Wednesday, May 16, 2012

ALEC PR Firm Earning It's $$$$$

Looks like that new PR firm ALEC hired is already starting to earn their money.

The right wing extremists who are coming out the woodwork to try and praise the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) (while we are trying to bury ALEC) are getting the double barrel shotgun out this morning.

Not only did they post an “opinion” piece in the WSJ – but then they released a press release that they had done the “opinion” piece.

That new PR firm ALEC hired is already starting to earn their money.

The comments at the end of the WSJ “opinion”piece are definitely examples of the right wing rhetoric you would read in the WSJ – probably pre-written and distributed by the new PR firm that ALEC hired..  But at the end was this one:
Why listen to Gramm at all? She was on the board of directors of Enron as they sank in a sea of deception. She also headed the CFTC where she fought every effort to regulate derivatives.

On to the meat.....

The press release on PR Newswire about the WSJ “opinion” piece included some of the following snips:

"ALEC is for less government and more freedom," Gramm and Rollins wrote. "Its opponents are for more government, and the false security that government brings. We know from the lessons of history that earned individual success is not only the key to happiness and progress, it is the bedrock of a just society. ALEC's advocacy is really for the American dream."
This should have read – ALEC is for more privatization of government and more freedom for their Corporate Profit members to rape and pillage the US.  By “earned individual success” is she talking about the corporate lobbyists oops representatives that attend ALEC meeting (corporations are people, ya know) or the poor ol’ neglect state legislators that ALEC panders to?
In the op-ed, Gramm and Rollins note that the Foundation is not only a member of ALEC, but of the Public Safety and Elections Task Force that was shut down as a result of the pressure campaign mounted by left-wing activists.
Oops - the foundation is pissed off – their Voter ID, Kill at Will, Committee has been taken away and messed up with other task forces – that could be what the real reason behind this editorial is about.   Maybe funded by the NRA?

"Everyone in every state has a direct interest in effective criminal justice, in safe communities, and in efficient, cost-conscious governance," Gramm and Rollins declare. "Yet this is exactly the sort of activity that ALEC's attackers have attempted to shut down. They win – and individuals, families, and communities lose."
Kill at Will – Stand Your Ground – “effective criminal justice” – Really??  REALLY??????
When WE win – and individuals, families, and communities WIN!!!

"ALEC's real crime is this: for nearly four decades, it has been an effective, engaged, and enduring facilitator of good governance and liberty-oriented legislation in statehouses across the country," Gramm and Rollins state. "Its critics don't just object to one or two of its programs – they object to its existence."
“they object to its existence." – Absolutely – any US citizen should object to the proliferation of fascism.

Now back to the “real” “opinion” piece that was behind a paywall at the WSJ – the only people who really get to read it are people who can pay for it – how rich!!!!

For nearly four decades, the group has been an effective facilitator of good governance.

Blacklist - what an interesting choice of words.  Very interesting - and very politically antagonistic.

Let's put the bottom line up front: We at the Texas Public Policy Foundation are members of the American Legislative Exchange Council, otherwise known as ALEC, and we're proud of it.  …  it's appropriate to say a few words in the council's defense.
Good for you!

ALEC is under sustained attack from organizations that fundamentally disagree with its commitment to limited government and economic freedom. But instead of debating these issues, they are now accusing the 39-year-old council—a partnership of state legislators, entrepreneurs and civil-society organizations—of misdeeds ranging from voter suppression to indirect responsibility for the tragic shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida in February.
DUH, because it’s true!  Our allegations are based on facts that we religiously document over and over and over again – becausewehaveto -  in the FREE PRESS

We don't have the First Amendment right of doing "pure" "opinion" pieces like this and have them published int eh Wall Street Journal - that takes money and a PR firm. (Oh, by the way - did you know that another frequent "opinion" piece writer for the  WSJ sits on ALEC Board of Scholars - Stephen Moore.)

Though we have not worked directly with ALEC on either voter-ID or self-defense legislation, it's hard to call the council's position on either of these positions "extreme," as its political enemies often do.
Oh – wait until you are faced with a kill at will idiot in your gated community.
Oh – I think disenfranchising over five MILLION people from voting – is extreme.

In a society where vote fraud is still a real problem, and where Americans are routinely required to show a picture ID to buy cigarettes, cash checks, or enter any major office building in New York City, ALEC dares to suggest that voters be required to show a picture ID. In the imagination of ALEC's critics, it's OK to require an ID to ride a train—but not to require an ID to determine the future of the greatest country in the history of the world.
Evidently she has not read any of the reports – posted around the web – of people who cannot afford the “poll tax” to get the required ID.  Evidently she is not aware that homeless vets – don’t have a street address needed in order to get a valid state ID.  Evidently she has not read the reports – posted around the web – of people who have already been turned away from the polls.  Evidently she has not read – anywhere – about the lawsuits being filed based on the fact that this is unconstitutional.

There is now even an effort to link the Martin tragedy with ALEC-supported legislation, sometimes known as "stand your ground" laws, to allow people to defend themselves. Despite the disgraceful eagerness of opportunists to make political hay off a young man's death, no actual linkage between that crime and the council exists.
“Defend yourself”????  Really – that is what is the focus of the media attention on this?  Really???? 

What’s disgraceful is that Trayvon Martin died and without “kill at will, stand your ground, castle doctrine” legislation that would not have happened.  And, by the way, who promoted theses laws?  ALEC and the NRA.  The “political hay” is harvested at the fancy resorts where ALEC corporate profit lobbyists oops representatives wine and dine poor ol’ neglected state legislators – and the correct phrase is “political pay”.

ALEC's real crime is this: For nearly four decades, it has been an effective, engaged facilitator of good governance and liberty-oriented legislation in statehouses across the country. Its critics don't just object to one or two of the council's programs, they object to its existence.
“it has been an effective, engaged facilitator of good governance and liberty-oriented legislation in statehouses”
Facilitating the marriage of Corporate lobbyists oops representatives with poor ol’ neglected state legislators in fancy resort locations to wine and dine them – in order to pass pro-business legislation that essentially destroys the philosophy oour democratic republic was built on – representation of, by and for the people.

Privatize government – Eliminate consumer protections – Sell State assets, including public spaces – DESTROY good paying union jobs – Pollute the earth through de-regulation - good governance, NOT!

Then - blah, blah blah about the Centers achievements.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Health-care reform, pension reform, and a whole range of public-policy challenges will go unconsidered and unmet if ALEC and institutions like it disappear.
From her pen to God’s ears.

ALEC, and the people who constitute it, are not a conspiracy. They are the natural products of a free and vigorous society under the aegis of our First Amendment. We at the Texas Public Policy Foundation are proud to be a part of that.
And for the Koch funding we receive and ALEC receives, AMEN.

And thank you to Scott Walker for being our keynote speaker in January – we appreciated his attention and the extra funds that brought in from extremist right wing individuals and organizations.

May the Koch’s bless you and keep you, may the Koch’s smiling faces shine upon you AND be gracious unto you.  May the Kochs’ lift up their countenance upon you,  And give each of us, another half a mil apiece, please.

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