Thursday, April 19, 2012

Defending ALEC and Getting it Wrong - AGAIN!

The right wing never ceases to amaze me in their ignorance when it comes to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

A couple of days ago - ALEC sent out a "call for help."   Help us - we've fallen and we can't get up!  Help us - please oh please help us.

Then the right wing nut jobs step forward because someone told them to – to defend poor ol’ ALEC – and for the most part have probably never heard of ALEC before – but someone is writing them a big check to write an article – or they are "picking themselves up by their bootstraps" by kissing their bosses butt and writing something - or they need another item for their CV.

Well, today we have a perfect example of someone pushing around ALEC talking points in an effort to try and make ALEC look good.

That is a hopeless endeavor– but the extremist conservatives haven’t figured that out yet.

Hey folks -
You can’t make a silk purse out of an ALEC pigs ear.

Here’s snips of a blurb that came out today. (Christ, I didn’t realize it was three pages long until it downloaded – verbose too – without knowing what the hell he is talking about.)

Well let’s begin.
If you want to read the whole thing – grab a barf bag and >>>GO HERE<<<

(His typo - not mine, noted in red)
COMMENTARY: Attacks on ALEC hypocritical and unfair
Thursday, April 19th, 2012
 By Steven Greenhut | Vice President of Journaism

SACRAMENTO — A cadre of liberal groups has decided the scourge of the nation is a little-known conservative organization that provides model legislation to state legislators across the country.

Atlantic highlights ALEC Exposed, a group run by a former Justice Department official who created a wiki site spotlighting more than 800 bills that emanated from the supposed ALEC star chamber. Other groups, including a conspiracy-minded outfit that claims ALEC’s efforts to battle voter fraud are designed to keep black people from voting, have been strong-arming corporate sponsors into abandoning ALEC. Given the backbone-challenged nature of corporate America when it comes to political matters, it’s no surprise the scare tactics are working.
“supposed ALEC star chamber  ..  “  OK – It’s evident this guy has not been reading much ALEC "model legislation" publicity lately.  There is nothing “supposed” about the ALEC bills that CMD has.  And “the star chamber”  - more like the black hellhole of democracy.

I find it interested that he would refer to Color of Change as a “conspiracy minded outfit”.  That’s what I call the extremist conservatives that belong to ALEC.  Not only conspiratorial in their thinking in regards to others – but also paranoid and psychopathic.

And now “corporate America” (interesting phrase – Freudian slip maybe?) is spineless for leaving ALEC – oh my….. it is my opinion that the corporations of America are spineless when they belong to ALEC – in order to get what THEY want – and they buy legislators at ALEC meetings to introduce legislation for them.

ALEC’s structure isn’t that different from the one taken by “mainstream” organizations such as the National Conference of State Legislatures, whose foundation includes donors of at least $25,000 that’s a who’s who of corporate America: AT&T, Walmart, Visa, Time Warner Cable, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. These donors include the National Education Association, which is a prominent labor union.

Oh – God – not that meme again.  For the thousandths time – from ALECExposed
ü      NCSL is run by an Executive Committee made up of legislators only. Corporations and their lobbyists are not members of NCSL committees.
ü      NCSL does not accept for-profit corporate members or donors. ALEC, on the other hand, is funded almost entirely by its corporate members. In 2009, ALEC's revenues were $6.3 million.
ü      NCSL is led by a fully bipartisan group of legislators through an "Executive Committee." ALEC is led jointly by a corporate board and a 23-member public board. All of the public board members are Republican legislators, and the board is chaired by Rep. Noble Ellington (R-Louisiana). There is no indication that a Democratic legislator has ever chaired ALEC's public board.
ü      ALEC also has an "advisory" board of "scholars," all of whom have been active in Republican administrations, politics, or right-wing causes -- at one point, ALEC's executive director stated, "The ALEC agenda is the Bush agenda," referring to the first president Bush. ALEC scholars are also connected to ALEC funders

And there it is again – that crazy union crap that ALEC has been pushing for 30 years – this guy even used the same union that ALEC lambasted in 2001 in an article where they said this “Somewhere along the way, NEA officials became more concerned with advancing their own political agenda and ambitions than meeting teachers’ needs”  And they said this, “ The NEA provides paid staff to   …  help carry our stealth political activities …” 

Even worse, NCSL uses taxpayer dollars to fund many of its activities, which is something ALEC most definitely does not use. NCSL takes positions on issues. It champions itself as a nonpartisan forum for legislators to debate issues, but many critics recognize its left-of-center tilt.
No, ALEC does use taxpayer dollars – in fact in addition to being reimbursed by ALEC corporate profit sector members for all the fancy trips to fancy resorts – there are examples where legislators are double and triple dipping into state funds for their little ALEC excursions.  And by the way - if you check campaign reports - the public is paying much dinero for ALEC.   (He should read some of the articles out of VA - I think it was a quater of billion dollars so far on ALEC travel and expensese.) And believe me – the public IS paying for this disaster called ALEC.

Since when is it awful to create a privately funded organization that advances constructive policy ideas? It’s far better to have corporate sponsors voluntarily pay for the group than to force the rest of us to pay for it through our tax dollars, which is how NCSL and many other organizations operate.
Constructive policy ideas?  I think NOT!  Pro-corporatist bullshit!
And nope, having corporations pay for the privilege of  writing legislation is not a good idea.  

By the way, Atlantic and other critics can complain about “pre-packaged conservative legislation,” but interest groups from the left and right often promote model legislation. It’s a good way to get policy preferences in play.   …   What ALEC does is far less nefarious than the standard operating procedure in the U.S. Capitol and state capitols.
Oh, god – he probably actually believes that.
BTW – ALEC IS SOP at the state and federal level.  More so than any other

Leftists don’t like the policies ALEC promotes, so they are using intimidation tactics to shut it down. It’s that simple. They are within their rights to do this, but let’s at least recognize that it flows not from any problem with how ALEC operates, but from the most transparent political motives.
No – we’re not using intimidation techniques – we are using ALEC’s “free-market” philosophy and it works quite well for grassroot activists.

And yes – Mr. Greenhut – EVERYTHING we do “flows from problems with how ALEC operates”.

And by the way - I'm not a "leftist"
I am a liberal progressive Democrat!

Nuff said.

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