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


  1. I found your blog randomly researching Kasich and Koch, and just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading most of your recent blog posts. What state do you live in?

  2. Thank you for your kind words - they are very appreciated. Most of my life I have chosen to live in the state of anonymity.