Sunday, June 10, 2012

ALEC - Consumer Activism is One of the Keys

I am a strong proponent that you need to read lots of different authors out there when it comes to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Reading lots of authors helps you to refine your thoughts and to develop the talking points that are so necessary as we continue our ALEC “education” process.  Knowing LOTS of facts – is also important when it comes to ALEC “educational” talking points.

I also know from experience that it is always the right search words that take you to the best places and that can happen by mistake sometimes.

This past week I found a two month old article that is well worth your read.
The links that are in the article are well worth your read.
This article, in addition to being informative - is about the importance of activism.

I share some snips (my emphasis) – hopefully to entice you to read this great article.  

But if the companies didn’t want to publicly support ALEC’s preferred policies, why were they supporting ALEC in the first place?

This is a powerful and key statement that everyone should understand.  Any lobbyist or state legislator that regularly attends ALEC meetings or serves on an ALEC Task Force KNOWS exactly what the other task forces are working on.  They all knew about the Voter ID legislation – they knew about kill at will legislation.  By being there – they are supporting this type of legislation – AND they know it!

Describing the task forces through which ALEC does most of its policy work, the organization boasts that “Legislators welcome their private sector counterparts to the table as equals, working in unison to solve the challenges facing the nation.” Equality comes at a price, of course: $25,000 to join the “
Jefferson Circle
,” and an undisclosed amount, presumably much higher, to join the elite “Private Enterprise Board.”

A number of those donors seem to have decided that, faced with even modest amounts of negative publicity, the access provided by ALEC wasn’t worth the price of being associated with political positions they didn’t want to publicly endorse.

I particularly like that paragraph.  It stresses that while everything was secret at ALEC – the companies were okay to go to the meetings and help pass ALEC legislation.  By making it public – Not So Much.  This is why we have to expose organizations that work in clandestine manner – our of the eye of the public – behind our backs -  changing  our democracy.

Consumer-oriented companies in particular don’t want controversy and tend to avoid getting involved with issues that don’t affect the company directly—even if the executives are conservative and might personally favor policies that would help conservatives gain power, such as voter ID laws.

What organizations like ALEC do is sell access, which they in turn use to promote a broader range of conservative causes. Boycotts and shareholder activism can break that pattern—not by intimidation, as conservatives suggest, but by forcing the decision out of the hands of the lobbyists alone and into higher levels of the company.

Stop and think about it – the lobbyists are the ones going to the ALEC meetings.  This has been going on for decades.  It is only when we bring the mechanisms into the eye of the public and media that the big wigs at the corporations start to notice.  Many of suits in the executive suites may not even be aware that they belong to ALEC.  That’s why we have to be loud, we have to be in their face – so someone other than the corporate lobbyist – who attends ALEC meetings in swanky locations – multiple times a year, takes notice.

It’s not always that easy, though. Not surprisingly, the companies that moved most quickly to divest from ALEC were, like Wendy’s and Coca-Cola, well-known consumer companies whose name is their brand.    And the ALEC donor that has probably gained the most from its involvement in ALEC, the private-prison giant Corrections Corporation of America, has no reason at all to be concerned about its reputation with its involuntary customers.

Read the whole article >>>>HERE<<<<

Key point – we have to keep focusing on the consumer brands.
State Farm – not a good neighbor
Johnson & Johnson

Get you activist mo-jo going and sign some petitions

As consumer activists we do have a huge voice – and we must use it.

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