Saturday, June 16, 2012

ALEC Lobbyists - FACT Not Fiction

Whenever you read statements that connect the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and lobbyists like these:

New York Times
Most of the attention has focused on ALEC’s role in creating model bills, drafted by lobbyists and lawmakers, that broadly advance a pro-business, socially conservative agenda. But a review of internal ALEC documents shows that this is only one facet of a sophisticated operation for shaping public policy at a state-by-state level.

Common Cause, a Washington-based political ethics watchdog group, today filed a complaint accusing the American Legislative Exchange Council of violating its tax-exempt status by lobbying state legislators.

ALEC Exposed
Read more about these meetings where state elected officials vote as equals with unelected corporate lobbyists and special interest reps on templates to change our rights without the press or public present.

ALEC is corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills.

Civil Liberties Defense Center
Recently, waves of bills have been introduced and passed in state legislatures that seem to contradict democracy rather than promote it: laws that cut off collective bargaining rights, roll back protective environmental regulations on businesses, and restrict voting rights, have all appeared in state after state. And if you suspect that such legislation was not drafted by your state lawmakers, you would be right: these bills are flooding in straight from the desks of corporate lobbyists of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC.

Please don’t think that they are using a generalization or that this is political hyperbole when they connect ALEC to lobbyists.

Lobbyists ARE actually working within the ranks of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
ALEC can say or do anything they want to – to try and defend their position on this – but there is not defense.

So you wouldn’t think that I was lying to you – like ALEC usually does – lets take a look at some of the ALEC Private Sector State Chairs - almost every state has one!

Lets start here - just for giggles.
From the 1975 Founding Documents of ALEC
Section 10.01 Appointment, All State Chairmen are appointed by the National Chairman. All Private Sector State Chairmen are appointed by the ALEC State Chairman, and confirmed by both the Private Enterprise Board Chairman, and the National Chairman. Each ALEC State Chairman shall appoint a Private Sector State Chairman to serve concurrently with the State Chairman.

Section 10.02 Term. State Chairmen serve for a two- (2) year term. and may be reappointed by the National Chairman. .

Section 10.03 Duties. State Chairmen duties shall include recruiting new members, working to ensure introduction of model legislation, suggesting task force membership, establishing state steering committees, planning issue events, and working with the Private Enterprise State Chairman to raise and oversee expenditures of legislative scholarship funds.

Section 10.04 Meetings. State Chairmen shall meet at least three (3) times a year in conjunction with scheduled meetings of the National Board.

Then we will go here - becausewehaveto.
ALEC Private Sector State Chairs – taken from the pages of ALEC Exposed – your starting point for all things ALEC.

A little bit more about this lobbyist, some real scariness:
Rosemary Elebash is the Alabama State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business. Rosemary is a native of Opp, Alabama, and a graduate of Troy University. She was appointed as state director of NFIB/Alabama in January 2003 and represents NFIB’s 12,000 Alabama members as the public policy advocate. She represents the members’ interests before all branches of state and local government. Prior to the NFIB appointment, she was the state director of law and government affairs for AT&T overseeing legislative and regulatory affairs in both Alabama and Mississippi. She was also served as a staff assistant to U.S. Senator Donald Stewart and she was a legislative staff assistant to former Governor Fob James during his first term. Rosemary is an active participant in several organizations including the Alabama private sector chair for the American Legislative Exchange Council, chairman of the Baptist Hospital South Advisory Board, board member of the Alabama Hospital Association Special Care Facilities Financing Authority, Vice Chairman of the Business Association Tax Coalition, and Treasurer of the Alabama Civil Justice Reform Committee. In 2004, Governor Bob Riley appointed her to serve as a member of the Unemployment Compensation Reform Committee. Previously, she was appointed by Governor Fob James to serve on the State Task Force on Welfare Reform and Governor Jim Folsom, Jr. appointed her to the Board of Department of Human Resources where she served as the vice chairman. She was nominated by U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions and appointed by President George W. Bush to the National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women.

Elebash: It’s a few from the standpoint of the ballot, but as we go through a legislative session because we can do background on other issues that we have scored over a five-year period, you have multiple issues that you are working on. Typically in a legislative session, we have 1,600 bills that are introduced and I will be watching, lobbying, amending on typically more than 100 pieces of legislation.

And she self identifies herself as a LOBBYIST when making campaign contributions:
$250 donation to mike rogers for congress

John Schlatter, Takeda
Here’s a copy of his Annual LOBBYIST report with the states of Idaho.

Here’s his LOBBYIST registration with the state of Washington.

Here’s a copy of his quarterly LOBBYIST report with the states of California

Russell Smoldon, Salt River Project[3]
(Voted Best Person to Have on Your Golf Foursome 2011)
Someone once asked Russell Smoldon why he has been a lobbyist for so many years.
 “Because I can’t get a real job,” Smoldon said jokingly.

Ted Mullenix, AT&T[3]
In fact, Ted Mullenix has been named a number of times in Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's 'Top Ten Lobbyists' list. The Democrat-Gazette through a survey of legislators, legislative staff, and agency personnel has recognized him consistently as one of the top lobbyists in the state, and in the latest ranking was voted #1.

Pete Anderson, AT&T and
Too many people with this name ( search was taking too long so I quit)
Bruce MacRae, United Parcel Service[3]
Here’s a copy of his Annual LOBBYIST report with the states of Alaska.

Linda Pryor, Pfizer, and
Bill Schroeder, Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA)[3]
McInnis postpones June fundraiser hosted by lobbyists
Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis on Wednesday canceled a June fundraiser after two pharmaceutical lobbyists hosting it found out the event may violate state campaign law.
Linda Pryor, a lobbyist for Pfizer, and Jeff Woodhouse, a lobbyist for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), were two of the three people listed as hosts for a $150 to $1,050 per...

$3,953.25: the amount of money New York-based pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. paid lobbyist Linda Pryor to oppose HB 1289, which authorizes pharmacies to sell compounded drugs.

Drug-company lobbyists are a well-heeled group. The industry association and the biggest companies paid lobbyists more than $130,000 through March of this year's legislative session.

The highest-paid lobbyists during the period were Pfizer Inc.'s Linda Pryor, who reported income of more than $26,000, and Bill Artist, who reported $17,000 from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Although I couldn’t find anything on Bill Shroeder as a “lobbyist” – I did find these two pieces of scariness – in regards to his participation in local level politics.
ACED offers its members numerous opportunities to shape economic development efforts in Adams County:
ACED is a leader in aggressively driving economic vitality and sustainable business growth in Metro Denver’s northeast region. We’re the only economic development agency covering all the county and we want to help you do business here.     We’re funded by the county, nine municipalities and private businesses.

ACED Business Policy Strikeforce
Co-Chairs Penfield Tate (Greenberg Traurig) & Bill Schroeder (IREA) with ACED Lobbyist Danny Tomlinson
Direction: Provide an active policy program to the benefit of primary employers, typically on state level priorities maximizing successful economic development programs requires an aggressive, balanced public/private partnership. Strategies will include seeking relevant, realistic solutions that move at the speed of business including: Ballot Initiatives, State Legislation, Regulatory Issues , Education forums for both candidate and elected officials, and Business surveys.

The Jefferson County Citizen Budget Review Panel, appointed by the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners, completed its final recommendations and presented them to the Board of County Commisioners on Aug. 18, 2009. 

The panel was originally created in 2007 to provide an independent review and analysis of the county's financial situation from the citizens' perspective, and make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners.

Bill Schroeder, Willowbrook
Former Colorado State Senator Bill Schroeder served in the Senate 12 years, with eight years as majority caucus chairman. He was chairman of the Finance Committee and vice chair of the Business Affairs Committee. He also served in the United States Navy.
He has lived in unincorporated South Jefferson County for 33 years. A Colorado native, he has served on numerous boards. He is married, has two grown children and one granddaughter. He is the manager of Public Affairs for Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA).

Joseph Anson, Bayer, and
John Emra, AT&T[3]

John Emra, an AT&T lobbyist, emphasized in an interview Thursday that controversial legislation opening up state parks and forests to telecommunications towers remains a work in progress.

Emra said although the industry wants to stop prohibiting equipment on state property,

Mark DiMaio, AstraZeneca Inc.[3]

David Nickles, Nickles Strategy Group[3]

Michael Wall, Comcast[3]
Listed in the publication “Georgia’s top Lobbyists& Associations”

The only telecom player not on board with the Senate legislation during the Feb. 4 hearing was Comcast Corp., which now offers telephone service as well as digital cable.

Michael Wall, a lobbyist for Comcast, questioned Shafer’s decision to leave intact Georgia’s Universal Access Fund, created to compensate local phone companies for the impacts of the 1995 law.

And this is the conclusion - becausewecan.
That was just the first ten states – alphabetically on the list.
Based on what I found (and the fact that my ADD kicked in)  – there was no reason to go any further – the occurrences of ALEC lobbyists vs ALEC non-lobbyists are just too overwhelming and more than just coincidence and the point has been proven.

ALEC may call these people "Private Sector State Chairs"
- but the real word for most of them is LOBBYIST.
ALEC LOBBYIST State Chairs - and the proof is in their titles.

The American Legislation Exchange Council (ALEC) DOES put lobbyists in the same room as legislators THROUGHOUT the year as state private sector chairs and specifically at ALEC meetings – where they influence not only the legislator – but also the legislation that is coming out of ALEC meetings.

ALEC LOBBYISTS and ALEC legislators
ALEC legislators and ALEC LOBBYISTS

What money has joined together - let not man put asunder.
A Marriage made in HELL.

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