Friday, April 29, 2011

Protest ALEC - Today - Cincinnati

Protest ALEC is today in Cincinnati.

KUDO's to the organizers for putting such a great event together in such a short amount of time.

KUDO's to those of you who took the time to go to Cincy and participate.

I am so thankful to all of you for your time and efforts!
I wish I could be with you in Cincy today - I am there in spirit!
This is an important event - thank you!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Birther Issue - My final thought – RACISTS!

I had to take this trip down memory lane – cause we have a tendency to forget or ignore what has happened more than 10 days ago – especially with a royal wedding coming up tomorrow.

The way that I have always interpreted the “birther” thing comes down to this –
if you are a white guy –
it doesn’t matter where you were born –
the GOP will do anything to make you President,
even change the constitution -
but only for a white guy.

Now, debate over a proposed 28th Amendment is focused on the popularity and political future of one man: macho Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former bodybuilder and action-movie star who has been California's governor for barely a year.
With a bit of encouragement from the Terminator himself, some of Schwarzenegger's supporters are pushing for a constitutional amendment that would allow the Austrian-born governor to run for the White House as soon as 2008. Schwarzenegger is blocked by Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution. It reads, "No person except a natural born citizen ... shall be eligible to the office of president." The 12th Amendment says the vice president cannot be foreign-born.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a political ally of Schwarzenegger, introduced the Equal Right to Govern Amendment in July 2003, a few weeks before the actor declared his candidacy in the recall election in which Californians ousted Democrat Gray Davis as governor.
If Hatch's amendment is adopted, an immigrant who has been a naturalized citizen for 20 years could run for president or vice president.

Associated Press

No, he's not eligible. Born in Austria, he's barred by the Constitution. But that would change under an amendment introduced Wednesday by a fellow California Republican.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's proposal would allow anyone who's been a U.S. citizen for 20 years to run for the nation's highest office. That would include Arnold Schwarzenegger bodybuilder, movie star and now governor of California.
Schwarzenegger, who became a citizen in 1983, has said he supports amending the Constitution so foreign-born citizens can run for president. But he's sidestepped questions about whether he might want to run, saying he's focused on governing California.

I've written on this once before and won't go here again - because my final thought on this is and has been  – RACISTS!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Defeating ALEC – What You Can Do

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) organized 37 years ago – they celebrate their 38th birthday this year.  Yes, we are 30+ years behind them in planning – BUT – they only have 3,000 members to do their work - we have the rest of the United States to defeat them.
ALEC wants every aspect of government privatized – they are only interested in the wants and needs of their private-sector members (now called private enterprise members) – ALEC DOES NOT care about the average citizen – they care about “free market” economies.  ALEC's other concern is de-regulation.  As citizens we need to show them that we stand behind our representative style of government and ALEC will not win. 
  • Snyder is privatizing the schools in Detroit – where do you think he got that idea? 
  • Walker’s tort reform bill – the very first thing he passed when he came into office – where do you think that came from? 
  • Walker’s budget sells off government entities to private companies – where do you think he got that idea? 
  • Kasich privatizing the administration of the Ohio prison system to CCR (an ALEC member) - where do you think he got that idea?
  • Ryan wants to privatize Medicare and Medicaid – where do you think he got that idea? 
  • KS, NB, FL – where do you think your state got the idea to privatize foster care? 
  • Where do you think Voter ID legislation came from? 
  • Where do you think the legislation to privatize prisons came from?
  • Where do you think the Supreme court decision on arbitration filed 4/27/11 came from?
  • Where do you think states got the idea to pass legislation to exempt the state from Federal regulations?
  • Where do you think the idea to defund the NRLB came from?
  • Where do you think the idea to collapse departments of the EPA and reduce funding for the EPA came from?
ALEC “Model Legislation” is behind everything horrendous that is happening in the United States.

What are some of the things you can do?
ALEC has the following national events planned.  There is a protest against ALEC in Cincinnati this Friday and there are plans beginning for another protest in New Orleans – watch the web and this blog for information.   
April 28 - 29  Cincinnati, Ohio   Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Spring
Aug 3 – 6     New Orleans  38th   Marriott New Orleans   Annual Meeting
Dec 1 – 3     Washington DC   Grand Hyatt Washington   
                        States & NATION Policy Summit
Another option is to infiltrate the Institute for Humane Studies (if you can stand it – without getting physically ill) and slow down their weekend indoctrinations.  Weekend Seminars- “There is no cost to attend. All educational materials, books, meals, and snacks are provided at the seminar. Participants must arrange their own lodging for most seminars. Limited housing options may be available.”  If we’re stealing all the seats in the weekends classes and learning the talking points on weekends, their folks won’t have the latest talking points – we will.  
Every legislator who is affiliated with ALEC comes up for re-election.  You need to identify who they are  - every single one of them in your state - and make sure they do not get re-elected.  Do like they did in Michigan – go to town meetings, ask them “Are you a member of ALEC – the American Legislative Exchange Council?”  Ask every single candidate – they have to answer or try to answer and a room full of people will hear you ask the question and wonder, why did he/she ask that, why is it important, what does it mean?  Let’s bring them out, state by state   district by district, council by council and transport them into the sunlight – no more stealth for ALEC. 
Every legislator who is affiliated with ALEC comes up for re-election.  Do everything you can do to make sure they do not get re-elected – at every level of the government Federal, state, city.
In every state – across the nation – in the name of democracy.
Email the links to the web pages shown at the bottom of this entry to friends and relatives and ask them
– are you aware this is happening?
You could go further and ask:
  • Have you ever wondered why things have changed so much in the last 30 years? 
  • Can you believe our legislators are sitting down and negotiating “Model Legislation” with corporation representatives from companies like Koch, Wal-Mart, Coors Brewing and 300 other companies and then bringing back to our state and passing it as legislation?  Legislation that the citizens of our state don’t need or want – but the corporations want the legislation, so it gets introduced and passed.
  • Here - look at the legislation they are proposing in our State, I found it on this webpage and Koch may have helped write that – is that okay with you?
  • There’s a high probability we are paying part or all of the cost for legislators to go to meetings with private companies for a whole weekend to write “Model Legislation” for our state– that’s not okay with me, do you think that’s right? 
Include the ALEC webpage.  You’re bright – I know you are!  You could write a fantastic email that would get your relatives asking questions and saying, “No More – Not on my dime!”.  Friends and relatives in every state, every district, every borough, every council.
Identify the ALEC State Chairman in your state.  Identify more ALE C members in your state.  Identify the state legislators that keep ALEC running, serving on the board of ALEC.  What can you do with those two pieces of information?  You can write diaries and blogs. You can write editorials. Make comments on web based editorial pages -  bringing it to the attention of the readers that this (whatever it is) happened because so and so is member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – most folks may not know what you are talking about  - but maybe just one more person will look it up and get outraged. 
In every state – across the nation – in the name of democracy.
Most folks do not even know ALEC exists – even legislators don't know about ALEC and municipal levels employees, for the most part,  have no idea ALEC exists.  Make copies of this report and keep it in your car.  Hand it out to people – mail it to every Democrat you know in public office. 
Write a letter – or better yet start a letter writing campaign - to your governor, your house and senate majority leader (or their equivalents), state attorney general (and members of their staff) and to the state auditor – requesting that funding for any and all ALEC events and publications be ceased immediately.  (After all, you are a conscientious fiscally responsible citizen.  Let them know you want to get rid of waste in government spending) 
Every time you find an indisputable example where it appears that ALEC is attempting “to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before the U.S. Congress or in any state legislatures”, or a legislator stating they are using ALEC model legislation - print out the article - fill out this IRS form (your don’t have to sign it – just write anonymous), staple the article as proof to the form and mail it. 
If you have noticed – they NEVER talk about ALEC on the radio or TV – what ALEC is, what ALEC is doing to our democracy.  The media NEVER connects ALEC with that is happening in the news.  Write letters to Stewart, Colbert, Maher, Schultz, Hartmann, Miller, Maddow – don’t email - write a letter and tell them we want more about ALEC.  All of them will tell you – they get hundreds (thousand) of emails every day.  Think about it - how often do they get a real honest to goodness letter – 10 minutes to write – 44 cents to mail – it’s a deal! 
In every state – across the nation – in the name of democracy.
Who are our lawyers and accountants out there that are willing to put in an hours work for democracy?  Help  us question the money paid for the trips, the flow of money between ALEC, legislators and possibly corporations, and the possibility of legal misconduct. 
  • Is this illegal lobbying? 
  • Are the trip costs really corporate gifts? 
  • Is there a way to get the 501c3 status – revoked, permanently? (Even if ALEC was only required to reform as a 527 –that’s more honest than what they are doing now.) 
  • Are they violating open meeting laws – does this really constitute “caucusing”(which appears to be the loop-hole for open meeting laws – how can it be a caucus if both political parties at these meetings – ALEC claims to be bipartisan.)
We need as many talking points as we can get.  
Contact an “alternative” newspapers in your area – send the links to all the articles in this entry and ask them “Please look at this information  and consider writing and article on this”.  You can give them the names of ALEC members and the information about ALEC “Model Legislation”.  An article anywhere is better than no article at all. 
In every state – across the nation – in the name of democracy.
Remember, you have first amendment rights – BUT it is very important to remember: “ALEC has a very active and aggressive legal team (they have hundreds of corporate lawyers as members), and they go after everybody” so choose your words wisely and make them gentler than you would like to.
ALEC has gotten as far as they have because they have gone unnoticed – they have flown under the radar for over 30 years, they have been stealth in their actions.  It is up to us to make their actions known – we outnumber them - and by doing so, they can no longer continue their path of destruction in the name of “free-market” legislation.

Never, ever assume that others know about ALEC.  Never, ever assume that others know about Professor Cronon.  Never, ever assume that you have done enough or there is no more to do.
And when you think you have written enough and talked enough and contacted enough people  - start all over again – cause there’s always one more person who doesn’t know that ALEC exists.
In every state – across the nation – in the name of democracy.
  • How many emails are you willing to send in the name of representative democracy?
  • How many stamps are you willing to buy in the name of representative democracy?
  • How much does representative democracy mean to you?  How much time and money are you willing to spend?
Everything that is in this entry – I have done – and I will continue to do.  I will not stand by and let this happen to our country.  The rich and corporations will not inherit the United States of America.
(For those of you who remember reading some of this somewhere else – yes, it is my work – from another entry that I wrote about a month ago elsewhere.  And yes – there are links to my other becauseican entries – cause it’s faster and easier.)

If you don’t know what ALEC is –
You should –
they are subverting democracy and
every ALEC member in the state and federal government
must be removed from legislative office.

For more history on ALEC - please read this, or this, or this, or this

Monday, April 25, 2011

Progessives Fight Back on Medicare - IA, WI and MN

In a significant escalation of the progressive campaign to make Republicans pay a political price for voting to end Medicare, the progressive advocacy group Americans United for Change will run broadcast TV ads in the districts of
Reps. Steve King (R-IA),
Sean Duffy (R-WI),
Chip Cravaack (R-MN), and
Paul Ryan (R-WI).

Then use every ounce of energy you have
to make sure these guys don’t’ get re-elected.

Thank you.

ALEC - Registered Lobbyist

This is important folks!

North Dakota - 2009

Now to figure out who's going to do what with this information!
If you want to keep a record of this - you best save it  - cause when ALEC finds out this is on the web  they will pay someone to make it go away.

Dennis G Smith (WI) ALEC and Heritage Ties

From the original announcement (with one comment from me)
Dennis Smith was appointed by Governor Scott Walker to serve as Secretary of the Department of Health Services on January 3, 2011.
He was also a Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C. think tank (which BTW: has received $3,355,000 in funding from Koch foundations).
He wrote many articles for the Heritage.

Dennis G. Smith, the former director of the federal Center for Medicaid and State Operations including the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP).
Dennis Smith, who administered the Medicaid program for President George W. Bush

And even though I can’t prove he is a member of ALEC…
While serving as a Director at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Center  -in the US Department of Health and Human Services  -  a division of the US government –
Smith included ALEC as a "cc" on official federal government correspondence
not once or twice or three times, but four and five times (all linked to letters)
and who knows how many other times.
Why would a federal official do that - unless they have ties to ALEC?

This guy is scary!  He is ALEC evil.
Wisconsin - watch out - don't ever take your eye off this guy!
Watch every move he makes, listen very carefully to every speech he makes and never, never, ever take anything he says for granted.
He may privatize the whole damn thing in the name of free-market enterprise   becausehecan.

Oh, Wisconsin – I am so sorry! 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

ALEC - Screwing with the Federal Government

This morning I thought it was important to bring you the evolution of the thought process of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in relation to the US government.

Traditionally ALEC has focused on state level "Model Legislation", but it is evident through this historical view of literature from ALEC that they are now, more than ever focused on causing havoc with the democratic process at the Federal level.

The arrogant superiority of all ALEC members in their belief that they know what is best for America is atrocious, horrendous, revolting, repulsive, and appalling!
ALEC must be stopped.

We have to remove all ALEC members from State Legislatures and
remove all ALEC Alumni from the Federal government -
before we become
The United States of ALEC.

The goal of the Federal Affairs office is to foster dialogue between ALEC members at both the state and federal level. Throughout its history, ALEC has focused primarily at the state level; however, in order for members to ensure their legislative initiatives are effective, they must maintain a keen interest in policy at the federal level. Great opportunities exist to bring state legislative leaders into contact with their federal counterparts. These opportunities for information exchange allow us to protect a sound and balanced government and stay true to the Jeffersonian principles ALEC upholds. Michael J. Correia is ALEC’s Director of Federal Affairs.
Inside ALEC  July 2007

ALEC’s Federal Affairs Program fosters dialogue between ALEC members in the states and Alec Alumni in Congress and federal agencies. ALEC is primarily a state focused organization; however, in order for our members to ensure that their legislative efforts are effective, they must maintain a keen interest in policy issues at the national level. Michael J. Correia is the Director of Federal Affairs at ALEC.
Inside ALEC September 2008

Because of the success of ALEC legislative leaders in the states, their careers are expanding beyond state legislatures. As a result, ALEC has developed the Federal Relations program for its alumni members.

The focus of the Federal Relations program is to build a productive bipartisan working relationship among current and former ALEC members at all levels of government.

Bringing state legislative leaders into contact with their congressional counterparts is the cornerstone of the Federal Relations program. It enables ALEC members, both state and federal, to secure and protect a sound and balanced government. Through this relationship, ALEC provides its 79 members with information and testimonial support from the states on pressing policy matters.
(The number in the last sentence is a misrepresentation – there are 11 US Senators and 92 US House members who are ALEC Alumni)

If there's nothing wrong with belonging to ALEC...
   Why does ALEC  hide their state membership lists and
   why do ALEC members deny belonging to ALEC and
   why do ALEC members hide money spent on ALEC?

We must stop this destruction of the American government by ALEC.

If you don’t know what ALEC is  you should –
because they are a threat to our democracy.
– please read this, or  this, or  this, or this.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Which Legislators Help Run ALEC????

ü      Nonprofit boards should be comprised of individual volunteers who are committed to representing the best interests of the organization and its mission.
ü      Board members should be committed to the mission and dedicated to the success of the nonprofit.
ü      Board members should actively develop an understanding of the mission, ongoing activities, finances and operating environment of the organization.
ü      To demonstrate their personal stake in the organization, board members are expected to volunteer time, raise external funds and make financial contributions to the nonprofit.

The people listed below are serving or have served on the board of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  (Source – ALEC 990)

If they are currently in office – please make sure that they are not re-elected.

PLEASE make sure that they are never elected to the US House or US Senate.

Thank you!

2009 List of Current Officers, Directors
Speaker Bill Howell, National Chair
Re. Tom Craddick, First Vice Chair
Rep. Noble Ellington, Second Vice Chair
Rep Dave Frizzell, Treasurer
Sen. Steve Farris, Immediate Past Chair
Rep. Liston Barfied, Director
Sen. Curt Bramble, Director
Rep. Harold Brubaker, Director
Sen. Bob Burns, Director
Sen. Jane Cunningham, Director
Rep Bill Hamzy, Director
Sen. Billy Hewes III, Director
Sen. Owen H Johnson, Director
Rep. Steve McDaniel, Director
Rep Dolores Mertz, Director
Rep John Piscopo, Director
Sen. Bill Raggio, Director
Sen. Dean A Rhoads, Director
Sen. Val A Stevens, Director
Rep Curry Todd, Director
Rep. Linda Upmeyer, Director
Rep. Susan Wagle, Director

2008 List of Current , Officers, Directors
Sen. Steve Faris, National Chairman
Sen. L. Patrick Engel, First Vice Chairman
Speaker William Howell, Second Vice Chairman
Rep. Jane Cunningham, Treasurer
Speaker Tom Craddick, Secretary
Rep. Dolores Mertz, Immediate Past Chair
Rep. Liston Barfield, Director
Rep. Harold J. Brubaker, Director
Rep. Earl Ehrhart, Director
Rep Noble Ellington, Director
Sen. Owen H. Johnson, Director
Rep. Steve McDaniel, Director
Rep. Phil Montgomery, Director
Rep John Piscopo, Director
Sen William Raggio , Director
Sen Dean Rhoads, Director
Sen Val A Stevens, Director
Rep. James Van Fossen , Director
Sen Susan Wagle, Director
Rep Hal Wick, Director

2007 List of Current , Officers, Directors, Trustees and Key Employees
Dolores Mertz, National Chairman
Steve Farris, First Vice Chairman
L. Patrick (Pat) Engel, Second Vice Chairman
William ( Bill Howell, Treasurer
Jane Cunningham, Secretary
Susan Wagle, Immediate Past Chairman
Liston Barfield, Director
Harold J. Brubaker, Director
Tom Craddick., Director
Earl Ehrhart, Director
Nobel Ellington, Director
David (Dave) N Frizzell, Director
John Harkins, Director
William (Billy) Hewes III, Director
Owen H Johnson, Director
Donald Ray Kennard, Director
Steve McDaniel, Director
William (Bill) Raggio, Director
Dean A Rhoads, Director
Val A Stevens, Director
Hal Wick, Director

Louisiana Representative Donald Ray Kennard, National Chairman
Kansas Senator Susan Wagle, First Vice Chairman
Mississippi Senator Billy Hewes, Second Vice Chairman
Georgia Representative Earl Ehrhart, Treasurer
Iowa Representative Dolores Mertz, Secretary
Oklahoma Senator Jim Dunlap, Immediate Past Chairman
North Carolina Representative Harold J. Brubaker
Nebraska Senator L. Patrick Engel
Louisiana Senator Noble Ellington
Arkansas Senator Steve Faris
Connecticut Senator George L. Gunther
California Assemblyman Ray Haynes
New York Senator Owen Johnson
New Mexico Representative Terry Marquardt
Tennessee Representative Steve McDaniel
Virginia Senator Steve Martin
Colorado Senator Dave Owen
Nevada Senator William Raggio
Nevada Senator Dean Rhoads
Wisconsin Senator Robert Welch

And then there is this list from an archived ALEC webpage
Former ALEC National Chairmen
 Chairman                                                       Years
Speaker     Bill Howell (VA)
Senator     Steve Faris (AR)
Rep           Dolores Mertz (IA)
Senator     Susan Wagle (KS)
Rep           Earl Ehrhart (GA)
Senator     Billy Hewes III (MS)
Rep           Donald Kennard (LA)
Senator     Jim Dunlap (OK)
Rep           Steve McDaniel (TN)
Senator     Ray Haynes (CA)
Senator     Brenda Burns (AZ)
Speaker     Bobby Hogue (AR)
Rep           Bonnie Sue Cooper (MO)
Rep           Dale Van Vyven (OH)
Senator     Ray Powers (NE)
Rep           Harold Brubaker (NC)
Senator     Bill Raggio (NV)
Rep           Fred Noye (PA)
Delegate   Ellen Sauerbrey (MD)
Rep           Frank Messersmith (FL)
Rep           David Halbrook (MS)
Senator     Owen Johnson (NY)
Rep           Roy F. Cagle (MO)
Rep           Bill Ceverha (TX)
Senator     Donald E. (Buz) Lukens (OH)
Rep           T.W. (Tom) Stivers (ID)
Rep           Donna J. Carlson (AZ)
Rep           Louis (Woody) Jenkins (LA)
Rep           Donald E. (Buz) Lukens (OH)
Rep           Don Totten (IL)

If you don’t know what ALEC is –
You should –
they are subverting democracy and
the people listed above are “Directors” of ALEC and
must be removed from legislative office.

For more history on ALEC - please read this, or  this, or  this, or this.

Kiffmeyer (R-MN) - On Hiding ALEC Expenses

Many times as researchers we have a hard time finding the information that we want.
That's because the people / things we are researching tend to be a little more creative than we imagine.

If you look at Mary Kiffmeyer (R-MN)
Period Covered  1/1/2010 through 12/31/2010

You will find an expenditure under
Schedule B1-NCD
Noncampaign Disbursements, Principal Campaign Committee
Vendor:   Kiffmeyer, Ralph R.
(who happens to be her husband)

Conference and meeting fees    $510
   Expenses of serving in public office
   Reimburse payee for purchases as follows
   Registration Fee
    1101 Vermont Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20005

Also, in 2010 Mary Kiffmeyer received
Public Subsidy - State of Minnesota - Campaign Finance Board

Which means as a taxpayer -
I subsidized her to attend that DAMN ALEC meeting.

If there's nothing wrong with belonging to ALEC...
   Why does ALEC  hide their membership lists and
   why do ALEC members deny belonging to ALEC and
   why do ALEC members hide money spent on ALEC?

Guess that's a lesson to me that I need to be more creative

If you don’t know what ALEC is  you should –
because they are a threat to our democracy.
– please read this, or  this, or  this, or this.

Protest ALEC - April 29 in Cincinnati

Friday, April 22, 2011

It’s May Day Mr President – Here’s Your Shoes.

May Day occurs on May 1 and refers to several public holidays.  In many countries, May Day is synonymous with International Workers' Day, or Labour Day, a day of political demonstrations and celebrations organised by the unions, communists, anarchists, and socialist groups. May Day is also a traditional holiday in many cultures.  (Wiki)
“If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I’ll walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America.”  (Obama, 2007, campaign)

Please send President Obama a comfortable pair of shoes for May Day.
If we mail the shoes during the week of April 25 – he will receive them on or around May Day.
Choose a pair of comfortable shoes that are in decent condition, but that you do not wear anymore, put them in a box and mail them to this address:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

You don’t need to send a letter, he should get the message intended – a short polite note would be sufficient if you need to say something regarding your shoes.
(The White House can donate the shoes to homeless shelters after they are received – if one of his staffers is smart enough to think of that.)

Please join me –
"It’s May Day Mr President – here’s your shoes."