Tuesday, March 8, 2011

ALEC - 30+ years of stealth - stealing democracy from U.S.

 “Through ALEC, legislators and the private sector work in a dynamic partnership to develop public policies that harness the immense power of free markets and free enterprise to encourage economic growth and opportunities for all Americans.” (2001 Annual Report – American Legislative Exchange Council)

In their 2001 annual report ALEC claimed that “more than 2,400 legislative members that span the country”.  Today their influence is just as great.  Calculations show that based on ALEC’s claim “of 1/3 of all state legislators” currently belong to ALEC – their state legislator membership has stayed static at about 2,400 members.

What concerns me is the number of their past members that are now in the US House and Senate.  In the ALEC 2001 annual report the stated that “more than 80 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are former ALEC members”.  On their current webpage they show a list of ALEC “Alumni” that were just added to the US House and Senate in 2010 only  – 3 additional US Senators and 27 US House members.  This is alarming because we really have no way of knowing how many former ALEC members are currently sitting in the US House and Senate - because their member logs are not public.

Realistically, we have a third political party that has been added to the US House and Senate – but no one is aware.  No one voted for these people based on their extreme libertarian philosophy – because they don’t advertise that they are Libertarians – they hide under the cloak of  “Republican” – but they are much more dangerous than any run-of-the-mill Republican, because their beliefs are so extreme that their philosophy leans more to an oligarchic plutocracy, rather than the tenants of democracy.

Statements like this from their 2001 annual report scare me to death:  “.Our members are committed to this organization and the principles for which it stands.”   (After all - their members are "alumni" - they have been educated, indoctrinated by ALEC.)

What are the principles?  Their mission on their webpage is “to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty, through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America's state legislators, members of the private sector, the federal government, and general public.”

The  2001 ALEC Annual report states:  “Through the combined effort and unique partnership of public and private sector members, model legislation is drafted, deliberated and approved by one of ALEC’s nine individual Task Forces.”

Below are examples of the “private sector members” who sit on the “individual Task Forces” and work with our legislators to draft, deliberate and approve “model legislation”.

2001  Officers

Michael K. Morgan, Koch Industries

National Chairman 
Mr. W. Preston Baldwin, Centerpoint360

Harry M.Winters, United Parcel Service

First Vice Chairman

Les Goldberg, American Express

Second Vice Chairman

Pete Poynter, BellSouth Corporation


Edward D. Failor, Sr., Iowans For Tax Relief


Allan E. Auger, Coors Brewing Company

Immediate Past Chairman

Ronald F. Scheberle, Verizon

Chairman Emeritus

Board Members
Board Members
Richard H. Bagger, Pfizer Inc
Ms. Sano Blocker, Energy Future Holdings
Jane Cahill, PG&E National Energy Group
Mr. Don Bohn, Johnson & Johnson
Marie Chelli, Vivendi Corporation
Mr. Jeff Bond, PhRMA
John Del Giorno, GlaxoSmith Kline
Mr. Bill Carmichael, American Bail Coalition
Scott Fisher, Philip Morris Management Corporation
Mr. Derek Crawford, Kraft Foods, Inc.
C. T. Howlett, Chlorine Chemistry Council
Mr. John Del Giorno, GlaxoSmithKline

Jeffrey A. Lane
, Procter & Gamble
Mr. Michael Hubert, Pfizer Inc
Kurt L. Malmgren, PhRMA
Ms. Teresa Jennings, Reed Elsvier
Bernard McKay, Intuit Inc.

Mr. Ken Lane
Frank Messersmith, Metz, Hauser & Husband, P.A.
Mr. Bill Leahy, AT&T
Roger L. Mozingo, R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
Mr. Kelly Mader, Peabody Energy
J. Patrick Rooney, Golden Rule Insurance Company
Mr. Richard McKardle, UPS
Alan B. Smith, Nationwide Insurance Enterprise
Mr. Bernie McKay, Intuit, Inc.
Jerry Watson, American Bail Coalition
Mr. Mike Morgan, Koch Industries, Inc.

Ms. Sandy Oliver, Bayer Healthcare

Mr. David Powers, Reynolds American Inc.

Mr. Gene Rackley, Coca-Cola Enterprises

Ms. Maggie Sans, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Mr. Russell Smoldon, Salt River Project

Mr. Toby Spangler, Altria Client Services, Inc.

Mr. Roland Spies, State Farm Insurance Co.

Mr. Jerry Watson, American Bail Coalition

Ms. Sano Blocker, Energy Future Holdings

Is this truly how you want our democracy to be governed?
Are these the people you want drafting “model legislation”?

I don’t want these people writing legislation – not in 2001 and not in 2011.
We have to put a stop to this!
There are far too many ALEC members in the State and Federal governments right now for us to really do anything other than react. 

ALEC has done their job well – there are probably more ALEC Libertarians in the US House and Senate – than there are Democrats or Republicans – but we don’t know, because the ALEC members list is not public.

Based on this – please see my model letter and send it, so we can cut off state funding that is sending legislators to ALEC events to be educated, to become “alumni” of this organization – and to learn how to be representatives / senators / assemblymen and god only knows what else - for the private sector. 

It’s a small step – but a necessary step.  As citizens we should not be paying for legislators to participate in educational sessions with Coors, Koch, AT&T and Wal-Mart, sitting around together drafting, deliberating and approving model legislation for our states and our country.

Come on folks –
can’t you understand how inherently wrong this is?
Does anyone –
see how inherently wrong this is?

Why has this happened?
How did we let this happen?
Can we survive this as a country?

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