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Saturday, July 7, 2012

ALEC's Public Safety and Elections Shell Game

Trayvon Martin is no longer in the news on a regular basis
Voter ID is just there –staring us in the face everyday
Immigration laws like SB1070 have made it to the Supreme court and the discriminatory parts of it remain intact.


The Public Safety and Elections Task Force is the one that bought us the horrendousness known as
Voter ID legislation,
Kill at Will legislation  - wherever you are - and
Immigration legislation – SB1070

If you look on the web and do a search for “ALEC Public Safety and Elections  Task Force” all  the hits you will find look like this
We are eliminating the ALEC Public Safety and Elections task force
ALEC's decision to disband the Public Safety and Elections task force
ALEC Disbands Task Force Responsible for Stand Your Ground
ALEC Scraps Task Force on Public Safety and Elections
ALEC Eliminates Task Force That Did NRA's Bidding
ALEC Unraveling? Group Shuts Down Gun and Voter ID Task Force
This is just ALEC theatre – they DID NOT Do anything substantial.
Great publicity – but worthless in the elimination of the realm of ALEC nastiness.

All they did was dump one task force
AND MOVE all the crap Public Safety and Elections were working on to other task forces

And that fact was brought to life in this interview (my emphasis):

Republican State Rep. Jerry Madden of Texas chairs the Public Safety Task Force and although he is disappointed the committee is disbanding, he said many of the issues will be transferred to other committees.

"ALEC's decision won't impact the important issues we've worked on," Madden told The Christian Post.
BUT no one is covering that – they never did - they aren't now.

– They didn’t eliminate anything – they just moved it
– I wonder which task forces have now taken over the work of the Public Safety and Elections nastiness.

Do you really believe that ALEC would step away from their agenda of ethnic cleansing of the voter registry, immigration and private prisons?

Do you really  believe that ALEC would step away from their agenda of Democratic  cleansing of the voter registry?
Really?
REALLY??????

When Common Cause released the documents that supported their request to the IRS to revoke the 501c3 status of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), they also posted important documentation for researchers – and for that I thank them.

One of the items that Common Cause put out there for all the world to see was the list of ALEC Corporate Profit Sector members and which ALEC Task Forces they participated on.

I took that list, dropped it into good ol’ Excel and  separated out the corporations and the various task forces that they sat on – and found some things that I thought were interesting.

PUBLIC SAFETY AND ELECTIONS
To develop model policies that reduce crime and
violence in our cities and neighborhoods, while
also developing policies to ensure integrity and efficiency
in our elections and systems of government.

ALEC publicly states that the he Public Safety and Elections task force was dismantled. But ALEC acknowledged the next day, publicly that they had only transferred all the horrendous bills and research from this task force - to other ALEC task forces.

The Public Safety and Elections Task Force is the task force that brought the United States Voter ID legislation, Kill at Will legislation and immigration legislation such as SB1070 out of Arizona (which is spreading across the United States.

With the exception of the International/Federal Relations (which only has two corporate members) – this task force has the least amount of Corporations on the Task Force – but they are a powerhouse.  Along with the Commerce Task Force – it is the cheapest task force  to join at $2,500.

So I thought I’d take a look at which corporations were behind
Voter ID legislation,
Kill at Will legislation  - wherever you are - and
Immigration legislation

The interesting thing that I found was which corporation served on that task force.  Corporations that are still members of ALEC.  Aside from these – most of the other private sector task force members are from Republican thinkless tanks and other right wing 501c3’s.


Koch Companies Public Sector
Public Safety and Elections
MillerCoors
Public Safety and Elections
Reynolds American Inc.
Public Safety and Elections
Orchid Cellmark
Public Safety and Elections
Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals
Public Safety and Elections
TASER International
Public Safety and Elections
Wine Institute
Public Safety and Elections


The first three  really don’t’ surprise me – theses three have been hooked at the hip since the very beginning of the AELC story – they have way too much money invested in this organization to let anything the public does change ALEC’s death grip on the US democratic republic with it’s representation of, by, and for the PEOPLE.

The Coors empire financed Paul Weyrich’s meteor rise from a lurker in Congress – to the “Father of Conservatism” “The Heritage Foundation” and the “Moral Majority.

The Kochs are just plain nasty – with a family history that includes doing business with the Nazis and being a stalwart of the John Birch society and I need not say more about them.

Reynolds American Inc. has been with ALEC since forever.  ALEC was a mover and shaker during the tobacco wars of the 1990’s for their tobacco profit sector members.  Reynolds has way too much money

And then comes the other hangers-on in the Public Safety and Elections task force and the winnings that they have reaped or would reap with the legislation coming out of that task force.

Orchid Cellmark – brings a unique set of skills to the table.  When you think about immigration legislation and voter registration and what appears to be a very blatantly racist approach to politics – it would seem that a pharmaceutical company would be a strange addition to this task force – until you find out their main line of business – DNA testing.

Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals (a UK multinational company) was a mystery to me also – as they are most well known for their household products.  In fact is you go to rb.com you will have an extremely hard time finding their pharmaceutical division.  So what are their “pharmaceuticals”?  Suboxone, Subutex & Temgesic.  From Wiki:  In October 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States also approved Suboxone and Subutex, buprenorphine's high-dose sublingual tablet preparations indicated for detoxification and long-term replacement therapy in opioid dependency, and the drug is now used predominantly for this purpose.  Temgesic was their first buprenorphine product.  Lots of money to be made here when you throw drug addicted people into private prisons – another high priority for ALEC legislation.

In respect to that you need to consider this:
Since 1980, the country has witnessed a 377 percent increase in total prison population.6 Beginning in the late 1970s with the push to “get tough on crime,” the enormous growth of the prison population has been driven in part by aggressive pursuit of criminal charges against non-violent drug offenders as part of the “War on Drugs” and harsh state and federal sentencing guidelines that have limited judicial discretion.7

TASER International – self explanatory.  This company is making a mint off of their wining and dining of state legislators at ALEC meetings – getting them to pass legislation that TASER writes and puts more profit in TASER’s pockets with the legislation passed at the state level.

Wine Institute – This one puzzled me and still does – I can’t figure out why they would involved with such a nasty, nasty task force – except for the DWI thing –and it is the only task force they are on  Interesting and possibly useless information I found is that the President of the Wine institute is a Democrat – Robert P. “Bobby” Koch (unfortunate last name – he is the son of George and Helen Koch – as noted on page 468 of Barbara Bush’s Memoirs) and married to Dorothy Walker Bush often called "Doro", (born August 18, 1959), is the daughter of the 41st President of the United States George H. W. Bush (Source: Wiki)   But then again, The Bushes being huge supporters of ALEC through both presidency’s and in the state of Florida.

As I was finishing this entry I thought to myself – maybe folks don’t know who were the active members of this task force – the members who actually showed up at meetings and reviewed the legislation that was introduced by the ALEC profit sector members.

So I went back to Common Cause and pulled the attendees from the minutes of a couple of Public Safety & Elections Task Force meetings for you.

These folks are the ACTIVE ALEC members – they attend the meetings – they approve the legislation and they are responsible for pushing the agenda of Voter ID, Kill at Will and immigration “reform – ALEC style”

American Legislative Exchange Council
Public Safety & Elections Task Force
Annual Meeting
August 7, 2010

Attendees:
Public Sector (35)
Rep. Paul Ray, Utah (Public Sector Chair)
Rep. Gary Banz, Oklahoma
Rep. Charles Jim Beckett, Mississippi
Rep. Laurie Boyce, New Hampshire
Rep. Justin Burr, North Carolina
Sen. Lydia Chassaniol, Mississippi
Sen. Kent Cravens, New Mexico
Rep. Joseph Fischer, Kentucky
Rep. Daniel Greenberg, Arkansas
Rep. Mark Hamilton, Georgia
Rep. Gary Hayzlett, Kansas
Rep. Chris Herrod, Utah
Rep. Renee Kosel, Illinois
Rep. Andrea Lea, Arkansas
Rep. Larry Liston, Colorado
Rep. Jerry Madden, Texas
Sen. Jack Murphy, Georgia
Rep. Carole Murray, Colorado
Sen. Russell Pearce, Arizona
Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, Kansas
Rep. Valentine Rausch, South Dakota
Rep. William Rehm, New Mexico
Rep. Tom Rice, Georgia
Sen. Pam Roach, Washington
Sen. Michael Rose, South Carolina
Rep. Sal Santoro, Kentucky
Rep. Mary Slinkard, Arkansas
Rep. Todd Snitchler, Ohio
Rep. Scott Suder, Wisconsin
Rep. Linda Sumner, West Virginia
Rep. Kim Thatcher, Oregon
Rep. Jordan Ulery, New Hampshire
Rep. Gene Whisnant, Oregon
Rep. Carl Wimmer, Utah
Sen. Kevin Witkos, Connecticut

Private Sector (13)
Tara Mica, National Rifle Association (Private Sector Chair)
Eli Lehrer, Heartland Institute (Task Force Advisor)
Dennis Bartlett, American Bail Coalition
Jeff Boschwitz, Orchid Cellmark
Jon Burton, Reed Elsevier
David Christman, National Beer Wholesalers Association
Trent England, Evergreen Freedom Foundation
Steve Gross, Wine Institute
Marc Levin, Texas Public Policy Foundation
Kristi Meade, Prison Fellowship Ministries
Laura Renz, Center for Competitive Politics
Stacie Rumenap, Stop Child Predators
Laurie Shanblum, CCA

American Legislative Exchange Council
Public Safety & Elections Task Force
2010 States and Nation Policy Summit
December 2, 2010

Attendees:
Public Sector (17)
Rep. Paul Ray, Utah (Public Sector Chair)
Sen. Raymond E. Cleary, South Carolina
Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, Wisconsin
Sen. Margaret Flory, Vermont
Rep. Daniel Greenberg, Arkansas
Rep. Chris Herrod, Utah
Rep. Renee Kosel, Illinois
Rep. Jerry Madden, Texas
Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, Pennsylvania
Rep. Valentine B. Rausch, South Dakota
Rep. Tom Rice, Georgia
Rep. Scott Suder, Wisconsin
Rep. Jerry Turner, Mississippi
Rep. Jordan Ulery, New Hampshire
Rep. C. Gene Whisnant, Oregon
Rep. Carl Wimmer, Utah
Sen. Kevin Witkos, Connecticut

Private Sector (10)
Stacie Rumenap, Stop Child Predators (Stand-in Private Sector Chair)
Dennis Bartlett, American Bail Coalition
David Christman, National Beef Wholesalers Association
Trent England, Evergreen Freedom Foundation
Steve Gross, Wine Institute
Eli Lehrer, The Heartland Institute (Task Force Advisor)
Marc Levin, Texas Public Policy Foundation
Chris Oswald, Reed Elsevier
Sean Parnell, Center for Competitive Politics
Kristi Turner, Prison Fellowship


American Legislative Exchange Council
Public Safety & Elections Task Force
2011 Spring Task Force Summit
April 29, 2011

Attendees:
Public Sector (13)
Rep. Scott Suder, Wisconsin (Public Sector Stand-in Chair)
Rep. Kathy Bernier, Wisconsin
Rep. Charles Jim Beckett, Mississippi
Rep. Joshua G. Evans, Tennessee
Rep. Joseph M. Fischer, Kentucky
Rep. Mark D. Hamilton, Georgia
Sen. Frank LaRose, Ohio
Rep. Casey Kozlowski, Ohio
Rep. Scott Krug, Wisconsin
Rep. Jarrod B. Martin, Ohio
Sen. Jack Murphy, Georgia
Rep. David B. Reis, Illinois
Rep. Jennifer M. Seelig, Utah

Private Sector (16)
Stacie Rumenap, Stop Child Predators (Private Sector Chair)
Jeff Boschwitz, Orchid Cellmark
Jon Burton, Reed Elsevier
Bill Carmichael, American Bail Coalition (Stand-in for Dennis Bartlett)
Raymond Haynes, National Popular Vote
William Hoffman, National Popular Vote
Peter Holran, TASER International
Gregory Hoke, Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals
Sally Jefferson, Wine Institute
Jenny Kim, Koch Companies Public Sector
Marc Levin, Texas Public Policy Foundation
Eli Lehrer, The Heartland Institute (Task Force Advisor)
Paul Pisano, National Beer Wholesalers Association
Jessie Rager, Koch Companies Public Sector
John Sanders, John Locke Foundation
Kristin Turner, Justice Fellowship

And by November 2011 – ALEC WAS NO LONGER including attendees names or committee member names in the minutes of their meetings for this committee
– I wonder why……………..

"ALEC's decision won't impact the important issues we've worked on,"

– I wonder which task forces have now taken over the Public Safety and Elections nastiness……………..
– I wonder which task forces the people listed above will be sitting at in August at the ALEC Annual Meeting in SLC, UT on August 25 - 28 still pushing:
Voter ID legislation,
Kill at Will legislation - wherever you are - and
Immigration legislation – SB1070



SALT LAKE CITY
AUGUST 25 - 28


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