Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Reporting on ALEC - They Got it Wrong - AGAIN

The Keystone Progress folks are my heroes at the state level.  They are amazing in the way they research, w rite and take progressive action in the battle against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

So……. When I see someone that is even kinda trashing their effort I need to step up to the plate and correct the wrongs.

Here’s the snips:

May 28, 2012 5:24 pm
By Laura Olson / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG -- A liberal advocacy group is cheering a handful of state lawmakers for disassociating themselves from a conservative policy group, though some of the legislators being congratulated were surprised to find themselves on the list.

Keystone Progress is circulating a list of 18 state legislators -- including 10 Democrats -- who they say are no longer involved with the American Legislative Exchange Council. That right-leaning organization, also known as ALEC, has been the subject of criticism over its corporate donors and closed-door process for drafting model legislation.

State campaign finance reports from 2001 show a dues payment to ALEC from the campaign coffers of Democratic Rep. Harry Readshaw of Carrick. No interactions since then are publicly recorded, and Mr. Readshaw says he did not know he was affiliated with the group until he received emails urging him to quit.

"I have quit something that I never belonged to," he said. "I had no idea what they were talking about."
You paid dues – it is in the report – you belonged/
You know exactly what they are talking about.

Democratic Rep. Nick Kotik of Robinson said he joined the group to hear more business perspectives but lacked the time to attend conferences. He called ALEC to sever his official ties in April, after receiving hundreds of form letters blasting his membership.
Did he tell you he paid a two year membership in 2011?
Did he tell you he was a 2011 MEMBER of the ALEC Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force Member – definitely get a business perspective in that ALEC Task Force.
More business perspectives – huh?
Why not talk with your constituents and ask THEM WHAT THEY WANT!

One of the six Republicans on the Keystone Progress list, state Sen. John Pippy of Moon, traveled to ALEC conferences beginning in 2004, according to state reimbursement records. He was last involved with the group in 2006, when the National Guardsman served on a committee that discussed security policy.
Pippy’s involvement goes back to 2001.
Did he tell you he was part of the ALEC Homeland Security Working Group in 2002?
Did he tell you he was Chairman of the ALEC Homeland Security Working Group in 2002?
Did he tell you about his Masters Degree in International Affairs.  A degree offered by a webpage that has no admission page?  A degree that is offered by an organization that is run by three ALEC members? And how he traveled around the world for this masters degree and it has ALL been free – “a scholarship” gift?

House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods, also was on the list, though a caucus spokesman said Mr. Turzai let his membership lapse several years ago because of time constraints.
Turzai attended a task force meeting in 2007 as documented by ALEC.
Did he tell you he paid two years worth of dues in 2007?
Did he tell you he paid another two year membership in 2009?

House Republican spokesman Steve Miskin defended the group, arguing that lawmakers help draft ALEC's model legislation and that any bills introduced based on those models can be amended by other legislators.
Research has shown over and over again that the legislation is drafted primarily by ALEC Profit Sector Members.
ALEC legislators are just there for the good times and to carry the corporate legislation home.

ALEC spokeswoman Kaitlyn Buss said the criticism "is coming from extreme liberal front groups who are trying to silence the open exchange of ideas and debate on public policy because it does not fit their big-government agenda. ALEC legislators will continue to provide free-market solutions to the problems facing their states."
That appears to be her only talking point right now – the third article where she has said the exact same thing – may as well put this statement on a dumb computer and hook it up to the ALEC press line.

One legislator who recently withdrew, Rep. Joe Markosek, D-Monroeville, said that while the group is drawing more scrutiny from lawmakers, he's skeptical that scratching a few names from its membership rolls will change what legislation is being introduced in Pennsylvania.

"I think a lot of the Republican members would put some of that legislation in whether there was ALEC or not," said Mr. Markosek. "Conservative members are going to put up conservative legislation. I think we've given them too much credit."
Did he tell you Pennsylvania paid dues on his behalf?  Doesn’t say much for his fiduciary responsibility.
No – we haven’t taken ALEC seriously enough.
Republican members couldn’t write anything close to ALEC model legislation – mainly cause it does not represent the people of Pennsylvania.  Without the input of fresh ALEC “model” legislation three times a year,  Republicans – would be sitting with their thumbs up their ….

And Mr. Markosek – we are doing more than scratching a few names off the list.
We are doing the job that the Democrats were too lazy to do.
We are doing the job that YOU should have done.
Exposing ALEC

Oh - - - - those ALEC legislators are such superstars to reporters.
Oh - - - - those reporters just eat up all those ALEC misrepresentations and lies.
Oh - - - - when will reporters figure out that ALEC legislators are using them as tools?
Oh - - - - when will reporters start acting like reporters – instead of stenographers?

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