Thursday, February 23, 2012

ALEC - How Much Does Destroying a Democracy Cost?

Many times on this blog I have asked the reader the question - why would legislators intentionally support pro-business legislation at the cost of the citizenry that pays their salary.

Many times I have implied that there may be more to the membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) than the reader may want to imagine.

Many times I have said - follow the money.  How much money does it take to destroy a democracy?

Many times I have implied that we need to find a way to look at ALEC members, the funding from ALEC and how much money is really passing through the hands of ALEC to our legislators at the state and federal level.

Well....  today this article came out from Common Cause:
Cantors Cash
A snip for you - please read the whole thing.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) reports giving cash awards to legislators, including $1,350 for an award it gave to Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), the current House Majority Leader, even though members of the House are prohibited by law from receiving any cash gift, and any non-cash gift they receive must be valued below $50. Common Cause has written to Rep. Cantor to ask for an explanation. We also passed our findings on to the Office of Congressional Ethics.

The article points out that Cantor isn't the only ALEC cash award winner.  How many other winners have there been in the last 30 years and how much more money has been moved around - that isn't reported on ALEC's 990?

Also - it is important to remember ALEC is a 501c3.  Most REAL nonprofits accept cash awards - they normally don't give out cash awards.  Where did the money REALLY come from and how much more money has passed from corporations to legislators for a pro-corporate legislative agenda?

IMHO - this is probably only the tip of the iceberg and if the Attorney Generals in every state and at the federal level do not sit up and pay attention - we need to make sure that they do.

In the past I have strongly stated that an investigation of ALEC is needed and this should be a wake-up call to us all.


And Cantor's Communication Director Fires Back

And Common Cause Matches the Volley

And then ALEC puts their two cents in

And the answer is "He still hasn't reported it"

What else has not been reported by ALEC members?

UPDATE: MARCH 16, 2012
In February, Common Cause wrote to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, asking for an explanation about an apparently unreported $1,350 gift from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in 2009. Cantor’s office immediately responded, claiming our inquiry was without foundation, but last week his office quietly amended his financial disclosures to include the gift from ALEC.

ALEC members and those affiliated with ALEC in any manner
MUST NOT BE RE-ELECTED or receive our support in any means or manner!

Without state and federal legislators ALEC will cease to exist and it will implode.

For more information on ALEC –
Please read this or this or this

This is what ALEC is About  - An Interview with Mark Pocan about the ALEC Annual Meeting.

A Minnesota specific report about ALEC by Common Cause.

And watch this news video  from North Carolina on how other ALEC "model legislation" is going to screw the citizens of North Carolina - legislation introduced by ALEC legislators.

Do your own "act of education".
Distribute these materials about ALEC to your friends and family.

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