Tuesday, May 15, 2012

ALEC Crapola for Payola

Yesterday there was an ALEC meme that was written by a guy who – again – did not release his full disclosure when it comes to writing about the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
James R. Copland
Jim Copland is the director of the Center for Legal Policy at the Manhattan Institute. Under Mr. Copland's stewardship, the Center has published recent work on asbestos, class actions, and "toxic mold" litigation. The Center's 2003 report, Trial Lawyers, Inc.: A Report on the Lawsuit Industry in America, received favorable press attention on various television news channels, radio programs, and print sources including The Economist and The Wall Street Journal.
Asbestos, class actions, “toxic mold” – all ALEC fortés when it comes to the topics of tort reform and ALEC’s on-going war with “junk science”.

In his piece of quasi-ALEC propaganda – probably written by Copland last weekend over drinks with ALEC Task Force Chair Victor Schwartz (who denies he or his firm are ALEC  members - which would be a direct defiance of ALEC's by-laws) at the fancy Charlotte Westin hotel, location of the ALEC States and Summit Meeting – he wrote some of this crapola:
On last Thursday and Friday, I was in Charlotte for the spring meeting of the Civil Justice Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Council, to which I presented my thoughts on how today’s securities litigation affected states. Uptown Charlotte was visited by various protesters affiliated with labor unions, the Occupy movement, and other left-leaning causes who were objecting to ALEC’s meeting and at the earlier-in-the-week annual shareholder meeting for Bank of America.

The protests against ALEC have been led by Van Jones’s Color of Change organization, which has attacked the free-market organization for drafting “stand your ground” model legislation arguably (though not really) at issue in the Trayvon Martin shooting. (Note: Florida’s stand-your-ground law pre-dates ALEC’s model bill, and the group has now disbanded the task force responsible for advancing that model legislation.) Like Ted, I’ve found the left’s attacks on ALEC to be profoundly disingenuous.

Second, if ALEC didn’t exist, corporations would still offer draft legislation and legislative amendments to further their own interests; it just wouldn’t be vetted by a broad group including legislators across several states and thinkers like myself,

Being that he was there on Thursday – probably means he is one of the big kahunas as the ALEC meeting didn’t really start until Friday.

Attacking the consumers right to the free market.  When will they learn that consumers acting out is the free market at work.  When will these bozos realize that when ALEC started writing pro-business legislation - they destroyed the free market.  This free market meme is getting so damn old - but it's the only thing ALEC can prop their hat on - because the rest of their agenda is so horrendous.

I especially like the fact that he refers to the lefts attack as disingenuous – when in fact – is is disingenuous - repeating and ALEC intentionally misleading statement - in the previous sentence when he states that the task force was “disbanded” – when in fact the policies and  legislation from that task force were just moved to different task forces.

And that last paragraph is a killer – it is what I refer to as verbal masturbation – I hope he had a smoke afterwards.

Why would he write ALEC propaganda?
Out of the goodness of his heart?
No, not so much – it’s about the Manhattan Institute, the ties to Koch and the ties to ALEC.

Examples of the Involvement and Funding of Right-WingOrganizations That Advocate Tort Reform
Heritage Foundation
Heartland Institute
Americans for Tax Reform (ATR)
Washington Legal Foundation (WLF)
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
Federalist Society
National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA)
Manhattan Institute's Center for Legal Policy
Cato Institute
Citizens For a Sound Economy (CSE)
George Mason University School of Law Law and Economics Center
George Mason University Foundation, Inc.
George Mason University

Manhattan Institute for Policy Research:$100,000 for "General Operating Support"
The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research: $200,000 for "General Operating Support"
The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research: $200,000 for "General Operating Support"
The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research: $200,000 for "General Operating Support"
The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research: $200,000 for "General Operating Support"
The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research: $200,000 for "General Operating Support"
The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research: $200,000 for "General Operating Support"
The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research: $200,000 for "General Operating Support"
The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research: $200,000 for "General Operating Support"

Show Me The Money: Budget-Cutting Strategies for Cash-Strapped States
Copyright © July 2002 by the American Legislative Exchange Council and
The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Reprinted November 2002.
The Manhattan Institute
Author-Senior Fellow
William D. Eggers

This is the ALEC 2002 report sent to state legislators suggesting that legislators:
Reduce Workforce Costs
Impose Broad-Based Spending Cuts
Reform Entitlement Programs
Turn Capital Assets into Financial Assets: Sell or Lease Government Assets and Enterprises
Introduce Competition in Service Delivery
This report was really the beginning of the ALEC privatize – de-regulate, de-unionize movement and it was written by a senior fellow from the Manhattan Institute.

And they do regularly show up for ALEC meetings
The Manhattan Institute's Senior Fellow and Director of the its Center for Medical Progress, Paul Howard, spoke at the 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council Annual Conference in a Workshop titled "Rationing By Any Other Name: Medicare's Independent Payment Advisory Board." He co-lead the panel with the Pacific Research Institute's Director of Health Care Studies, John Graham.[4]

But that wasn’t the end of the interesting things that I found.

Remember the #ALEC tweet from this weekend that ALEC model legislation was trying to put the state attorney generals under the supervision and work direction of the ALEC controlled state legislatures.

Well lo and behold – I found an entire magazine – edited by “director” Copland – about how incredibly dishonest state attorneys general are.

In the intro Copland states:
Few realize, however, just how in bed the litigation industry is with the very officials we entrust to enforce the law itself – the attorneys general of the various states.

Oh my……………………

In one of the articles, the authors states:
While the contracting out of the state’s business to plaintiffs’ lawyers for a share of the proceeds is the most obvious example of the unholy alliance between attorneys general and the trial bar, it is hardly the only way that lawyers benefit from friendly relations with states’ top prosecutors.

Oh my……………………

Manhattan Institute ties to ALEC Attorney General “Model” Legislation???? – Probably
Probably wrote the legislation.

The AG’s of the various states better look out – ALEC controlled legislatures want them to report to ALEC.

Remember the #ALEC tweet from this weekend that ALEC model legislation was trying to destroy wind energy?

Well lo and behold I found a book written by Robert Bryce, a senior fellow from the Manhattan Institute entitled:
      Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future
       — Robert Bryce is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. 
      His fourth book, Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels 
      of the Future, was recently issued in paperback. 

By the way – Bryce was a keynote at the ALEC annual conference in NOLA last August.  And he recently posted an “energy” entry on ALEC's blog.

Looks like the Manhattan Institute has some pretty strong ties to ALEC “Model” legislation.

Oh – by the way – the real point of Copland’s missive was not to praise or to bury ALEC – it was really about this:

By James R. Copland on May 14, 2012 1:17 PM | No Comments
Both the anti-ALEC and anti-Bank of America protests were part of a broader fight being waged by various interests against corporate political speech. Such protests usually invoke the largely irrelevant Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, which allowed independent corporate expenditures in campaigns but has nothing to do with corporate lobbying, trade association membership, and political action committees, which have long existed.

Oh, my god – the corporations are people meme.
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I write about ALEC - because I love my country.
Jerks like this write about ALEC - because
      ALEC crapola for Koch "payola" - that is what this is probably all about.


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