Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I am seeing new reference to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as a PAC.

I must disagree with this conceptualization of ALEC.

ALEC is not a PAC.  If anything, ALEC behaves more like a political party – with legislators that are associated it – legislators that introduce ALEC pro-corporate legislator at the state and federal level.

Organization created by corporations, environmentalists, trade unions, and other interest groups, to collect funds for contributing to election campaigns of their preferred political candidates.

Until we know better - which I think will be soon - we have no way of knowing, really knowing,  how much money the ALEC private sector members are putting in the pockets of "prefered political candidates".  Corporate PAC money can be followed - but I am convinced there is a lot of hidden money being passed under the table at ALEC meetings.  Why else would politicians agree to thwart our democracy based on representation of, by and for the PEOPLE?

But - the actual contribution of funds is not done through ALEC - so the comparison is faulty.

Political party  (my changes as noted by strikethroughs and orange italics to make it applicable to ALEC)
A political party is defined as an organised group of people with at least roughly similar political aims and opinions, that seeks to influence public policy … 

Parties tend to be deeply and durably entrenched in specific substructures of the specific society in a sustainable and well functioning democracy. They can link the governmental institutions to the elements of the civil society in a free and fair society and are regarded as necessary for any modern democratic system.

Political parties perform key tasks in a democratic society, such as
1.       aggregating and articulating needs and problems as identified by members and supporters ALEC private sector / corporate enterprise members.
2.       socialising and educating voters and citizens in the functioning of the political and electoral system and the generation of general political values held by ALEC private sector / corporate enterprise members.
3.       balancing opposing demands of ALEC private sector / corporate enterprise members and converting them into general policies
4.       Activating and mobilising citizens into participating in political decisions and transforming their opinions into viable policy options for ALEC private sector / corporate enterprise members.
5.       Channelling public opinion from citizens ALEC private sector / corporate enterprise members. to government
6.       Recruiting and training candidates for public office that support ALEC private sector / corporate enterprise members.
Nope – definitely,  ALEC is NOT a PAC.

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