Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Righties Always Forget the “I Heart ALEC”

WOW – the ALEC righties defending the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) really came out in full force the last 24 hours after the New York Times editorial “When ALEC Takes Over Your Town” was published yesterday that I reported on.

IMHO – the reason being is because the editorial brought ALEC to the local level – the city / town level and that is one secret that ALEC really wants to keep secret.

Unfortunately, the fact that ALEC is  alive and well at the local level is public knowledge – but unfortunately has not made it to the public stage YET.  Occasionally you will find news write-ups that note ALEC involvement at the local level such as:

Howard Wisconsin – David Steffen, Village Trustee Wards 13, 14 & 18 is the past American Legislative Exchange Council, WI Private Sector Co-chair; and still actively involved with ALEC private Sector members.

Delano / Independence Minnesota –[Tom] Emmer served on the Delano City Council in 2003 and 2004. He also served on the Independence City Council from 1995 to 2002.  Was he already an ALEC-er?

Chandler Arizona The mayor is an ALEC-er. As a member of the America Legislative Exchange Council he served on: Civil Justice Task Force (2003-2004); and Tax and Fiscal Police Task Force (2005-2010).

Goodyear Arizona – 2008 Unnamed city staff members attended the ALEC Annual Meeting in Chicago. (Already removed from their webpage - so I give you a pic.)

I’m sure that this is probably the tip of the iceberg.

But anyway – back to yesterdays NYT op-ed.
Reviewing the right wingers who fought back took me to some new interesting right-wing places on the internet that you should be aware of.

First, you have this rebut to yesterday’s Op-ed.

And Providence Phoenix editor David Scharfenberg, who previously looked into whether ALEC was behind Rhode Island’s voter ID law, is unconvinced:

[P]laying the ALEC card seems a bit cheap here. Brien is an unabashed conservative, with or without ALEC. And while the group may provide the legislator with a bit of intellectual succor, there’s no evidence to suggest it had anything to do with Brien’s decision making on Woonsocket’s finances.

He forgot the

This is the same man who earlier this year tried to disconnect ALEC from the Voter ID issue.

But the group's voter ID effort was alive and well last year when the Rhode Island General Assembly passed its bill. And the chief sponsor of that measure was Representative Jon Brien, a conservative Woonsocket Democrat who serves on ALEC's national board of directors. So, was ALEC behind the bill or wasn't it?

After weeks of reporting on the issue, it seems clear to me that ALEC played no significant role in the passage of voter ID here.

Again, he forgot the

After weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks
Introduced in RI at the same time it was introduced across the nation – evidently no connection to ALEC.
Sponsored by an ALEC member – BOARD member – evidently no connection to ALEC.
The commas and periods were in different places – evidently no connection to ALEC.

Second and Third Rebuts
The Public Sector Inc has two rebuts to the NYT Op-Ed – TWO.
But neither one of them ended with

The Public Sector Inc is a right wing organization that most of us have not heard of with a big old picture of Scott walker on the front of their web page.

Here’s the purpose of the destroy “the Public Sector Inc”. is a one-stop-shop for the latest news, analysis and research about the issues facing the public sector and the American taxpayer.   …  . With a critical focus on the urgent topics of pension reform, employee compensation, bargaining and retirement health benefits for public employees, is shaping the national debate unfolding in state capitals and city halls across America
Sounds good – but they forgot to point out that they are right wing and it is all about destroying the public sector.

Why would they do that?

Public employee unions and other groups dependent on taxpayer funding have long pushed for higher spending to benefit their members, clients, employees and other stakeholders. Together, they represent a powerful force

Those damn unions!
Gobbling up the taxpayer funding that should be going to the private/profit sector members of ALEC instead.

Fourth Rebut
And then you have a rebut on to yesterday’s NYT Op-ed written by John Barro that ends with this sentence:

ALEC is clearly not the bogeyman that Nocera needs to pin Woonsocket’s fate on small-government policies, but maybe it ought to be a guide for moving forward.

He forgot the

ALEC – a guide for moving forward??????????
– not on your right wing life!!!!

A little bit about John Barro:
The Center for Freedom also arranged for a national state budget expert, Josh Barro, to appear at a RIPEC hosted pension reform forum held on October 21, 2011. Barro, who is not part of the task force, is a Walter B. Wriston Fellow at the Manhattan Institute,

In order for that snip to make sense  you need a little bit about the Rhode Island Center for Freedom (and the good ol' Koch word) and Propserity

STATE THINK TANK: As the only free-enterprise public policy “think tank”

CHANGING LIVES: Our mission is to relentlessly promote free-market solutions

And they have Task Forces at the RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity
The National Pension Task Force: 2 of 5 members
Bob Williams: President of State Budget Solutions, a non-partisan organization advocating for fundamental reform and REAL solutions to the state budget crises.

Currently Bob is the private sector chair of the ALEC Tax & Fiscal Policy Task Force.

Jonathan Williams: director of the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Prior to joining ALEC, Williams served as staff economist at the non-partisan Tax Foundation, authoring numerous tax policy studies.
Williams and Williams – ALEC AND ALEC.

It has been noted several times across that the web that it would be nice if right wing nut jobs would give their full credentials when writing op-eds.  All they have to do is at the end of the op-ed put the following statement

But that would be too blatant for a secretive organization like ALEC.

Barro is at it again today – July 2
He just won't let the ALEC angle go - must be trying to get one of those "scholarships" to the ALEC meetings - now that he is not affiliated twith the Manahttan Insitute anymore.

By Josh Barro Jul 2, 2012 12:43 PM CT
I traveled to Woonsocket, Rhode Island, last week for an on-the-scene look at the city’s fiscal troubles. Having established that they were not created by the American Legislative Exchange Council,   
Blah, blah, blah

Impartial reporting – NOPE
Impartial to ALEC – NOPE!

Josh Barro, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
2010 – 2012

Prior to joining the Manhattan Institute, Barro served as a staff economist at the Tax Foundation and worked as a commercial real estate finance analyst for Wells Fargo Bank.

Show Me The Money: Budget-Cutting Strategies for Cash-Strapped States Copyright © July 2002 by the American Legislative Exchange Council and The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Reprinted November 2002.

This is the  ALEC report that has all the horrendous budget cutting items in it that ALEC states are now encountering and includes the now infamous – SELL YOUR STATE ASSETS suggestion
4 Turn Capital Assets into Financial Assets:
Sell or Lease Government Assets and Enterprises Over the past two decades, hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of state-owned enterprises and assets have been sold or leased to the private sector worldwide. These assets have included airports, stadiums, ports, utilities, liquor operations, buildings, land, and gas and electric utilities.

Just like ALEC members
– reporters should be required to add the ALEC moniker to their articles – ALEC LOVER - as a sign of full disclosure.

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