roger Webb
ALEC public sector state chair for Montana
Billings

And it’s a doozy when it comes to misleading the public.


A recent letter suggested that new voting laws in Montana come from the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group of which I am a member. This assertion is incorrect, and I'd like to explain the actual focus of the organization.

Nice lead-in for an OpEd that is full of incorrect assertions.

The American Legislative Exchange Council is a nonprofit membership organization that brings together state legislators, policy analysts and members of the business community to share ideas and create draft model solutions to issues facing the states. ALEC members are guided by the principles of limited government, free markets and federalism, and the issues ALEC members work on and the model policies they create are all on the ALEC website for anyone to see.

“the issues ALEC members work on and the model policies they create are all on the ALEC website for anyone to see.”
No – they are not
And readers should remember this, from 2013 - from ALEC - -

Only ALEC legislative members can introduce draft model policy, and after the discussions are had and the votes are taken, only the 23-member ALEC Board of Legislators can approve what model policy the organization adopts. ALEC is guided by legislators, just as members are guided by the principles of limited government, free markets and federalism.

“Only ALEC legislative members can introduce draft model policy,”
Nice play on words
 - - -he doesn’t specifically say
“Only ALEC legislative members can WRITE draft model policy,”
In fact corporations and right-wing stink tanks still write the majority of the legislation for ALEC meetings and then give it a ALEC member to “introduce”

As noted in a 2013 article on this issue
“This change is intended to preserve and protect the unique and valuable nature of our public-private partnership,” Bowman wrote. “Private-sector members are free to work with legislators to introduce, draft, model policy.”

Nowhere on the website will you find any model policy or research relating to voting rights.

Why?
Because ALEC intentionally does not include the policy or research on their webpage.
ALEC intentionally misleads the public.
But you CAN find the model legislation
ALEC VOTER ID ACT

As a state legislator, it is my job to be informed as well as to inform others. I'm a member of ALEC because I want to learn how to better solve the problems in my state, and I want to share with others what's working here at home. I encourage every Montanan to visit the ALEC website to see for yourself the work ALEC members have thoughtfully drafted.

“I encourage every Montanan to visit the ALEC website”
Should be followed up with
BUT I DON’T “encourage every Montanan to ATTEND an ALEC meeting”
because ALEC is NOT that DEMOCRATIC, 
cause even it you were to attend, 
you would be barred from attending the meetings where corporate and right-wing stink-tank legislation is introduced by willing legislators.


#VoteNo2ALEC
ALEC is one nasty, evil organization.
ALEC hates the control of the Federal government.
ALEC hates control at the local level.
They only want evil, fascist ALEC state legislative members to have control.

Its why they refer to STATES rights
It's why they are concerned with STATE sovereignty.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Asset Forfeiture - Connecting the Dots to ALEC

Four things hit my attention today that reminded me of more ALEC state nastiness that most people wouldn’t be aware of.

Like most times when pulling this together, I will rely on the actual words of ALEC, rather than summarizing them for the reader.  I do this because I want you to see the actual ALEC’s nastiness and not me just reinterpreting on what could be ALEC nastiness.

This entry really ended up morphing into two topics.
   The EVIL of ALEC at the state and federal level.
   And subsequently
   The new EVIL of ALEC at the local – municipal – level.

First:
A recent article that was precipitated by the recent incidents in Ferguson Missouri


Which made me think of this - - -
an old petition:
End policing for profit in Minnesota

In Minnesota every year, law enforcement agents seize millions of dollars from people during traffic stops, simply by asserting that the money is connected to some illegal drug activity. Frequently officers don’t have a warrant and never get a conviction of criminal charges.

Innocent Minnesotans should not lose their property through civil forfeiture.

Asset seizures often disproportionately impact those who can afford it least—low-income African-American or Latino people whom the police decide look suspicious and for whom the challenge of trying to get property back is often prohibitively expensive.

ACT NOW: End policing for profit in Minnesota.

Which made me think of this - - -
(my emphasis)
the most comprehensive national study to examine the use and abuse of civil asset forfeiture and the first study to grade the civil forfeiture laws of all 50 states and the federal government.

However, in most places, owners bear the burden of establishing their innocence. In other words, with civil forfeiture, property owners are effectively guilty until proven innocent.

In 2008, for the first time in history, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Assets Forfeiture Fund (AFF) held more than $1 billion in net assets—

State data reveal that state and local law enforcement also use forfeiture extensively: From 2001 to 2002, currency forfeitures alone in just nine states totaled more than $70 million.
Imagine being pulled over and a law enforcement officer decides to take your car, cash or other personal property. The officer claims that he has probable cause to believe not necessarily that you are guilty of any illegal conduct but that your property was used to facilitate illegal activity. Perhaps the officer thinks you are carrying a larger-than-normal amount of cash or that your travel pattern is “suspicious.”

Once your property is taken, the government will—perhaps—send you a notice letting you know that the burden is on you to try to get your property back. If you do not respond within the right time frame and in the proper manner, law enforcement automatically gets to keep your seized property. 
In 1984, Congress amended portions of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Prevention Act of 1970 to create the Assets Forfeiture Fund, into the most troubling aspect of modern civil forfeiture laws is the profit incentive at their core.

After the 1984 amendments, federal agencies were able to retain and spend forfeiture proceeds—subject only to very loose restrictions—giving them a direct financial stake in generating forfeiture funds.

1984 Ronald Regan was the President of the United States.
1984 US Attorney General was William French Smith

 
From the 1984 ALEC Annual Meeting program:
and (my emphasis)
Though President Reagan's schedule makes it impossible for him to be with you, I want you to know that he personally salutes your achievements and completely shares in the spirit of your celebration.
Faith Ryan Whittlesey, Assistant to the President for Public Liaison

While I will be unable to attend the Eleventh Annual Meeting personally, I want to again express to you and your fellow ALEC legislators my appreciation for your continued interest in judicial reform issues. While President Reagan has taken the initiative in proposing criminal justice reforms at the Federal level, many ALEC legislators have been in the forefront of enacting these same reforms at the state level. Your seminars and publications on these issues have been an excellent reference for many. Best wishes for a successful convention.
William French Smith, Attorney General

At that same annual meeting you have this –
12:30-pm Lunch
Speaker: J. Kenneth Cribb, Jr, Assistant Counselor to the President 
"The Reagan Administration and Criminal justice"
 
Which brought me to this 
– from two years earlier

1982 
ALEC State Factor newsletter distributed to all their members- including Congressional Alumni and Federal Government agency employees who were sympathetic to ALEC governance preferences:
    RAISING REVENUE WITHOUT RAISING TAXES (part D)
    second part of a three-part study series 
OPTION ONE: FORFEITURE OF ASSETS
One very ingenious method of raising revenue is to enact a "forfeiture of assets" amendment to state criminal justice statutes. Simply stated, forfeiture is a proven method for law enforcement agents to confiscate and sell at auction the goods and commodities traceable to a criminal activity. The genius of a forfeiture amendment is that it does not directly involve an alleged offender; law enforcement officers do not have to prove that a person engaged in a criminal activity. Instead, forfeiture simply requires authorities to prove "more likely than not" (not "beyond a reasonable doubt") that a good or commodity was acquired because of a criminal activity. The key to that distinction is writing the forfeiture statute as part of civil law rather than criminal law. Authorities must still demonstrate "probable cause," but the burden of proof (mentioned above) is somewhat lighter.

Similiarly, [sic] Arizona and Florida officials were able to raise a combined $175 million after eighteen months' enforcement of state pornography-related forfeiture laws.
The forfeiture [sic] statute allows authorities to confiscate and sell boats, cars, equipment, bank accounts, houses, and any other item

Collectively, a mass confiscation of all these items can be worth billions of dollars. …for resale purposes;   Most of the items can be sold for widespread purposes.
How do we know if this would have moved to the state level without ALEC?
We don’t.
But - being that Florida and Arizona were involved initially - it's a pretty good guess. Historically, these states have brought lots of nastiness to ALEC to pass around the country.
But with the hidden, secret influence ALEC has held over state legislature for the past 40 years – it is fair to believe that the state enactment of forfeiture laws can be directly tied to ALEC.

1993
ALEC
COMPREHENSIVE ASSET FORFEITURE ACT
Seizure – without process on probable cause


1998 
Chicago Annual meeting, Criminal Justice Task Force meeting
The Cato Institute's noted constitutional scholar, Roger Pilon, will be discussing the Constitutional merits of ALEC's asset forfeiture legislation.
Constitutional merits of ALEC's asset forfeiture legislation - WTH?

1999
Enactment of the  
Comprehensive Asset Forfeiture Act - part deux– which was “Reforming ALEC’s existing model bill” 
Adopted by ALEC Criminal Justice Task Force at the States and Nation Policy Summit December 9, 1999.  Approved by the full ALEC Board of Directors January, 2000.

2011 Annual Meeting in NOLA – Public Safety and Elections TaskForce meeting
(my emphasis)
    ALEC has passed policy on civil asset forfeiture and will consider a motion 
    to repeal the current model and replace it with an extended version.
“Asset Forfeiture Process and Private Property Protection Act”
Mr. Lee McGrath, Institute for Justice
To replace “ALEC Comprehensive Asset Forfeiture Act” (2000) 
Importantly, this model does not change the authority of law enforcement to seize property suspected of being associated with crime or limit in any way prosecutors’ ability to charge and prosecute suspected criminals. Moreover, it ensures that those individuals proven guilty of a crime do not keep the fruits of their crime. In doing so, it strikes the right balance between the individual property rights and public safety. 
Later in 2011
November  - Public Safety and Elections Task Force Agenda and minutes
The Subcommittee will consider policies and hold an advisory vote on civil asset forfeiture and transparency in criminal law.
Motion to repeal existing “Comprehensive Asset Forfeiture Act”; failed the public sector; Motion Failed.  Motion to table the “Asset Forfeiture and Private Property Protection Act”; passed the public sector; passed the private sector; Bill Tabled.

The same guy that introduced the repeal of the
Comprehensive Asset Forfeiture Act”;
which failed the public sector; Motion Failed. 
In 2011

Wrote this to ALEC members in the:
2012 Inside ALEC | February
Civil forfeiture is one of the most serious assaults on property rights in America today. With civil forfeiture— unlike criminal forfeiture—law enforcement in most states can take your property without even so much as charging you with a crime, let alone convicting you of one.

ALEC adopted new model forfeiture policy in January.
ALEC’s Asset Forfeiture Process and Private Property Protection
Act does the following three important things:
1. It ends civil forfeiture and replaces it with criminal forfeiture;
  (under civil forfeiture, owners need not be convicted of any crime
  to lose homes, cars, businesses, cash or other property.)
2. It requires all forfeiture proceeds to be deposited in the state
treasury and does not allow them to supplement the budgets
of local law enforcement; and
3. It shifts the burden to the state to prove that someone whose
property has been seized and claims to be an innocent owner
did not have actual knowledge of the crime committed by
someone else with their property.
ALEC’s model policy allows law enforcement to hold seized property for investigatory reasons

Proceeds to states from forfeiture now exceed $500 million per year. In only eight states are the proceeds from forfeitures under state law deposited in the state’s general treasury. In the other 42 states, local law enforcement gets at least half of the proceeds including 26 states where 100 percent of the proceeds supplement the budgets of the law enforcement agencies

The potential for abuse is rooted in this potential to make money. 
As documented in legal cases found in the past and recent press (for reasons other than the topic of this entry) – potential of abuse – for monetary gain - can extend to state legislative members of the American Legislative Exchange.

Which made me think of this - - - 
ALEC's Hatred of Municipal Money

As noted above in the 2012 article, the ALEC adopted new model forfeiture policy included:
     “to be deposited in the state treasury
     and
     does not allow them to supplement the budgets
     of local law enforcement”
Think about that!
ALEC hates local control.
So in ALEC states where this new version of the forfeiture policy passes
they will basically be telling municipalities:
Turn over what you seize to the ALEC state legislature.

     It’s the money to the cities
     It’s the ordinances
     It the fines that they collect that they get to keep and
     It’s all about that

Keeping money out of local treasuries, regardless of how it is obtained – is a goal of ALEC.

Which brings us to this - - -

ALEC hates local control 
and
they are actively seeking 
and finding 
city and county employees who are willing help them 
destroy local government.








ACCE


So - - 
ALEC EVIL move throughout the system

How does that movement work?
From Federal law
Possibly to state law – pushed by ALEC state legislative members
And now
To local laws – which will be pushed by municipal ALEC members 

#VoteNo2ALEC
ALEC is one nasty, evil organization.
ALEC hates the control of the Federal government.
ALEC hates control at the local level.
They only want evil, fascist ALEC state legislative members to have control.

Its why they refer to STATES rights
It's why they are concerned with STATE sovereignty.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

GOP LIES - Deciding Vote On ACA - State by state by state



GOP Lies

ONE
McFadden: Franken Was Deciding Vote for Obamacare, but Does Nothing Today to Fix It

TWO
Scott Brown Lied About Shaheen's Deciding Vote For Obamacare

THREE
Did Mary Landrieu cast the ‘deciding’ vote for Obamacare?

FOUR
"Jeff Merkley was the deciding vote on Obamacare,"

FIVE
Kay Hagan
Hagan cast the deciding vote for Obamacare.

SIX
Sen. Pryor was the deciding vote for #ObamaCare,

SEVEN
"Udall cast the deciding vote for Obamacare

EIGHT
television ads about McCaskill’s “deciding vote” for the “jobs-killing Obamacare.”

NINE
Debbie Stabenow, the deciding vote to create Obamacare

GOP Lies 
cause they can't win on the issues

Monday, September 1, 2014

When ALECers Retire - There is Still Danger



Two hundred plus  (200+) ALEC incumbents are not running for re-election in 2014

This may sound like good news
– but –
IT IS NOT
Just because they resigned this year – does not mean they have left politics.

Some are running for higher office
   And HAVE TO BE DEFEATED

Some are running for Supreme Court, District Court or Justice of the Peace
   And HAVE TO BE DEFEATED

AND WORSE
Some are running for city and county offices
To help the extremist, pro-corporate, we want right to work implemented at the local level - American Legislative Exchange Council expand their newest evil entity – the ACCE
And those people HAVE TO BE DEFEATED

Here’s the list of ALECers who resigned for you to check and take action on
Be sure they don't get elected to a different position in your state!!
Check you state ballots!
   Educate your friends, family and neighbors
      NOT TO VOTE FOR THESE PEOPLE
Yes it has typos – 


Alabama
Montana
Richard Laird
Verdell Jackson
Mary Sue McClurkin

Greg Wren
Scott Reichner
Chad Fincher
Mark Blasdel


Jesse O’Hara
Alaska
Wendy Warburton
John Coghill
Cary Smith
Fred Dyson
Krayton Kerns
Lseil McGuire
David Howard


Pat Connell
Mia Costello

Peggy Wilson
Nebraska


Pete Pirsch
Arizona
Bill Avery
Chester Crandell
John Wightman
Al Melvin
Mark Christensen
John Mccomish
John Harms
Rick Murphy

Michele Reagan
Nevada


Barbara Cegavske
Andy Tobin

Doris Goodale
Crescent Hardy
Brenda Barton

Steve Smith
New Hampshire
Tom Forese
Ballotpedia claims a total of 93
Jeff Dial
in house resigned but gave no list.
Debbie Lesko

John Kavnaugh
New Mexico
Justin Olson
William Gray
Justin Pierce
Anna Crook



Arkansas
New York
Johnny Key
Greg Ball



Terry Rice
North Carolina
Ann Clemmer
Thom Tillis
Allen Kerr
Ruth Samuelson
Davy Carter

Robert Dale
North Dakota
Andrea Lea
Spencer Berry
Denny Altes

Jonathan Barnett
Alon Wieland
Les Carnine
Brenda Heller
John Burris

Duncan Baird
Ohio
Karen Hopper
Tim Schaffer
Debbie Hobbs

Mary Slinkard
Matt Huffman


Terry Blair
California
William Batchelder
Dan Logue
Jay Hottinger


Gerald Stebelton
Colorado
Ross McGregor
Greg Brophy
John Adams
Steve King
Rex Damschroder
Scott Renfroe
Lynn Wachtmann



Mark Waller
Oklahoma
Amy Stephens
Rob Johnson
Bob Gardner
Cliff Branan
Cheri Gerou
Cliff Aldridge
Spencer Swain

Carole Murray
Marty Quinn
Jerry Sonnenberg
Steve Martin


Skye McNiel
Connecticut
Mike Jackson
Penny Bacchiochi
Colby Schwartz
DebraLee Hovey
Gus Blackwell


TW Shannon
Delaware
Mike Reynolds
None



Oregon
Florida
Larry George
Jimmy Patronis

Daniel Davis
Tim Freeman
Bryan Nelson
Wally Hicks
Will Weatherford
Bruce Hanna


Dennis Richardson
Georgia
Kim Thatcher
Ronnie Chance
Jason Conger



Edward Lindsey

Josh Clark
Pennsylvania
Delvis Dutton
Bob Robbins
Ellis Black



Dick Stevenson
Hawaii
Sam Smith
None
Jerry Stern


Paul Clymer
Idaho

Eric Anderson
Rhode Island
Darrell Bolz
None
JoAn Wood



South Carolina
Illinois
Phillip Owens
Kirk Dillard
Ted Vick


Liston Barfield
Renee Kosel

Darlene Senger

Dennis Reboletti
South Dakota
Jill Tracy
David Novstrup
Tom Cross
Santel Krebs
Michael Bost
Ryan Maher


Larry Rhoden
Indiana

Sue Landske
Manford Steele
Thomas Wyss
Hal Wick


Stace Nelson
Iowa
Charles Hoffman
Nancy Boettger
Betty Olson
Sandra Greiner




Mark Lofgren
Tennessee
Steven Olson
Kent Willima
Pat Murphy
Vince Dean


Joe Carr
Kansas
Joshua Evans
Kelly Meigs
Barrett Rich
Lance Kinzer

Richard Carlson
Texas


Ken Paxton
Kentucky

Katie Stine
Jim Pitts
Julie Denton
Brandon Creighton


Harvey Hildebran
Ben Waide
Rob Orr
Robert Damron
Dan Branch


Bill Callegari
Maine
John Davis
Roger Sherman



Utah
Matyland
Stuart Reid
Allan Kittleman

Nancy Jacobs
Ryan Wilcos
Barry Glassman
Roger Barrus
Leroy Myers
Jennifer Seelig
Michael Hough
Rebecca Lockhart
Nancy Stockdale

Gail Bates
Vermont
Ron George
Duncan Kilmartin
Steve Schuh

H Wayne Norman
Washington
Adelaide Eckhardt
Janea Holmquist
Jennie Haddaway-Riccio

William Frank
Judith Warnick


Charles Ross



Massachusetts

George Peterson, Jr.
West Virginia


Troy Andes
Michigan

Bruce Caswell

Randy Richardville
Wisconsin
John Moolenaar
Neal Kedzie


Dale Schultz
Bill Rogers
Mike Ellis
Eileen Kowall

Tom McMillin
Chad Weininger
Gail Haines
Mike Endsley
Kenneth Kurtz
Stephen Nass
Matt Lori
Erik Seversin
Mike Shirkey
Howard Marklein


Pat Strachota
Minnesota
Daniel Lemahieu
Mike Benson
John Klenke
Kurt Zellers
Bill Kramer
Michael Beard

Pam Myhra
Wyoming


Leslie Nutting
Missouri

Brian Nieves
Kathy Davison


Thomas Lubnau, II
Mike Thomsom
Carl Loucks
Stanley Cox

Doug Funderbunk

Chuck Gatschenberger

Timothy Jones





Saturday, August 2, 2014

#KeepmyTV Advocates Are Getting Jerked Around

My public service announcement
because a lot of people are getting jerked around on Twitter 
they don't know it
and they need to know it


Nastiness in the cable TV industry and it's got a real piece of nasty associated with it.
Real nasty!

Background:

Anyone who has antenna (free) TV is seeing ads from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) telling them to contact Congress to KeepMyTV

Here's why
The cable companies are up to some real nastiness in DC that NAB is warning may end up
in free broadcast antenna TV being eliminated
AND
your local broadcast channels being moved from basic service to premium service on the cable lineups

I have every reason to believe NAB 
- if nothing else it doesn't hurt to sent a message to Congress
- just in case
cause the public is always the last to know.

WELL
Here's where the right-wing, pro-corporate cable funded slimeballs step in

If you tweet
keepmytv.org
or 
#Keepmytv
You immediately gets spammed by the American Television Viewers Association

A twitter activist will send this:
and they get spammed with this.

Misleading Nana - becausetheycan

AND
its happening
over and
over and
over again
(Just proof that this is a major undertaking by ATVA)


American Television Viewers Association (ATVA)
is a division of 

American Television Alliance
  a lobbying group representing multichannel-video providers and cable networks
  a lobby group representing cable and satellite providers
  formed by Time Warner Cable in 201

Time Warner Cable has been one of ATVA's biggest supporters, and has led the funding for its lobbying efforts.

In 2010 the Heartland Institute listed ATA as
Victories: The American Television Alliance, a The [sic] 31-member industry coalition,was formed in July 

The board of American Television Alliance as noted on their 2012 990  included
    American Cable Association
    Charter
    DirecTV
    DishTV
    USTelecom
    Insight
    MediaComm
    Time Warner Cable (2)
    past Turner Communications employee

In relation to this issue the American Television Alliance defends themselves in a blog entry
with
"a sampling of what conservatives are saying"
Who are those conservatives
     Free State Foundation - ALEC member
     Mercatus Center - funded by Koch
     Citizens Against Government Waste - ALEC member 
     L. Gordon Crovitz - who writes for Murdoch media - ALEC member
     National Taxpayers Association - ALEC member
     Taxpayer Protection Alliance - Founded by ALEC scholar - Stephen Moore
     R Street Institute - Cofounded by ex ALEC exec director Alan Smith
     Heritage Foundation - ALEC member
Pro-corporate, free market conservative organizations - all with indirect ties through the American Legislative Exchange Council to the cable and satellite providers that fund American Television Alliance.

Soooo - - - 
The American Television Viewers Association
A group that lobbies for cable and satellite providers
is telling every person like NanaG out there that emails Congress or tweets to friends and family
to #keepmyTV

"Don't worry - Be Happy"
The NAB is lying and
the cable companies will look out for your best interests.

Bullshit!