Sunday, May 13, 2012


Does ALEC really have the 2,700+ members that they brag that they have?
Is it truly 2, 700 ALEC members that are true to the ALEC anti-democracy cause?

Or is it 300 ALEC members and 2,400 people who do not know they are ALEC members?

Is it 300 current members and 2,400 past ALEC members – most of them dead now?

Or are the ALEC membership numbers another LIE of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

A reporter in Rhode Island has written a series of articles that, to the best of my knowledge, havegone unnoticed and it is evident that no one has connected the dots - important dots.

I strongly recommend you read all of the articles I have linked in this entry – because connecting the dots in Rhode Island by this reporter is important.  The whole story, as noted in Bob Plain's entire series of reports, is important.

This is a tale of ALEC DECEPTION.
It is a tale of ignorance of our Democratic leaders.

Conservative House Democrat Jon Brien of Woonsocket is not only a card carrying member of ALEC, the right wing group backed by some of America’s most powerful corporations that writes model legislation for use in state houses around the country, but he’s also the lone Democrat on the group’s 17 member board of directors.

“I don’t feel it’s largely Republican but I think it’s a conservative group,” he said, noting that ALEC stands up for low taxes and free market policies which are also core values of hisBrien said since becoming the state co-chair of ALEC he has signed up some 10 new members from the legislature. He named Reps. Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, Dan Reilly, Doreen Costa, Lisa Tomasso, and Samuel Azzinaro. He said he hopes many of them join him at the annual meeting this August in Salt Lake City.

Brien, one of the more conservative members of the state legislature from either party, said he signed up most of the House members during the special pension session in November.

 “My goal is to bring together politically like-minded representatives and senators when we believe in the same issues and ideas. If we do that, ALEC will by osmosis have influence at the State House.”

More than 20 percent of Rhode Island’s General Assembly is affiliated with ALEC, the right-wing group sponsored by corporate America that drafts model legislation for use at state houses across the country, according to a list provided by Rep. Jon Brien, the state chairman and a member of the group’s board of directors.

There are 24 legislators, half of whom are Democrats, associated with the conservative group that has come under fire as of late for sponsoring the Hold Your Ground law in Florida, voter ID efforts and other conservative initiatives. 11 of the members are from the Senate

Another Democratic state legislator says he doesn’t know how he got on a list of current and former ALEC members at the State House. Sen Harold Metts, a progressive Democrat from Providence, told me he doesn’t know why he was listed as a former member of the American Legislative Exchange Council.

“The only thing I can think of is my former colleague Leo Blais put me on there,” Metts said. Blais, a former conservative Republican state Senator from Coventry, was the state chair for ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, before he lost his reelection bid in a 2010 primary to Nick Kettle.

Metts said he has asked State House staff to remove his name from the ALEC list even though he is no longer a member.

“I just want to make sure my name is not on there,” he said, “especially when you don’t know why it is listed.”

He said ALEC’s “conservative agenda is much different than what I’m fighting for on behalf of my district.”

I wonder is Mr. Brien was one of the neglected state legislators that ALEC feeds on - legislators looking for recognition of the service they provide.
I wonder if Mr Brien is going for the ALEC "Legislator of the Year Award"?
I wonder how Mr Brien can look his colleagues in the face on the house floor?
I wonder if Mr. Brien will get re-elected in Rhode Island now that the citizens of Rhode Island know that he is a corporatist and by serving on the board of ALEC is actively promoting representation of, by. and for the corporations - instead of the people of Rhode Island.
I wonder how many corporate lobbyists - oops I mean representaives from the ALEC corporate profit sector Mr. Brien has met with privately to forward the ALEC corporate agenda. 

From the various articles cited above by Bob Plain:
Rep. John Edwards, of Tiverton, said he didn’t join ALEC.
 “Someone signed me up,” he said. “I thought it was more like the [National Conference of State Legislatures].”

Rep. Sam Azzinaro, a conservative Democrat from Westerly, said he knew nothing about ALEC, even though he was on a list of members provided by Brien.

“I was asked to sign up,” said Rep. Peter Martin, a conservative Democrat from Newport, saying Brien asked him to join. “Now, I’m questioning why I did.

Previously, senators Josh Miller, of Cranston, and Rhoda Perry, also said they didn’t know how they got on the ALEC list. All three of their memberships expired in 2012.

Sen Harold Metts, a progressive Democrat from Providence, told me he doesn’t know why he was listed as a former member of the American Legislative Exchange Council.

I AM NOT excusing people who belong to ALEC – NO WAY!

But I think it is time that we started asking all Democrats if they have checked if they are listed as a member of ALEC.
I think we need to start educating our Democractic leaders about ALEC - ALL of them!

ALEC states that 1/3 of ALL state legislators are members of ALEC –
Do all of the ALEC members realize they belong to ALEC?
Maybe - maybe NOT!

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