Thursday, June 14, 2012

ALEC - Looks and Quacks Like a Lobbyist Duck

New York is doing good!!

Thursday June 14, 2012
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Several Democratic state senators said Wednesday that a national conservative group appears to be a lobbyist in New York that hasn’t registered as such despite authoring at least 39 bills during the Legislature’s current session.

Sen. Daniel Squadron, ranking Democrat on the Senate’s Investigations and Government Operations Committee, said the Washington, D.C.-based American Legislative Exchange Council, funded by business corporations, is instead registered as a charity. The group describes itself as an organization that supports free-market policies and connects state legislators with each other and with job creators.

"You know they say if it looks like a duck quacks like a duck, it must be a lobbyist," said Sen. Bill Perkins, a Manhattan Democrat. "As such it is required to be registered, and its activities are required to be transparent, and apparently that is not what’s happening right now."

Read the whole thing <<<<HERE>>>>

From Squadrons (D-NY) press release on his webpage

The forum considered the following questions:
    How many bills currently active in the legislature have their 
          origins in ALEC model legislation?
    What role did ALEC play in the authorship and development of the bills?
    Do the activities that ALEC undertakes amount to “lobbying” 
          as defined by New York State law?
    What other influence does ALEC have in the operation 
         of New York State government?

And then there is this:
"ALEC's promotion of the shameful Florida 'stand your ground' law and its push to restrict the voting rights of minorities, students, and the elderly have put this unsavory, shadowy organization in the spotlight," said Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan). "But it's disturbing how little we know about ALEC. The group seems to be lobbying on behalf of its corporate members with near-total opacity -- scoffing at laws that are in place to prevent corruption."

Read Squadron's full and very important press release    >>>>>HERE<<<<

And then you have this interesting tidbit:

The public doesn’t have the ability to say to ALEC,‘come clean, tell us who your members are’,” said Lerner. “And if you claim you aren’t lobbying in New York, then prove it.”  

Members of ALEC were asked to testify at the forum, but declined.

When are legislators in Minnesota going to step forward and do the same when it comes to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)?
When are Minnesota legislators going to take a stand against ALEC and defend our democracy?

If legislators are not part of the solution – they are part of the ALEC problem?

Have members of your legislature stepped forward in the fight against ALEC?
Legislators can no longer remain silent.
If not – why????

That’s the question I am asking myself in Minnesota this morning.

New York legislators have led the way - it's time for legislators across the US to follow suit.

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